GNCC juggernaut Kailub Russell will be gunning for another win at the FMF Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, North Carolina, this weekend.
With two wins in the first two rounds, two-time GNCC National Champion Kailub Russell has been unstoppable so far in the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, and he will attempt to make it four wins in a row at this weekend’s FMF Steele Creek GNCC at Steele Creek Campground in Morganton, North Carolina.
The Factory FMF/KTM-backed Russell, who was born in Kingston, Ohio, but now resides in Boonville, North Carolina, holds a three-race win streak that dates back to the final round of the 2014 AMSOIL GNCC Series, the Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana, last October 26. Russell claimed 9 wins out of 13 rounds last season, wrapping up his second consecutive and second career GNCC title two rounds early. His final win of 2014 came aboard a KTM 150cc two-stroke, further proving his dominance.
Another North Carolina transplant, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Josh Strang, has been strong in the first two rounds of the series, and he will attempt to capture his first win of 2015 at the Steele Creek round Sunday. Strang is the 2010 GNCC National Champion, and he currently sits only 10 points behind Russell, in second place in the series standings. Strang was also the last man to defeat Russell in GNCC competition, ending a drought that dated back to 2011 when Strang won the ITP Powerline Park GNCC in Ohio, the penultimate round of the 2014 GNCC series.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR Husqvarna’s Thad DuVall is third in the series point standings after posting a third-place finish at round two. DuVall holds a two-point advantage over JCR Honda’s Chris Bach, who has posted two top-five finishes in the first two rounds this season. N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn didn’t get the start he was looking for at round one, but the Tennessee native bounced back at the second round to capture fourth overall. Ashburn is now sixth in the series standings, behind XC2 competitor Nick Davis and just ahead of AmPro Yamaha teammate and XC1 Pro class rookie, Grant Baylor, who sits close behind Ashburn in seventh overall.
In addition to running fifth overall, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR’s Davis holds the early lead in the XC2 Pro Lites class standings, followed by DirtWise/Maxxis/KLIM’s Jason Thomas after two rounds. Each man has a round win, and they head into round three just four points apart in the class standings. XC2 Pro Lites rookie Craig Delong is third, with RideMPS.com/AMSOIL Honda’s Layne Michael fourth and Factory Beta’s Cory Buttrick fifth.
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 the top amateurs and pros begin at 1 p.m. Adult (12+) gate admission is $20 for the full weekend and $10 for kids (6-11). Kids five and under are free. All admission includes pro pit access. Local racers are invited to compete at this event, as GNCC Racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur racer entry fee is $40 and riders can sign up at the track.
2015 AMSOIL GNCC National Championship Standings (After 2 of 13 rounds)*
1. Kailub Russell-60/2 wins
2. Josh Strang-50
3. Thad DuVall-39
4. Chris Bach-37
5. Nick Davis-28
6. Jordan Ashburn-28
7. Grant Baylor-26
10. Craig DeLong-16
*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2015 National Champion.
2015 AMSOIL GNCC XC2 Class Point Standings (After 2 of 13 rounds)
1. Nick Davis-55
2. Jason Thomas-51
3. Craig Delong-34
4. Layne Michael-31
5. Cory Buttrick-29
6. Ricky Russell-25
7. Brad Bakken-23
9. Tegan Temple-19
10. Phillipe Chaine-17