Kailub Russell held on to win the John Penton GNCC in Ohio. Photography by Ken Hill

Kailub Russell proved to be the toughest at the John Penton GNCC in Ohio. Photography by Ken Hill.

The race for 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Championship just got a little closer with Kailub Russell taking the overall victory and gaining ground on points leader and FMF KTM teammate Charlie Mullins at the Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio, June 2.

Rain left the racecourse wet and muddy but apparently that’s just how Russell likes it. In a race that saw many lead changes, Russell eventually pulled away from defending champ Paul Whibley and Mullins to take the win by over 30 seconds.

Mullins took second, while Whibley, on the Am/Pro Yamaha, dropped back to fourth by the time it was all over.

Kawasaki rider Josh Strang got on the podium in third, finishing over a minute behind Mullins in third.

KTM rider Chris Bach rounded out the top five overall.

Russell gained a few points on his teammate, Mullins. After seven rounds, Russell trails Mullins by 14 points. Thad DuVall is 44 points in back of Mullins in third.

DuVall was battling among the leaders but was forced to pull into the pits and replace a shock. He eventually finished ninth.

In the XC2 class, KTM rider Grant Baylor captured his second win of the season, finishing well ahead of Husqvarna rider Nick Davis and KTM rider Zach Nolan.

Former points leader Andrew DeLong did not start the race due to an injury, and defending champ Jason Thomas suffered a mechanical DNF.

Baylor moved into the class points lead. He’s now 19 points ahead of Thomas and 33 points ahead of DeLong.

 

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