Sport General Sport Russell Grabs Second Consecutive Win at Round 3 of the 2012 GNCC: FMF Steele Creek, North Carolina

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Russell Grabs Second Consecutive Win at Round 3 of the 2012 GNCC: FMF Steele Creek, North Carolina Hot

GNCC 2012 Steele Creek

It didn’t take long for Factory FMF/KTM’s Kaliub Russell to correct for a disappointing performance back in Round 1 of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country season. After tangling with some vines and injuring his left shoulder in Florida, Russell seems to have put that all behind him now that he’s picked up two consecutive wins.

Last weekend’s Round 3 at the FMF Steele Creek in Morganton, North Carolina, saw Russell capture first place in the XC1 Pro Class by laying down some killer lap times throughout the grueling three-hour race. This win at Steel Creek bumps Russell up to second place in the competition, with AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley still holding down first.

Paul Whibley Starts Strong

Whibley asserted himself right off the bat, grabbing the $250 Holeshot Award, but it didn’t take long before Russell and fellow FMF/KTM rider, Charlie Mullins were up front dictating the pace. Joining these three in the joust for a podium finish were Shenandoah Honda/OffRoadChampion's Thad DuVall, and FMF/KTM’s Cory Buttrick. By the end of the third lap, all five pulled into the pits practically at the same time.

Baylor Makes A Move

Not only did these top five have each other to deal with, but they were also being dogged by a young gun from the second row. Throwing himself into the thick of things on his KTM 250 two-stroke was the defending XC2 Pro Lite champ Steward Baylor Jr. There is no doubt that Baylor was looking for an overall win. In fact, it was the 17-year-old Baylor that came closest to matching Russell’s best lap time, with a 15 second difference between the two (25:40 for Russell and 25:55 for Baylor).

Leading Up To GNCC Round 4

It was last year’s champ, Mullins, that first started to drop out of black porn the lead pack - apparently a health issue sapped his energy and bumped him down to sixth for the race. As he faded, DuVall and Whibley worked on each other for second place only to watch Buttrick zip past as they both stopped to refuel. When Buttrick was forced to pit in the next lap, Whibley was right there to regain second. Nevertheless, Buttrick was still able to grab his first podium finish of the season one minute behind Whibley. For now, Whibley’s second place finish keeps him first in points, but that gap is going to shrink real quick if Russell keeps riding this well. We’ll soon find out if Russell can keep up the pace when Round 4 rolls around on April 14th at the VP Racing Big Buck in Union, South Carolina.

Video

2012 ATV Round 3 - The Steele Creek GNCC

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