Kailub Russell grabbed the holeshot as well as the Fastest Lap Award but a slick first turn and a couple unexpected stops were just enough to keep him from his fourth win of the season in Round 6 of the Grand National Cross Country series on Sunday at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN.
Russell fought hard with his Factory FMF/KTM teammate Charlie Mullins from beginning to end, starting with his charge out the gate, but a big down pour just prior to the race left things a bit slippery and Russell quickly gave the lead to Mullins after a shaky first turn. Russell, a MotoSport-rider, took the lead back, but then had to change out his goggles and gave it right up again falling back to fourth-place. Hot and humid temperatures added additional challenges to the riders.
Russell managed to pass Josh Strang and Jason Thomas to retake second-place where he battled with Mullins until the end. The teammates took turns for the lead but eventually Russell went out front and put some distance over Mullins but a stop for gas allowed Mullins right back into the race.
Kailub Russell (L) holds his second-place trophy for GNCC Round 6 - Photos: Ken Hill
"On the last lap I made a little mistake and Charlie got around me," Russell said. "We battled pretty hard the next couple of corners, banging bars pretty hard and fighting for the first place position. I kind of got rebounded out of a rut and it sent me to the ground. I put on a hard charge to catch up but the damage was done."
Mullins beat Russell by six seconds for his second straight win and third of the season to push his points total in the Overall National Championship Standings to 12 over Russell. Mullins and Russell are the only winners this season in GNCC, each with three. Strang held on for third-place for the fourth-time this season. He is also in third-place in the championship standings with 111 points, 32 behind Russell.
Former Supercross/Motocross stand-out Ryan Sipes took 10th place in the XC1 class, his fifth Top 10 finish in the class this season.
GNCC racing returns for Round 7 on May 24-25 at Marvin's Mountain Top in Masontown, WV. Pro bikes start at 1 p.m. (EST) on May 25.
GNCC Round 6 XC1 Pro Results
- Charlie Mullins
- Kailub Russell - MotoSport rider
- Josh Strang
- Chris Bach
- Jordan Ashburn
- Andrew Delong
- Paul Whibley
- Takeshi Koikeda
- Adam Bonneur
- Ryan Sipes
Overall National Championship Standings
- Charlie Mullins (155)
- Kailub Russell (143) - MotoSport rider
- Josh Strang (111)
- Jordan Ashburn (93)
- Paul Whibley (89)
- Grant Baylor (80)
- Ricky Russell (74)
- Steward Baylor (71)
- Andrew Delong (70)
- Thad DuVall (61)