Steward Baylor broke through to win his first GNCC XC1 victory of  2024 at the inaugural Dunlop Motorcycle Tires Old Gray. The 2024 Progressive Grand National Cross Country (GNCC Racing) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship,  made its first trip to Monterey, Tennessee for an intense race that saw KTM’s winning streak broken and Baylor’s new Red Bear Kawasaki team come out on top.

When the green flag waved Phoenix Racing Honda’s Michael Witkowski found himself getting a quick jump off the line and earning the $250 Steel City Medical Center Holeshot Award, but it wouldn’t take long for the hometown favorite Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jordan Ashburn to transition into the lead as they entered the woods.

The $250 Steel City Medical Center holeshot award went to Michael Witkowski (Phoenix Racing Honda) to start the day. Photo: Ken Hill

Meanwhile, the freight train of racers behind Ashburn continued to push forward towards him to battle for that number one spot. FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Johnny Girroir and AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell would come through in second and third on the opening lap, but no one could rule out Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki’s Steward Baylor as he was just 1.1 seconds behind Russell coming through timing and scoring on lap one.

Ashburn continued to hold the lead as they checked through timing and scoring on the second lap, but a hard-charging Baylor had made his way around Russell and had his sights set on passing Girroir and taking that number one spot from Ashburn.

Steward Baylor (Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki) clinched his first GNCC win of the 2024 season at The Dunlop Motorcycle Tires Old Gray event. Photo: Ken Hill

As the pack of racers came through to complete three laps of racing, Baylor had taken over the lead, but Ashburn did not seem to be going down without a fight as he had a lot of hometown support being from just about 20 minutes away from the track location. Girroir would now sit back in third as Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Craig Delong started to creep up closer to the front-runners.

As the race wore on, Baylor would continue to lead the way, but a last lap mishap would put Ashburn right on his back wheel as the two came through pro row and then into the woods just before the finish line. Baylor would continue to push all the way to the checkered flag, earning his first win of the 2024 with just a 1.8 second lead over Ashburn who came through to earn second in front his family, friends and a lot of hometown fans.

Girroir would push himself almost to take max as he came through to round out the top three and remain in the points lead after five rounds of racing. Delong would be unable to become a real threat to the top three this round as he fought back to finish fourth on the day. After earning the holeshot award, Witkowski would drop back to sixth fir the first half of the race, but he would be able to make it up to fifth to end his day out.

Jordan Ashburn (Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing) had a great battle all day, and would finish second overall in his home state of Tennessee. Photo: Ken Hill

Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Grant Baylor had his work cut out of him as he came through tenth on the opening lap. Baylor would continue to push forward and ultimately made his way up to sixth in XC1 Open Pro and eighth overall on the day.

Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Trevor Bollinger had a good start to his day and came through running inside the top five after the first lap. Bollinger would continue to try and remain consistent on his day, finishing seventh in XC1 and tenth overall. Active Air/Max Motorsports/FXR/Husqvarna’s Evan Smith remained eighth in the XC1 class throughout the day, while JS7 Sherco Racing’s Josh Strang and Morgantown Powersports/Tely Energy’s Layne Michael rounded out the top 10 finishers in the XC1 class.

Unfortunately for some other racers they would only be able to complete half the laps as Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty was out after 3 laps, as well as Mitchell Frantz and AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell who suffered a crash that took him out with a tweaked shoulder. For Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass he was unfortunately out before completing one lap due to a mechanical issue.

Grant Davis (FMF KTM Factory Racing Landers) made his way into the XC2 250 Pro points lead after earning the class win at round five. Photo: Ken Hill

The XC2 250 Pro class would be an exciting one to watch as Great Britain’s Jack Edmondson returned to racing and grabbed himself the $250 Steel City Medical Center’s Holeshot Award to start his return. However, it would not take long for Team Enduro Engineering’s Josh Toth and FMF KTM Factory Racing Lander’s Grant Davis to begin the long three-hour battle back-and-forth for the lead. Toth and Davis would continue to swap the lead multiple times throughout the day, but as the checkered flag came out it was Davis making his way out of the woods first to earn his second class win of the season, moving him into the XC2 class points lead. Toth would hold on to finish second in the class.

A little farther back saw some exciting battles as well as AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper made a last lap pass on Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki’s Thad Duvall to take over the last podium spot in the XC2 class. Duvall would finish fourth in the class, while Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cody Barnes made his way up to fifth in the class after coming around in eleventh on the opening lap.

Dakoda Devore (Devore Racing/KTM/FXR/SRS Suspension) battled back to earn the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class win. Photo: Ken Hill

As the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class took off it was Kibuk Cycle/Steel City Medical Center/Josh Lojak’s House of Speed’s Sawyer Carratura earning himself the Lojak Cycle Sales Holeshot Award and leading the way into the woods. Carratura would hold the lead for the first three laps of the race, but soon after that Devore Racing/KTM/FXR/SRS Suspension’s Dakoda Devore would begin to apply the pressure and make a pass for the lead.

Devore and Carratura would battle for the next lap, but Devore would be able to begin to place a gap between them on the last two laps of the race. Devore would earn the FMF XC3 class win while Carratura held on for second in the class. Liqui Moly Factory Beta Racing’s Jhak Walker would have a consistent race as he remained in the third place position for the duration of the race.

Earning The Old Gray top amateur honors was 250 A competitor, Jason Tino as he came through to finish 9th overall on the day, while also earning his second class win of the season. Nick DeFeo would be second up on the top amateur podium as he came through to finish 12th overall and second in the 250 A class. Joseph Cunningham rounded out the top amateur podium with an 18th overall finishing position and third in the 250 A class.

Rachael Archer (Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki) earned her second WXC class win of the season in Tennessee. Photo: Ken Hill

As the morning race took off it was Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Korie Steede getting the jump off the line and earning herself the $100 Kanati Performance Tires WXC Holeshot Award. It would not take the number one machine of Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki’s Rachael Archer to make her way past Steede as she was on a mission to get to the front of the race this weekend.

Archer would move into the lead on the opening lap and not look back. She continued to gain momentum and push herself throughout the two-hour race. Archer came through to earn her second WXC class win of the season, and first overall morning race win of the season. Enduro Engineering/GASGAS/FXR Moto’s Shelby Turner would continue to battle behind Archer with Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Korie Steede throughout the duration of the race. Turner would be able to hold off Steede as she came through to earn second overall and in the WXC class. Steede would hold on to round out the top three overall finishers in the morning race and in the WXC class.

Brody Amos fought back and earned the Youth Bike Overall Win. Photo: Ken Hill

As the youth bike race got underway it was Brody Amos leading on the opening lap as they came through timing and scoring. Amos would soon feel the pressure from Caleb Wood and the two would battle for the lead, swapping positions during the last couple of laps. As the checkered flag flew, Amos would be able to hold off Wood and earn his first Youth overall and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. win of the season. Wood came through to earn second overall and in the YXC1 class, while Doc Smith remained at the front of the pack for the duration of the youth racing as he came through third overall and in the YXC1 class.

In the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. class it was Travis Lentz leading the way from start to finish in Tennessee. Lentz remains undefeated in the YXC2 class this season as he earned his fifth-straight win this past weekend. Colby Goodman would work his way up to second in the class after starting his day back in the fourth place position on lap one. Hayden Dupuis rounded out the YXC2 top three as he ran at the front of the pack for the majority of the day.

Taking home the win in the 85 Big Wheel (11-15) class was Colton McQuarrie, Ace Tokar would earn the 85 (12-13) class win, Deegan Caplinger got the win in the 85 (11) class while Ryder White took the 85 (7-10) class win at round five. Hunter Jones would come through in first in the 65 (10-11) class, Tripp Lewis earned himself the 65 (9) class win, and Daxton Mullins would bring home the 65 (7-8) class win. Jayden Shea took home the Girls Super Mini (12-16) class win in Tennessee while Sahara Robinson remains undefeated in the Girls 85 (7-13) class. Vaida Lavergne earned herself the Girls 65 (7-11) win and Brysun Scott would earn the Trail Rider (7-15) class win in the youth bike race.

Tripp Lewis earned his third overall Micro Bike win on Saturday morning. Photo: Ken Hill

In the Micro Bike race on Saturday morning, it was Tripp Lewis coming through to take his third overall win this season and his third win in the MXC1 class. Davey Fairfield would battle back to finish second overall and, in his class, while rounding out the overall Micro Bike podium was Ben McDougald, as he came through to earn third in the class as well.

In the MXC2 class it would be Maura Tsakanikas crossing the finish line first in the class, earning her first class win of the season in Tennessee. Kane Morrison would come through to finish second in the MXC2 class while Cade Propst would come through to earn third in the MXC2 class at round five.

Peyton Austin would take home the 50 Sr. 1 (7) class win, while Carson Zink earned the 50 Sr. 2 (6) class win. Paxton Allen would battle back to earn the 50 Jr. 1 (6-7) class, Kolt Morrison took home the 50 Jr. 2 (4-5) class, Ryker Stuter would come through first in the Micro-E (4-7) class, Carson Propst earned his fifth straight win in the Micro Shaft Drive (4-6) class while Jamison Dodson took the Trail Rider (7-9) class win.

The AMSOIL Moto Hero was awarded to Jimmy Wathen of Clinton, Tennessee, who raced in the Masters B (50+) class. Jimmy served as a Sergeant First Class in the seventh enlisted rank in the United States Army. In 2008, Sergeant Wathen received a Bronze Star for overseeing a police platoon in Iraq. During his deployment to Amarah, Iraq, Sergeant Wathen was injured by enemy gunfire on December 30, 2008. Wathen received two gunshot wounds during that time. This weekend Wathen received a $250 AMSOIL Shopping Spree, a $500 Kanati Performance Tires gift certificate as well as a commemorative American flag courtesy of Columbia Flag and Sign Co along with a $200 gift certificate for their online store.


XC1 Pro Event Results: Monterey, Tennessee 

Steward Baylor (KAW)
Jordan Ashburn (GAS)
Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
Craig Delong (HQV)
Michael Witkowski (HON)
Grant Baylor (KAW)
Trevor Bollinger (HQV)
Evan Smith (HQV)
Josh Strang (SHR)
Layne Michael (YAM)

Overall National Championship Standings:

Jonathan Girroir (131)
Steward Baylor (112)
Jordan Ashburn (91)
Grant Davis (79)
Grant Baylor (62)
Angus Riordan (61)
Josh Toth (50)
Craig Delong (49)
Dante Oliveira (49)
Michael Witkowski (46)

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

Grant Davis (KTM)
Josh Toth (HON)
Liam Draper (YAM)
Thad Duvall (KAW)
Cody Barnes (HON)
Ruy Barbosa (HON)
Angus Riordan (KAW)
Brody Johnson (BET)
Tyler Palmer (HQV)
Jason Lipscomb (BET)

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

Grant Davis (131)
Angus Riordan (117)
Josh Toth (93)
Liam Draper (91)
Jesse Ansley (67)
Ruy Barbosa (67)
Cody Barnes (66)
Thad Duvall (65)
Tyler Palmer (59)
Brody Johnson (55)

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