Yamaha Racing Ironman: Motorcycle Race Report

2020-10-26 06:38
Round 12 of the 2020 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, concluded at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana on Sunday, October 25. Coming through to take his second overall win of the season was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Josh Strang.
Josh Strang (Babbitt's Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki) clinched his second overall victory of the 2020 season. Photo: Ken Hill

Strang steadily made his way through the pack after starting in the third place position. After moving into second Strang would set his sights on the lead position, and he would battle throughout the fourth lap to take over the number one spot. Strang would continue to lead the last four laps of racing, but not without pressure from AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor Jr.

Strang and Baylor Jr. continued to battle on the last lap, but after an incident on Ironman hill Baylor Jr. would find himself falling behind Strang as they came through the motocross track to take the checkered flag. Baylor Jr. held the lead for the first three laps of racing before Strang made the stick, but even after a crash on the hill he would remain 1.5 seconds ahead of third overall.

FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley worked his way up after running seventh on the opening laps of racing. Kelley make the necessary passes to move up through the pack, and he would close the gap between him and Baylor Jr. as the white flag flew. Kelley moves into seventh overall in the points standings after missing the first half of the season.

Coming through to take fourth overall on the day was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell. Russell found himself towards the front of the XC1 Open Pro riders at the beginning of the race but would make a mistake halfway through losing some valuable time with the leaders. Russell would continue to push on, ultimately coming through 7 seconds behind his teammate Kelley.

Another rider that found himself towards the front early on in the race was AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael. On lap four, Michael came through timing and scoring holding onto third overall but as the race worse on he would find himself falling back two positions to take fifth overall on the day.
Steward Baylor Jr. (AmPro Yamaha) earned second overall on the day in Indiana. Photo: Ken Hill

FactoryONE Sherco’s Grant Baylor was making moves throughout the duration of the race after coming through timing and scoring in eighth on the opening lap. Baylor would continue to push, as he made his way up to sixth overall after a hard-fought battle at this year’s Ironman event. Baylor continues to hold onto sixth in the XC1 Open Pro class standings.

Earning seventh on the day was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jordan Ashburn. After coming through fifth on lap one, Ashburn would have his work cut out for him as a hungry pack of riders were right behind him. Ashburn found himself as far back as eighth at one point in the race and would then move into seventh on the day continuing to stay in that position until the checkered flag flew.

Phoenix Honda Racing’s Andrew Delong made a last lap pass to move into eighth after running ninth for majority of the race. While Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall suffered a crash on the fifth lap and found himself back to eighth after running up in fifth for the first half of the race. KLM Kawasaki’s Evan Earl rounded out the top 10 in the XC1 class after steadily holding onto that position throughout the race.
Craig Delong (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) brought home the XC2 250 Pro class win. Photo: Ken Hill

In the XC2 250 Pro class, it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig Delong jumping out to grab the $100 Hot Cams XC2 Holeshot Award. Delong would then fall back to fifth in the class but would soon find himself picking off riders to make the pass for the lead on lap five. Delong would hold onto lead taking his fourth win of the season and regaining the class points lead as the series heads into its last round of racing.

Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Lyndon Snodgrass held the early lead but would soon face a battle with Trail Jesters KTM’s Jonathan Girroir. As the duo battle, Girroir would make the pass for the lead and hold onto it for one lap. Unfortunately, Girroir would crash towards the end of race and end up eleventh in his class. Snodgrass would regroup and continue to battle for a podium finish. Snodgrass would again make a last lap pass to regain second, landing himself his first podium finish in the XC2 class.

Rounding out the XC2 class podium in third was AmPro Yamaha’s Mike Witkowski. Witkowski would battle throughout the three-hour race at the front of the pack, but he would be unable to hold the lead. Witkowski moved into second on the last lap, but with Snodgrass hot on his heels he would be unable to hold him off. Witkowski came through to take third in his class, and now sits second in the points standings.

Taking the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class win Raines Riding University/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Jason Raines. Coming through to earn second was the newly-crowned XC3 National Champion, Moose Racing/Carolina KTM/XC Gear’s Zack Hayes. Rounding out the podium in third was FXR/Husqvarna’s Jason Lipscomb.
Joseph Cunningham earned the top amateur honors. Photo: Ken Hill

Earning the top amateur honors was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Joseph Cunningham after finishing 18th overall and first in the 250 A class. Dakoda Devore and Nathan Rector rounded out the top amateur podium with their 20th and 21st overall finishes.

In the 10 a.m. race it was AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer coming through to earn her fifth overall win of the season. Archer would take the win, even after an incident with a lapper left her with a possible broken ankle. Factory Beta USA’s Rachel Gutish came through to take second in the WXC class followed by BABS Racing Yamaha/Maxxis’ Becca Sheets, who rounded out the WXC podium.

A new winner emerged in the youth ranks with Cole Forbes taking the youth overall win and the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class win. Davis came through to earn second overall and in the YXC1 class, with Lane Whitmer crossing the line third overall in the 8 a.m. youth morning race.
Montgomery County Community Foundation was awarded $5,000 from the GNCC Racing Nation's efforts. Photo: Ken Hill

$5,000 was awarded to the Montgomery County Community Foundation with donations coming from Yamaha Racing, KTM North America, HBD Moto Grafix, and the GNCC Racing Nation as they contributed in purchasing Pink Ironman stickers and partaking in the Mullets for Mammies by Bottleneck Live contest.

Two highlight shows featuring ATVs and motorcycles will be featured on MAVTV at a later date. To view the full broadcast schedule, click HERE.

For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.

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Strang atop the podium at the 26th Annual Ironman GNCC. Photo: Ken Hill

Ironman Results and Points Standings
Crawfordsville, Indiana
Round 12 of 13
Sunday, October 25, 2020

XC1 Pro Event Results:

Josh Strang (KAW)
Steward Baylor Jr. (YAM)
Benjamin Kelley (KTM)
Kailub Russell (KTM)
Layne Michael (YAM)
Grant Baylor (SHR)
Jordan Ashburn (KAW)
Andrew Delong (HON)
Thad Duvall (HQV)
Evan Earl (KAW)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

Kailub Russell (295)
Josh Strang (246)
Jordan Ashburn (185)
Craig Delong (171)
Michael Witkowski (161)
Steward Baylor Jr. (158)
Benjamin Kelley (153)
Grant Baylor (152)
Jonathan Girroir (146)
Cody Barnes (122)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2020 National Champion.

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

Craig Delong (HQV)
Lyndon Snodgrass (KAW)
Michael Witkowski (YAM)
Liam Draper (KTM)
Cody Barnes (BET)
Ryder Lafferty (HQV)
Jonathan Johnson (HON)
Jesse Ansley (KTM)
Ben Parsons (HQV)
Samuel Evans (KTM)

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

Craig Delong (296)
Michael Witkowski (285)
Jonathan Girroir (280)
Cody Barnes (211)
Liam Draper (194)
Thorn Devlin (145)
Jonathan Johnson (141)
Ryder Lafferty (134)
Benjamin Nelko (111)
Jesse Ansley (103)

To get the latest GNCC Racing clothing and merchandise visit https://www.mototees.com.

How to Watch

Racer TV and MAVTV are the official homes for coverage of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 13 rounds, from the season opening Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina to the finale at Ironman Raceway in Indiana, will air in taped-delayed telecasts on MAVTV, while Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 2 p.m. ATV and 1 p.m. motorcycle races from each event. Catch all the action at http://www.mavtv.com/ and http://www.racertv.com/.


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