Ricky Russell start

Photo credit: Ken Hill

FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell has taken the win at the final round of the 2017 AMA GNCC series, held in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

It was a bittersweet day as the 2017 series came to a close, the Ironman Raceway hosted over 2,398 riders over the course of the two-day Ironman GNCC event. At the conclusion of Sunday’s pro bike race, it was 2017 champion Kailub Russell who stood atop of the podium and earned his 47th career overall win, making him the all-time most successful GNCC bike rider.

“I’ve worked super hard up until this point, and I have a lot of people around me,” told five-time GNCC champion, Kailub Russell.

“It’s just the attitude that I bring to the race track that allows me to be so successful and never give up. To take the most wins away from Scott [Summers] is pretty awesome. I grew up watching those guys race so it’s pretty surreal.”

Kailub Russell

Photo credit: Ken Hill

XC1 Pro Race

It was N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell who snagged the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award once the race started, but Kailub Russell quickly stole the lead and headed into the woods in first. R Russell wasn’t ready to settle for second and took back the lead after K Russell made a small bobble.

After a three-round hiatus due to injury, all eyes were on Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall who had worked his way into third. When the Russell duo reached Twin Hills, they were wheel-to-wheel and had a small gap on Duvall.

R Russell was the first to check into timing and scoring, with K Russell not even a second behind him. K Russell worked his way back to the front during the mid-way point of the second lap, but R Russell remained in the hunt and kept K Russell honest.

Duvall secured the second-place position on the third lap and the top-three contenders became a little more distant until the very last lap when Duvall increased his pace. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the pass on K Russell who ended up claiming the last win of the season. This victory marked K Russell’s 47th career win, breaking Scott Summers’ all-time bike wins record.

Although he finished as the runner-up, Duvall’s comeback ride proved that he will be back in full force next year as he makes his bid for the title. R Russell rounded out the top three overall.

Thad Duvall jump

Photo credit: Ken Hill

“I’m a little disappointed in second, because I thought I had the win in me,” explained Duvall. “It took me a couple laps to get going, I was pretty timid with my wrist at first. I haven’t ridden that pace for a couple months now, but once I got going I just kind of stayed even.”

Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/ Husqvarna’s Grant Baylor had one of his best rides of the season, where he narrowly missed the podium in fourth, and Josh Strang raced his Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing backed machine into the top five.

XC2 250 Pro Race

Indiana native and RPM/KTM’s Mike Witkowski found himself in a favourable position after the green flag waved on the XC2 250 Pro start to earn the $100 Hot Cams Holeshot Award. JCR Honda’s Austin Lee led the first two laps, until Austria’s Pascal Rauchenecker made the pass for the lead and continued leading until the chequered flag – marking his first career GNCC win.

Pascal Rauchenecker

Photo credit: Ken Hill

The 2017 class champion, Josh Toth, placed his N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha in the runner-up position, while Coastal Racing’s Craig Delong rounded out the class podium.

Jimmy Jarrett shot off the line to earn the $100 Wiseco Holeshot Award in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class, but at the conclusion of the three-hour race it was Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Jack Edmondson standing in the middle of the box.

Chris Venditti and Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/ Husqvarna Team’s Hunter Neuwirth finished second and third.

With a 23rd overall finish, Levi Keller was awarded top amateur honours and the Open A class win. After a hard crash, Coastal Racing’s Alex Teagarden recovered to finish second overall, and Cody Barnes held the third-place position on the afternoon amateur overall podium.

Womens & Youth

Womens Podium

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets took the 10 a.m. overall win over the nearly 900 racers. John Maschino and Phil Smith filled the overall podium. The Motorcycle Shop/Kenda/Bell/V3 Off-Road’s Brooke Cosner and RPM/KTM’s Rachel Gutish place second and third in the WXC class.

Michael Beeler Jr. ended his youth racing career on a high note where he claimed the overall in the 8 a.m. race. MXTire.com/Cernics Racing/Sidi-backed Ryder Leblond and Max Fernandez rounded out the overall top three.

Youth Overall

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Results

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:

  1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  2. Thad Duvall (HSQ)
  3. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  4. Grant Baylor (HSQ)
  5. Josh Strang (HSQ)
  6. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  7. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
  8. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
  9. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
  10. Jonathan Girroir (KTM) 

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Kailub Russell (320)
  2. Thad Duvall (227)
  3. Ricky Russell (220)
  4. Steward Baylor (207)
  5. Josh Toth (192)
  6. Grant Baylor (180)
  7. Trevor Bollinger (152)
  8. Craig Delong (141)
  9. Layne Michael (140)
  10. Josh Strang (130) 

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2017 National Champion. 

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

  1. Pascal Rauchenecker (HSQ)
  2. Josh Toth (YAM)
  3. Craig Delong (HSQ)
  4. Layne Michael (HSQ)
  5. Ben Kelley (KTM)
  6. Evan Smith (KTM)
  7. Austin Lee (HON)
  8. Mike Witkowski (KTM)
  9. Ryder Lafferty (KTM)
  10. Trevor Barrett (YAM)

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

  1. Josh Toth (347)
  2. Craig Delong (289)
  3. Layne Michael (280)
  4. Mike Witkowski (224)
  5. Ben Kelley (193)
  6. Austin Lee (182)
  7. Jesse Groemm (164)
  8. Zack Hayes (138)
  9. Sam Evans (122)
  10. Zach Nolan (112)

FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am Event Results:

  1. Jack Edmondson (HSQ)
  2. Chris Venditti (YAM)
  3. Hunter Neuwirth (HSQ)
  4. Matthew Sims (YAM)
  5. Tayla Jones (HSQ)
  6. Luke Renzland (YAM)
  7. Mark Heresco Jr. (KTM)
  8. Kenny Day (YAM)
  9. Jaryn Williams (YAM)
  10. Josh Brehm (YAM) 

FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am Points Standings:

  1. Jason Thomas (292)
  2. Hunter Neuwirth (253)
  3. Jack Edmondson (238)
  4. Mark Heresco Jr. (233)
  5. Jaryn Williams (162)
  6. Josh Adkins (148)
  7. Devan Welch (132)
  8. Paul Whibley (117)
  9. Nate Smith (62)
  10. Dustin Gibson (61)