XC1’s Jimmy Jarrett and Scott Grills in XC2 unfortunately had slight injuries that led them to opt out of the race in the first few laps.
“It was a tough weekend but we had some positives,” said team co-owner JT Bennett. “Jimmy and Scott are still running into some bad luck but Nate definitely pulled through for the team on this one. I was definitely proud of him for carrying the team. I didn’t have to say a lot to him last week but I knew he had a fire in him to get some redemption this weekend and I’m glad it was a good day for him. We just have to work on the guys and get some bugs worked out. I hope to see all four of our guys up on the podium soon.”
The track was a beautiful mix of grass track, motocross, technical trails and gnarly mud bogs. Rain, sun and high temperatures were also factors as a huge field of riders took on the Maxxis General GNCC.
During Saturday’s ATV race, American Honda/JG Off Road/ FRE mounted Wolf was able to take the lead in the 16-rider pack of XC1 Pros, despite still recovering from a nasty infection in his hand. Wolf fell into a comfortable pace in third on the third lap until arm pump settled in to his injured arm. Wolf kept steady to finish fourth for the day in XC1 and overall out of more than 100 riders.
“That third lap my arm was getting so pumped up,” Wolf said. “My hand is healing really well though. I don’t have all of my energy back so it was hard to push at the end. I’m still happy with fourth considering the issues I had. The bike was flawless and my crew was awesome. I’d like to thank Josh Upperman for all of his help these past few months with training.”
“Coming off that nasty infection down in Florida to be up in that podium position all day long is fantastic to see,” Bennett said. “Once he gets that hand completely worked out I think we’ll have some podiums. Early on, when his energy is there, he’s right there. He’s one of the fastest guys on the track right now.”
Sunday dawned bright and hot for the bike race, and Nate Kanney was almost able to get his first taste of a podium finish, while setting the fastest lap time for the fifth lap and battling for the win almost until the end.
“That felt really good,” he said. “JT is too nice of a guy to give me too hard of a time after Florida but I was glad to get a good result to make them happy.”
Kanney settled into the top pack throughout the race, keeping the leaders- Kailub Russell, Charlie Mullins and Paul Whibley- in his sights when he wasn’t racing them wheel-to-wheel. It wasn’t until the final lap that the top three started to pull away, and Kanney had to battle through lappers to catch up. In the end, he settled for fourth for the day in XC1 and overall.
“For the whole race until about the fourth lap, I had been very content to just be in whatever position I was in as long as I could see the guys who were leading,” he said. “Suddenly Kailub, Charlie and Paul started pulling away. I had to pass a few guys and get on the gas to catch up with them. I wanted to be part of the race to the win. Today was the best a bike has worked for me at a GNCC. I don’t think I’ve had a bike that works so well. I’m going race to race without changing a single thing. I’m really looking forward to the next race.”
Jarrett struggled early on in the race after running in the top five early on. After a slight knee injury, he opted out of the race to keep healthy for the next round.
“I’m really not one to make excuses,” Jarrett said. “I just need to get things in order and really come out swinging in North Carolina. I know what I need to do so hopefully I can go home, regroup and get my stuff together so I can get some good results for my team, my sponsors and myself.”
Grills got a decent start and came through in 6th on the first lap behind Jesse Robinson. Grills began to struggle with suspension issues until he made contact with a tree, slightly injuring his recently healed hand.
“Everything was going good until I crashed into a tree,” he said. “It was the first time I got to ride that bike in dirt with that suspension and I definitely had some suspension issues. I was struggling a little bit and then I ended up hitting a tree and that was it. I will be good to go for North Carolina, I’m just a little tender.”
Wolf would like to thank JG Off Road, FRE, Honda, Elka Suspension, Hiper, Wiseco, Maxxis, Baldwin Motorsports, ATV 4 Play, DID, MCI, Fasst, Quad Tech, Redling Honda, Spyder Graphics, IMS, Moose, ARSFX, JB Racing, Hinson Racing, Precision Racing Products, SIDI, Scott Goggles, Fischer Racing, CV4 and Standard Process.
Grills, Jarrett and Kanney would like to thank JG Off Road, Honda, Kenda, Silkolene, DP Brakes, AXP Racing, Moose, Super Sprox, PG Graphics, Cycra, Tsubaki, Factory Connection, FMF, Works Connection, CV4, BRP, No Toil, Rekluse, IMS, Moto Tassinari, Outerwears, Renthal, G2 Ergonomics and Zip Ty.
Next up for the team is the Dawson Springs, Kentucky OMA on March 25th.
XC1 Pro ATV Results 1. Chris Borich (SUZ) 2. Taylor Kiser (YAM) 3. Walker Fowler (YAM) 4. Brian Wolf (HON) 5. Chris Bithell (CAN) 6. Jeffrey Pickens (YAM) 7. Derek Swartfager (HON) 8. Johnny Gallagher (YAM) 9. Craig Bowman (HON) 10. Parker Jones (HON)
XC1 Pro Bike Results 1. Kailub Russell (KTM) 2. Charles Mullins (KTM) 3. Paul Whibley (YAM) 4. Nate Kanney (HON) 5. Thad Duvall (HON) 6. Cory Buttrick (KTM) 7. Garrett Edmisten (KAW) 8. Rory Mead (KTM) 9. Chris Bach (BET) 10. Takeshi Koikeda (KTM)