Thad Duvall Earns Fourth Overall Win of the Season

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OH (October 15, 2018) – Round twelve of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, took place on Sunday, October 14 in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Powerline Park hosted it’s 18th Annual GNCC race, which saw FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell secure his sixth-consecutive GNCC XC1 National Championship.

As the green flag flew it was K. Russell getting the jump off the line and earning the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, however, a mistake at the FMF PowerPoint cost him the lead as he would come around mid-pack on the first lap. After K. Russell’s mistake, Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. would take over the lead, followed by KR4/Husqvarna’s Layne Michael in second as they came through timing and scoring after completing lap one.

Thad Duvall battled throughout the day at Powerline Park ultimately earning his fourth win of the season.
Thad Duvall battled throughout the day at Powerline Park ultimately earning his fourth win of the season.

– Ken Hill

As the XC1 Open Pro class made their way on the second lap, the Powerline mudhole jump would prove to be one of the toughest obstacles of the day. An update from the woods would tell fans and views online that Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall had made his way from third to first during the second lap, with K. Russell making his way from fifth to second. When the top riders came through the finish on lap two, Duvall would lead with Baylor Jr. and K. Russell seconds behind him. The top three were ready to push each other for the penultimate round win.

Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Josh Strang was having problems of his own during the second lap, ultimately stopping in his pits for a new rear brake system. Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Grant Baylor did not get the start he wanted, but he was busy pushing during the first two laps working his way back up to the front of the pack hoping to battle for a podium position.

Duvall continued to lead the way at the halfway point, followed by K. Russell both of them stopping for a splash of gas, fresh goggles and hydration. Baylor Jr. would opt out of a pit stop, and made the pass for second in pro row. Baylor Jr. looking to put the pressure on Duvall at the front would not get the chance as the Powerline mudhole became an enemy of his. Baylor Jr. made the jump, but would tip over into the muddy mess, with help from the GNCC “mud fleas” he would get manage to get going again without losing too much time.

FMF/KTM Factory Racing celebrating Kailub Russell's Sixth-Consecutive GNCC National Championship with champagne showers. 
FMF/KTM Factory Racing celebrating Kailub Russell’s Sixth-Consecutive GNCC National Championship with champagne showers. 

– Ken Hill

As the white flag came out it was K. Russell had made the move into first, but Duvall was only 1.46 seconds behind him. G. Baylor managed to move past his brother and teammate on the fourth lap, with Baylor Jr. coming through in fourth as they headed out on their last lap. Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn made his way to fifth as the white flag came out as he tried to hold on for another top five finish on the season, nevertheless he had a battle cut out for him during that upcoming final lap.

When the checkered flag came out waving after six laps, Duvall would come through in the first place position to earn his second-straight win, and fourth overall of the season. K. Russell would cross the line in second, which was enough points to wrap up his sixth-consecutive GNCC XC1 National Championship one round early.

Ben Kelley (#530) on his way to earning the $100 Hot Cams Holeshot Award.
Ben Kelley (#530) on his way to earning the $100 Hot Cams Holeshot Award.

– Ken Hill

Baylor would hold on to the last podium spot with a third, followed by Baylor Jr. and Strang rounding out the top five in XC1 Open Pro. JCR/Honda’s Trevor Bollinger would battle throughout the duration of the race and manage to hold onto a sixth place finish in XC1 and an eighth overall. Ashburn would follow Bollinger with a seventh place finish, while AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell struggled during the day securing an eighth place finish after dropping back to eleventh on the second lap.

Michael would also face misfortune after running at the front of the pack early on in the race, ultimately finishing in the ninth place position followed by Factory GasGas/FAR’s Andrew Delong rounding out the top 10 in the XC1 Open Pro class. Solid Performance KTM/ Fly Racing’s Jesse Groemm would complete five laps for an 11thplace, while Ohio native KR4/Husqvarna’s Cory Buttrick suffered some bad luck only completing three laps.

Powerline Park Overall Top Three: Thad Duvall (center), Kailub Russell (left) and Ben Kelley (right).
Powerline Park Overall Top Three: Thad Duvall (center), Kailub Russell (left) and Ben Kelley (right).

– Ken Hill

In the XC2 250 Pro class, Trail Jesters/KTM’s Ben Kelley jumped off the line first grabbing the $100 Hot Cams Holeshot Award. While running at the front of the pack, Kelley would have laptimes fast enough to lead the overall on adjusted time for the first half of the three-hour race. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Josh Toth managed to capitalize on lap four as Kelley suffered a crash, and put himself in the number one position in the XC2 250 Pro class. However, after experiencing an issue Kelley would regain the lead and continue to battle wheel-to-wheel  for several laps.

Kelley would manage to place a gap over the rest of the XC2 field, finishing 54 seconds ahead of Toth, while also joining Duvall and K. Russell on the overall podium in third for the second-straight time. As the GNCC Series heads into its season finale at Ironman in two weeks, Kelley leads by 23 points. Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Craig Delong moved himself into third in points, after an impressive ride at Powerline Park. Delong made the pass for third at the halfway point, pushing through to try and battle at the front of the pack. Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski was in podium contention for majority of the race and would hold on for a fourth place finish, which is his best finish of the season thus far. Husqvarna-backed rider, Evan Smith secured another top five finish, making it his third of the season.

Jesse Ansley awarded the number one plate for his FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class National Championship.
Jesse Ansley awarded the number one plate for his FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class National Championship.

– Ken Hill

Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Zach Nolan earned the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am $100 Wiseco Holeshot Award. It wouldn’t take long for FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM’s Jesse Ansley to take over the first place position, followed by Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Alex Teagarden. Ansley and Teagarden would battle at the front, with Nolan and MCS Racing/Kenda Tire/Moose Racing’s Cody Barnes behind them. As the checkered flag flew, it was Ansley making his way through first. After six wins, Ansley becomes the 2018 FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am National Champion. Teagarden followed finishing second, with Nolan earning another third and Barnes coming through in the fourth place position.

In the 10 a.m. race, Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts KTM’s Becca Sheets came away with her third win of the season followed by KR4/Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones and Beta USA’s Rachel Gutish. Triston Landrum took the morning overall win in the Sportsman A class, with Randall Ervin coming in third overall. Brooke Cosner came through holding onto the fourth place position in WXC followed by New Zealand’s Rachael Archer rounding out the top five.

Becca Sheets earned another win on Sunday at the conclusion of the 10 a.m. race.
Becca Sheets earned another win on Sunday at the conclusion of the 10 a.m. race.

– Ken Hill

As the 8 a.m. youth riders took off into the woods, it was Ohio native Joseph Cunningham earning the overall win from the second row in the YXC2 Supermini Jr. (12-13) class. Max Fernandez and Tyler Palmer rounded out the top three overall in the youth, while both finished in the top two of the YXC1 Supermini Sr (14-15) class. Grant Davis came through in fourth overall and second in YXC2, while Canon Kuneff and Jack Joy took fifth and sixth overall from the 85cc (12-13) class.

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 be aired on the NBC Sports Network on Sunday, November 11th at 3:00 p.m.

Ohio native, Joseph Cunningham, earned the youth overall win at Powerline Park from the second row in the Supermini Jr. (12-13) class.
Ohio native, Joseph Cunningham, earned the youth overall win at Powerline Park from the second row in the Supermini Jr. (12-13) class.

– Ken Hill

The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series concludes in two weeks with the popular AMSOIL Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana on October 27 and 28. The Davisson Brothers Band (DBB) will kick off the weekend on Friday at 8:30 p.m., followed by country music artist and ACA Award Winner, Easton Corbin at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

AMSOIL Ironman GNCC Live Entertainment Friday and Saturday!

AMSOIL Ironman GNCC Live Entertainment Friday and Saturday!

For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.

Powerline Park
St. Clairsville, Ohio
Round 12 of 13
Sunday, October 14

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:

  1. Thad Duvall (HQV)
  2. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  3. Grant Baylor (KTM)
  4. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
  5. Josh Strang (HQV)
  6. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  7. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
  8. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  9. Layne Michael (HQV)
  10. Andrew Delong (GAS)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Kailub Russell (297)
  2. Thad Duvall (262)
  3. Trevor Bollinger (190)
  4. Steward Baylor Jr. (189)
  5. Ben Kelley (176)
  6. Josh Strang (168)
  7. Josh Toth (152)
  8. Ricky Russell (127)
  9. Grant Baylor (101)
  10. Craig Delong (93)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2018 National Champion.

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

  1. Ben Kelley (KTM)
  2. Josh Toth (KTM)
  3. Craig Delong (HQV)
  4. Mike Witkowski (BET)
  5. Evan Smith (HQV)
  6. Bradley Cox (KTM)
  7. Liam Draper (HQV)
  8. Jonathan Johnson (YAM)
  9. Philippe Chaine (KTM)
  10. Austin Lee (HON)

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

  1. Ben Kelley (298)
  2. Josh Toth (275)
  3. Craig Delong (181)
  4. Austin Lee (155)
  5. Pascal Rauchenecker (145)
  6. Evan Smith (142)
  7. Jonathan Johnson (127)
  8. Mike Witkowski (126)
  9. Liam Draper (126)
  10. Zack Hayes (99)

About GNCC Racing
The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised weekly on NBC Sports and RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

How to Watch
Racer TV and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) are the official homes for coverage of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 13 rounds, from the season opening Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina to the finale at Ironman Raceway in Indiana, will air in 30-minue; taped-delayed telecasts on NBCSN, while Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 1 p.m. ATV and motorcycle races from each event, in addition to the six UTV rounds. Catch all the action at http://www.nbcsports.com/and http://www.racertv.com/.

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.