Once again fellas thanks for all the replies and info. The trails and courses here are tight gnarly single track, lots of rocks, roots and mud, it's slow going on any bike. I've seen some video of the local hare scrambles, and it isn't fast by any means. This year I'm only looking at doing one race in the fall, just because I'll need the whole summer to get comfortable riding a dirt bike. I have a 50km running race in mid-June that is going to take up a lot of time between now and then, and I also have to juggle work, and the family, so realistically I'll only be able to ride a few hours a week.
So, what I may do is pick up a used XR or KLX, get used to riding, try a race, and then if I'm hooked, sell it again in the spring along with my Ninja 400R and get a new bike, 200XCW or TXC250/310, etc. If I don't like racing, then I have a cheap trail bike to horse around on.