The Inaugural CST Tires Camp Coker Bullet GNCC was a success despite the terrible weather conditions.
By Hayden Gregory
The heavens opened up in South Carolina and a deteriorating track forced a re-reoute alongside a shortened two hour race time.
Australia’s Josh Strang got the best start of the bunch claiming the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award. The pack remained well grouped for the first of six laps before Strang found trouble in a mud hole. The mishap allowed a surging Kailub Russel to find the lead a spot he would not give up for the rest of the race.
“I had a good jump off the line but locked bars with Strang and that pushed me wide in the start,” said Russell. “I knew I had to get around the guys in front of me because I could tell I was running out of roll-offs.
“The guys were zig zagging through the track and I just pinned it and went straight through everything. It was surreal how fast I got around them and pulled a lead. I was expecting the worst going out there but the track wasn’t that bad.”
The three time champion checked out on the field scoring victory 40 seconds ahead of second placed Thad Duvall. The battle for second went right down to the wire with Jordan Ashburn pushing Duvall every step of the way.
“I got a bad start and struggled the first couple of laps trying to get around everyone,” said Ashburn. “Once I got up to second Thad was right behind me and he continued pushing me the whole race. My main goal was to not make any mistakes and it feels great to finally get back on the podium.”
Aussie rider Josh Strang would recover for a sixth place finish one spot ahead of fellow countryman Daniel Milner. Strang now sits six points shy of championship leader Kailub Russel in second while Milner holds onto fourth.
In the women’s class Mackenzie Tricker scored the overall with a last minute pass on Brooke Cosner while Tayla Jones scored a third place finish in a fantastic day for the Aussies.
The 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes 14-15 May with the Limestone 100 GNCC in Springville, Indiana.
XC1 Pro Event Results:
Kailub Russell (KTM)
Jordan Ashburn (KTM)
Thad Duvall (HSQ)
Chris Bach (HON)
Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
Josh Strang (HSQ)
Daniel Milner (YAM)
Ricky Russell (SUZ)
Chris Douglas (SUZ)
Cory Buttrick (KTM)
*Overall National Championship Standings:
Kailub Russell (123)
Josh Strang (117)
Chris Bach (89)
Daniel Milner (69)
Jordan Ashburn (66)
Ryan Sipes (66)
Steward Baylor Jr. (62)
Trevor Bollinger (62)
Craig Delong (51)
Grant Baylor (50)