2017 AMSOIL Ironman GNCC Results: Kailub Russell Makes GNCC History

Kailub Russell wins the 2017 AMSOIL Ironman GNCC and becomes the winningest GNCC racer of all-time, surpassing the legendary Scott Summers.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (October 30, 2017)–It was a bittersweet day as the 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, came to a close for the season in Crawfordsville, Indiana, with the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC.

Ironman GNCC
Kailub Russell scales a hill en route to winning the 2017 AMSOIL Ironman GNCC. Russell’s win allowed him to surpass off-road legend Scott Summers and become the winningest GNCC racer of all time. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

Ironman Raceway hosted over 2398 riders in the course of the two-day Ironman GNCC event, but at the conclusion of today’s 1 p.m. pro bike race it was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell who stood atop of the podium and earned his 47th career overall win, making him the all-time winningest bike GNCC rider.

N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell snagged the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award once the race started, but K Russell, who clinched his fifth consecutive and fifth career GNCC title at the Powerline Park GNCC just one round ago, quickly stole the lead and headed into the woods first. R Russell wasn’t ready to settle for second and took back the lead after K Russell made a small bobble. But all eyes were on Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall, who was back in action at the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC after missing three rounds due to an injury. Duvall worked his way into third. When the Russell duo reached Twin Hills they were wheel-to-wheel and had a small gap on Duvall.

Ironman GNCC
Ricky Russell (212) grabbed the holeshot and led the first lap of the XC1 Pro race. Russell went on to finish third. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

R Russell was the first to check into timing and scoring, with K Russell not even a second behind him. K Russell worked his way back to the front again during the mid-way point of the second lap, but R Russell remained in the hunt and kept K Russell honest. Duvall then secured the second position on the third lap, and the top three contenders became a little more distant until the last lap when Duvall ratcheted up the competition level even more. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the pass on K Russell, who ended up claiming the last win of the season. The victory marked K Russell’s 47th career GNCC win, breaking Scott Summers’ bike all-time GNCC win record.

“I’ve worked super hard up until this point, and I have a lot of people around me,” said five-time GNCC champion, Kailub Russell. “It’s just the attitude that I bring to the race track that allows me to be so successful and never give up. To take the most wins away from Scott [Summers] is pretty awesome. I grew up watching those guys race so it’s pretty surreal.”

Ironman GNCC
Back after missing three races due to injury. Thad Duvall charged to a second-place finish in the XC1 Pro class. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

Although he finished as the runner-up, Duvall’s comeback ride was proof that he will be back in full force next year as he makes his bid for the title.

“I’m a little disappointed in second, because I thought I had the win in me,” explained Duvall. “It took me a couple laps to get going, I was pretty timid with my wrist at first. I haven’t ridden that pace for a couple months now, but once I got going I just kind of stayed even.”

R Russell rounded out the top three overall. Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KR4/ Husqvarna’s Grant Baylor had one of his best rides of the season, where he narrowly missed the podium in fourth, and Josh Strang raced his Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing-backed machine into the top five.

Ironman GNCC
European off-road star Pascal Rauchenecker landed his first career GNCC win when he topped the XC2 Pro class at the Ironman GNCC. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

Indiana native and RPM/KTM rier Mike Witkowski found himself in a favorable position after the green flag waved on the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC XC2 250 Pro start to earn the $100 Hot Cams Holeshot Award. JCR Honda’s Austin Lee led the first two laps, until Austria’s Pascal Rauchenecker made the pass for the lead and continued leading until the checkered flag–marking his first career GNCC win. The 2017 class champion, Josh Toth, placed his N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha in the runner-up position, while Coastal Racing’s Craig Delong rounded out the class podium.

Jimmy Jarrett shot off the line to earn the $100 Wiseco Holeshot Award in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class, but at the conclusion of the three-hour race it was Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Jack Edmondson standing in the middle of the box. Chris Venditti and Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/ Husqvarna Team’s Hunter Neuwirth finished second and third.

Ironman GNCC
Jack Edmondson stormed to his sixth XC3 125 Pro Am victory at the Ironman GNCC. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

With a 23rd overall finish, Levi Keller was awarded top amateur honors and the Open A class win. After a hard crash, Coastal Racing’s Alex Teagarden recovered to finish second overall, and Cody Barnes held the third place position on the afternoon amateur overall podium.

Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets took the 10 a.m. overall win over the nearly 900 racers. John Maschino and Phil Smith filled the overall podium. The Motorcycle Shop/Kenda/Bell/V3 Off-Road’s Brooke Cosner and RPM/KTM’s Rachel Gutish place second and third in the WXC class.

Michael Beeler Jr. ended his youth racing career on a high note where he claimed the overall in the 8 a.m. race. MXTire.com/Cernics Racing/Sidi-backed Ryder Leblond and Max Fernandez rounded out the overall top three.

2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series
Crawfordsville, Indiana
Results: October 29, 2017 (Round 13 of 13)

XC1 Open Pro
1. Kailub Russell-KTM
2. Thad Duvall-Hus
3. Ricky Russell-Yam
4. Grant Baylor-Hus
5. Josh Strang-Hus
6. Trevor Bollinger-Hon
7. Steward Baylor Jr.-KTM
8. Jordan Ashburn-Bet
9. Russell Bobbitt-KTM
10. Jonathan Girroir-KTM

2017 AMSOIL GNCC Overall National Championship Standings (after 13 or 13 rounds)*
1. Kailub Russell-320**
2. Thad Duvall-227
3. Ricky Russell-220
4. Steward Baylor-207
5. Josh Toth-192
6. Grant Baylor-180
7. Trevor Bollinger-152
8. Craig Delong-141
9. Layne Michael-140
10. Josh Strang-130
*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2017 National Champion.
**2017 AMSOIL GNCC Overall National Champion

XC2 250 Pro
1. Pascal Rauchenecker-Hus
2. Josh Toth-Yam
3. Craig Delong-Hus
4. Layne Michael-Hus
5. Ben Kelley-KTM
6. Evan Smith-KTM
7. Austin Lee-Hon
8. Mike Witkowski-KTM
9. Ryder Lafferty-KTM
10. Trevor Barrett-Yam

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings (after 13 of 13 rounds)

1. Josh Toth-347*
2. Craig Delong-289
3. Layne Michael-280
4. Mike Witkowski-224
5. Ben Kelley-193
6. Austin Lee-182
7. Jesse Groemm-164
8. Zack Hayes-138
9. Sam Evans-122
10. Zach Nolan-112
*2017 XC2 250 Pro Class Champion

FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am

1. Jack Edmondson-Hus
2. Chris Venditti-Yam
3. Hunter Neuwirth-Hus
4. Matthew Sims-Yam
5. Tayla Jones-Hus
6. Luke Renzland-Yam
7. Mark Heresco Jr.-KTM
8. Kenny Day-Yam
9. Jaryn Williams-Yam
10. Josh Brehm-Yam

FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am Points Standings (after 13 of 13 rounds)

1. Jason Thomas-292*
2. Hunter Neuwirth-253
3. Jack Edmondson-238
4. Mark Heresco Jr.-233
5. Jaryn Williams-162
6. Josh Adkins-148
7. Devan Welch-132
8. Paul Whibley-117
9. Nate Smith-62
10. Dustin Gibson-61
*2017 XC3 125 Pro-Am Class Champion