Race Winner Paul Whibley:
We were greeted with near perfect conditions at the Penton GNCC. A bonus at this event as in the past it’s been either a dust bowl or a mud fest. The Vortex Ignition and Works Connection hole shot device helped me pull a sweet start and I led the first lap and set a comfortable pace as I learned the track. After scoring, Kailub Russell passed me on the MX track and set off, trying to make a break for it. On the second lap we ran through the Penton section for the first time. This was a 3 or 4 mile section of tight second gear trail that was fresh for our race. Just before we emerged from this section and back onto what had been used by the morning race, Kailub ran wide on a rocky turn allowing me to retake the lead. I handed Kailub the lead back when I missed the turn for a line through a mud hole. This was how the race would unfold for us both as we swapped positions throughout the entire race. I held the lead going into the last lap and wanted to open a gap before we got back to the MX track as I felt Kailub was going a little faster than me on that section. Last time through the Penton section and a bunch of riders were stuck on a hill, blocking the track. I tried to get around them but got hung up in some rocks and roots. Kailub got stuck right beside me. The guys who were blocking the track gave us a hand to get our bikes up and past them. Kailub got his up first and was gone. I pushed hard and caught back up to him and retook the lead. I kept the heat on only to have Kailub catch and pass me again only a couple miles from the finish. I charged as hard as I could and was right on his tail as we came out onto the MX track. I closed in on the last couple of corners and managed to double past him and hold the inside line leading into the finishing chicane to take the win. Congrats to Kailub for his great effort. I think his maiden win is coming very soon.
Russell Earns Career Best Finish at John Penton GNCC
Millfield, OH – Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell earned his career best XC1 class finish at the John Penton GNCC when he crossed the finish line in 2nd position after a race long battle with Paul Whibley for the win.
This round marked the ninth round of the GNCC Series and is dubbed the “John Penton” after the man responsible for bringing KTM to the United States. Joining Penton in the crowd was a large group of KTM employees that had traveled from KTM’s east office for the race. All members of the KTM staff lined the fence as the race began and were thrilled to cheer on Russell as he battled for the overall win.
Russell got off to a great start rounding the first corner in 2nd place. He and early leader Paul Whibley remained close for the first lap with Russell eventually making a pass for the lead on the motocross track. The two riders would continue their battle throughout the 3-hour race switching the lead multiple times.
On the final lap, the riders were bar to bar as they entered the motocross track. Russell had a slight advantage as they made their way to the final few turns. He went wide in one section which left the door open for Whibley to put a wheel on him. Whibley was just able to edge out Russell and take the lead and the eventual win approximately 20 yards from the finish.
“It was devastating for me to lose in the final few feet of the race. I was running up front all day and I just couldn’t hang on those last few corners. As upset as I am in losing at the tail end of the race, I am happy to walk away from this race knowing I gave it my all and still pulling off my best finish this year,” remarked Russell after the race. “Now that I have run up front, I am excited for the final few rounds.”
Meanwhile, Russell’s XC1 teammates, Charlie Mullins and Cory Buttrick, were battling it out amongst each other. The two riders remained within a minute of the lead riders throughout the entire race. Mullins made a pass on Buttrick for 3rd place on lap two but lost the position a lap later after losing time in a mud section. The mistake cost Mullins two positions and he crossed the line in 5th place on lap three. He was able to catch back up to Buttrick on lap 4, where the two riders battled again for some time before Mullins made the pass stick. Mullins went on to finish the race in 4th place while Buttrick held on for 5th.
“We are very excited to see Russell near the top step of the podium and we are also happy for Mullins and Buttrick today. Mullins had a dead last start after stalling the bike and made his way quickly through the pack. He lost direction once through the mud but was able to recover some time lost there as well. Buttrick has been battling with some illnesses the past couple weeks and he is finally on his way to recovery. I think we will see him well within the top five at the remaining rounds as he continues to get over his illness,” remarked Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen.
The XC2 class also had its share of KTM riders up front at the John Penton GNCC. KTM support rider Jesse Robinson finished 2nd overall at the event while series leader Steward Baylor finished 4th.
In the Women’s class, GNCC fans saw Maria Forsberg dominate another round of the series to increase her hold on the championship points. The 2nd place finisher this weekend was a new face to the series, Forsberg’s RPM/KTM teammate and current WORCS #1 plate holder, Kacy Martinez. In her first attempt at a GNCC race this season, Martinez put in a solid performance and finished on the podium behind Forsberg.
Husky Riders Rock Ohio GNCC
Podium for Thomas, FAR Husqvarna hosts country music star Craig Morgan at John Penton GNCC
July 11, 2011 – Corona, CA – FAR Husqvarna’s Fred Andrews received a phone call on Saturday from his good friend, country singer Craig Morgan, who asked if he could ride a TXC449 at the John Penton GNCC. “If you can make it here from Colorado to Ohio before the start of the race, I will have the TXC449 ready for you,” Andrews replied.
|Two hours shy of the start of the race, Craig showed up ready to race! He was able to pull off a fifth-place finish in the senior division after flying all night and getting hardly any sleep – aside from taking a short nap in a cold creek crossing on the last lap.
FAR Husqvarna racers Jason Thomas and Morgan Moss fared well at the Ohio GNCC, both getting out to top-five starts in the XC2 class. Thomas was positioning himself to battle for the lead at the end of the first lap, but had a hard crash in the creek crossing on the second lap, and fell back two positions.
“I had a big crash and bent the bike up,” Thomas recalled. “From there I pushed hard but got stuck behind some lapped traffic in the single-track section and lost more time.”
Fortunately his skill and perseverance paid off, and Thomas was able to battle his way back up to third place by the end and put his Husqvarna on the podium. His hard-fought finish let him retain his strong second-place in XC2 points chase.
Moss had some challenges of his own, but like his teammate, he kept pushing and carried on to a strong finish. Moss ran as high as sixth place but lost a position after a crash. The FAR Husqvarna racer got back into his groove on the last lap and crossed the finish line in seventh.
The GNCC series now enters its summer break, and FAR Husqvarna riders will attending some local races and regional events during the down time, including the Craig Morgan Charity Ride event on August 6. For more information go to www.craigmorgan.com.
“We’re thrilled to have a guest like Craig Morgan come out and join us for some fun at the races,” Husqvarna National Marketing Manager Corey Eastman said. “And we’re even more thrilled to see Jason Thomas get his Husqvarna on another podium. Hopefully our guys will enjoy some time off and come back strong in a few months to finish out the season on a high note.”
Fahringer Earns 10th at John Penton GNCC
Husaberg Factory rider Nick Fahringer earned 10th overall at his fifth GNCC race of the series held in Millfield, OH.
The famous, John Penton GNCC, gave the riders all sorts of terrain and conditions to battle. “Rain a few nights prior to the race had left large mud holes in some areas of the course but made the remainder of the trail perfect,” commented Fahringer.
Fahringer, who has raced the FX450 for the past two seasons, showed up on the new Husaberg TE300 at the GNCC. “Husaberg just released its new two-stroke models and I wanted to take full advantage of it, so I went racing,” remarked Fahringer. “I loved it. I plan to race the two-stroke at the remaining GNCC and National Enduro rounds.”
The TE300 got Fahringer off to a great start. Fahringer rounded the first corner in 4th place and was sitting around 3rd position as they entered the woods. “I got a great start but then immediately made a few mistakes in the woods that cost me positions. I am still adjusting to the different set-up of the 300 versus my 450 I’ve been riding so I was just making little errors on my part and lost some time.”
At the end of the first lap, Fahringer was sitting in 11th place. On the third and fourth laps he was able to move up to 9th position. “I faded a little bit on the final lap because of the heat and humidity, and unfortunately, lost one position.” Fahringer went on to finish the race in 10th position. This race marked his third top ten GNCC finish this season.