FMF Makita Suzuki’s Strang dominated the course leading the race from start to finish over his teammate Charlie Mullins, and title contender Whibley. Had Whibley secured the win, the title fight would be over and the GEICO JG Racing Monster Kawasaki rider would be crowned champion. With one race left in the series, that would leave Strang and Mullins fighting over second. The title fight now moves to the series finale at the Klotz Ironman GNCC in Indiana in three weeks.
Strang is positive that he and his mechanic now have the mindset and bike set-up to suits Strang’s style. The Australian said, “I’ve had a lot of talks with (Team Manager) Mike Webb to try to figure out what it is that makes me click. Last week I was making all kinds of mistakes and wasting energy, today I didn’t make a mistake and I don’t even feel that tired. I wasn’t really thinking about the title, I was just trying to ride like I know how.”
Josh Strang (middle) managed to hold off Paul Whibley (right) and Charlie Mullins (left) to take the win.
Am-Pro FMF Yamaha’s Thad DuVall took the XC1 $250 MotorcycleUSA.com holeshot award aboard his bored-out WR290F, but Strang quickly took over the lead. When DuVall and his teammate Barry Hawk, found themselves stuck in a mudhole this allowed Whibley to move up to second with Mullins chasing him down. Mullins credited the mental and physical aide of a strong fan base this weekend.
Shock Doctor KTM had a couple of guest riders this weekend. They were Mike Brown, who finished in fourth, and Taddy Blasuziak. Blasuziak is the current EnduroCross series points leader and he marked his GNCC debut by running in the top-five most of the day and finishing sixth. After the race, Blasuziak said, “We really only decided to do this on Friday, and my bike was just an endurocross practice bike. It didn’t work so well in the fast stuff, but that was okay, I had a good time.”
Whibley’s teammate, Jimmy Jarrett, finished in fifth despite still recovering from a broken wrist he acquired at an OMA National event in July. Jesse Robinson, Husaberg, who knows about pain too, finished seventh with a broken throttle hand. Starting in second and winding up eighth was privateer Ben Bouwens with Jason Davis and Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney rounding out the top-10.
Snagging his second win of the season, Monster Energy/FAR Yamaha’s Jason “UK” Thomas defeated Shock Doctor KTM’s Cory Buttrick and GEICO JG Racing Monster Kawasaki’s Scotty Watkins. Winning the top amateur award with his fifth-straight Open A victory, was Chris Bach.
XC2 Lites Champion Kailub Russell won the $100 Rekluse Holeshot Award but did not finish the race when he got stuck in a large mud hole.
Jason Thomas wins his second victory of the season putting Cory Buttrick and Scott Watkins in second and third.
The title battles will continue in three weeks at Crawfordsville, Indiana at the Klotz Ironman GNCC on October 24-25. Television coverage of the GNCC bike series continues with the Unadilla round on Versus Network, October 10th at 4 p.m.
XC1 Class Results:
1. Joshua Strang (Suzuki)
2. Charles Mullins (Suzuki)
3. Paul Whibley (Kawasaki)
4. Mike Brown (KTM)
5. Jimmy Jarrett (Kawsaki)
6. Taddy Blasuziak (KTM)
7. Jesse Robinson (Husaberg)
8. Ben Bouwens (Yamaha)
9. Jason Davis (KTM)
10. Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna)
XC2 Class Results:
1.Jason Thomas (Yamaha)
2. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
3. Scott Watkins (Kawasaki)
4. Josh Weisenfels (Kawasaki)
5. David Snyder (Yamaha)
Courtesy of KTM
Shock Doctor/KTM XC2 Pro Lites rider Cory Buttrick earned 2nd overall in a great come from behind charge through the pack at the twelfth round of the GNCC Series at Power Line Park.
After a spending time in the mud, Cory Buttrick climbed his way back up from last to a second place finish.
Buttrick got a great start rounding the first turn in 3rd position behind his teammate and newly crowned class champion Kailub Russell. While leading, Russell, fell deep into a mud hole on the first lap and got stuck. Jason Thomas and Buttrick quickly passed by. Russell struggled to remove his bike and was a couple minutes down before he was back in racing action. Russell began to reel in the pack, suffered another crash, and eventually pulled off and didn’t finish the race. Meanwhile, Buttrick was running in 2nd place in a battle with Thomas for the lead. Unfortunately, Buttrick slid out in the mud as well and had to start from dead last. Buttrick put in a remarkable ride to climb all the way to 2nd place just 18 seconds behind the leader when the checkered flag flew.
In the XC1 class Shock Doctor/KTM riders Nate Kanney and Kurt Caselli had decent starts around the top five. Shock Doctor/KTM WORCS rider Mike Brown and Red Bull/KTM rider Taddy Blazusiak also raced the XC1 class on Sunday after traveling to the event after their EnduroCross event on Saturday. Brown and Blazusiak both started within the top ten. After the first lap the KTM riders had formed a pack around the top five positions. Brown was running in 4th position when Kanney passed him right before the gas stop. Unfortunately, Kanney hit a tree a few hundred yards after the gas stop, injuring his hand and causing him to forfeit the race. Brown moved back into 4th position and held the position through the end of the race. Caselli was having a nice top ten ride when he suffered a crash also injuring his hand on the fifth lap. Caselli had to pull out of the race. The final KTM rider, Blazusiak, had fast lap times but was hindered by having a small gas tank on his bike. Blazusiak needed to fuel twice as many times as the other riders and lost two positions at the end of the race when he stopped for his final fuel. He eventually finished and impressive 6th overall.