Kailub Russell Captures Overall Victory At Inaugural Car-Mate GNCC
The stage was set for what appeared to be a tough mudder at Sunday’s inaugural Car-Mate Gusher GNCC as a substantial amount of rain fell in Northwestern Pennsylvania the previous day. But just as quickly as the storms came in, they soon vanished and a combination of sunshine and wind created favorable afternoon track conditions for Round 11 of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series. Thousands of dirt bike race fans were on hand all weekend long to witness the spectacle of events that took place at the RiverStone Estate in Foxburg, Pa., including an epic battle between XC1 Pro riders Kailub Russell and Charlie Mullins, which resulted in a fifth consecutive overall victory for Russell.
It was Factory FMF/KTM’s Mullins who got the early jump after claiming the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, where he led the XC1 field into the woods, followed closely by his teammate Russell, along with AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn, Shenandoah Honda/USWE-Sports.com’s Thad DuVall and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’s Josh Strang. The lead pack stuck together throughout the first half of the three-hour race but the running order changed several times from first through fifth place.
By Lap 2, Russell had made his way into the lead and Ashburn settled into the second place position after Mullins made a mistake early on to drop back to the third place position. DuVall was close in tow for the fourth place position as the top four riders created over a minute gap on the rest of the field. However, Duvall lost substantial time when he was forced to take a pit stop in order to make adjustments on his bike. From there, it was a game of catch up for the West Virginia native as he put on the charge to catch the lead pack.
It wasn’t long before Mullins made the pass on Ashburn to regain the second place position, engaging in a battle for the lead with his teammate Russell. The duo swapped back and forth for the lead position during the second half of the seven-lap race where Russell held the advantage as the two-lap card fell. Mullins ran into issues with his hand guards where he was forced to pull over to allow his pit crew to make minor adjustments. From there, Russell was able to extend his lead into a comfortable gap where he rode on to claim his fifth straight victory of the season at the inaugural Car-Mate Gusher GNCC.
“The dirt was great and it had good traction. For a track up north I couldn’t believe how well it managed the rain, I was pretty pumped once I got out there!” Russell said after the race. “We’re just taking it race by race [for the championship]. Charlie has been riding really good this year and so have the rest of the guys so it’s going to be a tough next couple of rounds for sure."
Mullins finished second for the day, earning valuable points toward the overall championship standings, where he now sits seven points behind Russell with two rounds remaining in the 2013 season.
“It was an okay day today but I felt like I made a lot of mistakes. Kailub and I went back and forth a couple times and I felt like we had a good pace going out there,” Mullins said. “I got out of here with some okay points and I’m healthy to go to Italy, and then we’ll come back strong for Ohio.”
Despite a short setback in the middle of the race, DuVall was able to put a charge at the end to reel in Ashburn and make the pass for third, capturing the final podium position for the day.
“I’m happy with third but it’s just one of those days where I wish I could have done better,” DuVall said. “I wanted to come out of here healthy and on the podium before heading to the ISDE and that’s what I did.”
Ashburn put forth an impressive ride, battling for a podium position all afternoon. Ashburn made it as high as second place in the opening laps, where he maintained the third place position for a majority of the race. Ashburn wasn’t able to hold off the hard-charging Duvall for a podium finish but he did match his season best finish of fourth overall for the day, while Strang rounded out the top five overall.
The XC2 Pro Lites Class produced yet another exciting battle for the lead position as F.A.R Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong and DirtWise Schools/KTM-Parts.com/Maxxis rider Jason Thomas went head to head for a majority of the three-hour race. It was Ryan Echols who claimed the $100 DigitalOffroad.com Holeshot Award before DeLong grabbed the early lead, followed by a hard-charging Thomas not far behind.
Thomas chose to line up on a KTM 125, which seemed to have been a good fit for the 2012 XC2 Pro Lites Champion as he immediately applied pressure on DeLong for the first place position. Thomas took over the lead just before the halfway point but DeLong did everything he could to keep the UK native in his sights long enough to reclaim the lead on Lap 5. From there, DeLong put his head down and charged through the pack where he ultimately finished fifth overall with the adjusted time, also earning his second straight win in the XC2 Class. Thomas dropped back on the final lap, finishing over one minute behind DeLong for the second place position.
“Today it was all about the person who made the least mistakes,” DeLong said. “It was really technical out there and I had trouble getting into the groove at the beginning but when I started finding my flow, I got my speed up and then I had a good time riding. It was a blast today!”
Ohio’s Scott Grills began the afternoon inside the top five where he steadily began moving his way through the pack. By the 2-Lap card, Grills had made his way into a podium position where he ultimately secured his second straight podium appearance with a third place finish at The Gusher.
One rider who did not engage in the lead battle was XC2 points leader Grant Baylor, who experienced issues off the start and struggled to make up time throughout the three-hour competition. Baylor eventually made his way up to fifth place in the class after being forced to pull into the pit area as his crew swapped out his rear brakes. Baylor continues to lead Thomas by 28 points in the XC2 Pro Lites championship standings with two rounds remaining in the season.
North Carolina’s Trevor Bollinger grabbed another victory in the 4 Stroke A Lites Class, also securing the Top Amateur Award with 13th overall for the day. Craig DeLong was next closest amateur, finishing in the 20th position overall and second in the 4 Stroke A Lites Class.
It was Factory FMF/KTM’s Maria Forsberg who once again topped the AM Overall win after a hard fought battle through time adjustment with off-road racing legend Jeff Fredette, who finished about 40 seconds behind Forsberg to take second overall and first place in the Silver Masters (55+) class. Third place overall went to West Virginia native Coalton Cupp, who claimed first place in the 250 C Class. FMF/RPM/KTM’s Kacy Martinez finished second in the Women’s Class, while Sarah Baldwin rounded out the top three in the Women’s Class division.
North Carolina’s Braxton McGee topped the Youth Overall podium, besting his biggest opponent in the Super Mini (14-15) Class, South Carolina’s Cole Mattison, who finished second overall for the day. Indiana’s Vincent Smith secured the victory in the Super Mini (12-13) Class while taking third overall for the day.
The 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series heads to St. Clairsville, Ohio on October 12 and 13 for the ITP Powerline Park GNCC. For more information on the series, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
Source: GNCC Racing
Kailub Russell And Maria Forsberg Win Gusher GNCC
Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell took his fifth consecutive win of the season in the GNCC XC1 class and strengthened his points lead in the series while his teammate Maria Forsberg won her seventh race of the year in the GNCC Women’s class at the eleventh round of the GNCC Series, dubbed “The Gusher.”
Track conditions were muddy from the three inches of rain received the night before the event and Forsberg got the worst of it as she lined up for the morning race. She jumped off to a decent start and quickly worked her way up front and into the lead. She led every lap of the morning race, continuously putting time on the rest of the riders. When the checkered flag flew she easily coasted to a victory by a margin of 9 minutes and 10 seconds over the next closest female competitor. Her time was also decent enough to give her the overall for the day out of all morning classes.
“I really liked this course,” stated Forsberg. “Whenever I hear that there is going to be a mud race I get excited because I live in Washington and that is all we really ever get to ride in.” Forsberg was joined on the podium by fellow KTM riders Kacy Martinez and Sarah Baldwin. After achieving seven victories this season, Forsberg will be able to wrap up the championship at the next event if she starts the race.
In the XC1 class, it was Factory FMF/KTM rider Charlie Mullins who grabbed the early holeshot and led the first lap. He was followed closely by Russell. The two teammates set out to do what they do best, which is challenge each other for three-hours. The teammates never lost sight of each other for the seven lap race. Russell passed Mullins on the second lap to take over the lead and Mullins passed him back on the fifth lap of the race. On the final lap the two riders were neck and neck battling for the win. Unfortunately, Mullins struck a tree and lost his brakes part way into the last lap. He stopped in the pits for some help and lost some time to Russell. Russell continued to race a trouble-free ride out front and took his fifth consecutive win of the season while Mullins finished approximately 40 seconds behind him in second position.
Russell now holds a 10 point lead in the championship standings with two rounds remaining. Both riders will now head to Italy to race the ISDE. Mullins will represent Team USA on the Trophy Team while Russell will be a member of the USA Junior Trophy Team.
In the XC2 Pro Lites class, KTM support rider Grant Baylor, got off to a top ten start and struggled to pass riders on the slick and tight course. Around the halfway point he had moved into fifth position and was gaining on the third and fourth place riders and looked as if he might be able to land on the podium. Unfortunately, he encountered a rear brake problem and had to return to the pits for assistance. He lost a minute of time on the competition and eventually reentered the course and finished fifth for the day. Despite not landing on the podium, he still holds a comfortable 28 point lead in the championship standings.
Next Event: St. Clairsville, OH – October 12-13, 2013
Source: KTM North America
Husqvarna's Andrew DeLong Dominates The Gusher GNCC
Third podium in three weeks for FAR Husqvarna
Fred Andrews Racing Husqvarna's Andrew DeLong has officially started a new win streak in the GNCC series, having taken his second consecutive win in the XC2 Pro class! DeLong piloted his TXC250R to a dominant win in Foxburg, Pennsylvania at round 11 of the 2013 series.
A new stop on the tour, the "Gusher" GNCC lived up to his name having received a deluge of rain on Saturday afternoon - but the series crew was able to turn the track into one of the best of the season after having spent the morning making a new 10-mile course. DeLong got out to a mid-pack start and got to work pushing toward the front of the XC2 class. He quickly got into the lead only to give it up with a crash on lap 3. Fortunately DeLong regained the lead and put the hammer down to build a 47-second buffer over second place by the time the white flag came out. DeLong cruised to the win, and also managed to end his day in fifth place overall!
"I had trouble finding my flow at first," DeLong said. "I gapped second only to start making mistakes and then crash and lose the lead. But I rebounded and started to flow and wound up passing the XC1 guys to finish fifth overall."
Andrew now heads to Italy for the International Six Days Enduro where he will represent the U.S. on the Junior Trophy Team. Good luck, Andrew!
The Gusher GNCC Overview And Point Standings
2013 GNCC Series Gusher Image Gallery (Click for full size images)
|1||Kailub Russell||XC1 Pro||557||KTM||7||03:04:25.437|
|2||Charlie Mullins||XC1 Pro||112||KTM||7||03:05:08.000|
|3||Thad DuVall||XC1 Pro||989||HON||7||03:09:09.671|
|4||Jordan Ashburn||XC1 Pro||009||YAM||7||03:10:26.437|
|5||Andrew DeLong||XC2 Pro Lites||007||HSQ||7||03:12:19.796|
|6||Josh Strang||XC1 Pro||080||KAW||7||03:12:27.703|
|7||Chris Bach||XC1 Pro||010||KTM||7||03:13:02.203|
|8||Jason Thomas||XC2 Pro Lites||008||KTM||7||03:13:37.640|
|9||Scott Grills||XC2 Pro Lites||018||KAW||7||03:17:30.109|
|10||Shane Hufford||XC2 Pro Lites||459||KTM||7||03:19:02.203|
|11||Grant Baylor||XC2 Pro Lites||016||KTM||7||03:19:10.187|
|12||Takeshi Koikeda||XC1 Pro||011||HON||7||03:19:44.578|
|13||Trevor Bollinger||4 Stroke A Lites||739||HON||7||03:22:50.000|
|14||Christopher Douglas||XC2 Pro Lites||026||HSQ||7||03:23:37.578|
|15||Adam Bonneur||XC1 Pro||022||KAW||7||03:24:51.453|
|16||Samuel Evans||XC2 Pro Lites||027||KTM||7||03:26:33.484|
|17||Nick Davis||XC2 Pro Lites||045||HSQ||7||03:27:42.406|
|18||Ryan Lojak||XC2 Pro Lites||301||YAM||7||03:28:23.828|
|19||Zach Love||XC2 Pro Lites||038||KTM||7||03:28:28.968|
|20||Craig DeLong||4 Stroke A Lites||046||HSQ||7||03:28:48.250|
Rider Point Standings - XC1 Pro Class ( Race 11 of 13 )
- Kailub Russell – 290
- Charlie Mullins – 280
- Josh Strang - 190
- Thad DuVall - 190
- Chris Bach - 187
- Jordan Ashburn - 157
- Paul Whibley - 143
- Takeshi Koikeda - 139
- Adam Bonneur - 133
- Rory Mead - 131
Rider Point Standings - XC2 Pro Lites Class ( Race 11 of 13 )
- Grant Baylor - 243
- Jason Thomas - 215
- Andrew DeLong - 181
- Shane Hufford - 149
- Scott Grills - 118
- Travis Coy - 106
- Samuel Evans - 105
- Layne Michael - 104
- AJ Stewart - 102
- Chris Douglas - 101
Overall Results - Women's Class
Rider Point Standings - Women's Class ( Race 11 of 13 )
- Maria Forsberg – 174
- Kacy Martinez – 172
- Becca Sheets - 157
- Mandi Mastin - 141
- Hannah Otto - 133
- Brooke Cosner - 121
- Jessica Patterson - 111
- Karlynn Beam - 105
- Allie Spurgeon - 102
- Heather Cosner - 89
Overall National Championship Standings
Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2013 National Champion.
- Kailub Russell – 280
- Charlie Mullins – 273
- Chris Bach - 177
- Thad DuVall - 161
- Josh Strang - 158
- Grant Baylor - 129
- Paul Whibley - 127
- Jordan Ashburn - 124
- Jason Thomas - 119
- Andrew DeLong - 93