Grant Baylor Wins Little Racoon National Enduro
Report Shan Moore
Grant Baylor won his second national enduro in a row, at this weekend’s
Little Racoon National Enduro in Wellston, Ohio, round six of the Kenda AMA
National Enduro Series.
The Tely Energy Racing KTM rider has also won three of the last four. And
after winning all six tests for the second event in a row, he is now sitting
on a 12-test win streak with seemingly nothing stopping him from extending the
streak at the next round in Missouri in two weeks.
After sweeping all six tests, Grant finished the event with a
1:30.312-minute advantage over his brother and teammate Steward Baylor.
“Couldn’t ask for a better day,” said Grant. “It was a little slippery
in places and you had to be on your toes and be careful and just be ready for
when the front end goes to wash. But I didn’t hit the ground all day until
the last test. I went down one time in the last test and won every test today.
So, it was another awesome weekend.”
Despite finishing in the runner-up slot for the second race in a row,
Steward Baylor still holds onto a 36-point lead in the series standings with
four rounds remaining, and for Steward, that is the main focus.
“I could have been a little more aggressive, but at the same time we’re
looking at the championship,” said Steward. “If I can keep in second
place, and if Grant wants to keep winning, I’ll let him keep winning. I’m
happy with it. I’m looking for that championship and I know all I’ve got
to do is ride smart and I’m in a really good position as far as that goes.”
Husqvarna/ Max Motorsports/FXR Racing’s Evan Smith rounded out the
podium, despite taking a nasty fall just before the end of the final test.
“I guess it was a good day,” said Smith. “I had a couple of decent-sized
get-offs today. The last test, I overshot a ravine and just kind of went into
a tree in the air. Not much I could do about it. That hurt a lot. So, I kind
of struggled to finish, but other than that it was a good day. It took me a
while to adjust to it being so slick, but once I got comfortable, I was able
to ride pretty smooth and smart and not make too many mistakes.”
After struggling through a couple of races, GasGas North America’s Thorn
Devlin put together an impressive performance to finish fourth.
“We just tried to get ourselves back out of a rut, and it worked,” said
Devlin. “The name of the game today was just have fun, get our flow going
again, and if everything fell together, then great. I was just 50 seconds from
a podium, so getting closer. Just going to keep working and we’ll get there.”
Rounding out the top five was Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski.
“The first four tests were pretty smooth and then I think the fifth test I
got a little messed up in the last part, and I lost some time,” said
Witkowski. “But section six was my best. I ended up third in that one, which
was pretty good. Just had a lot of fun at this one. I think this is my best
Tely Energy Racing KTM’s Liam Draper was nursing a cracked pelvis from a
crash at the Tennessee Knockout the previous week, but still managed sixth
overall and first in the NE Pro2 division.
“I enjoyed this place last year when we had a sprint here, so I was looking
forward to it, it’s slick.” said Draper. “I got off to a pretty decent
start. I just had fun all day and kept my head down and managed to get another
win. I’m just trying to stay on the bike.”
Former national enduro winner and extreme off-road ace Nick Fahringer
brought his Sherco in for seventh overall. Meanwhile, Tely Energy Racing KTM’s
Ron Commo III grabbed eighth just 2.841 seconds ahead of Alex Teagarden (Hsq).
Commo and Teagarden also finished second and third, respectively, in the NE
Michael Pilar was 10th overall and first in the AA class on a Yamaha.
Amazingly, eight-time National Enduro Champ Mike Lafferty rode a KTM 790
Adventure R to 10th in the AA class.
“Last year I raced my ’97 KTM. The year before that I raced a 1090, I want
to do something a little different this year, so I thought this would be the
perfect race to ride the 790,” said Lafferty. “It was a blast.”
The Women’s Elite race was a battle between Mepmx/Fly/Grizzly
Peak/Traveler’s Rest Speedway/KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker and Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna/Moose
Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones, with Tricker getting the win by 9.880 seconds ahead
“I started off a little slow this morning but I came back and got some test
wins this afternoon,” said Tricker. “The track was really, really fast and
kind of scary at times, I had some really big moments, but that’s what
happens when you’re pushing, but other than that it was a good day.”
Kelsey Pacholke finished third on a Husqvarna.
The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series returns to action on September 8 at
the Lead Belt National Enduro in Park Hills, Missouri. For more information on
the series go to www.nationalenduro.com.
1. Grant Baylor (KTM)
2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
3. Evan Smith (Hsq)
4. Thorn Devlin (GG)
5. Mike Witkowski (Bet)
6. Liam Draper (KTM)
7. Nick Fahringer (Shr)
8. Ron Commo III (KTM)
9. Alex Teagarden (Hsq)
10. Michael Pillar (Yam)
For more information on National Enduro Racing head on over to www.NationalEnduro.com