Kailub-Russell-GNCC-Off-Road-6-17-13MASONTOWN, W. Va. – Heavy rainfall leading up to Sunday’s Parts Unlimited Mountaineer Run GNCC made for slippery track conditions at Round 8 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series. However, despite the difficult terrain conditions, the 1 p.m. afternoon race boasted some of the most exciting race action of the 2013 season. Kailub Russell dominated the three-hour competition, capturing his second-straight victory of the season, where he closed the gap to less than ten points behind Charlie Mullins in the National Championship standings. In the XC2 Pro Lites class, defending champion Jason Thomas used his veteran knowledge to best his rookie competition as he secured his first win of the season.

Defending National Champion Paul Whibley battled it out with his AmPro Yamaha teammate Jordan Ashburn right off the start, where the duo went nearly side-by-side through the All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot line, but Whibley once again went home with the $250 prize. Ashburn wasn’t able to brake for the slick corner, causing the Tennessee native to go down,  where he began the race in the back of the pack.

GNCC-Mullins-3-13-13River Ranch, Fla. (March 12, 2013) – Factory FMF/KTM’s Charlie Mullins topped a stacked field of riders at the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country season opener in River Ranch, Florida. The win wasn’t exactly handed to the 2011 GNCC champion, though, as teammate Kailub Russell and former XC1 champ Josh Strang and Paul Whibley contested Mullins throughout the full three-hour battle, presenting a lethal combination of some of the roughest and highest speed terrain on the 13-race circuit. XC2 Pro Lites winner Andrew DeLong made waves from the second row, finishing fifth overall in front of an exciting battle for second between reigning XC2 champ Jason Thomas and Pro Motocross star Zach Osborne.

The Moose Racing Westgate River Ranch GNCC historically kicks off the GNCC season in a big way, taking place just a couple hours south of the infamous Daytona Bike week festivities. But perhaps more importantly is the fact that the season opener also serves as an industry hub for all types of off-road racing to meet up for a spectacular weekend of cross-country racing, scouting and networking.

Morgantown, W. Va. (November 6, 2012) – This season marked an incredible year of racing in the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. The 13-round series wrapped up last weekend at the Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., where AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley secured his second XC1 Pro class title, while KR4 Performance’s Jason Thomas clinched his first XC2 Pro Lites title on the motorcycle side. While XC1 Pro ATV champion Chris Borich wrapped up his fourth consecutive title earlier in the season, Tireballs-backed Patrick McGuire secured his first XC2 Pro Am championship at the season finale.

But the XC1 and XC2 class champions are just part of the 2012 GNCC Championship roll call. In GNCC, the afternoon race consists of not only Pro and Pro Am classes, but also the “A” and “B” classes – making for a fast-paced afternoon of racing from the first row to the last. On ATV’s, Brycen Neal claimed the competitive College A (16-21) class title by only six points over Landon Wolfe, finishing as the Top Amateur of the afternoon race. Other “A” class champions include Fred Marley in Junior A (22+), Todd Demaree in Vet A (28+) and Senior A (38+) champion Tom Wright.

Corona, CA – January 30, 2012 – Husqvarna’s Fred Andrews Racing (FAR) team kicked off the AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Series over the weekend, where Andrew Delong carded a top-ten finish at the Sumter, South Carolina event. The weather could not have been more ideal, with the sun shining and temperatures in the 60s. Sandy terrain and tight trees made for a technical course, which Delong took to with ease on his TXC310.

“I was ‘on rails’ through test one with that fourth-place finish,” Delong said. “I stalled it a few times in the other test but hit the electric start and off I would go again. But my last two tests cost me today.”

Delong went on to finish a respectable eighth place – a good jumping off point in such a competitive series. 

The day was a bit more challenging for Enduro first-timer Jason Thomas. The GNCC regular finished in 17th place after battling through the trees.

“I need to train more in the tight trees,” Thomas admitted. “Some spots you had to stop and turn your bars just to get through. I will be better next race.”

The FAR Husqvarna team will head to Greensboro, Georgia in three weeks for round two of the AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Series on February 19.

Be sure to follow Team Husqvarna on Facebook or via Twitter @HusqvarnaNA.

Corona, CA – At the Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the newest member of the Fred Andrews Racing (FAR) Husqvarna team – Andrew Delong – recorded a podium finish in the XC2 class. Meanwhile, Jason Thomas continued to forge ahead, this time racing to a sixth-place finish despite a broken hand!

FAR Husqvarna has added Delong to the team for the remainder of the 2012 season. The 21-year-old National Enduro regular only had two days on the bike before the Ironman GNCC, and still managed to pilot his TXC250 to a third-place finish.

Despite getting off to a “bad start,” Delong made his way into third place by the end of the opening lap. He was pushing for more throughout the race but still ended up in a strong third place for the day.

Jason Thomas injured his hand on Tuesday while out testing with Andrew. The X-rays revealed a broken bone, but nonetheless, Thomas announced that he was racing – broken hand and all. Luck was still not on his side as he had a terrible first lap which left him struggling to overcome a time deficit for the rest of the race.

“The track was the best one this year and I pushed hard today, but I’m so mad,” Thomas lamented. “I was climbing one of the big hills and a spectator was sitting on the hill with a cooler. I had to change my line into a tree not to hit her! I lost so much time on lap one. That cost me for the day. My hand was hurting but I can handle pain.”

“I am so proud of Andrew and Jason today,” Fred Andrews said. “Jason always gives me 110% – he raced with a broken hand! Andrew rode awesome today and FAR Husqvarna is excited to add him to the team.”

Thomas managed to finish in sixth – within seconds of fifth-place. The next – and final – stop on the GNCC circuit is Loretta Lynn Ranch, where the FAR Husqvarna team will be racing on both Friday the 4th and Sunday the 6th of November. Thomas now sits third in the XC2 standings, one point out of second, but with two rounds remaining in the championship, anything can happen!

Corona, CA – After the long summer break, Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) racing has finally resumed and FAR Husqvarna racers Jason Thomas and Morgan Moss were back in action for round 10 of the 2011 series, which took place at the famous Unadilla Raceway in New Berlin, New York. Thomas had a great day, leading the way for much of the race, but settled for second. 

Moss and Thomas got the start and led the pack into the woods. At the green flag it was Thomas leading the way. It was a dogfight all day between Thomas and Jordan Ashburn – the two riders were never more than 15 seconds apart for the three-hour duration. At the fuel stop, Thomas was still leading. At the white flag, Thomas was still in control and pushing hard to complete the final eight-mile lap in the lead. On the last hill – no more than 50 feet from the finish – a lapped rider got crossed up and fell into Jason’s line, knocking him to the ground and costing him the win.

“It’s not the ending we were looking for, but that’s racing…” commented team manager Fred Andrews of the FAR Husqvarna team.

“I worked hard all summer break with my fitness and bike setup,” Thomas said. “It paid off today! Yes, I am disappointed I lost the race so close to the finish, but I gained points in the championship. I am strong and my Husqvarna TXC worked awesome.”

Unfortunately for Moss, he tangled with some downed XC1 riders on the first lap, which preceded a mechanical failure. Moss and Thomas are still both in the top-ten in points, and even with his second-place finish, Thomas made an important gain in the championship.

Snowshoe, W. Va. – The eighth round of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to the beautiful mountains of Snowshoe, W. Va. this weekend for the spectacular MotoSport.com Snowshoe GNCC. Arguably one of the toughest races on the circuit, Snowshoe always presents a challenging course that only the toughest racers survive.

Constructed around the famed Blackwater 100, participants start live engine on a paved road in groups of five, every five seconds, making for a spectacular scene. This particular GNCC has always fared as a favorite for racers and families as well as fans because of the amenities Snowshoe Mountain has to offer.

Although he hasn’t won the most races, FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang leads the points chase after landing consistent top five finishes every weekend so far. FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins trails by a mere two points to Strang after finishing third behind the Aussie in the last round of racing in Pennsylvania.

AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley captured his second win of the season in the rocky Pennsylvania terrain, with high hopes of sealing another win in the rocky grounds of Snowshoe this weekend. WMR’s Nate Kanney captured the win here at Snowshoe a year ago. The New Yorker is experienced in the rough and tough conditions of Snowshoe and is highly favored heading into the weekend.

The XC2 Lites class has provided nothing short of bar banging action this year as riders like Steward Baylor Jr., Jesse Robinson, Jason Thomas and Jordan Ashburn have battled it out to the end every weekend. With three wins on the season, Baylor inches out Thomas for the points lead while Andrew DeLong and Brad Bakken sit close behind.

Wednesday, June 22 kicks off the 4th Annual GNCC University, presented by Yamaha Racing. The three-day riding school takes place in the trails of Snowshoe Mountain and students of all skill levels will learn from Yamaha Racing’s multi-championship winning staff on both ATVs and motorcycles.

On Friday, the 9th Annual GNCC Golf Tournament returns to the picturesque Ravens Club for a day of fun and relaxation before a weekend of racing. Top racers, sponsors and fans will participate in four-person teams for a list of prizes and a spot on the coveted traveling trophy. The golf tournament is open to anyone and everyone. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Friday at the Ravens Club, followed by a tee time of 9 a.m. The cost is $300/team and all proceeds will benefit the Brain Injury Research Institute at West Virginia University.

Spectator passes run $20 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 directions to Snowshoe Mountain, please click HERE. For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084.

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.

For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084.

Morgantown, W. Va. (April 5, 2011) – FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang climbed atop the XC1 championship points standings after capturing the win over FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins in the last turn of a race that Mullins dominated for nearly three hours at Steele Creek.

Round four of the 2011 Can-Am GNCC tour heads to Union, South Carolina this weekend, April 9-10 for the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC where Strang captured his fourth consecutive win in 2010. This year’s season is off to a different start, though, as there are currently three different race winners in the first three rounds. Only three points separate the defending champion from Charlie Mullins.

And then there’s Am Pro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley, who struggled in the opening round finishing back in ninth, only to bounce back at round two with the win. Whibley currently sits twelve points behind Mullins in the championship standings with ten rounds left in the series.

FMF KTM’s Cory Buttrick has been progressively finishing better each week, chalking up his season-best third place at Steele Creek. Buttrick is right on pace with the veteran front-runners, only four points behind Paul Whibley in the fourth place position. Another consistent KTM rider is Nate Kanney, who rounds out the top five in points heading into the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC this weekend.

The XC2 division is also heating up as the competition proves to be very deep after only three rounds of racing. Just like the Premier class, the Lites class now has three different winners in the first three rounds.

FAR Husky rider Jason Thomas has been turning heads in the XC2 class, he gapped the field by nearly six minutes at Steele Creek. Thomas now holds a five-point lead over Steward Baylor Jr. Baylor had bike issues forcing him to stop in and change a rear wheel but the round two winner still salvaged a fifth place finish.

Jesse Robinson, who also holds a win this year, had bike problems at Steele Creek, finishing fourteenth on the day but fourth in the series overall. Robinson, who is tied with Andrew DeLong at 58 points sits 18 out of first place.

Spectator tickets 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.

To get to the track, take I-26 to Exit 44, then to Highway 49 North 7 Miles and look for the signs.

For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084.

Corona, CA – Another GNCC weekend, another podium finish for Fred Andrews Racing/Team Husqvarna’s Jason Thomas as Round #2 of the 2011 Grand National Cross Country chase rolled into the Georgia woods. After having a devil of a time with the power-robbing sand of Florida at Round #1, the team was looking forward to tacky dirt and sunny 80-degree weather.

A solid second place start enabled XC2 Pro Class racer Jason Thomas to put his Husqvarna TXC250 into first place in class by the end of first lap. However a big second lap get off dropped him back to 4th place. “I crashed really hard,” says Thomas. “I’m so sore right now!” However he was able to push through the pain and work his way up to another GNCC podium finish for the second race in a row. “I know I need to be on the podium at each race in order to win the championship.” After his 3rd place in class and 10th overall on the day, Thomas is now third in the GNCC championship points standings.

Thomas’ Husqvarna/FAR teammate Morgan Moss also had a top 10 start for the XC2 Pro race. He’d charged up to 5th place early on his Husqvarna TXC250 when disaster struck! “I was going good and had passed a few guys before I got stuck in a killer mud hole,” Moss explains. “Unfortunately it took me so long to dig out (of the mud) that I just couldn’t make up the time.” Moss continued to push hard and logged some fast lap times, and managed to climb back to 13th in the XC2 Pro class and 30th overall (all classes scored) on the day. Combined with his 5th place finish at the season opener in Georgia, Moss currently sits in 8th in points in the XC2 Pro class.

Flying Finn Simo Kirssi had another tough weekend in the tight Georgia woods. Simo suffered a bad start, but he managed to work his Husqvarna TE310 dual-sport up to 11th place in the XC1 Pro class, 18th overall for the day. “I was good in the open portions of the course, but I am not accustomed to the really tight woods sections,” admits the 2010 European Cross Country champ. “I will train more in the tight stuff for the next GNCC in North Carolina.” Kirssi now sits in 17th place overall in the XC1 Pro standings.

After winning the first two times out on her new Hall’s Husqvarna TXC250, both in a national enduro and the first GNCC race of 2011, Marvelous Mandi Mastin ran into a devil of challenge down in Georgia. When the smoke cleared from their heated two and a half hour/5-lap battle, Maria Fosberg had won the Women’s class by less than 3 minutes over Mastin. A veteran ISDE racer and multi-time Enduro and GNCC overall champ, Mandi admits she needs to be on her game. “I didn’t have the best day today,” she says. “I made many mistakes and just felt ‘off’ all day… its been a long week with lots of riding. Now its time to go home, rest up and regroup.” Even with an “off” day, Mastin’s impressive 1-2 finishes still have her in a virtual tie for the GNCC Women’s championship.

Speaking of the women’s classes, Mandi Mastin’s fellow Hall’s Cycles Husqvarna sponsored teammate Veronica Martin took her second podium of the young GNCC season. Martin’s 2-3 finishes also puts her second overall in in the Women’s Junior Class, just two points out of the top position.

“It is particularly gratifying to see Husqvarna doing so well in GNCC competition this season,” says Husqvarna’s National Marketing Manager Corey Eastman. “We are looking forward to rewarding our winning racers with some of the $12 million in contingency… solid proof that it really does pay to ‘Ride More’ in 2011,” says Eastman in reference to the company’s Ride More message for this season.

Next GNCC Race: March 26-27, 2011 – The Steele Creek GNCC, Morganton, NC