MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—The 2020 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, comes to Palatka, Florida for the second round of racing at the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC this weekend, March 7 and 8.
At round one it was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell kicking off the season with a victory in South Carolina. Russell announced earlier in the year that this would be his last season contesting for an XC1 Open Pro GNCC National Championship. Russell will aim to back-up that race win with another one this Sunday afternoon.
Coastal Racing Husqvarna’s Ricky Russell battled throughout the entire race in South Carolina. Russell came through to finish second overall, and this weekend he will be aiming to take away that number one position from KR. Russell is eager to get a win in the XC1 class, his last coming in 2017.
Rounding out the overall podium at round one was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Josh Strang, and this weekend Strang will set his sights on improving those standings. Strang is hoping to land in the center of the podium, earning the GNCC overall win this weekend at Wild Boar.
Earning fourth overall at the previous round of racing was FactoryONE Sherco’s Steward Baylor Jr. Last season, Baylor Jr. earned the overall win in Florida, and he is hoping to do the same this year. Baylor Jr. is eager to put his Sherco motorcycle on the box, and will be one to keep an eye on this weekend.
Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jordan Ashburn finished fifth in the XC1 Open Pro class at Big Buck, and this weekend will be aiming to improve that finishing position this weekend in Florida. Ashburn has been a consistent rider for the past several years, and has what it takes to battle at the front of the pack.
Hoping for a better start this round will be FactoryONE Sherco’s Grant Baylor. At the opening round of racing Baylor battled his way through the pack, but with a better start he will be looking to battle up front for the duration of the race.
AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael put in a good ride at the season opener, and this weekend Michael will look to remain at the front part of the XC1 Open Pro class. Michael started out in fourth at Big Buck, and will look to remain towards the front this weekend in Florida.
Even after some bad luck struck the Phoenix Honda Racing’s Andrew Delong would finish out in the eighth place position. This weekend DeLong is hoping for better luck, and to battle for another top finishing position in the XC1 class.
Raines Riding University/Ver/Kenda’s Evan Earl and Pilgrim Powersports/Factory Connection/FXR’s Chris Canning came through to round out the top 10 in the XC1 Open Pro class. Earl and Canning will both look to keep the momentum going, and finish inside the top 10 once again.
This weekend AmPro Yamaha’s Mike Witkowski is aiming for another XC2 250 Pro class victory, as well as a top 5 finishing position overall. Witkowski battled throughout the day, and will look to do the same this Sunday as he goes for his second-straight class win
Trail Jesters KTM’s Jonathan Girroir came back to GNCC Racing ready to go. Girroir battled at the front of his class, even leading at points in the race. Girroir would fall back to second in XC2, but would manage to hold off the rest of his competition. This weekend, Girroir will be aiming for that number one spot.
Coastal Racing Husqvarna’s Craig Delong has made the switch to Rockstar Energy/Factory Racing Husqvarna as their fill-in ride due to Duvall and Bollinger suffering from injuries early in the season. DeLong will still compete in the XC2 class, and this weekend is hoping to get back to the center of the podium.
Coming through to take the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class win was Zack Hayes. This weekend, Hayes will be looking to back-up his season opener win, with another win in the sunshine state.
Motorcycles will compete throughout the day on Sunday, March 8. Youth bike racing beginning at 8 a.m., followed by amateurs and pro women at 10 a.m., and then the pros and top amateurs' will race at 1 p.m.
Spectator passes run $20 for adults and $10 for children (6-11), and kids five and under are free for the full weekend (Saturday through Sunday), with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
Saturday's 2 p.m. pro ATV race as well as Sunday's 1 p.m. pro bike race will be broadcasted LIVE on the internet via Racer TV on www.racertv.com. Two highlight shows featuring the event will air on MAVTV later in the year.
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.