Russell Fires Back At Georgia GNCC

Cycle News Staff | March 18, 2013

Photography by Ken Hill
FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell and Charlie Mullins battled back and forth like they did at the 2013 Amsoil/GNCC opener in Florida a few days earlier, but this time, it was Russell who came away with the overall win at the Maxxis General GNCC in Georgia, March 17. For Mullins, it was his first non-win of the 2013 off-road season.

Finishing third on the podium was Shenandoah Honda/’s Thad DuVall who led at one point late in the race.

The battle for the win came down to the last couple of laps of the three-hour race. DuVall took the lead on lap five when Russell pitted for a quick drink of water, and Mullins was right there in third. Later that lap, DuVall stalled his bike and Russell moved back into the lead with Mullins settling in behind Russell in second place.

The stage was set for a last-lap dual between the two KTM riders. And it was a good one, too, with Russell holding off Mullins by only one second at the finish.

The two are now tied for the championship points lead.

“I’m really happy with the win and every point counts,” Russell said. “I didn’t feel like I was the fastest one out there today but if I wouldn’t have won, Charlie would have walked away with a ten point lead and I’m happy that we’re tied up.”

DuVall finished about a minute back in third.

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’s Josh Strang finished a distant fourth after a tough battle with KTM rider Chris Bach.

Bach followed Strang across the line by just two seconds.

After getting off to a fast start, defending champ Paul Whibley on the Am/Pro Yamaha, struggled on the day and finished sixth.

Seventh overall went to the XC2 Pro winner Andrew DeLong on the FAR Husqvarna. He and fellow XC2 Pro-class rider, 15-year-old Grant Baylor, the younger brother of 2012 AMA National Enduro Champion Stu Baylor, battled for much of the race, with DeLong, the opening-round winner, getting the upper hand at the end, finishing about 30 seconds ahead of Baylor (eighth overall).

“I’m just pumped to start the 2013 season off with two consecutive wins and put myself into a good position in the point standings,” said DeLong.

It was Baylor’s first-ever trip to the podium.

Rounding out the top three in the XC2 Pro class in ninth overall was GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne, while Am/Pro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn completed the top 10 overall and seventh in the XC1 class.


XC1 Pro Results:

 1. Kailub Russell (KTM)

2. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

3. Thad DuVall (HON)

4. Josh Strang (KAW)

5. Chris Bach (YAM)

6. Paul Whibley (YAM)

7. Jordan Ashburn (YAM)

8. Takeshi Koikeda (KTM)

9. Ricky Russell (YAM)

10. Adam Bonneur (KAW)


XC2 Pro Lites Results:

 1. Andrew DeLong (HUS)

2. Grant Baylor (KTM)

3. Zach Osborne (HON)

4. Shane Hufford Jr (KTM)

5. Jason Thomas (KTM)

6. AJ Stewart (YAM)

7. Scott Grills (KAW)

8. Robbie Horton (HON)

9. Ian Blythe (KTM)

10. Brad Bakken (YAM)


XC1 Pro Standings:

 1. Kailub Russell (55)

2. Charlie Mullins (55)

3. Josh Strang (39)

4. Thad DuVall (37)

5. Paul Whibley (33)

6. Chris Bach (31)

7. Ricky Russell (25)

8. Takeshi Koikeda (24)

9. Adam Bonneur (21)

10. Jordan Ashburn (21)


XC2 Pro Lites Standings:

 1. Andrew DeLong (50)

2. Grant Baylor (41)

3. Zach Osborne (39)

4. Jason Thomas (35)

5. Shane Hufford Jr (31)

6. AJ Stewart (25)

7. Jesse Groemm (24)

8. Ian Blythe (23)

9. Mark Heresco Jr (21)

10. Scott Grills (19)