Moorestown, Michigan – FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell got back to his winning ways with a come-from-behind victory at the ninetieth running of the legendary Jack Pine Enduro Cowbell Classic powered by Wiseco, in Moorestown, Michigan - round eight of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing.
This year’s event featured seven tests instead of the usual six, and after opening the race with the fifth fastest time in test one, Russell picked up the pace in the second test by edging Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew DeLong by four seconds and test one winner Josh Strang, also on a Rockstar Energy Husqvarna, by five seconds, to claim the fastest time.
Russell went on to win two more tests, making up almost a minute on Strang in the final two tests, which took place in a downpour, to claim the overall win ahead of the Aussie Husky rider.
Russell’s win was his third of the series and a big improvement over last month’s sixth at the Rattlesnake Enduro.
“I’m happy to be back on top of the box,” said Russell. “My dad [Jeff Russell, the 1991 National Enduro Champ] rarely tells me to go out and win a race, but he told me if I was ever going to win a race that the Jack Pine was the one to win, so I’m sure he’ll be happy about this win.”
Strang’s runner-up finish was his best in the series so far, after a previous best of sixth at round two of the series.
FMF/KTM’s Russell Bobbitt, who was in the mix all day and won the third test of the event, was in the running for the overall until the final test where he struggled and ended the day in third.
Fourth went to MotoTech KTM’s Steward Baylor, who got off to a very bad start, finishing twelfth in the first test, but was able to get through test six before the big rain hit and took advantage of the situation to move up several spots.
Fifth was Steward Baylor’s younger brother Grant, who rides an AmPro Yamaha. These two guys kept it all in the family at the last round in Pennsylvania, claiming first and second at that event, but both fell victim to slow starts at the Jack Pine.
AirGroup Racing’s Nick Fahringer is starting to find his form after spending an extended time off the bike due to a knee injury, and was third fastest in the opening test of the day and in the final test of the day. Fahringer got caught in the downpour in test six, however, and paid the price as those with later starting rows saw their times balloon as the visibility got worse.
After getting off to a good start, DeLong crashed a few times and ended the day in seventh, while Beta USA’s Jesse Groemm came in eighth, a little over a minute behind DeLong.
Rounding out the top 10 were Motosport.com Yamaha’s Brad Bakken in ninth and Beta USA’s Cory Buttrick in tenth.
With only two rounds remaining, Russell holds a 34-point lead over Bobbitt, with Steward Baylor in third another two points back.
In the Rekluse AA-Expert division, Drew Higgins and Evan Smith continued their battle for the crown, with the two riders finishing eleventh and twelfth, Higgins edging Smith by just eight seconds.
This year’s event saw a couple of “cross-over” champions ride the Jack Pine, with three-time AMA 250cc Motocross and Supercross National Champion Jeff Stanton, who is from Michigan, finish the event ninth in the Rekluse AA-Expert division. Meanwhile, Snowmobile cross-country national champ Zack Herfindahl, who is an Artic Cat factory racer, rode an AirGroup Racing Husqvarna to 15th in the Pro division in his first national enduro.
The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series returns to action on September 27th in Lynnville, Indiana, for the Black Coal National Enduro. For more information go to www.nationalenduro.com.
- Kailub Russell (KTM)
- Josh Strang (Hus)
- Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
- Steward Baylor (KTM)
- Grant Baylor (Yam)
- Nick Fahringer (KTM)
- Andrew DeLong (Hus)
- Jesse Groemm (Bet)
- Brad Bakken (Yam)
- Cory Buttrick (Bet)