Kailub Russell Earns Third Win of Season at X-Factor Whitetails GNCC
Thad Duvall and Josh Toth Round Out Overall Podium
The fifth round of the 2019 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, concluded on Sunday, May 5 in Peru, Indiana with the Yamaha Racing X-Factor Whitetails GNCC. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell earned his third win of the season and 57th career overall win. K. Russell maintained a sizable lead throughout the entire race, leading from the opening lap until the checkered flag flew after three hours.
Coming through second overall was Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall. Throughout the duration of the race, Duvall held onto the second place position while trying to close the gap between himself and K. Russell. After running around one minute to 40 seconds behind K. Russell, Duvall would put on a last lap charge but would fall just 7 seconds short of taking the overall win. Duvall heads to The John Penton GNCC sitting 18 points behind K. Russell in the points standings.
Earning his first podium finish in the XC1 Open Pro class was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Josh Toth. At the start of the race Toth would find himself in third as the riders came around on the opening lap. Toth would settle into his third overall position, and maintain his speed until the checkered flag was thrown.
After starting out in the sixth place position, Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. worked his way up to finish fourth overall. Baylor Jr. would engage in a battle with fellow XC1 Open Pro competitors, but would work his way up to fourth on the third lap and remain there until the end of the race. Baylor Jr. holds onto third in the points standing as the series heads to Ohio in two weeks.
Returning from an injury sustained before the season began was AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell. R. Russell kicked off the day by grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 holeshot award. After running in fourth overall for first couple of laps, R. Russell would engage in a battle with Baylor Jr. before falling to fifth in the XC1 Open Pro class.
Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Grant Baylor also made his return to GNCC Racing after injuries and surgeries prohibited him from starting the season in Florida. Baylor would start it his day at the back of the pack, but would find himself moving through riders working his way up to sixth in the XC1 class, and seventh overall.
Putting in another great ride was Phoenix Honda Racing’s Andrew Delong. This season Delong has finished inside the top 10 in his class at each event, and is steadily working his way up as the season goes on. Delong battled back-and-forth in the sixth and seven place position throughout the duration of the race, crossing the finish line in seventh.
Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Trevor Bollinger did not have the race he hoped for in Indiana. After a 14 minute pit stop to fix his bike from a crash earlier in the lap, Bollinger would find himself battling from the back of the group. Bollinger would be working his way from 11th in XC1 to 8th in his class by the last lap.
Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jordan Ashburn and teammate, Josh Strang, finished 9th and 10th in XC1 Open Pro after a hard day of battles. Following Strang was Husqvarna’s Cory Buttrick coming through in eleventh.
Coming through first in the XC2 250 Pro class and fifth overall was Trail Jesters KTM’s Ben Kelley. Even though Kelley did not get a great jump off the line, he managed to move through the pack by the time they reached the finish line on the opening lap. Kelley would hold onto the lead until the checkered flag was waving. Earning himself his fifth consecutive win.
Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Craig Delong made his return to the podium, finishing second in class, after breaking his collarbone right before round one. Delong was a man on the move during yesterday’s afternoon race. Battling through the pack and placing a gap over third after the halfway point in the race. Phoenix Honda Racing’s Austin Lee returned to the podium with his second-straight third place finish.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class it was Trail Jesters KTM’s Jesse Ansley taking his third win of the season. Ansley would lead the race from the time the green flag flew as he took the $100 holeshot award, until the checkers were flying at the finish line. Factory Beta USA’s Cody Barnes came through second, even after having to stop at his pits to have his exhaust changed out from a crash earlier in the lap. Lojak Cycle Sales’ Chase Colville made his first appearance on the XC3 podium. Colville has been steadily working his way through the pack, and is aiming to continue pushing forward.
MXTire.com/Jeff Cernic/Bell Helmets/Cernics Cycle World/Scott Goggles/Sidi Boots/Aaron Snyder Suspensions’ Ryder LeBlond brought home the top amateur honors with his 250 A class win and 19th overall finish. KTM’s Chase Hayes came through 20th overall, finishing second top amateur and in the 250 A class. Trail Jesters KTM/FMF/Edelmann Sales Simon Johnson took third on the top amateur podium, and third in the 250 A class at the Yamaha Racing X-Factor Whitetails GNCC.
As the 10 a.m. racers took to the course it was Blayke Coler in the 125 B/C class leading the overall way with Sportsman A riders and Rockstar/Husqvarna/Moose Racing/Shaw Wines’ Tayla Jones followed by Fly/Maxxis/Pro Circuit/KTM’s Becca Sheets making up the front of the pack. AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer made her way into third and earning her first WXC podium finish of the season.
When the youth racers took off the line at 8 a.m. it was Joseph Cunningham in the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class grabbing the lead from Canon Kuneff who came through first on the opening lap. Cunningham would make the pass stick, and never look back as he took his fifth-straight youth overall win after seven laps. Brayden Nolette made his way to second overall, with YXC2 Super Mini Jr. competitor Grant Davis earning third overall from the second row.
Canon Kuneff held on to third in the YXC1 class, while Indiana’s own Jack Joy finished second in YXC2 with Cooper Jones taking third in the YXC2 class. Andrew Segars earned the win in the 85cc (7-11) class, and Austin Tsakanikas earned the 65cc (10-11) class win.
The Yamaha Racing X-Factor Whitetails GNCC AMSOIL Moto Hero was awarded to Shawn Remington from New Salem, Pennsylvania. Shawn served in the army as a mechanic in 1992 and 1993. He was stationed in Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. Shawn currently races in the Senior A (40+) class, and is sitting first in the points standings.
X-Factor Whitetails of Indiana is a privately owned and operated hunting ranch that offers guided hunts for groups of all sizes. The Indiana preserve has over 1,200 acres with one of the most beautiful lodges in the country. If you are looking for a challenging whitetail hunt for some of the biggest deer in the country, you have found the right place. To find out more about the X-Factor Whitetails Hunting Ranch click HERE.
The 1 p.m. Bike Pro race was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m.
The 2019 GNCC Series returns on May 18 and 19, with The Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio.