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Strang Second at Unadilla GNCC | Latest

The 2016 Grand National Cross Country Championship returned to racing after its three-month summer break for the 12th Annual Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing/Bel-Ray’s Josh Strang who made quick work off the start to earn the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Pro Holeshot Award and with Russell buried mid-pack, Strang looked to use his good start to his advantage.

However, Russell made quick work through the pack, and once they checked through timing and scoring for the first time the three-time defending champion already had a 43 second gap on Strang who maintained the second place position. Strang was accompanied by Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4 Arrive-N-Ride Team’s Thad Duvall.

As the three-hour race wore on Russell kept extending his lead, while Strang and Duvall battled it out wheel-to-wheel. Duvall secured second when Strang took a quick pit stop to take off his hydration pack. Strang didn’t lose much time and kept Duvall in tow.

With a nearly two-minute gap on the duo of Duvall and Strang, Russell was able to rebound from a crash he experienced on the last lap and still see the checkered flag first. “I did what I wanted to do the first half of the race and then just maintained from there,” said Russell. “I was having fun, until the last lap where I ended up going over the bars on the railroad ties and clipped another rider and it jerked my hands off the bars.”

With it being an eight lap race, Duvall and his team members decided to make a pit stop on the last lap allowing Strang, who decided not to pit, by for second. Strang continued to fend off Duvall where a mere three hundredths of a second separated the duo when the crossed the finish line.

“I got off to a good start and got out front early,” said Duvall. “I felt like I rode great and had an epic battle with Josh all day. We decided to pit on the last lap because we didn’t want a repeat of Georgia when I ran out of gas. I may have been a little tired the last lap when I was trying to pass Josh back, but I gave it my all. You can never be unhappy when you know you left it all out on the track.”

“Second isn’t too bad it’s just not what we are after,” said Strang. “We are after points. The track was good, the fans were great, and the weather ended up being perfect so overall it was a good day.”

XC1 Pro Event Results:

1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Josh Strang (HSQ)
3. Thad Duvall (HSQ)
4. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
5. Ryan Sipes (HSQ)
6. Grant Baylor (YAM)
7. Ricky Russell (SUZ)
8. Jordan Ashburn (KTM)
9. Scott Grills (KAW)
10. Tyler Medaglia (HSQ)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

1. Kailub Russell (256)
2. Josh Strang (236)
3. Trevor Bollinger (139)
4. Jordan Ashburn (131)
5. Craig Delong (118)
6. Grant Baylor (117)
7. Steward Baylor Jr. (116)
8. Chris Bach (105)
9. Thad Duvall (105)
10. Ricky Russell (99)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2016 National Champion.

XC2 Pro Lites Event Results:

1. Josh Toth (YAM)
2. Layne Michael (HSQ)
3. Nick Davis (BET)
4. Ben Kelley (KTM)
5. Craig Delong (HSQ)
6. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
7. Michael Witkowski (KTM)
8. Vance Francis (HON)
9. Jason Klammer (KTM)
10. Samuel Evans (YAM)

XC2 Pro Lites Series Standings:

1. Trevor Bollinger (246)
2. Craig Delong (218)
3. Layne Michael (180)
4. Jesse Groemm (158)
5. Benjamin Kelley (148)
6. Joshua Toth (135)
7. Vance Francis (108)
8. Samuel Evans (107)
9. Trevor Barrett (100)
10. Tegan Temple (95)