MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—This Sunday, May 5, the 2019 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, heads to Peru, Indiana, for the third Annual Yamaha Racing X-Factor Whitetails GNCC at the popular X-Factor Whitetails Hunting Ranch.
Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing's Thad Duvall currently sits second in the points standings, just 13 points behind Kailub Russell. Duvall took home the X-Factor win two years ago, and is eager to land in the center of the podium for the second time this season. Duvall is looking to earn valuable points towards his hunt for the 2019 National Championship.
As the series makes its first stop in Indiana, Tely Energy Racing/KTM's Steward Baylor Jr. is eager to battle at the front of the pack for another overall win. After winning the season opener in Florida, Baylor Jr. has finished in the inside the overall top five at each round.
Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing's Trevor Bollinger is still looking to earn his first-career overall win after several close attempts. Bollinger is more focused than ever on getting to the front of the pack and taking home the top honors. Bollinger will definitely be one to keep an eye on in the afternoon race this Sunday.
Babbitt's Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Josh Strang and Jordan Ashburn currently sit sixth and seventh in the championship points standings, respectively. Both riders have had a consistent start to the season and are looking to break into the top five overall this weekend.
Having one of his best season's thus far is Phoenix Honda Racing's Andrew Delong, who sits tenth overall. Delong will look to steadily improve his standings on Sunday, and battle for another top ten finish. FXR/Husqvarna/STR/Hoosier's Layne Michael earned ninth overall at the previous round, which was his second race back after injuring himself before the season started. Cory Buttrick will also look to improve his standings as he currently sits 14th overall.
AmPro Yamaha's Ricky Russell makes his return to GNCC Racing this weekend after recovering from a leg injury sustained before the season began. He has been eager to get back on the bike and back into racing. Eyes will be on Ricky Russell this Sunday as he lines up to see how well he has healed up.
In the XC2 250 Pro class Trail Jesters/KTM's Ben Kelley leads the way after earning each round win thus far in the season. Kelley currently sits sixth in the overall championship standings but is looking to improve his standings this weekend. Factory Beta USA's Michael Witkowski has been a consistent face on the podium this season, and with this race being his home state race he is eager to earn his first class win of the season in front of family and friends. Phoenix Honda Racing's Austin Lee earned himself a podium finish at the previous round, and like Witkowski, Lee hails from the state of Indiana. This weekend Lee is hopeful that he will battle at the front of the pack and take home a victory.
The FMF XC3 125cc Pro-Am is currently being led by Factory Beta USA's Cody Barnes. Holding onto second in the points is Trail Jesters/KTM's Jesse Ansley with Highland Temp Works/Offroad Riding Schools/Maxxis' Jason Thomas in third. At the previous round Anthony Federico pulled off a podium finish, and this weekend will be a great one to watch as some rain leading up to the event has made for some exciting race conditions.
Local riders expected to compete this weekend on motorcycles will be Michael Witkowski (XC2 250 Pro), Austin Lee (XC2 250 Pro), Joshua Carey (Vet B 30+), Adam Miller (Senior B 40+), Cody Brunck (250 C Schoolboy 14-17), Josh Brunck (85cc 12-13), Tanner Cowart (4-Stroke A Lites), Jake Froman (FMF XC3 125cc Pro-Am), Rod Marshall (Masters A 50+), Jared Meranda (Open B), Trent Watkins (250 C Schoolboy 14-17), Colton Wilkes (Open A), and Elizabeth Perez (WXC).
On Sunday, May 5, the motorcycles will take to the woods of Indiana following the schedule of youth racing starting the day off at 8 a.m., women and amateur riders' race at 10 a.m. and the pros and top amateurs will start at 1 p.m.
The event is co-sanctioned with IXCR, a series that produced local racing events across Indiana, 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 $40 if racers pre-enter, and $50 if riders sign up at the track. To learn more about GNCC Racing, refer to the GNCC 101 webpage.
Spectator passes run $20 for adults and $10 for children (6-11), and kids five and under are free for the full weekend (Friday through Sunday), with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
The 1 p.m. pro races will be broadcast LIVE on the Internet via Racer TV on www.racertv.com both days. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
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.