(Left to right) Charlie Mullins, Kailub Russell and Paul Whibley. Photography By: Ken Hill
Kailub Russell scored a big win at the ITP Powerline Park GNCC in St. Clairsville, Ohio, October 7. The Factory FMF/KTM rider managed to cut into Paul Whibley's lead in the points standings and with just two rounds left and is now trailing AmPro Yamaha rider, who finished third in Ohio, by just four points.
Things looked good for Whibley at first. He got off to a fast start and was leading the race when he fell and dropped a couple of positions, handing the lead to his closest rival, Russell.
Russell, who captured his very first win at the Powerline Park GNCC last year, went on to collect his fifth win of the 2012 season. He took the checkered flag just one second ahead of his teammate Charlie Mullins.
Whibley finished about three minutes back in third.
Honda-mounted Thad DuVall finished fourth, followed by KTM riders Rory Mead and Takeshi Koikeda, who came close of finishing in the top five for the first time of his career.
Kawasaki rider Garrett Edmisten finished seventh, followed by Jordan Ashburn (Yamaha), Jimmy Jarrett (Honda) and Nate Kanney (Honda), who rounded out the top 10 in the XC1 Pro class.
In the XC2 Pro Lites class, Jason Thomas (KTM) took the win and is now the new points leader, slipping past Steward Baylor Jr.
Baylor was in contention for the win until getting bogged down in a mud hole and losing a couple of positions.
XC2 Pro Lites winner Jason Thomas. Photography By: Ken Hill
Aaron Plessinger, the son of former GNCC champ Scott Plessinger, made his XC2 Pro Lites debut a memorable one by leading off the start and finishing out the race in second.
F.A.R. Husqvarna's Andrew Delong finished third in class, followed by Scott Grills (Honda), Jedediah Haines (Yamaha) and Chris Douglas (KTM).
Thomas now leads Baylor by four points, with Delong just 12 points back in third.
The top amateur rider was Grant Baylor in 17th overall.
Factory FMF/KTM's Maria Forsberg, who already clinched the 2012 Women's GNCC Championship, captured the overall win in the morning racing.