Knight Closes In On GNCC Title

| October 16, 2007

Dry weather at the ITP Power Line Park GNCC in Ohio helped spread some good luck on David Knight’s bid for the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series title, October 14.

The dusty conditions wreaked havoc on the field, as Am-Pro Yamaha’s Charlie Mullins ran out of gas at one point, once while leading, and then later had his bike quit altogether. This set up Knight for a surprising win, as he didn’t even realize the victory was his as he crossed the finish line.

Knight’s title rival Barry Hawk also suffered, starting last and clogging his filter coming through the pack, although a quick air filter change allowed him to salvage third behind FMF Suzuki’s Jimmy Jarrett. Knight how holds a 21-point lead over Hawk with one race remaining in series.

Mullins got out front early in the XC1 class with the Racer X Holeshot, and after Knight got stuck in a rare muddy section on the first lap, Mullins was off to a big lead.

Hawk battled up from seventh on the first lap to pass FMF Suzuki’s Josh Strang, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jesse Robinson, then moved in to pass FMF Suzuki’s Glenn Kearney. The dust started coming into play when Robinson’s machine let go, and Hawk knew his bike wasn’t going to make it to the finish either.

Then Mullins came around the auxiliary pro pits and ran out of gas just before reaching his pit – the choked filters no doubt hurting his fuel economy. He started pushing his bike to the Factory Yamaha semi before getting a splash of fuel from a privateer rider, which helped get him to his pit. This put Knight into the lead.

Glenn Kearney lost a few spots changing a filter and couldn’t get them back. Kearney still finished fourth overall ahead of Paul Whibley.

In the XC2 Lites class, Red Bull KTM’s Justin Williamson is one step closer to the 2007 championship after taking his third win of the season. Williamson found the fastest way to the podium ahead of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/FAR Kawasaki’s Scott Watkins and Josh Weisenfels.

By Jason Weingandt