After three tough races in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, Am-Pro Yamaha’s Charlie Mullins roared back to score his second win of the season at the Elka Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC in North Carolina, September 30. Mullins battled hard early with FMF Suzuki’s Jimmy Jarrett before pulling away at the halfway mark, while Parts Unlimited Moose Honda’s Paul Whibley, of New Zealand, charged hard to finish second, and Am-Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk finished third. Hawk overcame a possible broken nose to close back to within 12 points of series leader David Knight, who struggled to eighth after racing the Maxxis EnduroCross on Saturday night in Denver and then flying through the night to North Carolina.
Am-Pro Yamaha swept the event when 17-year-old Thad DuVall won the XC2 Lites class on his WR250F. Red Bull KTM’s Justin Williamson was second over Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/FAR Kawasaki’s Josh Weisenfels. Weisenfels led early before smashing his foot on a tree, allowing Williamson into the lead, but then DuVall put in an amazing last-lap charge to pass both on the last lap and take the win.
Mullins made the XC1-class win look almost easy. “I followed Jimmy for a few laps,” said Mullins, who had grabbed the Racer X Holeshot. “I saw a line to get around him and then gapped the field as best as I could. The last lap I made a mistake off the creek jump, I jumped it and there was a lapper coming, and I hit him. I thought I threw the race away, and my front brake was done after that. Luckily I had a big enough lead. I’m happy to win after having some problems at the last few races.”
Halfway through the race, Jarrett crashed and hurt his shoulder, pushing Whibley and Walpole Trucking/Action Kawasaki privateer Garrett Edmisten to the front of the pack. Hawk was struggling behind them after taking a massive rock to the face, and blood was dripping down the Yamaha veteran’s face and chest as he tried to cling to positions. Whibley and Edmisten hooked up in a battle for second. Whibley won it, while Edmisten, fighting a bad suspension set up, eventually dropped his pace. On the last lap, Edmisten let Hawk around him for third. Edmisten took fourth ahead of FMF Suzuki’s Glenn Kearney, running a sold race for fifth.
In XC2, Powersport GrafX/KTM’s Dustin Gibson grabbed the Thumpertalk.com Holeshot, but Weisenfels quickly took the lead. He looked like a winner until smashing his foot on a tree, and then the race unfolded, with Williamson leading on the last lap before getting caught by a flying DuVall.