GNCC

Kailub Russell Leads The Way Into 19th Running of the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck

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Factory FMF/KTM's Kailub Russell remains undefeated in the XC1 Pro bike class as the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, heads to Union, South Carolina this Sunday for round four of the 13-race championship.

Taking place at the iconic Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina, the 19th running of the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC is expected to draw in thousands of spectators to witness some of the most exciting obstacles that GNCC Racing has to offer.

With two-time GNCC National Champion Kailub Russell at the helm; the premier XC1 Pro class boasts a deep pool of talent this season, including 2010 GNCC National Champion Josh Strang. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider currently sits in second place in the championship standings following a string of second-place finishes.

In addition to Russell's three consecutive wins, Strang has been the most consistent finisher thus far, where he looks to improve the only way he can - by landing in the center of the podium. Both Russell and Strang are two-time winners of the Big Buck GNCC, so each rider has the opportunity to become the first to grab a third victory in South Carolina.

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR Husqvarna's Thad DuVall has had a stellar start to the new season, finishing 4-3-3 through the first three rounds. DuVall has two career overall victories under his belt and through an all-new program this season, the West Virginia native looks to expand that tally.

Reigning XC2 Pro Lites Champion Grant Baylor made the jump to the premier class this season, where he sits tied for fourth place in the early championship standings. With his all-new N-Fab AmPro Yamaha backing, Baylor has made steady improvement on his overall finishes where he just narrowly missed the podium at the last round.

Baylor actually sits tied with his N-Fab AmPro Yamaha teammate Jordan Ashburn, who had a rocky start to the season with an eleventh place finish at round one. Since then, Ashburn has returned to his old ways with two top-five performances at the last two rounds. Both Yamaha-backed riders are expected to be a mainstay in the lead pack this season.

JCR Honda's Chris Bach sits seventh in the championship standings following a big crash at the last round, where he ultimately didn't earn any championship points. The Indiana native scored a podium finish at the season opener and fifth place at round two, where he looks to bounce back this weekend.

Australia's Daniel Milner will aim at making headway in the championship after a rough start to the season that saw him record a DNF at the opening two events before posting a solid 7th place finish at round three.

The XC2 Pro Lites Championship continues to heat up with intense racing and close points battles through the top five. DirtWise/Maxxis/KLIM's Jason Thomas leads the way in the championship standings with two consecutive wins behind him, with an onslaught of young riders charging close behind.

RideMPS.com/AMSOIL Honda's Layne Michael holds the second place position in the standings, just one point ahead of Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR's Nick Davis in third. Davis captured the season-opening win and a second place finish at round two, but an unfortunate mechanical issue at the last round dropped him substantially back in the point standings.

XC2 Pro Lites rookie Craig Delong sits in fourth place with a consistent string of finishes, while Moto-Tech/KTM's Trevor Bollinger holds the fifth place position.

Tune into RacerTV.com early Monday morning in Australia to catch LIVE coverage of the Pro Bike race. For more information on GNCC Live coverage, visit www.racertv.com.

Top Image: Kailub Russell looks to take his fourth win of the season this Sunday in South Carolina

Credit: Ken Hill

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