Zink Ranch National Enduro
Story and Photos by Shan Moore
FMF/KTM’s Josh Toth claimed his fourth win out of the last five races at this weekend’s Zink Ranch National Enduro in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, topping AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor by 12.6 seconds after six tests and 57 miles of racing. Baylor came into the race with a 31-point lead over Toth in the 2021 AMA National Enduro Series championship standings and was hoping to wrap up the title one round early, needing only to finish ahead of the KTM rider to claim the championship. However, Toth was not to be denied the win, forcing Baylor to wait until the series finale in Alabama for another chance at the title.
Baylor jumped out the early lead after winning the opening test by two seconds over Toth. The Yamaha rider extended his lead with another win by a single second in test two.Toth took control of the race with a couple of strong rides, building a lead that would stand at 32 seconds heading into test five. Toth would hold onto lead until the finish despite a late charge by Baylor who narrowed the gap to 12 seconds in the end. Toth took the win despite winning only two tests compared to four test wins by Baylor.
“You had to really stay on the track because there’s rocks all in the grass hidden, so I was kind of cautious at the start of the race,” said Toth. “I was in second the first two tests behind Stew, really close. After that, I kind of got a feel for the lay of the land.”
Baylor heads into the final round in Alabama with a 26-point lead over Toth in the standings.
“I know the way Josh rode the last race he was going to be tough to beat,” said Baylor. “I felt the pace that I was riding was good. We made a tire change for test three and four, but it just didn’t work out to our favor. So, we switched back to what was working. The last couple I put the hammer down, but Josh had a good enough advantage that I just couldn’t chip away at it. Overall, it was really good. I’m looking forward. I’m one step closer to that championship.”
Coastal Racing GasGas’ Ricky Russell had one of his best days yet and was sitting in third place after four tests, but suffered a mechanical issue and was not able to continue. “We felt pretty solid all day, improving with each test and just moved into P-3 when a freak accident that was out of our control happened,” said Russell.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Trevor Bollinger took up the slack and moved into third in test five and remained there until the finish with his teammate Craig DeLong rounded out the top five. Former pro motocrosser Broc Hepler (Hsq) took the first test to get warmed up and then won the final five tests to claim the win in the NE Pro 2 division over series champion Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Jesse Ansley. Hepler was sixth in the overall standings, while Ansley was seventh.
The AMA National Enduro Series wraps up on November 7, 2021 with the Gobbler Getter Enduro in Stanton, Alabama. For more information go to www.nationalenduro.com
- Josh Toth (KTM)
- Steward Baylor (Yam)
- Trevor Bollinger (Hsq)
- Ben Kelley (KTM)
- Craig DeLong (Hsq)
- Broc Hepler (Hsq)
- Jesse Ansley (KTM)
- Nathan Rector (KTM)
- Logan Kittock (Hon)
- Mike McGinnis (KTM)