National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, concluded at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana on Sunday, October 25. Coming through to take his second overall win of the season was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Josh Strang.
Strang steadily made his way through the pack after starting in the third place position. After moving into second Strang would set his sights on the lead position, and he would battle throughout the fourth lap to take over the number one spot. Strang would continue to lead the last four laps of racing, but not without pressure from AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor Jr.
Strang and Baylor Jr. continued to battle on the last lap, but after an incident on Ironman hill Baylor Jr. would find himself falling behind Strang as they came through the motocross track to take the checkered flag. Baylor Jr. held the lead for the first three laps of racing before Strang made the stick, but even after a crash on the hill he would remain 1.5 seconds ahead of third overall.
FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley worked his way up after running seventh on the opening laps of racing. Kelley make the necessary passes to move up through the pack, and he would close the gap between him and Baylor Jr. as the white flag flew. Kelley moves into seventh overall in the points standings after missing the first half of the season.
Coming through to take fourth overall on the day was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell. Russell found himself towards the front of the XC1 Open Pro riders at the beginning of the race but would make a mistake halfway through losing some valuable time with the leaders. Russell would continue to push on, ultimately coming through 7 seconds behind his teammate Kelley.
Another rider that found himself towards the front early on in the race was AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael. On lap four, Michael came through timing and scoring holding onto third overall but as the race worse on he would find himself falling back two positions to take fifth overall on the day.
FactoryONE Sherco’s Grant Baylor was making moves throughout the duration of the race after coming through timing and scoring in eighth on the opening lap. Baylor would continue to push, as he made his way up to sixth overall after a hard-fought battle at this year’s Ironman event. Baylor continues to hold onto sixth in the XC1 Open Pro class standings.
Earning seventh on the day was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jordan Ashburn. After coming through fifth on lap one, Ashburn would have his work cut out for him as a hungry pack of riders were right behind him. Ashburn found himself as far back as eighth at one point in the race and would then move into seventh on the day continuing to stay in that position until the checkered flag flew.
Phoenix Honda Racing’s Andrew Delong made a last lap pass to move into eighth after running ninth for majority of the race. While Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall suffered a crash on the fifth lap and found himself back to eighth after running up in fifth for the first half of the race. KLM Kawasaki’s Evan Earl rounded out the top 10 in the XC1 class after steadily holding onto that position throughout the race.
Ironman Results and Points Standings
Round 12 of 13
XC1 Pro Event Results:
- Josh Strang (KAW)
- Steward Baylor Jr. (YAM)
- Benjamin Kelley (KTM)
- Kailub Russell (KTM)
- Layne Michael (YAM)
- Grant Baylor (SHR)
- Jordan Ashburn (KAW)
- Andrew Delong (HON)
- Thad Duvall (HQV)
- Evan Earl (KAW)
Overall National Championship Standings:
- Kailub Russell (295)
- Josh Strang (246)
- Jordan Ashburn (185)
- Craig Delong (171)
- Michael Witkowski (161)
- Steward Baylor Jr. (158)
- Benjamin Kelley (153)
- Grant Baylor (152)
- Jonathan Girroir (146)
- Cody Barnes (122)