MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Round three of the 2018 Amsoil Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, heads to Washington, Georgia, this Sunday, March 18. The Maxxis General GNCC returns to Aonia Pass MX for the first time since 2015. FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Kailub Russell has been a dominant force at the first two rounds, winning both. K. Russell has won The General GNCC from the year 2012 until the last round that was held in 2015.
Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Thad Duvall has been hot on K. Russell's heels, as well as Tely Energy Racing/KTM's Steward Baylor Jr. Duvall and S. Baylor are currently tied in points after finishing 2-3 and 3-2 at the first two races. Both riders are looking to end K. Russell's winning streak this Sunday, and only time will tell who will come out on top in the Georgia clay.
JCR Honda's Trevor Bollinger was running up front at last weekend's Wild Boar GNCC. Now that Bollinger is in his sophomore year of the XC1 Open Pro class, he is hoping to land on the overall podium at round three. Layne Michael has had a good start to his rookie season in the XC1 Open Pro class on his new KR4-backed Husqvarna. Michael has finished sixth and fifth at the first two rounds, and knows he has what it takes to run at the front of the pack after finishing third overall from the second row at Unadilla last year.
Trail Jesters/KTM Racing's Ben Kelley earned his first XC2 250 Pro class win in Florida this past weekend, finishing 33 seconds ahead of FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Josh Toth. Toth, who is defending his XC2 National Championship, won the opening round and was leading round two until a mistake miles before the finish line cost him the win. Kelley and Toth will both battle to see who can be the one to earn a second win of the season.
Austria's Pascal Rauchenecker finished in third in South Carolina and Florida aboard his Coastal Racing-backed Husqvarna. Rauchenecker will look to put an end to the KTM riders' success this weekend in Georgia. Teammate Craig Delong is looking to push forward and earn a podium finish this weekend, as well as fellow XC2 rider, M&E Honda/FLY Racing/Maxxis' Austin Lee.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class, it was Florida native FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM's Jesse Ansley who took the win after a first-turn crash left him buried in the pack. AmPro Yamaha's Jason Raines got off to a good start and took the lead for the first two laps of the 3-hour race. This weekend we will see whose 125cc bike will make it through the Georgia clay first on Sunday, March 18.
The event is co-sanctioned with SETRA, a series that produces local racing events in the Southeast, and will ultimately bring out a full slate of local racers. All local racers are invited to compete at the Big Buck GNCC, as GNCC Racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is $50 and riders can sign up at the track. To learn more about GNCC Racing, visit the GNCC101 webpage.
Local racers expected to compete this Sunday will be Russell Bobbitt (XC1 Open Pro), Evan Smith (XC2 250 Pro), Josh Lee (Open A), Tyler Daniel (4 Stroke A Lites), Andrew Matusek (Vet A 30+), Larry Silvia (Senior A 40+), Bill Faint (Masters C 50+), Josiel Ramos (Vet C 30+), Jesse Carson (200 C 16+), Benjamin Thompson (250 C Jr. 25+), Tyler James (250 C College 18-24), Hunter Barron (250 C Schoolboy 14-17), Login Griffin (Open C College (16-24), Genna Squire (Women), Mark Fuller (Silver Masters 55+), Owen Laidig (YXC1 Super Mini Sr.), Max Grant (YXC2 Super Mini Jr.), Dominic Cafasso (65cc 7-9), and Caysen Baggett (65cc 10-11).
Tune in to RacerTV.com on Saturday at 1 p.m. EDT to catch LIVE streaming of the Pro Bike race. For more information on GNCC LIVE coverage, visit www.racertv.com. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, May 6, at 5:00 p.m EDT.
Spectator passes run $20 for adults and $10 for children (6-11), and kids 5 and under are free for the full weekend (Saturday through Sunday), with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.