The second round of the Grand National Cross Country Series in Palatka, Florida, today, came down to a two-man shootout between former GNCC champ Fred Andrews and defending champ Barry Hawk. The two riders formed up with about three laps to go, swapping back and forth for the lead numerous times before Hawk made the last pass with less than a mile to go to take the win. Hawk, on the AM-Pro Yamaha YZ250, took the checkered flag just four seconds ahead of Andrews, on the Team Suzuki Off-Road RM250.
Finishing third, about three and a half minutes behind Andrews was Hare Scrambles Champion Jason Raines, who started the three-hour-race in around 10th place. Raines made it two AM-Pro Yamahas on the podium.
Rounding out the top four was last week's Hollister, California, National Hare Scrambles winner Brian Garrahan (KTM), and opening-round GNCC winner Rodney Smith.
KTM riders Ryan Hughes and Shane Watts were the early leaders of the race, but both riders finished down in the field after eventually having problems. Hughes was running in the top five late in the race when he went down and couldn't restart his bike, and Watts, who has been struggling with injuries as of late and hasn't completed an entire off-road race since last year, was a victim of fatigue towards the end of the race. Hughes was officially credited with 29th place, and Watts 12th.
O/A: 1. Barry Hawk Jr. (Yam); 2. Fred Andrews (Suz); 3. Jason Raines (Yam); 4. Brian Garrahan (KTM); 5. Rodney Smith (Suz); 6. Jim Jarrett (Yam); 7. Scott Summers (Hon); 8. Robbie Jenks (Yam); 9. Steve Hatch (Kaw); 10. Garrett Edmisten (Kaw); 11. Doug Blackwell (Suz); 12. Shane Watts (KTM); 13. Destry Abbott (Kaw); 14. Dustin Gibson (KTM); 15. Chuck Woodford (Kaw); 16. PA Allen (Kaw); 17. Brian Lawson (Yam); 18. Charles Mullins (KTM); 19. Jim Senecal (KTM); 20. Todd Morain (KTM)