Knight Conquers Steele Creek

Morganton, N.C. (March 31, 2008) -- If you're the world-dominating David Knight, even a third place finish is cause for alarm in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. A third at the previous GNCC race in Georgia gave Knight's competition some confidence, but the Isle of Man native turned things around with a come-from behind victory at the FMF Steele Creek GNCC.

Another bad start, but another win for David Knight.

Knight, of the Red Bull KTM factory race team, overcame yet another horrible start, rounding the first turn in dead last (a sight which has become a Knight trademark during his 18 months of racing in the U.S.) He mounted a massive sprint to fight past his teammate Nathan Kanney for the lead. Then Knight held Am-Pro Yamaha's Barry Hawk at bay to win the three-hour event by less than two minutes.

"I mashed up the start again," said Knight. "I passed a bunch of guys when I jumped over a tree. I caught up to Nate and Barry, got around them and tried to open a gap, but then I hit a tree. So there went that gap. I just tried to use my head. The track was pretty fast and I was concerned with going over the bars again like at the last race. I had some people cheering for me out there though, and that helps."

Hawk pushed to keep pressure on Knighter but ended up second.

Hawk won the Steele Creek race last year and took second this time. "I had a decent start, and I was battling with Kanney, then David came and went inside of me on one of the downhills," said Hawk. "I tried to pass Kanney a few times, and then something happened because he pulled over in a field. I went in for gas and they told me Knight was 12 seconds ahead, so I tried to run him down, but it seemed like on that next lap I hit all the lappers. No excuses though, I couldn't catch him. He ran a great race so my hat's off to him."

Whibley put the EFI RM-Z450 on the podium.

FMF Suzuki's Paul Whibley took third ahead of his entire set of teammates, with Australian Joshua Strang in fourth, and Ohio riders Jimmy Jarrett in fifth and Charlie Mullins, winner of the previous GNCC, in sixth.

Thad DuVall remains undefeated in XC2 Lites.

"I knew it was going to be congestion when we got into the pits, all four of us came in together, so it was chaos," said Whibley about pitting with at the same time as his three teammates. "I just had some arm pump early on and I was struggling."

Kanney grabbed the Racer X Holeshot Award and looked strong early, but a souring engine slowed his charge, leaving the New York native in seventh. Jesse Robinson placed eighth, making him the top North Carolina native. Am-Pro Yamaha's Jason Raines was ninth in the premier XC1 pro class, with South African Louwrens Mahoney in tenth.

Kailub Russell, the 2007 GNCC 200 A Champion, earned his first pro podium.

In the XC2 Lites class, Am-Pro Yamaha's Thad DuVall romped home to another win, making the Washington, West Virginia rider three for three this season. "I got a good start, but I got taken out by Wally Palmer. Hhe rocked my world and took me over the berm," said DuVall. "It was just chaos on the first lap, everyone was taking each other out and going crazy. I just clicked up a gear and tried to run my pace, and it worked. I don't know what's different this year, but it's working."

PowerSports GrafX KTM's Kailub Russell took his first career podium with second and Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha's Dustin Gibson came from behind for third.

"I couldn't ride on the first lap, nothing was clicking and I was crashing all over the place," said Russell. "After that, I started riding like I was practicing. I was feeling good, I wasn't tired heading into the last lap, but by the last few miles, I was worn out and Dustin almost got to me."

"I need to stop being such a sissy out there on the first lap," said Gibson. "Third lap, that's when I start going, but I had a big defecit I had to make up."

Dustin Gibson scored another third on the Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha.

KTM rider John Barber took the holeshot award for the second-straight race.

The 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues with the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina on April 12 and 13. For more information, including complete results, check out

Photos by Jason Hooper.

FMF Steele Creek GNCC
Morganton, N.C.
March 30, 2008

XC1 Pro Class
1. David Knight (KTM) Isle of Man
2. Barry Hawk (Yam) Smithfield, PA
3. Paul Whibley (Suz) New Zealand
4. Josh Strang (Suz) Australia
5.Jimmy Jarrett (Suz) Beloit, OH
6. Charles Mullins (Suz) Hamilton, OH
7. Nathan Kanney (KTM) High Falls, NY
8.Jesse Robinson (Kaw) Connelly's Spring, TN
9. Jason Raines (Yam) Belfair, WA
10. Louwens Mahoney (KTM) South Africa
11. Garrett Edmisten (Kaw) Vero Beach, FL
12. Brian Guenther (KTM) Grove City, PA
13. Gordon Crockard (HSQ) UK
14. Jeff Curry (Hon) Saginaw, MI
15. Russell Bobbitt (KTM) Fayetteville, GA
16. Glenn Kearney (HSQ) Australia
17. Josh McLevy (Yam) Fairfield, CT

XC1 Point Standings
1. David Knight (81/2 wins)
2. Barry Hawk (57)
2. Jim Jarrett (57)
4. Charlie Mullins (56/1 win)
5. Paul Whibley (55)

XC2 Pro Lites Class
1. Thad DuVall (Yam) Williamstown, WV
2. Kailub Russell (KTM) Kingston, OH
3. Dustin Gibson (Yam) Cumberland Furn, TN
4. Justin Williamson (KTM) Sanford, FL
5. Josh Weisenfels (Yam) Fort Smith, AR
6. Wallace Palmer (Kaw) Mullica Hill, NJ
7. Andy Shea (KTM) Oxford, OH
8. Brian Lawson (Yam) Adams, MA
9. Eric Bailey (KTM) King George, VA
10. Ryan Echols (Hon) Fairmont, WV
11. Andrew Matusek (Kaw) Fayetteville, GA
12. Nick Gentry (KTM) Dawsonville, GA
13. Charles Huegel (Yam) Oil City, PA
14. David Snyder (Yam) Navarre, OH
15. Kevin Korn (Kaw) Toledo, OH
16. Tyson Hadsell (Kaw) Hudson, FL
17. John Barber (KTM) Rome, GA
18. Kevin Hoge (Suz) Pittsburgh, PA

XC2 Point Standings
1. Thad DuVall (90/3 wins)
2. Dustin Gibson (63)
3. Josh Weisenfels (57)
4. Andrew Matusek (43)
5. Kailub Russell (45)

About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round championship series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions and has run since 1973. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC Racing will air weekly television shows on the Versus network starting August 2. GNCC featured sponsors include Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose Racing, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, Ogio, Rekluse, and MotoTee’s. For more information log on to

About Racer Productions
A West Virginia-based motorcycle and ATV event production company, Racer Productions has been a leader in the off-road racing industry for more than 30 years. It’s repertoire of events includes the 13-round Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, since 1973; The Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National in Mount Morris, Pa., since 1977; The ATV Dirt Days at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., since 1985; The U.S. World Motocross Gran Prix at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. in 1987; The Monster Energy/Kawasaki Steel City National, since 1988; The ATV Stampede National Motocross at High Point Raceway, since 1994; The Wrangler ATV National Motocross at Oak Hill Raceway in Decatur, Texas, since 2006; The AMA Pro ATV Open at Steel City in 2007; as well as numerous other amateur motocross events. In addition, Racer Productions staffs the prestigious Air Nautiques/AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, since 1982. For more information, please visit