Hurricane Mills, TN - The points lead for the 2009 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series bike championship tightened up with FMF Makita Suzuki's Josh Strang's repeat win two weeks ago at the Big Buck GNCC. FMF Makita Suzuki's Charlie Mullins, GEICO/JG Racing Monster Kawasaki's Paul Whibley and Strang have all been on the podium the last three rounds and with the three in close contention for the championship, the Acerbis Loretta Lynn GNCC, the oldest race of the series, is sure to be a thrilling round to watch.
The soil of the track is sandy, so the track gets whooped out. The whoops and the heat and humidity indigenous to this area can sap a rider's strength. That, combined with the trio's command of the points race, makes it hard for any rider to move up and become a viable contender.
The leaders have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack with several points between the top four and the rest of the back. Whibley currently leads the points race, followed by Mullins and Strang. Shock Doctor KTM's Nate Kanney is close behind in fourth with the rest of the pack at least 13 points behind and more.
Previous contenders like Husqvarna's Glenn Kearney, and Am-Pro FMF Yamaha's Barry Hawk and Thad DuVall have run into several problems. Kearney has run into trouble the past two races, with his bike stalling in a mud hole at Steele Creek and running out of fuel at Big Buck. Hawk has struggled to reach the top five. The rookie, DuVall, who injured his wrist early in the season, had ignition problems at Big Buck, costing him some points. Also look out for Shock Doctor KTM's Kurt Caselli, GEICO Powersports Kawasaki's Jimmy Jarrett and 2000 GNCC Champion Shane Watts.
XC2 Lites class points leader Kailub Russell could be a contender for the overall race win as well. The 19-year-old led several laps outright at the previous GNCC and eventually finished in third overall on adjusted time. The XC2 riders race at the same time as the XC1 riders. Russell will battle Corey Buttrick, Jason Thomas, Andrew Matusek, Scott Watkins and others for his class win.
Spectator passes run $15 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, youth riders race at 8 a.m., beginner riders race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m.
For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084.
About GNCC Racing: The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1973, 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 1,800 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. Riders compete for more than $3 million in contingency and prize money, which draws talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised and will air beginning April 4th on the Versus Network. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
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, held since 1973; The Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National in Mount Morris, Pa., held since 1977; The ATV Dirt Days at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., held 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, held since 1988; The ATV Stampede National Motocross at High Point Raceway, held since 1994; 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, held since 1982. For more information, please visit www.racerproductions.com.