After finishing third at the previous round, KTM Red Bull’s David Knight turned things around with a come-from behind victory at the FMF Steele Creek GNCC in North Carolina, March 30.
Knight overcame yet another horrible start, rounding the first turn in dead last. He mounted a massive sprint to fight past his teammate Nathan Kanney for the lead. Then Knight held Am-Pro Yamaha's Barry Hawk at bay to win the three-hour race by less than two minutes.
"I mashed up the start again," said Knight. "I passed a bunch of guys when I jumped over a tree. I caught up to Nate and Barry, got around them and tried to open a gap, but then I hit a tree. So there went that gap. I just tried to use my head. The track was pretty fast and I was concerned with going over the bars again like at the last race. I had some people cheering for me out there though, and that helps." Hawk, won the Steele Creek race last year and took second this time, said, "I had a decent start, and I was battling with Kanney, then David came and went inside of me on one of the downhills. I tried to pass Kanney a few times, and then something happened, because he pulled over in a field. I went in for gas and they told me Knight was 12 seconds ahead, so I tried to run him down, but it seemed like on that next lap I hit all the lappers. No excuses though, I couldn't catch him. He ran a great race so my hat's off to him."
FMF Suzuki's Paul Whibley took third ahead of his entire set of teammates, with Australian Joshua Strang in fourth, and Ohio riders Jimmy Jarrett in fifth and Charlie Mullins, winner of the previous GNCC, in sixth.
In the XC2 Lites class, Am-Pro Yamaha's Thad DuVall romped home to another win, making the Washington, West Virginia, rider three for three this season.
PowerSports GrafX KTM's Kailub Russell took his first career podium with second, and Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha's Dustin Gibson came from behind for third.