by: GNCC Racing
MORGANTOWN, W.Va (Sept. 29, 2016) – The 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series packs up and heads to St. Clairsville, Ohio this weekend, Oct. 1-2, for the Polaris Ace Powerline Park GNCC. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell will have his eyes set on the overall win this Sunday, in addition to the opportunity to wrap up his fourth-straight National Championship.
Russell moves into the 12th round of the season with a 50-point gap on his closest competition in the points standings. If all things go well, Russell will have the opportunity to secure the 2016 National Championship this Sunday, and while much of the focus will be on Russell, a whole field of pro riders will be looking to steal the spotlight from the defending champion.
The only rider who has been able to top Russell is Josh Strang. Strang will be fighting off an acute injury this weekend, but still remains a top contender for the top spot on the box.
Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4 Arrive-N-Ride Team’s Thad Duvall is known for his ability to excel in the rough and muddy conditions for which the Powerline Park GNCC is known. With a second and third overall thus far, the only thing Duvall is lacking is an overall win, which he will aim to add to his resume this weekend.
SRT/KTM/Kenda Tires’ Cory Buttrick’s breakout ride this past weekend may serve as the perfect opportunity for the Ohio native to earn his first career pro podium. Buttrick was able to lead the first lap of the seven-lap race, where he fended off the pressure coming from Russell. Perhaps this will provide Buttrick the confidence boost needed to produce a podium finish this Saturday.
Another rider to keep an eye out for this weekend is MCS Racing Suzuki/Obermeyer/Kenda/MX Tech/Fly Racing’s Ricky Russell, who comes into this round fresh off his third-place overall podium at the Mountaineer Run GNCC last weekend. Ricky Russell’s success brought his team their first-ever podium and he will aim to repeat his success this Saturday.
After narrowly missing the podium at the last two rounds, SRT/KTM/Kenda Tires-backed Steward Baylor Jr. will be aiming to put it all together this weekend to earn his second podium of the year. After returning from summer break, Baylor Jr. has shown he has what it takes to be a player in the final results.
Westfield Powersports KTM Presented by Moose Racing’s Jordan Ashburn and N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Grant Baylor have struggled to find their grove at the past two rounds. Both Ashburn and Grant Baylor head into this weekend with hopes of turning around their results for the better.
Sunday’s race schedule is as follows: youth bike racing begins at 8 a.m., followed by amateurs and women at 10 a.m. and pros and top amateurs at 1 p.m. Adult (12+) gate admission is $20 for the full weekend and $10 for kids (6-11), with kids five and under free. Gate admission includes pro-pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
Local racers are invited to compete at this event, as GNCC Racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is $40 and riders can sign up at the track. To learn more about GNCC Racing, please refer to the GNCC 101 webpage.
For a complete schedule of the weekend’s activities, please visit the Polaris Ace Powerline Park GNCC event page on the series website by clicking here. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 2:30 p.m.
Tune in to RacerTV.com on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET to catch live streaming of the Pro Bike race. For more information on GNCC LIVE visit www.racertv.com.