Shock Doctor's Nathan Kanney takes his third-consecutive win of the Klotz Ironman.
It wasn’t nearly as glorious as the tooth-and-nail battle for the race win, but Paul Whibley claimed the GNCC XC1 title with a solid fourth-place result at the Klotz Ironman. In front of him was the real action as Shock Doctor KTM’s Nathan Kanney held off the FMF Makita Suzuki duo of Charlie Mullins and Josh Strang over the course of the three-hour season finale.
Kanney has now won the Ironman three consecutive years and feels right at home on the Crawfordsvill, Indiana soil. "I feel really comfortable in this dirt," said Kanney. "Today was kind of dumb luck. I think Mullins and Strang were going faster than me and honestly, I didn't even know I was in the lead."
Dumb luck or not, Kanney, bested the Factory RM-Z450
s and avoided the bike-swallowing mud holes to take a crazy photo finish victory. Mullins jumped out early with the MotorcycleUSA
.com holeshot but fell victim to one of those nasty bogs. After that it was Strang’s turn to set the pace but he too ran into trouble and went down. From there on it was all Mullins and Kanney who battled to the very end, Kanney’s KTM
reaching the checkers only inches in front of the Suzuki.
2009 GNCC Bike Champion Paul Whibley knew where he needed to finish in order to secure the title, so he didn't push his luck.
"I made some mistakes and I cost myself the race," Mullins said. "I just came up short but I'll take it. I think I learned a lot this year and I'm glad to end the season with another podium."
"I tried to keep my cool and get to the finish," said Nate about overcoming an early mishap to take the lead. "I'm still surprised. It's been a tough year but it's a relief to get a win for the team and give back to those guys."
As for the champ, the New Zealander was thrilled to claim the elite off-road title in America. It was simple mathematics for Whibley who only needed to finish 14th or better. After tangling with Am-Pro Yamaha’s Thad Duvall in the early going, Whibley smartened up and cruised to the win for his Geico JGR Kawasaki
"It's been an amazing year working with my team and (Team Managers) Gretchen and J.T.," Whibley said. "I couldn't have asked for a better team manager. This is my job, this is what I live for and this is the ultimate payback for all that hard work and training in the rain and the mud. The GNCC is the pinnacle of cross country racing in the world. I came here from Europe and this is my style of racing.”
Momentum is Josh Strang's friend to get to the other side of the mud holes.
1. Nathan Kanney (KTM)
2. Charles Mullins (SUZ)
3. Josh Strang (SUZ)
4. Paul Whibley (KAW)
5. Jim Jarrett (KAW)
6. Jess Robinson (HUS)
7. Barry Hawk (YAM)
8. Kurt Caselli (KTM)
9. Corey Arbogast (APR)
10. Glenn Kearney (HUSQ)
XC1 Overall Point Standings:
1. Paul Whibley - 313
2. Josh Strang - 293
3. Charlie Mullins, 286
4. Jim Jarrett, 220
5. Nathan Kanney, 215
KTM made it a sweep on the day with Cory Buttrick claiming the XC2 victory with teammate Kailub Russell in tow. It was Buttrick’s second win of the season, but Russell (eight wins) took the holeshot and series title in convincing fashion.
"I knew we were pretty far up in the overall," Buttrick said. "Overall, it was a perfect day. In the beginning of the day, I felt like anything could happen. Everyone was going for broke today and the track was definitely unpredictable."
Jason Thomas was the final podium visitor on his Monster Energy FAR Yamaha
. He also finished third in the championship.
1.Cory Buttrick (KTM)
2.Kailub Russell (KTM)
3. Jason Thomas (YAM)
4. Scott Watkins (KAW)
5. Dustin Gibson (KAW)
6. David Snyder (YAM)
7. Brian Lawson (YAM)
8. Nathan Alering (YAM)
9. Morgan Moss (YAM)
10. Eric Bailey (KTM)
XC2 Overall Point Standings:
1. Kailub Russell - 332
2. Cory Buttrick - 298
3. Jason Thomas - 279
4. Scott Watkins - 253
5. Jake Korn - 177