Salminen Battles With Mullins and Hawk for Missouri GNCC Win

Shan Moore | May 8, 2006

Juha Salminen made it six wins in a row in the Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series after topping Am Pro Yamaha teammates Barry Hawk and Charlie Mullins at an extremely muddy sixth round of series in Seymour, Missouri. Salminen, Mullins and Hawk swapped the lead position several times over the course of the eight-lap race, before Salminen finally put his factory KTM out front for good, mid-way through the final lap. Mullins, a 20-year-old GNCC rookie pro, looked to be in position to take his first-ever Pro win in Missouri, after taking a strong lead on the final lap, after Salminen stopped for a splash-and-go pit stop, but Mullins fell halfway through the lap and badly cut his forearm, allowing both Salminen and Hawk to go by.

In the end, Salminen crossed the finish with 15 second to spare over Hawk, while Mullins limped in for third. Finishing fourth was Suzuki-mounted Jimmy Jarrett, while New Zealander Paul Whibley, riding a Honda, edged Yamaha-mounted Justin Williamson for fifth.

Team Suzuki’s Glenn Kearney, who had been sitting in second overall in the series standings before the event, watered out his bike in a creek crossing on the first lap and lost two laps trying to get it dried out. Kearney ended up in 16th place, dropping him into a tie with Mullins for third overall in the standings. Salminen holds a commanding lead in the standings with 180 points, followed by Hawk with 97, with Mullins and Kearney tied for third with 96 point each.

Shan Moore | Contributing Editor

Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.