GEICO/JG Racing Monster Kawasaki's Paul Whibley reclaimed his loss at the Mountain Ridge with a nearly wire-to-wire win at the John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio, round eight of the 2009 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series.
"It was pretty cool to win," Whibley said. "It's been a tough year. I've had a few problems this year with some bad luck so this was a good race. I feel pretty good about taking the win. It's good to be back on the top again."
In some of the best racing conditions the Millfield track has seen in years, Whibley and his teammate Jimmy Jarrett stole the show, as the two went 1-2 minutes ahead of previous points leader FMF/Makita Suzuki's Josh Strang.
"I got a decent start and worked my way up to third couple miles into it," Jarrett said. "Glenn was actually in front of us and he crashed and then Paul and I slowly pulled away from everybody. Maybe a few miles to the end I crashed with a lapper and crashed again and I settled for second. I didn't do anything to throw the race away and I'm happy with second."
Whibley took the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com holeshot award and only got faster as the race went on, and churned out his fastest time on the final lap. Jarrett kept within five seconds of Whibley, as the two competed in their very own race. Strang started the race in third place but fell to sixth place in the second lap. From there, Strang, his teammate Charlie Mullins and Am-Pro FMF Yamaha's Barry Hawk battled between each other to take third place.
"The track conditions were good," Strang said. "I was looking forward to it. I had a bad start and by the end of the first lap I was 16 seconds down or something. By the second lap dropped 40 seconds. I thought I was riding pretty good. I tried to push hard. I'm not very happy, but I'll take the points. I'm looking forward to getting the points back at the next race."
Shock Doctor KTM's Nathan Kanney started the race in fourth place until a few bad wrecks put him out of the race by the fourth lap.
Whibley was able to increase his lead over Jarrett to finish about 45 seconds ahead. Strang came in third a few minutes behind the leaders, with Mullins and Hawk close behind in fourth and fifth places, respectively. Shock Doctor KTM's Kurt Casselli finished 11 minutes behind in sixth. Kenneth Gilbert, Nathan Skaggs and Ryan Gainey and Kanney rounded out the top 10.
In XC2, Shock Doctor KTM teammates Kailub Russell and Corey Buttrick fired off the line so fast, they had to split the $100 Rekluse Holeshot Award.
Buttrick and Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha's Jason Thomas passed Russell to take the first and second place positions. Russell was back in fourth, but by the second lap, he began moving forward to second. Buttrick settled just ahead into first place the first three laps while Thomas moved back to third. Russell's momentum began paying off in the fourth lap when he took control of first place while Buttrick moved back into second. Thomas held onto third place with GEICO/JG Racing Monster Kawasaki's Scotty Watkins right behind. Jake Korn came in fifth, followed by Ryan Echols in sixth. David Snyder and Eric Bailey came in eighth and ninth, respectively with Robert Santheson and Brian Lawson rounding out the top 10.
Mike Hampton of the Super Senior B 45+ class took home the Coppersmith Amateur Holeshot Award.
The 2009 Can- Am Grand National Cross Country series heads to Snowshoe, WV for its last race before the summer break for the MotorcycleUSA.com Snowshoe GNCC on June 27-28.
1.Paul Whibley (KAW)
2. Jim Jarrett (KAW)
3. Josh Strang (SUZ)
4. Charlie Mullins (SUZ)
5.Barry Hawk (YAM)
6. Kurt Casselli (KTM)
7.Kenneth Gilbert (KAW)
8. Nathan Skaggs
9. Ryan Gainey
10.Nathan Kanney (KTM)
XC1 POINTS STANDINGS: 1.Paul Whibley (189/3 wins), 2. Josh Strang (186/4 wins), 3. Charles Mullins (179/1 win) 4. Jim Jarrett (144) 5. Barry Hawk (119), 6. Nathan Kanney (118) 7. Kurt Casselli (110) 8.Glenn Kearney (83) 9. Jesse Robinson (78), 10. Rainey Gainey (75)
1.Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
3. Jason Thomas (YAM)
4. Scott Watkins (KAW)
5. Jake Korn
6. Ryan Echols
7. David Snyder
8. Eric Bailey
9. Robert Santheson
10. Brian Lawson
XC2 POINTS STANDINGS: 1. Kailub Russell (196/5 wins) 2. Cory Buttrick (179/1 wins) 3. Jason Thomas (161) 4. Scott Watkins (157/1 wins) 5.Jake Korn (121) 6.Brian Lawson (99) 7. Robert Santheson (98) 8.Andrew Matusek (94) 9.Josh Weisenfels (80) 10. Eric Bailey (74)