GNCC

Duvall Wins the Day While Russell Wins the Title at Annual Powerline Park GNCC

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Thad Duvall battled throughout the day at Powerline Park ultimately earning his fourth win of the season. Photo: Ken Hill
Round twelve of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, took place on Sunday, October 14 in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Powerline Park hosted it's 18th Annual GNCC race, which saw Kailub Russell secure his sixth-consecutive GNCC XC1 National Championship.

As the green flag flew it was K. Russell getting the jump off the line and earning the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, however, a mistake at the FMF PowerPoint cost him the lead as he would come around mid-pack on the first lap. After K. Russell's mistake, Steward Baylor Jr took over the lead, followed by Layne Michael in second as they came through timing and scoring after completing lap one.

As the XC1 Open Pro class made their way on the second lap, the Powerline mudhole jump would prove to be one of the toughest obstacles of the day. An update from the woods revealed that Thad Duvall had made his way from third to first during the second lap, with K. Russell making his way from fifth to second. When the top riders came through the finish on lap two, Duvall was leading with Baylor Jr. and K. Russell seconds behind him. The top three were ready to push each other for the penultimate round win.
Powerline Park Overall Top Three: Thad Duvall (center), Kailub Russell (left) and Ben Kelley (right). Photo: Ken Hill
Australian Josh Strang was having problems of his own during the second lap, ultimately stopping in his pits for a new rear brake system. Grant Baylor did not get the start he wanted, but he was busy pushing during the first two laps working his way back up to the front of the pack hoping to battle for a podium position.

Duvall continued to lead the way at the halfway point, followed by K. Russell both of them stopping for a splash of gas, fresh goggles and hydration. Baylor Jr. would opt out of a pit stop, and made the pass for second in pro row. Baylor Jr. looking to put the pressure on Duvall at the front would not get the chance as the Powerline mudhole became an enemy of his. Baylor Jr. made the jump, but would tip over into the muddy mess, with help from the GNCC "mud fleas" he would get manage to get going again without losing too much time.

As the white flag came out it was K. Russell had made the move into first, but Duvall was only 1.46 seconds behind him. G. Baylor managed to move past his brother and teammate on the fourth lap, with Baylor Jr. coming through in fourth as they headed out on their last lap. Beta USA's Jordan Ashburn made his way to fifth as the white flag came out as he tried to hold on for another top five finish on the season, nevertheless he had a battle cut out for him during that upcoming final lap.

When the checkered flag came out waving after six laps, Duvall came through in the first place position to earn his second-straight win, and fourth overall of the season. K. Russell would cross the line in second, which was enough points to wrap up his sixth-consecutive GNCC XC1 National Championship one round early.

Baylor held on to the last podium spot with a third, followed by Baylor Jr. and Strang rounding out the top five in XC1 Open Pro. JCR/Honda's Trevor Bollinger battled throughout the duration of the race and manage to hold onto a sixth place finish in XC1 and an eighth overall. Ashburn would follow Bollinger with a seventh place finish, while AmPro Yamaha's Ricky Russell struggled during the day securing an eighth place finish after dropping back to eleventh on the second lap.

Michael also faced misfortune after running at the front of the pack early on in the race, ultimately finishing in the ninth place position followed by Factory GasGas/FAR's Andrew Delong rounding out the top 10 in the XC1 Open Pro class.

The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series concludes in two weeks with the popular AMSOIL Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana on October 27 and 28.

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:
1. Thad Duvall (HQV)
2. Kailub Russell (KTM)
3. Grant Baylor (KTM)
4. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
5. Josh Strang (HQV)
6. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
7. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
8. Ricky Russell (YAM)
9. Layne Michael (HQV)
10. Andrew Delong (GAS)

Overall National Championship Standings:
1. Kailub Russell (297)
2. Thad Duvall (262)
3. Trevor Bollinger (190)
4. Steward Baylor Jr. (189)
5. Ben Kelley (176)
6. Josh Strang (168)
7. Josh Toth (152)
8. Ricky Russell (127)
9. Grant Baylor (101)
10. Craig Delong (93)
XC2 winner Ben Kelley (#530) on his way to earning the $100 Hot Cams Holeshot Award. Photo: Ken Hill

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