2017 Palatka Wild Boar GNCC

Cycle News Staff | March 13, 2017

2017 Palatka Wild Boar GNCC – It was another tough battle for Kailub Russell at the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC, but this time, he got the result he was looking for, unlike the second-place finish that the four-time GNCC champ got at the season opener just one week earlier. In the wet sand of Palatka, Florida, March 12, on the grounds of the Rodman Plantation, Russell fought tooth and nail with longtime rival Thad DuVall, with Russell, on the FMF/KTM, squeaking out the victory over Duvall, on the Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna. Last week in South Carolina, Russell came out on the short end of the stick after battling with Steward Baylor (SRT/KTM), who, this week, got off to a bad start and ended up third, which was a satisfying result for him when you consider that he was ninth after the first lap of what would be a six-lap race.

2017 Palatka Wild Boar GNCC

2017 Palatka Wild Boar GNCC
(Left to right) Thad Duvall, Kailub Russell and Steward Baylor celebrate on the podium. Photography by Ken Hill

Round two saw the same rider emerge victorious in the XC2 250 Pro class. Josh Toth was, once again, flying on the N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha and crossed the finish line in sixth overall for the class win; just eight seconds behind him was second-in-class Craig DeLong on the Coastal Racing Husqvarna and a few minutes behind DeLong came DeLong’s teammate Layne Michael in third.

Rain played a factor in this one, though it started off looking dry, which caught some of the riders, including Russell, off guard. Russell got off to a fast start and led the way, but the skies opened up not long after the green flagged waved. Having chosen to go with tear-offs rather than Roll-Offs, Russell eventually had a hard time seeing and blew a turn, costing him a number of positions. Ricky Russell held the lead after the first lap, with Kailub Russell dropping back to third. Ryan Sipes, on the Coastal Racing Husqvarna, was second, 16 seconds behind the new leader. Duvall was fourth, right behind Kailub Russell.

“I was kicking myself for not putting on Roll-Offs [goggles] because of the rain,” Russell said. “It started pouring on the first lap and I was pulling tear-offs left and right. I couldn’t see, went the wrong way and got passed by a few guys at the beginning.”

Kailub Russell pitted for new goggles on the first lap, which cost him some time. But after than, Russell settled down and got into his race pace and, by the third lap, he held the lead, but Duvall was right there with him.

For the remainder of the race, Russell and Duvall played cat and mouse. Russell couldn’t shake Duvall, but the KTM rider maintained his position down to the end, with Russell taking the checkered flag 2.531 seconds ahead of Duvall.

“Thad was riding really good, I expected that from him and we battled down to the end,” Russell said. “It was nice to get a win today, the track was really rough and tough. I’m glad it rained because it kept the track intact and made for some good traction.”

Baylor salvaged a hard-earned third, while RPM/KTM rider Chris Bach took fourth. Ricky Russell slipped back to fifth overall.

2017 Palatka Wild Boar GNCC

2017 Palatka Wild Boar GNCC
Josh Toth (center) won the XC2 250 Pro class, with Craig Delong (left) and Layne Michael rounding out the podium.

As for early front-runner Ryan Sipes, he eventually had a run-in with a lapped rider and took a footpeg to his side in the crash. He managed to quickly get up and continued but was later forced to pull out because of the injury.

The FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class saw similar faces on the box. Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Jack Edmondson took home another win, with N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley and Jason Thomas following.

Hometown hero, RPM/KTM-backed Jesse Ansley, claimed top amateur honors with his 22nd overall finish. Cody Barnes and Alex Teagarden were the second and third amateur riders in the 1 p.m. race.

The WXC class dominated the 10 a.m. race and the overall podium consisted of Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones, Trail Jesters’ McKenzie Tricker and Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets.

Zack Davidson continued his success and topped the youth overall podium at the conclusion of the first race of the day – the 8 a.m. youth race. Ryder Leblond placed second, and Super Mini Jr. class winner, Michael Beeler Jr., rounded out the overall podium.

The 2017 AMSOIL GNCC Series resumes in two weeks, March 25 and 26, with the Second Annual Maxxis Cannonball GNCC in Sparta, Georgia. A highlight show featuring the Wild Boar GNCC event will air on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m.

2017 Palatka Wild Boar GNCC

Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC

Palatka, Florida

Round 2 of 13

Sunday, March 12

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:

  1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  2. Thad Duvall (HSQ)
  3. Steward Baylor (KTM)
  4. Chris Bach (KTM)
  5. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  6. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
  7. Grant Baylor (HSQ)
  8. Tyler Medaglia (HSQ)
  9. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
  10. Vance Francis (HON)

Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Kailub Russell (55)
  2. Steward Baylor Jr. (51)
  3. Josh Toth (33)
  4. Ricky Russell (31)
  5. Chris Bach (30)
  6. Russell Bobbitt (27)
  7. Thad Duvall (25)
  8. Layne Michael (25)
  9. Craig Delong (24)
  10. Ryan Sipes (21)