By Mark Kariya

Paul Whibley
JG Offroad/GEICO Powersports/Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Paul Whibley owned the Rekluse Indian Bluff Cross-country National at the Royal Oak ATV Trails riding park near Millerstown, Kentucky. Co-sanctioned by the Kentucky Off Road Hare Scrambles series, the event served as round two of the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals and also served up one of the toughest course layouts ever—which is saying something as promoter Bill Gusse built his reputation with hard-core races like the Illinois Cross-country Championship which eventually became the Moose Run.
But he really had little say in the matter. I you wanted to blame someone, how about Mother Nature, sitting off in the corner and smirking as she watched the carnage unfold? After all, the past winter’s severe ice storms were her fault and they left tree branches and even entire trees felled helter-skelter across nearly every inch of the Royal Oak woods. Former trails were unusable, leaving Gusse with no choice but to impersonate a woodland creature and meander along through whatever opening he could find and create more with his trusty chainsaw.
Not that it seemed to matter much to Whibley. Knowing that teammate and four-time former series champion Jimmy Jarrett thrives in just this sort of going, Whibley knew that his best bet was to get out front early and bolt, leaving Jarrett and the rest of the field to wonder where he went.
His plan worked almost flawlessly as he grabbed the $100 Bike Barn Holeshot Award right away while Jarrett got stuck with the $50 Bike Barn Last-place Starter Award when his KX450F uncharacteristically refused to light up for many agonizing moments, leaving no doubt that he earned the dubious honor.

Jimmy Jarrett
But Jarrett wasted little time and rapidly slashed his way through the pack until only Whibley lay in front. Of course, since he was recovering from a cold, JJ didn’t have a lot in reserve and the charge left him comparatively whipped after just one lap.
Whibley, on the other hand, controlled the race from the front and set it on (rapid) cruise control, completing six laps almost five minutes ahead of Jarrett for another team 1-2. Shock Doctor KTM’s Kurt Caselli—who took up temporary residence at Jarrett’s Ohio house in order to be closer to the next GNCCs—acquitted himself well in his OMA debut. Calling it one of the toughest races he’s ever done, the former WORCS and ISDE champ got a great start and hung with Whibley then Jarrett for as long as he could, eventually finishing third on his 300 XC.

Kurt Caselli
Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer improved on his round one finish by earning fourth on his FE450 in his first race as a college graduate while Dustin Gibson coped with trail obstacle-induced brake issues on his Mid-South Motoplex KX450F for fifth.
After a couple years of chasing GNCC glory, Justin Williamson made his seasonal OMA debut good for sixth place on his Gas Gas EC300 followed by Adam Bonneur’s Yamaha. Local favorite Alan Westerfield stepped up for eighth on his KTM ahead of Kawasaki-supported Jordan Ashburn—who was first A—while Brett Zofchak rounded out the top 10 on his KX450F.

Justin Williamson

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