Josh Strang takes his second win of the 2009 GNCC season at the Pirelli Big Buck race in South Carolina.
FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang clinched his second win today at the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC, round four of the 2009 Grand National Cross Country series, in Union South Carolina, after a grueling 3-hour race.
Strang finished the race just seconds ahead of GEICO/JG Racing Monster Kawasaki’s Paul Whibley in second and teammate Charlie Mullins. Strang is the first repeat winner of the series that saw a different rider for each of the first three rounds.
“The last two laps were quick,” Strang said. “We all three wanted to get in the lead and pull away. It’s definitely good to get that second one.”
Mullins fired first, nabbing his third $250 MotorcycleUSA.com holeshot award and was quickly followed by Strang, Whibley and Shock Doctor KTM rider Nate Kanney as they headed into the woods. Mullins held onto the lead for the first few laps and along with Strang, Whibley and Kanney, held the lead spots as the riders traded in and out. As they charged through the dusty track Kanney and Mullins began to fade away. At the pits, Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney decided not to pit and took the lead until he ran out of gas in the final laps. From then on, it was Strang and Whibley racing wheel-to-wheel until the finish, until Strang was able to pull a few seconds ahead. Mullins was the third XC1 Pro to cross the finish.
“I felt really good going into that last lap,” Mullins said. “The guys were stepping it up though. I’ll take third. My holeshots are getting good too. That bike fires right up every time.”
“I really wanted to win today,” Whibley said. “It was a really cool race today. I’m alot happier today. The bike is awesome.”
Kanney nabbed 4th place followed by Yamaha’s Thad Duvall in 5th and Barry Hawk in 6th. KTM’s Kurt Caselli in 7th and Kawasaki’s Jesse Robinson in 8th. Rounding out the top 10 was Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney and Kawasaki’s Jimmy Jarrett.
Pro Lites and XC2 rider Shock Doctor KTM’s Kailub Russell, raced to an incredible third overall finish, just 45 seconds behind Mullins, making him the third overall winner and the XC2 Pro-Lites winner. Russell began pulling away from Buttrick after Buttrick crashed in the first turn and never looked back. Slowly catching up to the leaders Russell crossed the finish line just a minute and a half behind Whibley and Strang.
“It was a really long three hours,” Russell said. “I don’t know how I pushed that hard. On the last lap they said I was closing in so I went for it. Hopefully it will be a good season and I’ll make it up on the podium again.”
Buttrick had a hard time coming within sight of Russell and instead traded in and out with Kawasaki privateer Andrew Matusek for second and third until the last laps of the race, when Monster Energy/Andrew’s Yamaha’ Jason Thomas overtook Matusek to come in to third. Andrew’s Yamaha’s Josh Weisenfels took home the $100 Cometic XC2 Holeshot Award.
Matusek took home fourth, KTM’s Jake Korn took 5th and Kawasaki’s Robert Santheson came in 6th. In 7th place was Honda’s Ryan Echols followed by Kawasaki’s Scott Watkins in 8th. Yamaha’s Brian Lawson and Kawasaki’s Johnathan Woodford rounded out the top 10 in 9th and 10th places respectively.
In the two hour bike morning race, Super Senior C (45+) rider Girogio Torregrosa collected the $100 Coppersmith Suspension Amateur Holeshot Award. Taking 5th overall was Terry Cunningham who collected Top Amateur honors.
The 2009 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues with the Acerbis Loretta Lynn’s GNCC in Hurrican Mills, Tennessee, on April 18th and 19th. For more information, visit www.gnccracing.com
Pirelli Big Buck GNCC
Union, South Carolina
April 5, 2009
1. Joshua Strang (Suz)
2. Paul Whibley (Kaw)
3. Charles Mullins (Suz)
4. Nathan Kanney (KTM)
5. Thaddeus DuVall (Yam)
6. Barry Hawk (Yam)
7. Kurt Caselli (KTM)
8. Jesse Robinson (Kaw)
9. Glenn Kearney (HSQ)
10. Jimmy Jarrett (Kaw)
XC2 Pro Lites
1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
3. Jason Thomas (Yam)
4. Andrew Matusek (Kaw)
5. Jake Korn (KTM)
6. Robert Santheson (Kaw)
7. Ryan Echols (Hon)
8. Scott Watkins (Kaw)
9. Brian Lawson (Yam)
10 . Jonathan Woodford (Kaw)