ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio – Over 1,400 riders were on hand in St. Clairsville, Ohio on Sunday for the penultimate round of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series. After 12 rounds, several class championships in the Youth and Amateur divisions have been decided but the chase for the XC1 and XC2 titles remain up for grabs. At the 12th running of the ITP Powerline Park GNCC, Charlie Mullins captured a big overall win to put an end to Kailub Russell’s previous five-race winning streak and tighten up the championship spread to just two points with one round to go. Defending XC2 Pro Lites champ Jason Thomas kept his championship hopes alive with a third place finish in the class where he will now face points leader Grant Baylor head-to-head at the season finale.
Coming into the ITP Powerline Park GNCC, Russell held a seven-point lead over his Factory FMF/KTM teammate, but this time it was Mullins who prevailed after three hours of grueling battle in the rough and fast-paced 12-mile course. AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley claimed the early lead after grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award but the KTM duo of Mullins and Russell were close behind as they made their way into the woods on the opening lap.