2022 Buckwheat 100: Stew Baylor takes second GNCC win of the season
The penultimate round of the 2022 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, the Buckwheat 100, saw Steward Baylor fend off the newly crowned champion Jordan Ashburn for the win – Lyndon Snodgrass claims the win in XC2 250 and the ’22 title.
As the XC1 Open Pro class opened the afternoon show at the 2022 Buckwheat 100, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall grabbed the holeshot, leading the pack into the West Virginia woods with Magna1 Motorsports Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn, the new National Champion, hot on his heals.
Ashburn didn’t take long to snatch the lead but a mistake saw him back in fourth as Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ricky Russell moved into the lead. After Russell lost his momentum up the hill climb, AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor who had made his way through the pack from a sixth place start took his chance to grab the lead.
From there it was a determined Stew Baylor who held off pressure from a gaggle of riders to lead all the way until the flag flew, earning his second win of the season after missing rounds 2-through-8 due to injury.
Tree stumps and broken levers
Ashburn worked his way back up to second to finish out the race, while Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong who got ahead of the battle for the podium with two laps remaining in the race.
His teammate Thad Duvall would come through fourth on the day but the reality was Ashburn, DeLong and Duvall all came through the finish just seconds apart.
That three rider battle was and could have been all the way a five rider fight but for some wayward tree stumps. FMF KTM’s Josh Toth finished the day fifth in the XC1 class but had to make a pit stop for a new shift lever after snapping his off at the top of the hill climb and getting stuck in second gear.
Early leader Ricky Russell also suffered the same fate to his shifter which got sheared off by a stump and had to settle for sixth in the XC1 class.
2022 Buckwheat 100 results (top 30):
XC2 title settled
It feels like the XC2 250 title has been a long time coming for Lyndon Snodgrass. The Australian has led the points standings for an age but this penultimate round saw him take a determined win and with it the series crown for Babbitts Online Kawasaki.
Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jonathan Girroir applied plenty of pressure and took the lead on the second lap.
The pair swapped the lead multiple times throughout the race. A mistake under the pressure late in the race for Girroir saw Snodgrass take the win and earn the 2022 XC2 250 Pro National Championship.
Tely Energy KTM’s Liam Draper his second-straight podium finish and his fourth podium appearance of the season with Coastal GASGAS’s Ryder Lafferty fourth and Phoenix Honda’s Cody Barnes fifth.
XC3 title too!
Magna1 Motorsports Husqvarna have had a very good 2022 season topped off by Brody Johnson wrapping up the FMF XC3 National Championship at round 12 but it wasn’t how they’d have liked to seal it.
After running second, Johnson retired after two laps but it was enough to place seventh in the class, which was enough for him to earn the number one plate.
Tayla Jones keeps WXC title hopes alive
The fight for the WXC title is going right down to the wire after Rockstar Husqvarna Surge Off-Road Coaching Team’s Tayla Jones took the AM race by storm. Jones was on a mission to keep the championship hopes alive and was quickly ahead of her rivals in class.
Points leader, AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer, was right on her rear tyre for the majority of the first half the AM race before Jones built up a small cushion and eventually earned her fifth win of the season.
Archer finished just 10 seconds off Jones and continues to lead the points by a healthy 10 from Jones with Korie Steede third (and third on the day) a further eight points adrift.
It should be enough for the Kiwi Archer but the championship will come down to Ironman in two weeks.
WXC points standings with one round remaining:
The 2022 GNCC season concludes on October 22-23 at the Ironman.
Photo Credit: Ken Hill