Upton, IN – The 2015 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing came to an exciting conclusion this weekend at the Muddobbers National Enduro presented by Yamaha Power Equipment in Matthews, Indiana, with Am Pro Yamaha's Grant Baylor edging Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Josh Strang by a single second in the most electrifying finish of the season.
Strang jumped out to a quick lead after posting the fastest time in the first two tests of the day. Meanwhile, Baylor was fourth fastest in test one and second fastest in test two, before ripping off three straight test wins in tests three, four, and five.
Beta USA's Cory Buttrick was having his best race of the season, and logged the third-fastest time in the first three tests, and second fastest in test four, before tying for the win in the fifth test of the day with Baylor.
Heading into the sixth and final test, Baylor held a twenty-three-second lead over Strang, with Buttrick sitting in third a few seconds back. Strang turned up the heat in the final test and picked up twenty-two seconds on Baylor; however, that left him just one second shy of his first career enduro win.
Baylor's win was the second of his career and his first of the season, and it left the Am Pro Yamaha rider sitting in second overall in the final Kenda AMA National Enduro standings behind FMF/KTM's Kailub Russell, who skipped the Muddobbers event so he could have knee surgery after wrapping up the title at the previous round.
"It feels great to get my first win of the season," Baylor says. "I started a little bit off pace, but I picked it up in the middle part of the race and managed to hold off Strang in the end."
Strang was naturally disappointed at losing such a close race, but was pleased with how he rode and also with the progress he's made throughout his rookie season in the series.
"I think we came a long way from the first round of the schedule and hopefully we can start off next year as well as we finished this one," Strang says.
Grant Baylor's brother, Steward Baylor, was fourth overall on his Moto-Tech KTM, while AirGroup Racing teammates Nick Fahringer was a solid fifth, 1:18 minutes ahead of MotoSport.com/Yamaha's Brad Bakken.
Seventh went to FMF/KTM's Russell Bobbitt, who was feeling under the weather and could do no better than a fifth in the fourth test.
Drew Higgins was eighth overall and also claimed the top spot in the Rekluse Expert-AA class.
Former pro motocrosser Broc Hepler finished out the day in ninth, ahead of Am Pro Yamaha's Ricky Russell in tenth.
After a fierce, yearlong battle with Evan Smith, Drew Higgins won the national title in the Rekluse Expert-AA division with his win at the Muddobbers event, and by doing so, the KTM rider took home a $600 check—the lion's share of the over $2,000 in purse money that was donated by Checkpoint Off-road, Co-Man Portable Toilets, Elizabeth Scott Community, Excel Truck and Diesel Services, MotoTally Event Scoring Systems, David Chamberlain attorney, and Kenda Trackside Support.
Evan Smith was second on the day in the Rekluse Expert-AA class, and second overall for the year, while AM Pro Yamaha's Ryan Belue was third on the day and third overall for the season.
Both Evan Smith and Drew Higgins finished in the top fifteen overall and will graduate to the pro class for 2016 due to their exceptional results throughout the year.
For more info on the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series presented By Moose Racing, head on over to www.nationalenduro.com.
- Grant Baylor (Yam)
- Josh Strang (Hus)
- Cory Buttrick (Bet)
- Steward Baylor (KTM)
- Nick Fahringer (Hus)
- Brad Bakken (Yam)
- Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
- Drew Higgins (KTM)
- Broc Hepler (KTM)
- Ricky Russell (Yam)