MOUNT MORRIS, Pa. — Round 11 of the 2018 Amsoil Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, took place at Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, at Mathews Farm. The last race to be held on the Mathews Farm property was back in 2003, and our top two title contenders were racing in the youth division.
Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Thad Duvall put on a hard-fought battle for the duration of the three-hour race to earn the inaugural Mason-Dixon GNCC win. Duvall got a good jump off the line to earn the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, with FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Kailub Russell right behind him. However, when the XC1 Open Pro pack made their way to timing and scoring on lap one, it was Tely Energy Racing/KTM's Steward Baylor Jr. leading the way.
While Baylor Jr. led the way, it was JCR Honda's Trevor Bollinger who came through in second on lap one, with Duvall three seconds behind him in third. The battle was on as the race continued—Duvall had worked his way into the second place position on lap two and set his sights on Baylor Jr. As they made their way around on lap four, Duvall would make the pass and hold onto the lead until the checkered flag flew.
Holding onto second was Baylor Jr., while Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Josh Strang worked his way through the pack to earn a third-place finish in the XC1 Open Pro class and fourth overall. K. Russell would have a rough day as he came around on lap one in sixth. He worked his way up to the fourth place position in his class, but took a fifth overall finish on the day.
Coastal Racing/Husqvarna's Pascal Rauchenecker made his debut in the XC1 Open Pro class on Sunday. Rauchenecker found himself in the fifth-place position throughout the race, and when the checkered flag flew, he had earned his first XC1 top-five finish. After running at the front of the pack earlier in the race, Bollinger found himself in the sixth-place position on the last lap.
Tely Energy Racing/KTM's Grant Baylor found himself in the seventh-place position after starting just inside the top ten. AmPro Yamaha's Ricky Russell had a good start coming around in fourth, but would fall back to tenth as he came through timing and scoring on the second lap. R. Russell would push forward and work his way back up to eighth by the final lap.
KR4/Husqvarna teammates Layne Michael and Cory Buttrick rounded out the top ten in XC1 Open Pro. Factory GasGas/FAR's Andrew Delong finished 11th, followed by Solid Performance KTM/Fly Racing's Jesse Groemm in 12th. Lucas Oil Pro Motocross competitor Luke Renzland would make an appearance at the Mason-Dixon GNCC, but ultimately would complete only two out of the six laps. Beta USA's Jordan Ashburn would also only complete two laps at round 11.
The XC2 250 Pro saw some great battles throughout the duration of the race. Trail Jesters KTM Racing's Ben Kelley and FMF/KTM Racing's Josh Toth would battle back and forth the whole day, swapping the first-place position on multiple occasions. However, Kelley would up his pace and even manage to land his first career overall podium position on adjusted time.
Toth would hold onto second and finish sixth overall on the day. MCS Racing/SIDI/Arai-backed rider Jonathan Girroir worked his way through the pack, making a last-lap pass to secure his second XC2 podium finish of the season. Coastal Racing/Husqvarna's Craig Delong was running in third for the majority of the day, but after Girroir's last-lap pass, Delong would hold on for a fourth-place class finish. Beta USA's Mike Witkowski found himself inside the top five throughout the entire race day. Witkowski would battle up in fourth before finishing the day out in the fifth place position.
FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM's Jesse Ansley found himself at the front of the pack in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class as the checkered flag flew. Ansley earned his fifth win of the season after a rough day of racing in Pennsylvania. Coastal Racing/Husqvarna and Pennsylvania native Alex Teagarden earned the $100 Wiseco FMF XC3 Holeshot Award and managed to work his way into the second place position as the race concluded. Teagarden also moves up into second in the points standings heading into the last two races. Tely Enery Racing/KTM's Zach Nolan rounded out the podium with his first third-place finish in the class.
As the 10 a.m. race took off, conditions were steadily improving throughout Mathews Farm. Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM's Becca Sheets worked her way into the lead as she came through timing and scoring on the third lap. Sheets would hold onto the first-place position until the checkered flag came out. KR4/Husqvarna's Taylor Jones found herself in the lead, then as far back as fourth in her class at one point in the race. Jones would push hard and work her way into second as the race came to an end.
After earning six wins, three second-place finishes, and one third-place finish, Jones clinched her second straight WXC National Championship two rounds early. KTM/Bonaza Plumbing/Trail Jesters' Mackenzie Tricker rounded out the Mason-Dixon WXC podium in third.
As conditions began to improve from the rainfall earlier in the week, the youth division took to the track at 8 a.m., with Pennsylvania's own Max Fernandez earning the overall win and the YXC1 Supermini Sr. (14-15) class. Tyler Palmer came through in second, followed by Brayden Nolette rounding out the top three. Joseph Cunningham took the YXC2 Supermini Jr. (12-13) class win, with Canon Kuneff earning the 85cc (12-13) class win. Prestin Raines came away with another Girls (8-15) class win, while Haley Phillips and Trinady Warinner rounded out the Girls top three.
GNCC Racing will resume in two weeks with the Powerline Park GNCC in St. Clairsville, Ohio on the weekend of October 15 and 16.
The 1 p.m. Bike Pro race was broadcast live in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC Live page online. A highlight show featuring the event will be aired on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday, November 10, at 3:00 p.m.
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.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mason-Dixon GNCC
Mount Morris, Pennsylvania
Round 11 of 13
Sunday, September 30
Mason-Dixon - Overall
Mathews Farm - Mount Morris, PA
|1||Thad Duvall||Williamstown, WV||Husqvarna|
|2||Steward Baylor Jr||Belton, SC||KTM|
|3||Ben Kelley||Harwinton, CT||KTM|
|5||Kailub Russell||Boonville, NC||KTM|
|6||Josh Toth||Winstead, CT||KTM|
|8||Trevor Bollinger||Morganton, NC||Honda|
|9||Grant Baylor||Belton, SC||KTM|
|10||Jonathan Girroir||Southwick, MA||Suzuki|
Mason-Dixon - XC2 Pro
Mathews Farm - Mount Morris, PA
|1||Ben Kelley||Harwinton, CT||KTM|
|2||Josh Toth||Winstead, CT||KTM|
|3||Jonathan Girroir||Southwick, MA||Suzuki|
|4||Craig Delong||Morgantown, PA||Husqvarna|
|5||Michael Witkowski||North Liberty, IN||Beta|
|6||Evan Smith||Jefferson, GA||Husqvarna|
|7||Liam Draper||New Zealand||Husqvarna|
|8||Austin Lee||Bedford, IN||Honda|
|9||Brendan Riordan||Upton, MA||Yamaha|
|10||Jonathan Johnson||Landrum, SC||Yamaha|
GNCC Overall Standings - 2018
|1||Kailub Russell||Boonville, NC||297|
|2||Thad Duvall||Williamstown, WV||262|
|3||Steward Baylor Jr||Belton, SC||219|
|4||Trevor Bollinger||Morganton, NC||208|
|5||Ben Kelley||Harwinton, CT||192|
|7||Josh Toth||Winstead, CT||177|
|8||Ricky Russell||Duvall, WA||142|
|9||Grant Baylor||Belton, SC||115|
|10||Craig Delong||Morgantown, PA||104|
GNCC XC2 Pro Standings - 2018
|1||Ben Kelley||Harwinton, CT||323|
|2||Josh Toth||Winstead, CT||305|
|3||Craig Delong||Morgantown, PA||199|
|4||Austin Lee||Bedford, IN||170|
|5||Evan Smith||Jefferson, GA||158|
|6||Michael Witkowski||North Liberty, IN||147|
|8||Jonathan Johnson||Landrum, SC||141|
|9||Liam Draper||New Zealand||131|
|10||Zack Hayes||Sumter, SC||99|