ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OH, OCT 7 – Josh Strang heads into St. Clairsville, Ohio this weekend with a 29-point lead in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series and a solid shot at wrapping up the first AMA national title of his career. If the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider can beat series rival Charlie Mullins at the Power Line Park GNCC on Sunday, then he will wrap up the championship with one round remaining on the schedule. If not, the title chase will go down to the final round in Crawfordsville, Indiana, later in the month.
So far, the 2010 season has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride for the Australian-born Strang, who now calls Murieta, California his home. After starting off the 13-round schedule with four straight wins, Strang went into a slump after a scary crash in Yadkinville, North Carolina, left him struggling to finish ninth. The next four races produced just one podium finish – a runner-up finish at the John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio. However, Strang got back on track at the latest round in Tennessee, where he beat Mullins in one of the closest and most competitive races of the year.
“It was definitely good to get back on the podium,” said Strang. “It had been a really long time and it was a good win for me. The track was really good and I got out front early and was able to just ride my own race and it worked for me. I just need to try to ride like that every weekend.”
Heading into Sunday’s race, Strang feels that the pressure is all on Mullins. “He’s the one with something to lose this weekend,” added Strang. “If he doesn’t beat me then it’s all over, so I’m just going into it like a regular race. I’ll just do my best to ride my regular race and that should be good enough to get me out front.”
Strang finished first at last year’s Power Line Park GNCC and he considers the course one of his favorites. “I really like this course, it’s fast in places and the weather looks good for this weekend, so I’m really stoked about it. Hopefully, we can wrap this thing up.”