Morgantown, W. Va.- After just two rounds of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, the hunt for the 2011 championship leaves many questions to be answered as the season progresses. After capturing the season opener in Florida, Factory KTM's Charlie Mullins leads the chase by only two points over Defending Champion Josh Strang. Round two winner Paul Whibley sits only one point behind Strang heading into round three for what appears to be an epic season-in-the-making.
Amidst an exciting free-for-all in Georgia, Am Pro FMF Yamaha's Whibley came out on top as he elevated the pace late in the game to take the lead away from teammate Thad DuVall. DuVall stalled his bike shortly after, giving Strang the opportunity to move his FMF Makita Suzuki in for the second place finish.
After a week off, round three of the 2011 Can-Am GNCC tour heads back to Morganton, NC this weekend, March 26 and 27, for the FMF Steele Creek GNCC. Strang is the only rider in the top three without a win under his belt, but the 2010 Champion understands that consistency is key this early in the game and it won't be long before the Aussie is back on top of the podium.
DuVall maintained a podium finish in Georgia after stalling his bike on the last lap. The Am Pro Yamaha rider has proven that he has the speed to win a race; it's just a matter of piecing things together for him. DuVall currently sits in tenth place overall after experiencing some bad luck with his bike in round one.
Nobody understands consistency like FMF KTM's Cory Buttrick and WMR Planet Fitness rider Nate Kanney. Both KTM riders have put in steady top five finishes at the first two rounds, leaving them one point apart in the fourth and fifth point standings.
In the XC2 division, Jesse Robinson put his KTM on the top of the podium at round two, beating round one winner Steward Baylor Jr. and FAR Husqvarna's Jason Thomas. Baylor, Thomas and Robinson appear headed to a season-long three-way struggle for the Lites crown.
At Steele Creek, ATVs will compete throughout the day on Saturday, March 26, and dirt bikes will race on Sunday, March 27. Local riders are invited to race the event, as GNCC racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur racer entry fee is $40 and riders can sign up at the track.
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.
The track is located at the Steele Creek campground. From Interstate 40 West, take Exit 105 to Highway 181 North 13 Miles.
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 1979, 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 1,500 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 prize money, which draws talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised and airs every week on the Versus Network. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.