2018 John Penton GNCC Race Results

Shan Moore | May 28, 2018

2018 John Penton GNCC Race Results – Tired of finishing in the bridesmaid position, Thad DuVall changed up his strategy at round seven of the Grand National Cross Country Series and broke out of his “second place” rut to claim the overall win at the John Penton GNCC, round seven of the Grand National Cross Country Series in Millville, Ohio.

2018 John Penton GNCC Race Results

2018 John Penton GNCC Race Results
Thad Duvall broke through and finished on top at the John Penton GNCC is Ohio. (Photo: Ken Hill)

Heading into the Ohio event, DuVall had amassed five runner-up finishes in the previous six races, and he was ready for a change.

After getting off the line in second place behind his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory teammate, Josh Strang, DuVall took control of the race heading into the opening lap of the race and immediately started sprinting away with the lead. On lap two, DuVall held a 45-second lead over Grant Baylor, who had passed Strang on lap one to take over second. By lap four, DuVall had extended his lead to a seemingly insurmountable three minutes and 38 seconds.

By the finish, DuVall had cooled his pace and took the checkered flag with a two minutes and 41 second advantage over second.

“Yeah, for sure,” DuVall said after the race when asked if that was his best race ever. “It was a dream ride; I had such good lines and I had so much fun today. Everything was clicking and it was awesome.”

DuVall also admitted that he had changed up his strategy during the race.

“After the start, me and Grant were pulling away and I looked back and I couldn’t see Kailub, so I decided at that point to start charging a little earlier than normal and if I get tired, I get tired. I charged as long as I could and it worked out.”

The way the laps fell, the race ended up going just over three hours and fourteen minutes, however, DuVall looked like he could easily go another lap while talking to the press, despite temperatures in the low-90s and high humidity.

2018 John Penton GNCC Race Results

“Everything just went so good that it came to me pretty easy,” DuVall added. “This has always been one of my favorite tracks and it’s good to get a win here.”

In the meantime, Strang held off a fierce, last-second push from Russell to hold onto second overall, his best finish of the season. Strang collapsed from exhaustion after crossing the finish line.

“That’s the closest I’ve ever been to getting sick at the finish,” said Strang. “I had 45 seconds on him at the start of that lap, but he caught me in the John Penton section and I started making mistakes. I was lucky to stay in front of him.”

Russell settled for third, despite his valiant last ditch effort, as he struggled to keep his bike on two-wheels for a majority of the race. The FMF/KTM Factory rider’s bike failed to fire off the start and he was last off the line. Russell managed to charge his way to third by end of the first lap, only to submerge his bike in a creek on the next lap, forcing him to pit early.

Russell turned the fastest lap of the race on the final circuit of the course, but still came up two seconds short of second place.

“I definitely didn’t make it easy on myself today,” Russell said. “I made quite a few mistakes and couldn’t stay off the ground but I guess if you can get yourself on the podium on a bad day, that’s still a good day for the championship.”

Tely Energy Racing KTM’s Steward Baylor also had to pit early for mechanical problems, but still charged his way back to finish fourth, while FMF KTM’s Josh Toth won the XC2 Pro division with a fifth place finish.

Jordan Ashburn put in one of his best rides to date. The Beta USA rider started the race mid-pack, but managed to make his way through for a sixth overall finish.

In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Alex Teagarden took the win with a 16th overall finish ahead of Raines Riding University/Atlas Sales/Yamaha’s Jason Raines and MCS Racing/Kenda Tire/Moose Racing’s Cody Barnes.

2018 John Penton GNCC Race Results

1. Thad DuVall (Hus)
2. Josh Strang (Hus)
3. Kailub Russell (KTM)
4. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
5. Josh Toth (KTM)
6. Jordan Ashburn (Bet)
7. Ben Kelley (KTM)
8. Ricky Russell (Yam)
9. Trevor Bollinger (Hon)
10. Craig DeLong (Hus)

Click here for complete results.

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Shan Moore | Contributing Editor Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.