Morgantown, W. Va. (October 4, 2011) – FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins has set into a favorable two-race win streak in the title chase for the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. Mullins holds the largest points margin of the season, now commanding FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang by seventeen points. But thirty points are available for a GNCC race-win and there are still four points-paying events left in the series, this title is still up for grabs.
The thirteen-race circuit heads to St. Clairsville, Ohio for round eleven, the ITP Power Line Park GNCC – where riders will experience tight woods, plenty of mud and rock-based soil throughout the course. On the surface, it may look like Mullins has the championship in the bag, but there’s still plenty of room for Strang, the defending champion, to emerge with four races left in the season. The 2011 season has been defined by huge swings in the standings, with all of the top riders experiencing bad racing luck throughout the rough and tumble series. Expect the championship title to go down to the finale doubleheader at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in November.
Not to say AmPro Racing Yamaha’s Paul Whibley, 2010 Power Line Park winner, is out of the chase just yet. Whibley sits only twenty-five points behind the leader Mullins in the standings and with three wins this season, Whibley has shown killer strength in the final rounds of racing.
Josh Strang salvaged class points after a first-lap crash sent him out of the running, just two rounds before at Unadilla. The bad luck continued in Pennsylvania as Strang fell out of the early lead-battle when he was forced to stop and repair his brake caliper mid-race. The Aussie has a strong-willed reputation when it comes to racing and a second championship is clearly on his mind.
FMF KTM’s Kailub Russell had one of his best rides of the season last round in Pennsylvania; unfortunately Russell took a hard fall on the final lap and lost a few positions in the process. The pro class rookie could be a wild card winner in the remaining rounds of racing if he continues to push the veterans the way he has this season.
RPM/KTM’s Maria Forsberg wrapped up her second consecutive GNCC title in the Women’s class last round, after eight wins this season. Forsberg holds several other championship titles, including the 2011 ESPN X Games EnduroX Gold medal. Forsberg is not only a tough competitor in the Women’s division, but the two-time champion has finished as high as second place overall this year in the morning race of over two hundred competitors.
RidePG/Fly Racing/Genuine Dirt Rider’s Steward Baylor Jr. still holds a 29-point lead in the XC2 division over F.A.R Husqvarna’s Jason Thomas, who has been closing in on the young Baylor. Obermeyer/AmPro Racing Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn is making his mark, though, winning the last three rounds and putting himself within six points of third place in the championship points.
ATVs will compete throughout the day on Saturday, October 8 and dirt bikes will race all day Sunday, October 9. Local riders are invited to race the event as well, as GNCC racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur racer entry fee is $40 and riders can sign up at the track.
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., and the top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m.
For more information and directions to the event, please visit http://www.gnccracing.com..