Morgantown, W.Va (April 27, 2011) – Only two points separate the defending champion Josh Strang and current points leader Charlie Mullins heading into the fifth round of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. The Part’s Unlimited Loretta Lynn’s GNCC is one of the most historical races on the schedule and combined with the hot chase for the points lead – could be yet another race for the history books.
The Loretta Lynn’s course provides a mixture of rolling hills and valleys with the added elements of slippery rock and mud holes along the way. Being an Amateur National Motocross Championship track as well, Loretta Lynn’s incorporates more moto sections than normal into the woodsy course, which may be an advantage for some of the more moto-experienced riders.
FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins currently has the points lead heading into round five, but that hasn’t always been the case. After a heartbreaking tip over just feet away from the finish in North Carolina, Mullins allowed Strang to inch his FMF Makita Suzuki past for the nail-biting win. Mullins bounced back the next round, reclaiming the points lead and taking over the prominent white number plate with red numbers, opposite the rest of the field.
Am Pro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley has struggled to keep himself in the top five this season, but the win he captured in round two keeps him in the third position overall, only one point over FMF KTM’s Cory Buttrick, who’s put in a consistent season thus far.
In the XC2 division, Steward Baylor continues to lead FAR Husqvarna’s Jason Thomas by only a four-point margin. With three different winners in four races, the Lites class has endless possibilities in the fight for a championship. Thomas is using his experience to keep a consistent finish across the board, hoping to land himself a place on top when it’s all said and done.
Jesse Robinson has shown that he’s got the speed to win races but keeps running into bike problems along the way. The silent but deadly rider Andrew DeLong manages to keep under the radar in this stacked Lites class, but sitting in the third spot, the KTM rider poses a major threat to the leaders for a race win.
In addition to Sunday’s bike races, the first round of the 50cc schedule will take place on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., following the ATV afternoon race. Parts Unlimited will host their annual dinner on Saturday night, following the completion of racing. All GNCC Racing riders and families are welcome to attend the dinner.
Spectator passes run $15 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, youth riders race at 8 a.m., beginner riders race at 10 a.m., both top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m.
To get to the track, take I-40 to Exit 143, then to Route 13 North to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch.