MORGANTON, N.C. (March 28-29, 2015) – The 16th running of the FMF Steele Creek GNCC took place last weekend at the beautiful Steele Creek Campground, where Adam McGill extended his points lead in the XC1 Pro ATV class on Saturday after capturing his second consecutive win of the 2015 GNCC season and Kailub Russell saw his third straight XC1 Pro Bike class victory of the season. In an intense battle in the XC1 Pro ATV class, Adam McGill edged out Chris Borich and Jay Shadron to keep his momentum alive after three rounds of racing. Russell extended his points lead in the XC1 Pro Bike class to earn his 25th career win in front of a hometown crowd in Morganton, N.C.
The 16th running of the FMF Steele Creek GNCC produced some of the best racing action of the season as the top ten riders battled closely all afternoon. JMR/ATVRiders.com-backed Jarrod McClure quickly took over the early lead on the opening lap, with Brent Sturdivant, Jay Shadron, Chris Borich and Chris Bithell close behind. The front-runners remained wheel-to-wheel for a majority of the two-hour race, exchanging positions along the way.
Shadron made his move into the lead position on lap two, where he set the pace for the second half of the race. Borich settled in behind Shadron, but riders like Adam McGill, Walker Fowler and McClure applied great pressure to the leaders. On the final lap, McGill turned up the intensity and made his way past Borich and Shadron to take over the lead position.
Borich made a mistake on the final lap, sending himself back to the fourth-place position, but the Maxxis/SSi/FLY/Yamaha rider made his way back to second just before the finish.
In the XC1 Pro Bike class N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn put himself into the early lead after grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, but Russell quickly made his way to the front on the opening lap. The two-time GNCC National Champion created a gap on the rest of the field early on, leaving an exciting battle to shape up for second place.
AirGroup/Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes jumped into second on the opening lap, with N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn and Daniel Milner right in the mix. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR’s Thad DuVall also put himself into a favorable position off the start, where he joined the front-runners early on to engage in a battle for the podium position.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Josh Strang got tangled up with another rider just after the start, knocking the Australia native to the back of the pack early on. From there, the top ten running order continuously changed as riders battled for valuable championship points at the third round.
JCR Honda’s Chris Bach was the next to step into contention for second place after Ashburn made his way into that spot, setting his sights on Russell ahead. Bach chased Ashburn down, but it was DuVall who surpassed both riders to inherit the second-place position as the three-hour race neared its halfway mark. Strang joined DuVall in what turned out to be an exciting battle between the two Husqvarna-backed riders all afternoon.
Russell kicked it into high gear in the final moments of the seven-lap race as the Factory FMF/KTM rider finished over two and a half minutes ahead of Strang, who came in second. DuVall finished just twenty seconds behind Strang to round out the top three overall for the day. Russell keeps his winning streak alive with a three-for-three score and a 15-point lead over Strang in the championship standings. DuVall sits another 15 points back in third.