However, Baylor held on and stuck right with the four-time champion. While the two KTM riders battled it out for the lead, another fight was taking place behind them. Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Thad Duvall and Coastal Racing's Ryan Sipes were also in the mix before the third lap was complete.
Just like his teammate, bad luck would strike Duvall when he stopped in the pits with a bent rotor. His new mechanic, Tanner Tremaine, and team members worked diligently to change out the back wheel and get him back on the race course as quickly as possible. With a little less pressure, Sipes shifted his focus on Baylor and Russell. Sipes began to reel in the top two competitors, until lapped riders troubled his journey.
"I started in sixth but I eventually caught up with Baylor and Russell and was right on their back wheels when the lappers got pretty bad," said Sipes. "They were both riding really good and when I lost them it was hard to make up time."
Russell worked his way around Baylor, but faced issued soon after when he came together with a lapped rider on the hill climb section. "We had a pretty decent day," said Russell. "Baylor was riding really well, and he had the pressure on me. Right when I got into the lead, I ended up coming together with a lapped rider on the hill climb and Baylor was able to pull a lead. He put about 30 seconds on me and I could just never close the gap. I was trying and trying, but tops to him for being so fast today."