Team Suzuki’s Josh Strang didn’t make life easy for himself at Round four of the GNCC series when he slid out in the first turn. He picked his 450 up quickly, but the pack was still a disappearing cloud of dust when he got going. The odd thing is that by the time Strang bulled his way to the the physical lead, XC2 (Pro 250cc four-stroke) leader Kailub Russell was reportedly overall leader on time.
Strang’s FMF Suzuki teammate Charlie “Hot Rod” Mullins led the race at the start, and the lead pack pulled away, but stayed a dog pack scrapping over meat. At one point Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney gambled on a pit strategy that put him in the lead. He was safe out front by almost half a minute when he lost the bet and the lead when he ran out of fuel two miles from the pits.
Strang also battled with former teammate and now Geico Kawasaki racer Paul Whibley. Whibley eventually nabbed second with Mullins third in the pro class. If the premiere XC1 continues as it has, it will make five straight years that a foreign rider took the title in this all-American style of off-road racing.
Lately the young Shock Doctor KTM XC2 class riders have been on a tear, and that continued with Russell taking third overall, and if you want to look at it that way, top American. He holeshot the race, but his teammate and second place finisher Cory Buttrick emulated Strang and low-sided in the first turn. Jason Thomas — the English off-road racer, and not the American motocrosser — worked his way forward and worked on to the podium mere yards from the flag.