The following press release is from GNCC Racing:
MILLFIELD, Ohio—The Wiseco John Penton, round 7 of the 2022 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, concluded on Sunday May 22, 2022. From a warm humid morning to a slick rain-soaked Sunday afternoon, the Wiseco John Penton GNCC provided all the different elements on race weekend.
Unfortunately, overall series points leader Ben Kelley—who won the first six rounds—was sidelined for the seventh round after a serious leg injury the weekend prior in an enduro race. Whoever won the John Penton GNCC would be only the second different rider to win an overall this year.
As the XC1 Open Pro Class headed into the Ohio woods it was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang taking home the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award. From there on out Strang would lead the field and ultimately cross the line first for his second Penton GNCC win.
Strang said afterwards on the RacerTV broadcast:
“Yeah, it’s two in a row at the [John] Penton…went 15 years without winning one and now it’s two in a row, so I’ll take it! Yeah, it’s unfortunate Ben [Kelley] isn’t here. I actually sent him a text him during the week and said, ‘Heal up,’ and I was like, ‘I was looking forward to passing you on the last lap here like last year!’ You never know! [Laughs] He’s been riding really well this year…I’ll take it this weekend, for sure. …Stoked to get another win, man…sometimes they are few and far between, but there are not many other people winning so I’ll take it.”
After a tough start to the 2022 season Coastal GasGas Factory Racing’s Ricky Russell was pushing hard to rebound and make his mark at the John Penton GNCC. Russell was steadily battling in the top three all event and ultimately securing second overall, his best finish thus far.
“Stoked to finally be back healthy and riding like me again!” Russell posted on Instagram. “Having fun on the bike and enjoyed chasing Josh around all day. P-2…Thank you team!”
Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn is no stranger to putting his bike on the box. After securing a solid starting position and holding on to a top three spot during a majority of Sunday’s race, Ashburn was able to lock in a third-place overall finish at the Penton GNCC. Ashburn holds a strong second position in the overall standings.
“I didn’t get a very good start and I was pretty frustrated cause I just couldn’t ride to my potential; I couldn’t get around anybody, passing was really difficult on this track,” said Ashburn. “I did the best I could and mid-race I kinda got by myself a little bit and was able to get my breath and start pushing hard. Just reeled in towards the end and snagged third. Just another lap and maybe we could have kept on going. But naw, I felt good at the end of the race and that’s what we’ve been working on this year. So yeah, we’ll keep on it.”
Earning a solid fourth position on the day was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Joshua Toth who was putting on a fight to secure a podium spot. After coming off a third-place finish last round, Toth was looking to get out front early but after a slow start he found himself mid pack. Toth was finally able to find his flow mid-race and charged back to a fourth-place finish overall. Coming back after missing the Hoosier GNCC, Rev Motorsports/GasGas Racing’s Grant Baylor ended the day with a fifth-place overall finish after multiple laps finding himself in a podium position.
“I got a pretty decent start and worked my way into second,” said Toth afterwards. “I tried to make some moves early on and just stayed behind the leader but I kept getting hammered with roost and went through all my tear-offs, so I had to stop for goggles after lap one. It dropped me back but I felt pretty good and made some moves back to the top-five. Then, I hit a short hillclimb where some of the guys were and made a mistake running into the back of somebody. I got hung up and had to make another run at it and it covered my goggles and gloves in mud. It was super difficult for a lap and a half, but then after pitting, I felt good and fresh and fought to the end for fourth.”
“I went into the woods third and had myself in a good position early on,” Bollinger said in a Husqvarna statement after the race. “I had an issue with the clutch and ended up riding the last three laps with no clutch, and it was pretty gnarly on a rutty track. I could barely get around, so we ended up seventh.”
In the XC2 250 Pro class it was Phoenix Racing’s Cody Barnes earning his first overall win of the season. Barnes put in a solid effort to take the XC2 lead and found himself picking off the XC1 class and finishing a sixth overall on the day.
“I didn’t get off to the best start, but I knew it was slick out there and a lot of guys were sliding around, crashing, just tried to ride smooth, man,” Barnes said. “I’m pretty speechless on it. I’ve been chasing this, I’ve been close a couple times, to win is awesome, so I’m pumped.”
Coastal GasGas Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty put in a hard charge for the top spot but ended the day with a second-place XC2 class finish at the Penton GNCC. Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Liam Draper found himself with another third-place ride for the season in Ohio.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class it was Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Brody Johnson taking top honors and his fourth win of the 2022 season. Carolian XC/Moose Racing/XC Gear’s Zack Hayes continued his season with a second-place finish as he has yet to finish off the box and holds on to the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class points lead. Coming off a win in Indiana Husqvarna/Fly Racing/Coppersmith Racing’s Jake Froman put in a strong third-place effort.
Bubz Tasha would bring home the Top Amateur honors with a 250 A class win and 21st overall finish. His 250 A classmate Trevor Maley snagged a second-place finish and secured 25th overall. Cole Whitmer secured another Open A win and third place Top Amateur honor with a 26th overall placement.
At the end of Sunday’s AM race it was Rockstar Husqvarna/Surge Off-Road Coaching Team’s Tayla Jones taking the top spot on the box. After battling from a mid-pack start Jones was able to find herself in a third-place spot after lap one and continued to climb her way through the field. Jones would secure her third win of the 2022 season. Starting off the race strong was Fly Racing/FMF Racing/KTM Racing’s Brandy Richards grabbing the $100 Trail Jesters WXC Holeshot award, however she would tip over in turn three making her race a charge from the back of the pack for a second-place overall finish. AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer was out front through two laps but ultimately could not hang on to the lead and secured a third-place overall finish. Trail Jesters KTM’s Korie Steede and Enduro Engineering/MEPMX/Fly Racing/KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker would finish the day fourth and fifth respectively.
Thor Powell of the 150 Schoolboy B/C (12-15) class put on a hard charge earning himself fourth overall in The John Penton AM race.
Unstoppable through seven races was Team Green Kawasaki’s Nicholas DeFeo who snagged another YXC1 Super Mini Sr. (14-15) overall win. DeFeo would move into the early race lead, with fellow YXC1 competitor Peyton Feather in tow for a second overall. YXC2 Super Mini Jr. competitor, Ryan Amancio would come through to earn a third overall and his class win in Ohio. YXC1 competitor Sawyer Carratura would finish 3rd place in class and fourth overall. In the YXC2 class, Brody Amos and Colby Goodman would finish out the class podium.
85 Big Wheel (12-15) competitor Ryder Sigety would come through first in class and seventh overall, followed by Canyon Richards finding himself first at the finish line with the 85 (12-13) class win and ninth overall. Colton McQuarrie brought home the 85cc (7-11) win, as Hunter Hawkinberry earned the 65 (10-11) class win. Jace Mitchell would take home the win in the 65 (7-8) class and Karson George would secure the 65 (9) class win. In the Girls Sr. (12-15) class it was Addison Harris coming through to take the win and Kimber Lowry would earn the Girls Jr. (8-11) win in Ohio.
The next round of GNCC Racing will take place on June 4-5 in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania with the Parts Unlimited Mason-Dixon. This event will feature the Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship. ePeeWee Racing will take place on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with the 7th Annual Mowgli Memorial Dog Show on Saturday evening.
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.
The Wiseco John Penton Results and Points Standings
Round 7 of 13
Sunday, May 22, 2022
|2||Ricky Russell||03:05:28.379||Duvall, WA||GasGas|
|3||Jordan Ashburn||03:05:36.499||Cookeville, TN||Husqvarna|
|4||Josh Toth||03:05:48.295||Winstead, CT||KTM|
|5||Grant Baylor||03:07:40.775||Belton, SC||GasGas|
|1||Cody J Barnes||03:09:32.320||Sterling, IL||Honda|
|2||Ryder Lafferty||03:10:57.750||Millville, NJ||GasGas|
|4||Michael Witkowski||03:12:31.136||North Liberty, IN||Yamaha|
|1||Brody Johnson||03:21:20.851||Landrum, SC||Husqvarna|
|2||Zack Hayes||03:27:09.099||Sumter, SC||KTM|
|3||Jake Froman||03:27:33.647||Lynnville, IN||Husqvarna|
|4||Dakoda Devore||03:32:08.570||Uhrichsville, OH||KTM|
|5||Hunter Neuwirth||03:43:43.292||Plantation, FL||KTM|
|4||Korie Steede||02:12:45.450||Beloit, OH||KTM|
|5||Mackenzie Tricker||02:19:46.299||Travelers Rest, SC||KTM|