MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following a two-month summer break, the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series returns to racing this Sunday, September 8, for the ninth running of the Can-Am Unadilla GNCC, held at the legendary Unadilla Raceway in New Berlin, Ny. Sunday’s three-hour afternoon race will showcase an exciting battle for the XC1 Class championship between Factory FMF/KTM teammates Charlie Mullins and Kailub Russell, as only three points separate the duo heading into Round 10.
At four wins apiece, Mullins and Russell have gone head-to-head all season but after approximately 27 grueling hours of racing, Mullins holds a slight points lead through the first nine rounds. Mullins, the 2011 XC1 Champion, is working towards a second-straight title this season while Russell is seizing every opportunity to dethrone his teammate and capture his first-career XC1 championship. Russell heads into Round 10 with a three-race winning streak behind him and all the confidence to capture a fourth victory in New York.
Shenandoah Honda/USWE-Sports.com’s Thad DuVall is the only other rider besides Mullins and Russell to capture an overall victory this season. In addition to his Round 5 win, DuVall has put forth a consistent string of finishes but unfortunate mechanical issues caused the West Virginia native to forfeit valuable championship points along the way. DuVall currently holds fourth place in the overall standings.
Carolina KTM/RidePG.com’s Chris Bach holds the third place position in the overall standings with two podiums and several finishes inside the top five. Bach has figured out that consistency is key, as the Indiana native is the only rider inside the top 20 to score points in each of the nine rounds so far, also finishing inside the top 10 all season long.
AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley struggled with an ongoing injury throughout the first part of the season, currently sitting in fifth place in the championship standings. However, Whibley decided to have surgery during the summer break and the 2012 XC1 Champion looks to return to racing this weekend at Unadilla.
In his rookie season, KTM Support rider Grant Baylor leads the way in the XC2 Pro Lites Class with three wins behind him. Baylor has gone head-to-head with 2012 XC2 Champion Jason Thomas, who holds a slew of second place finishes and one victory in the first nine rounds. DirtWise Schools/KTM-Parts.com/Maxxis’ Thomas currently sits 19 points behind Baylor with four rounds remaining and the duo will continue battle this Sunday in New York.
Following a successful start to the 2013 season, F.A.R Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong was forced to sit out for two rounds due to a mid-season hand injury. Prior to injury, DeLong captured three wins in the first four rounds where he looked to contend the XC2 title. DeLong returned to racing last round where he finished 23rd in the class and he is expected to make a fully recovered appearance this weekend
The famed Unadilla Raceway, known to motorsports fans all over the U.S. as the home of horsepower, lends a hand in creating one of the most challenging-yet widely popular-courses on the 13-race circuit. The woods are fresh and tight, and covered in New York’s trademark black loam but perhaps the most unique feature is the use of the full-scale Unadilla motocross track (“U1″), which means wide, sweeping corners and some very steep elevation changes.
Four-wheeled ATVs will compete throughout the day on Saturday, September 7 and motorcycles will race on Sunday, September 8. Local riders are invited to race the event as well, the 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., amateurs and Women 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 www.gnccracing.com.