MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Oct. 4, 2015) – Round 11 of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC), presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, took place in Somerset, Pa., on Sunday with the Car-Mate Mountain Ridge GNCC. The weather may have cooled down with the threat of Hurricane Joaquin, but the racing action only heated up going into the last three rounds of the season. Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/FAR’s Thad Duvall secured his first overall win of the 2015 season, while DirtWise/Maxxis/KLIM-backed Jason Thomas claimed the XC2 championship with his second-place class finish.
Obermeyer Suzuki/Fly Racing/Maxxis Tires’ Chris Douglas led the way through the first turn, grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award and took the early lead, followed closely by N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn on the opening lap. Ashburn was able to quickly capitalize on the weather conditions and move to the front of the pack.
Meanwhile, N-Fab AmPro Yamaha-backed Grant Baylor got off to a not-so-favorable start, where he tipped over in the first corner. Baylor was able to rebound from the trivial mistake and work his way up to the front-runners, checking in second on the first lap.
Within the second lap Ashburn had extended his lead by 37 seconds, but the running order tightened up immensely on the third lap when Duvall closed the gap by less than 10 seconds. Duvall immediately moved into the lead when Ashburn had to exit the track to make an extra pit stop due to his rear wheel’s bib disintegrating. The N-Fab AmPro team was able to make a quick change and Ashburn re-entered the track where he left off still holding onto a top-five position.
Ashburn’s misfortune opened the doors not only for Duvall, but also Baylor, to gain a position in the overall running. Baylor’s race-management skills allowed him to catch up to Duvall, only trailing by 10 seconds. Baylor eventually passed Duvall as he stopped to get a splash of gas, but Duvall did not stay behind for long.
“Going into today’s race I was already excited because I tend to ride good in conditions like these,” reported Duvall. “I don’t necessarily like riding in the mud, but I always seem to do good. Baylor caught back up to me with two laps remaining and we battled it out, but I felt like I had a lot to give and I ended up in the middle of the box.”
Duvall’s stellar performance vaulted the West Virginia native into the lead for the final four laps, and also second into the overall points championship chase. Ashburn finished out strong, capturing third place in the XC1 Pro class and overall.
Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/FAR’s Nick Davis was able to jump out to the quick lead claiming the $100 Hot Cams Holeshot Award, but struggled with holding the lead on the first lap to Thomas and Raines Riding University/Atlas Yamaha/OffRoadViking.com’s Ricky Russell. However, as the race wore on, Davis picked up his pace drastically, where he rode uncontested for yet another win in the class, as well as an impressive fifth place overall finish.
“It was really hard to see at the start, and all I could think was, ‘this is going to be a long three hours,'” reported Davis. “Then everything just started clicking, and I got back ahead of Thomas and Russell and started pulling away.”
Thomas was able to hold on for a second-place finish, which was a good enough placement to result in being crowned the 2015 XC2 Pro Lites champion. Thomas will remain in the XC2 division throughout the end of this season, but will move up to the premier XC1 Pro division starting in 2016.
“It’s been a long year, and we’ve done a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Everyone has been a big part of this, it wasn’t just me,” said Thomas. “My dad was able to make it this weekend, and it’s a big deal because he isn’t here every round like the majority of the other guys’ dads. It really meant a lot to me that he could be here.”
The 1:00 p.m. race was broadcast live in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as an archived video now. Please click here to view the full three-hour race coverage. In addition to the archived live race coverage on RacerTV, a highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m. Complete results from today’s ATV racing can be found here.
The 2015 AMSOIL GNCC series will head to St. Clairsville, Ohio on Oct. 17 and 18 for the ITP Powerline Park GNCC.