GNCC REPORT: TOUGH FLORIDA ROUND GOES TO BEN KELLEY

 

Moose Racing Wild Boar: Ben Kelley dominates round two! 


 The Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, concluded round two, the Moose Racing Wild Boar, on Sunday, March 6, 2022. Hot and sunny conditions made for a brutal day of racing in the Florida sand and swamps.

Ben Kelley (FMF/KTM Factory Racing) earned his second-straight win in 2022. Ken Hill

As racing got underway on Sunday Afternoon it was the No. 3 machine of Magna1 Motorsport/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn who earned the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. Ashburn would take off into the woods, holding the number one position for the first two laps of racing. As Ashburn headed out onto the third lap, he would have company from FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Benjamin Kelley.

Kelley would put on the charge in Florida after starting the day in second behind Ashburn. As the race continued on, he would set himself up to make the pass at the halfway point of the race and not look back. Kelley continued to place a gap over the field after moving in the lead, ultimately crossing the finish line four minutes ahead of his competition.

Josep Garcia, a dominant force in European enduros took home a second place finish in just his second GNCC event.

 

Meanwhile behind Kelley, his teammate FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia hailing from Spain and Ashburn were engaged in a heated battle for the second place position. As the white flag flew, Garcia was just .8 seconds behind Ashburn, and as the two made their way through the trails Garcia would make the pass stick for second overall. Ashburn would hold on for third overall, rounding out the overall podium.

Jordan Ashburn (Magna1 Motorsports) and Josep Garcia (FMF/KTM Factory Racing) battled for the number two position.Ken Hill

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong and teammate, Trevor Bollinger would round out the top five finishing positions in the XC1 Open Pro class with DeLong earning fourth overall on the day. DeLong would work his way from a tenth place start on the day to finish inside the top five, while Bollinger worked his way up from ninth on the opening lap of the race. Rev Motorsports/GASGAS Racing’s Grant Baylor came through to finish sixth in XC1 after working his way up through the pack.

Unfortunately for some, it was a rough day as the heat and misfortune struck. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Josh Toth had a rough crash on the fifth lap which ended his day. Toth later posted that he was doing better after receiving some fluids. While out on lap four Babbitts Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Josh Strang was said to be down with an apparent arm injury. He was able to make his way back to his pit area, but no confirmation on the extent of his injuries. Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ricky Russell also was out of the race on lap four as he collided with a tree and possibly injuring his shoulder. GNCC Racing wishes everyone a speedy recovery.

Mike Witkowski (AmPro Yamaha) brought home another XC2 250 Pro class win.Ken Hill

AmPro Yamaha’s Mike Witkowski is two-for-two in the XC2 250 Pro class as he brought home the win at round two in Florida. Witkowski would get a good jump off the line, earning the $250 STACYC XC2 Holeshot Award. He would continue to lead from the start of the race, until the checkered flag flew. Witkowski would also finish fifth overall on the day.

Phoenix Honda Racing’s Cody Barnes and Magna1 Motorsports’ Jack Edmondson would battle back and forth between the second and third place positions for the majority of the race. Barnes would make the pass on Edmondson with two laps remaining in the race. Both Barnes and Edmondson would begin to feel the brutal heat and terrain affecting them and would fall off the pace for the last lap. Barnes would cross the line in second with Edmondson about one minute behind him in third.

Zack Hayes (Carolina XC/Moose Racing/XC Gear) returned to the center of the box in the FMF XC3 class.Ken Hill

In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class it was Carolina XC/Moose Racing/XC Gear’s Zack Hayes battling back to the center of the box in Florida. After Podium Works/ODI Grips/Scott Motorsports’ Shawn Myers Jr. grabbed the $100 Lojak Cycle Sales’ XC3 Holeshot Award, Hayes would make his way into the led. Hayes would continue to lead the race for the remainder of the day, earning his first win of 2022. Motorcycle Enthusiast Inc/Moose Racing/MX Tech’s Hunter Neuwirth would find himself behind Hayes in second for the duration of the race. Neuwirth would try to push himself to catch Hayes, but he would fall short at the end of the three-hour race. Neuwirth remains second in the points standings after two rounds. Precision Off-Road/JDP Suspension/FXR’s Tegan Temple rounded out the top three FMF XC3 finishers after making the pass into third halfway through the race.

Earning Top Amateur honors was the 250 A class winner, Jason Tino as he came through in the 19th overall position. Bolton Beroth was second on the top amateur podium with a 22nd overall finishing position and second in the 250 A class. Rounding out the top amateur podium was 4-Stroke A Lites class winner, Cole Forbes with his 24th overall finishing position.

Rachael Archer (AmPro Yamaha) had another dominating performance in the WXC class.Ken Hill

As the 10 a.m. race got underway it was Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Taylor Johnston earning the $100 Trail Jesters WXC Holeshot Award. It wouldn’t be long though until AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer made her way into the lead and began to place a gap over the rest of the field. Archer would lead all four laps of the two-hour race, coming through 48 seconds ahead of second place.

Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede battled at the front of the pack for the duration of the race, swapping between third and second on the opening laps of the race. She continued to push and would catch Archer as the white flag came out. However, on the last lap she would lose that push and cruise in for second overall and in the WXC class in Florida. Rockstar Husqvarna/Surge Off-Road Coaching Team’s Tayla Jones would fight back in the third place position to catch the front runners, but she would fall short of battling it out with them. She would hold onto third overall, rounding out the WXC podium at round two.

Nick DeFeo (Team Green Kawasaki) clinched the youth overall win in Florida.Ken Hill

In the Youth Bike race, it was Team Green Kawasaki’s Nicholas DeFeo making it two-in-a-row for overall wins and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class wins in 2022. Coming from the second row in the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. class it was Ryan Amancio earning second overall on the day, and taking the class win in Florida. Peyton Feather rounded out the top three youth overall finishers, while also finishing second in YXC1.

Rivers Morris would finish fourth overall on the day, and third in the YXC1 class. In the fifth place position overall, it was Canyon Richards of the 85cc (12-13) class. Jacob McPherson and Jiggs Fustini came through to round out the YXC2 top three finishers, while Brayden Baisley earned the 85cc Big Wheel (12-15) class win.

GNCC Racing continues next weekend on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13 with round three, The Specialized General in Washington, Georgia. This event will also host round of the Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship. For more information on the event, click HERE.

 

Ben Kelley (center), Josep Garcia (left) and Jordan Ashburn (right) rounded out the top three Wild Boar overall.Ken Hill

Wild Boar Results and Points Standings
Palatka, Florida
Round 2 of 13
Sunday, March 7, 2022

XC1 Pro Event Results:

  1. Benjamin Kelley (KTM)
  2. Josep Garcia (KTM)
  3. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
  4. Craig DeLong (HQV)
  5. Trevor Bollinger (HQV)
  6. Grant Baylor (GAS)
  7. Josh Toth (KTM)
  8. Josh Strang (KAW)
  9. Ricky Russell (GAS)
  10. Rikard Hansson (GAS)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Benjamin Kelley (60)
  2. Jordan Ashburn (42)
  3. Josep Garcia (37)
  4. Craig DeLong (33)
  5. Michael Witkowski (30)
  6. Trevor Bollinger (30)
  7. Josh Strang (25)
  8. Lyndon Snodgrass (22)
  9. Jack Edmondson (19)
  10. Grant Baylor (18)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2022 National Champion.

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

  1. Michael Witkowski (YAM)
  2. Cody Barnes (HON)
  3. Jack Edmondson (HQV)
  4. Jesse Ansley (KTM)
  5. Lyndon Snodgrass (KAW)
  6. Ruy Barbosa (HON)
  7. Angus Riordan (KTM)
  8. Benjamin Herrera (OTH)
  9. Alexandre Gougeon (HQV)
  10. Jonathan Johnson (BET)

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

  1. Michael Witkowski (60)
  2. Lyndon Snodgrass (41)
  3. Jack Edmondson (37)
  4. Cody Barnes34)
  5. Ruy Barbosa (33)
  6. Angus Riordan (27)
  7. Jonathan Johnson (26)
  8. Jesse Ansley (26)
  9. Ryder Lafferty (24)
  10. Benjamin Herrera (24)

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