Trevor Mulhern finished third at the recent 2014 Off-Road Cup, an nine-hour endurance race, and will compete this Sunday at Chaffee Crossing in Barling.
The race leans towards a three-person crew, a few racers — including Mulhern — choose go solo.
Mulhern, age 16, competed against 26 other riders at the D-Day Adventure Park in Wyandotte, Oklahoma. While the park commonly hosts some of the largest paintball events in the world, the event in mid April had 281 riders representing 18 racing series from 11 states. Mulhern, along with fellow Arkansas Hare Scramble Championship Series (AHSCS) rider, Zac Cowl, lined up for the 8 a.m. start. Both were competing for the overall ironman title and would stop for nothing more than fuel and a small amount of food for the next nine hours.
"For the first four hours it was fun, but the last five it was more about making yourself want to go," Mulhern said. "I’m always having fun when I’m riding and quitting is never fun."
Crowl had the better start, but Mulhern passed him early during the first lap. Shortly after passing Crowl, Mulhern had a mishap and lost a lot of ground.
"At that point I realized I needed to settle into a pace that I could maintain for nine hours, this race wasn’t going to be won on the first lap," said Mulhern.
Mulhern, who lives in Van Buren but attends Southside High School, settled into third and Crowl went on to win his class, with an eight-lap lead.
While the friends were competing in different classes, both were fighting for an overall finish.
Crowl made a pit stop at about Lap 9, this gave Mulhern a chance to close the gap and took the lead for third place overall. Mulhern finished the race after 22 laps in 9 hours, 7 minutes, 36 seconds.
"I knew I had third place and I wanted to hold it. So, it was just a matter of letting the hours click away," Mulhern said.
Mulhern will also compete in the upcoming Grand National Cross Country at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, in June and will go to the National Enduro in Park Hills, Missouri.
Mulhern is just in his third year of competitive Hare Scramble racing and has been recognized as the Most Improved Racer for the past two seasons.
"I can blame my friends (Jake and Zach Ingram) for getting me involved," said Mulhern. "I got burned out on racing mountain bikes and they got me into this kind of racing."
The Hare Scramble begins much like other motocross events, but the goal is to complete as many laps in the allotted time.
"I definitely want to keep doing this, but off-road racing doesn’t pay very well since there isn’t much television coverage. So, this may not be a good career path for me," Mulhern said. "But I’ll definitely will keep doing this for as long as I can."
He’s sponsored by Harry Robinson Buick GMC, Connected Inc., and Jeff Nichols of JPN Racing.
Mulhern’s website: mulhernracing.com