|Round 9 – GNCC Series – July 7, 2019|
DUNKARD, Pa. – It was hot and humid conditions for Round 9 of the 2019 AMA Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series as FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell fought his way to a second-place finish at the High Voltage GNCC in Dunkard, Pennsylvania. Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Ben Kelley continued his undefeated season in the XC2 250 Pro class with his eighth-consecutive victory as the series now heads into a two-month summer break.
With a now 43-point lead in the XC1 Open Pro class, Russell chalked up Sunday’s race as “good management of a bad race.” The six-time GNCC Champion got off to a great start as he powered his KTM 350 XC-F to the holeshot and early lead before making a mistake and dropping to second on lap two. From there, Russell worked hard to maintain his second-place position as he battled the tricky course conditions all afternoon. In the end, he did what he needed to do in order to secure second-overall as he accumulated valuable championship points as the series heads into its final four-race stretch in the fall.
Russell: “It was hot out there and it’s a tricky track. We got all the rain yesterday and the dirt was really soft, so I was fighting my bike all day. I made little mistakes here and there and I couldn’t get into the groove, but you’ll have that. I’m just happy to stay on the podium and get a second-place finish. I’m managing my bad races really well this year. Thad was riding really well and I knew I just needed manage it and finish second today.”
Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Grant Baylor had a solid performance, claiming a top-five finish in the overall running. Baylor got shuffled back early on but he climbed his way through the pack to ultimately finish just behind the podium battle.
XC2 250 Pro
Ben Kelley came away with yet another victory in the XC2 class but it didn’t come without a fight as he battled hard in the early laps to maintain his lead in the class. Kelley eventually settled into an untouchable pace as he claimed victory by over three minutes to extend his lead to 104 points in the XC2 250 Pro Championship. Kelley also scored sixth overall for the day.
FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am
Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Jesse Ansley earned his fourth win of the season with a dominant performance in the XC3 class. Ansley got off to a great start and led all seven laps from start to finish, claiming a whopping 13-minute victory in the class.
Next Race: Harpursville, New York – September 15, 2019
XC1 Open Pro Results – High Voltage GNCC
1. Thad DuVall, HQV
2. Kailub Russell, KTM
3. Josh Strang, KAW
5. Grant Baylor, KTM
6. Steward Baylor Jr., KTM
XC2 250 Pro Results
1. Ben Kelley, KTM
2. Craig DeLong, HQV
3. Liam Draper, KTM
Overall Championship Standings
1. Kailub Russell, 250 points (5 wins)
2. Thad DuVall, 207 points (3 wins)
3. Steward Baylor Jr., 180 points (1 win)
XC2 250 Pro Standings
1. Ben Kelley, 270 points (9 wins)
2. Michael Witkowski, 166 points
3. Evan Smith, 141 points