Kailub Russell celebrates his second win of the season at the Steele Creek GNCC. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEN HILL
MORGANTON, N.C., MARCH 30 - Defending GNCC Champion Kailub Russell took another small bite out of Charlie Mullin’s lead in the 2014 AMA Amsoil GNCC Championship when he collected his second win in a row at the Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, North Carolina.
In rather muddy conditions, something the racers are already quite familiar with this young season, Russell got out in front early on. By the time his FMF/KTM teammate, Mullins, had moved into second, Russell was already long gone, by at least a minute.
Mullins could not overcome that deficit and had to settle for second.
“I tried to ride good and charge but I wasn’t really making up any ground,” Mullins said. “I rode as hard as I could.”
Am/Pro Yamaha’s Josh Strang came up through the pack to finish third, while RideMPS.com/Amsoil/Honda’s Thad DuVall ended up taking fourth overall, passing FMF/KTM’s Steward Baylor on the final lap, throwing down the fastest lap en route to pocket the $150 KR4 Performance Fast Lap money.
N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn finished sixth, followed by Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong, Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Chris Bach, Rockstar Energy/WMR/KTM’s Ryan Sipes and Takeshi Koikeda.
North Carolina’s own Trevor Bollinger won the XC2 Pro Lites class for the first time of his career and did so by leading every lap.
“This is a dream come true,” he said. “This is what I’ve been working toward for so many years and I still can’t believe I finally proved to myself that I cold do it and that I belong here.”
Raines Riding University/Yamaha’s Ricky Russell finished second, followed by Factory FMF/KTM’s Grant Baylor.
Maxxis/Klim/DirtWise KTM Team rider Rory Mead was in the hunt for a runner-up finish when the rider from New Zealand fell and suffered a spinal injury.
Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez won the WXC Premier Women’s class for the third consecutive time.
Mullins’ lead in the GNCC Series has slipped to just three over Russell, with Strang another nine points behind Russell.
Bollinger leads the XC2 division by one point over Russell. Baylor is two points in back of Russell.
Steele Creek GNCC
March 30, 2014
XC1: 1. Kailub Russell (KTM); 2. Charlie Mullins (KTM); 3. Josh Strang (Yam); 4. Thad DuVall (Hon); 5. Steward Baylor (KTM); 6. Jordan Ashburn (Yam); 7. Andrew Delong (Hus), 8. Chris Bach (Hon); 9. Ryan Sipes (KTM); 10. Takeshi Koikeda (Hon).
XC2 PRO LITES: 1. Trevor Bollinger (Hon); 2. Ricky Russell (Yam); 3. Grant Baylor (KTM); 4. Layne Michael (Hon); 5. Chris Douglas (KTM); 6. Shane Hufford Jr. (KTM); 7. Callan May (Yam); 8. Ryan Lojak (Yam); 9. Jesse Groemm (KTM); 10. Sam Evans (Yam).