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Kailub Russell Comes Out on Top with X-Factor Whitetails GNCC Overall Win
Josh Toth and Jason Raines Earn Wins in XC2 and FMF XC3 Classes
The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, continued on Sunday, May 13, with the second annual X-Factor Whitetails GNCC. Partly sunny and dry conditions welcomed the 1 p.m. race, which was a complete turnaround from last year's race conditions. At the conclusion of the seven-lap race it was FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Kailub Russell who took home the win in Peru, Indiana.
Tely Energy Racing/KTM's Steward Baylor Jr. jumped out to the early lead grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award. AmPro Yamaha's Ricky Russell accompanied S. Baylor Jr. as they headed out of the first turn and into the woods.
Russell made an early pass on R. Russell for the second place position, and after coming through timing and scoring on lap one S. Baylor Jr. remained first with a seven second lead. Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Thad Duvall came through in the fourth place position after starting at the back of the pack.
Halfway through the second lap, news came that K. Russell had moved into the first place position, with Duvall making the move into second just 13 seconds behind the leader. As lap three began, K. Russell, Duvall and R. Russell checked in with S. Baylor dropping back to fourth, and JCR/Honda's Trevor Bollinger coming through in the fifth place position.
As the front of the pack made their way around it was Tely Energy Racing/KTM's Grant Baylor moving up and into the second place position, but after pitting for gas on lap three Duvall would make the move around him. R. Russell and S.Baylor Jr. continued to battle for the fourth place position, however S. Baylor would make the pass stick and continue to push on for the remaining three laps.
When the white flag flew it was K. Russell leading Duvall by 10 seconds, with G. Baylor behind them in third. S. Baylor Jr. followed by Bollinger and R. Russell were battling with Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Josh Strang, who sat in the seventh place position during the last lap.
Russell earned his fifth win of the season as he crossed the finish line six seconds ahead of Duvall. G. Baylor had his best finish of the season, earning him a spot on the podium in Indiana. S. Baylor held on for fourth, while Bollinger came through in the fifth spot. Strang made the pass for the sixth place position, putting R. Russell back to seventh at round six. KR4/Husqvarna's Cory Buttrick finished eighth while teammate, Layne Michael rounded out the top 10. GasGas/FAR's Andrew Delong earned his best finish of the year with a ninth in the XC1 Open Pro class.
In the XC2 250 Pro class, FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Josh Toth would take his third win of the season, but not without some intense battles throughout the three-hour race. When the green flag flew, it was Fun Center/MSR's Joseph Ferraro taking the $100 XC2 250 Pro Holeshot Award. However, as the XC2 pack came through on the second lap it was M&E Honda/Fly Racing/Alpinestar's Austin Lee leading the way followed by Toth and Coastal Racing/Husqvarna's Craig Delong. After a mid-pack start Trail Jesters/KTM's Ben Kelley made his way through into the fourth place position before picking off riders and making his way to the second place position.
Toth would make the pass on Lee, and remain in the lead until taking the checkered flag on lap seven. Kelley would come in eight seconds behind Toth, followed by C. Delong rounding out the podium. Lee would hold on for fourth, while Beta USA and Indiana-native Mike Witkowski had his best finish with a fifth in the XC2 250 Pro class.
The FMF XC3 125 Pro Am class saw Raines Riding University/Atlas Sales/Yamaha's Jason Raines take his first win of the season after battling with FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM's Jesse Ansley throughout the day. Ansley would finish runner-up, but still remains in the points lead for the class. MCS Racing/Kenda Tire/Moose Racing's Cody Barnes rounded out the FMF XC3 podium at the X-Factor Whitetails GNCC.
Conner Smith took the win in Open A and finished 35th overall to earn the Top Amateur honors along with Jojo Bowden taking the win in 250 A, followed by Brewer Cawley's second place finish in 250 A.
Chris Bach returned to the races, and took the overall win in the 10 a.m. race. In the WXC class it was KR4/Husqvarna's Tayla Jones who took her fifth win of the season in Indiana on Sunday morning at the conclusion of the 10 a.m. race. KTM/Bonaza Plumbing/Trail Jesters Mackenzie Tricker battled through for a second place finish, followed by The Motorcycle Shop/Tely Energy's Brooke Cosner rounding out the WXC podium.
The youth riders took to the track at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning where Tyler Palmer took the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. and overall win. Max Fernandez came away with second followed by Joseph Cunningham earning the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. win and third overall.
The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series will heads to Millfield, Ohio on May 26 and 27 for The Wiseco John Penton GNCC.
Kailub Russell (center), Thad Duvall (left) and Grant Baylor (right) rounded out the X-Factor Whitetails GNCC podium.Kailub Russell (center), Thad Duvall (left) and Grant Baylor (right) rounded out the X-Factor Whitetails GNCC podium. Ken Hill
The 1 p.m. race was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as an archived video now online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will air Saturday, June 9 at 6:00 p.m. EST.
X-Factor Whitetails of Indiana is a privately owned and operated hunting ranch that offers guided hunts for groups of all sizes. The Indiana preserve has over 1,200 acres with one of the most beautiful lodges in the country. If you are looking for a challenging whitetail hunt for some of the biggest deer in the country, you have found the right place. To find out more about the X-Factor Whitetails Hunting Ranch
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.
X-Factor Whitetails Peru, Indiana Round 6 of 13 Sunday, May 13
XC1 Open Pro Event Results:
Kailub Russell (KTM)
*Overall National Championship Standings:
Kailub Russell (175)
XC2 250 Pro Event Results:
Josh Toth (KTM)
XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:
Ben Kelley (165)