JOSH TOTH WINS GOBBLER NATIONAL ENDURO FINAL- STEWARD BAYLOR CROWNED NATIONAL CHAMP

Josh Toth: “Overall, it was a really good day. It started off a little slow but I closed in on the lead midway through the day and put a little gap towards the end. I won five races this year but unfortunately a little short of the championship because of a couple rounds.”

 

Josh Toth continued his run of impressive rides in the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series, the FMF/KTM rider claiming his fifth win of the season at this weekend’s Gobbler Getter National Enduro in Stanton, Alabama. Meanwhile, AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor Jr. wrapped up the 2021 championship title with a runnerup finish at the Alabama race, which served as the ninth and final round of the series. It was Baylor’s fifth AMA National Enduro title.

 

I think all three of the first tests I crashed within the first ten turns and I was like, what are you doing? At one point I got tangled in barbed wire. When the barbed wire got around my front wheel I was like, well, there it goes. So, after that test, I just cruised.”

 

Baylor came into the race with a huge margin in the points and needed only to score a 14th to nail down the title, but the South Carolina rider was on the gas early in the race and going for the win. However, it was Ryder Lafferty who scored the first test win of the day. The Coastal Racing GasGas rider tripped the timer a second faster than Toth, with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong finishing third in the test. Baylor was fourth ahead of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Trevor Bollinger.

Baylor took tests two and three, but Toth found his groove and topped the final three test of the day. After six tests and 52 miles of racing Toth took the win with just over 29 seconds to spare ahead of Baylor. “I started off a little bit slow and just kind of a little cautious, but picked up throughout the day,” said Toth. “I knew Stew was pushing and anything could happen, so I was just giving it my best effort and fighting between the lappers and the tight trees.” “It’s kind of a bummer to be on the top step of the podium but not with the number one plate,” added Toth. “I had a lot of wins this year, but consistency is what matters. I suffered through the first round with a broken hand. If it wasn’t for that or drowning my bike while I was in the lead in Ohio… Would have, could have, should have. Can’t change a thing now. I gave it my best. Stew hasn’t beat me in a while, so going into next year I’m pretty confident and I’m coming for that number one.”

Though Baylor started off charging hard, he eventually backed off and played it safe near the end of the race. “It’s awesome to wrap up the fifth championship,” said Baylor. “Luckily, everything fell into place. The last couple races I really didn’t have to push. I rode well, but I never really rode too aggressive. I think the last test in Oklahoma was the hardest I pushed really since the beginning of the season. I didn’t need to. I came in with no sense of urgency. I knew I really needed to be careful, save the bike, not over-ride, not end up on my head.

 

Craig DeLong  put himself into a podium position  with a third in the opening test. He maintained consistent fourth-place finishes through the next few tests before taking his FX 350 into a  second place tally on test five. Rounding out the final test in fifth, DeLong was able to secure the final spot on the overall podium.

 

Delong switched to Husqvarna’s 350 for the series finale and came away with third overall. Lafferty, who won the first test, missed the podium by seven seconds, finishing fourth. Bollinger, who decided to ride a 350 instead of his usual 450, rounded out the top five just three seconds off of Lafferty. “I kind of pretty much threw it away the first test,” said Bollinger. “I got arm pump and got tight. I think I lost like twenty seconds to the guys there. FXR Husqvarna’s Evan Smith was consistent en route to sixth overall, finishing sixth fastest in five of the tests and fifth fastest in the other. FMF/KTM’s Ben Kelley managed seventh place despite feeling under the weather all weekend. Kelley finished the year in third behind Baylor and Toth.

 

Steve Nicholas: I knew Jesse had a good gap on me going into the last section, but I just kept riding. I didn’t want to give up so I pushed every second of it. I’m happy to get this win.”

 

KTM privateer Steve Nicholas topped the NE Pro2 division with an eighth overall finish, just edging out Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Jesse Ansley by less than half a second. It was the Nicholas’ first win in the class. Ansley, who wrapped up the NE Pro 2 title two races before, started strong and had a 50-second lead going into the final test, only to clip a tree and go down. After the crash, Ansley finished second in the NE Pro2 class and ninth overall. “I just clipped a little sapling tree thing that was cut halfway and messed up my finger pretty good. It was really tough to hang on, pulling the clutch and whatnot afterwards. It kind of sucks to lose by less than half a second, but it’s just part of the game. Excited to wrap up the 2020 year and to be crowned champion.”

 

Shelby Turner battled with Mackenzie Tricker, ultimately edging her out by 4-seconds to win the Women’s Elite class.

 

KTM rider Zach Hayes rounded out the top 10 and was third in the NE Pro2 class. The Women’s Elite class was a nail-biter between FXR/KTM’s Shelby Turner and Enduro Engineering/Fly Racing KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker, with Turner coming out on top by just under four seconds. “There were some tight sections, but for the most part I just kind of found a groove and just kept plucking away,” said Turner. “So, super happy to come away with the win.” Tricker wrapped up the Women’s Elite championship with her runner-up finish. “It’s great to wrap up the championship,” said Tricker.

 

Steward Baylor and his AM Pro Yamaha team clinched the Number one plate for the National Enduro series. It was Stew’s fifth National Enduro title.

 

OVERALL RESULTS

  1. Josh Toth (KTM)
  2. Steward Baylor (Yam)
  3. Craig DeLong (Hsq)
  4. Ryder Lafferty (GG)
  5. Trevor Bollinger (Hsq)
  6. Evan Smith (Hsq)
  7. Ben Kelley (KTM)
  8. Steve Nicholas (KTM)
  9. Jesse Ansley (KTM)
  10. Zach Hayes (KTM)

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