MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - This Sunday, March 17, the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship takes on the Georgia clay with The Specialized General GNCC. Last weekend the series kicked off in Florida, where Tely Energy Racing/KTM's Steward Baylor Jr. took the win over FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Kailub Russell by almost two minutes.
When the green flag flew last weekend, S. Baylor found himself in a favorable position as he came through in third on the opening lap. However, S. Baylor knew he had to get to the front fast and try to gap the field. This weekend will be no different for S. Baylor as he has his sights set on getting to the front, earning his second-straight win and keeping that red number plate until Steele Creek.
Russell found himself in the lead position at the beginning of the race, however at the halfway point he found himself in a battle with S. Baylor. As the pair came around on the fourth lap, K. Russell had fallen back to the second place position. As the series heads to Georgia on Sunday, K. Russell is looking to take back the number one position and take over the points lead heading into the third round.
Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Thad Duvall had his work cut out for him after starting in the fifth place position on the opening lap in Florida. Duvall worked his way up to second place pushing for that number one spot. However, on lap four Duvall would move back to third overall, ultimately finishing in the last podium position.
Duvall's teammate, Trevor Bollinger put in a good ride aboard his new Husqvarna motorcycle. Bollinger, who earned his first XC1 podium last season is ready to put his head down and battle this season for another overall podium finish. After finishing fourth in XC1, this weekend Bollinger will be aiming to battle with the top three.
XC1 Open Pro rookie and FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Josh Toth had a good first round starting on the front row. Toth came away with fifth in XC1, with a sixth overall. After going down in the second corner last weekend, Toth is aiming for a better start to this weekend's GNCC and to put pressure on the front runners. Babbitt's Online/Monster Energy/ Kawasaki's Josh Strang is hoping for a better finish this weekend as well after coming through in sixth in the XC1 Open Pro class. This weekend Strang will look to put his Kawasaki at the front of the pack.
2018 XC2 250 Pro National Champion and Trail Jesters KTM Ben Kelley earned the first win of the season, and is looking to earn his second-consecutive XC2 championship this season. Kelley is looking to keep the red plate throughout the season, and is off to a good start. Teammate Jonathan Girroir earned second in the XC2 class, and is looking to continue his success this season on his new KTM.
Beta USA Factory Racing's Mike Witkowski rounded out the podium in XC2, and this season Witkowski is aiming to contend for the championship. Coming into Georgia, Witkowski is looking to land on the podium once again, and run at the front of the pack to earn his first XC2 class win.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class, Trail Jesters KTM's Jesse Ansley earned the National Championship last season and picked up where he left off at round one this season. Ansley came through first in his class followed by Beta USA Factory Racing's Cody Barns and Jake Froman rounded out the podium.
The Specialized General GNCC will also host the first round of the Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship. This race will take place on Saturday, March 16 at 4:30 p.m. EST after the Pro ATV race is complete. This series is brand new to the GNCC Racing Nation, and more information can be found by clicking HERE.
The event is co-sanctioned with SETRA, a series that produces local racing events across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama, and will ultimately bring out a full slate of local racers. All local riders are invited and encouraged to compete in the event, as GNCC Racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is $50 if racers pre-enter or sign up at the track. To learn more about GNCC Racing, refer to the GNCC 101 webpage.
Local Racers who are expected to race on Sunday include: Will McNair (Sportsman A), Jack Bryant (200 B), Colton Hopkins (250 C Schoolboy 14-17), Kevin Hopkins (Super Senior C 45+), Cameron Miller (YXC1 Super Mini Sr. 14-15), Shane Lenning (Senior C 40+), Russell Bobbitt (XC1 Open Pro), Evan Smith (XC2 250 Pro), Luke Armour (YXC2 Super Mini Jr. 12-13), Leslie Agee (Golden Masters 60+), Drew Ward (250 C Schoolboy 14-17), Jack Ward (YXC2 Super Mini Jr. 12-13), Grcia Gooch (Girls 8-15), Jet Jarrard (85cc 7-11), Justin Snipes (200 A), Andrew Matusek (Vet A 30+), Brad Saxton (250 A), Hayden Dillon (4-Stroke A Lites), Larry Silvia (Senior A 60+), Jake Boram (250 B), and Rodrigo Silvia (Super Senior B 45+).
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 a complete schedule of the weekend's activities, please visit The Specialized General GNCC event page on the series website by clicking HERE. Camping fees also apply to this weekend's GNCC, 2019 fees are available by viewing the event page.
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.