2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race Report

Grant Baylor takes second consecutive win.

Grant Baylor races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Grant Baylor had a near-flawless day in Ohio.Shan Moore

Grant Baylor blitzed the Little Raccoon National Enduro in Wellston, Ohio, winning all six tests en route to his second consecutive victory in the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series. Going back to the previous round in Pennsylvania, Grant has now claimed 12-straight test wins, which undoubtedly a series record.

“It was a solid day,” Grant said. “It was a little slippery in places and you had to be on your toes and be careful and just be ready for when the front end goes to wash. I went down one time in the last test and won every test today, so it was another awesome weekend.”

Steward Baylor races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
With four rounds remaining, Steward Baylor’s attention has turned to the championship fight.Shan Moore

Second overall went to Grant’s Tely Energy Racing KTM teammate and brother, Steward Baylor, who, despite finishing second in the last two rounds, still holds a 31-point lead in the series standings, However, with just four rounds remaining on the schedule, Steward can afford to finish out the season behind his brother in each round and still easily win the title.

“I could have been a little more aggressive, but at the same time we’re looking at the championship,” Steward said. “If I can keep in second place, and if Grant wants to keep winning, I’ll let him keep winning. I’m happy with it. I’m looking for that championship and I know all I’ve got to do is ride smart and I’m in a really good position as far as that goes.”

Evan Smith races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Evan Smith crashed hard in the final test, but still managed third overall.Shan Moore

Evan Smith rounded out the podium in third. The Max Motorsports/FXR Racing/Husqvarna-backed Georgian has been the most consistent of the rest of the field and easily finished on the podium in spite of two nasty crashes.

“I had a couple of decent-sized get-offs today,” Smith said. “The last test, I overshot a ravine and just kind of went into a tree in the air; [there was] not much I could do about it. That hurt a lot, so I kind of struggled to finish, but other than that it was a good day. It took me a while to adjust to it being so slick, but once I got comfortable, I was able to ride pretty smooth and smart and not make too many mistakes.”

Thorn Devlin races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Thorn Devlin turned in his best National Enduro performance with a fourth overall finish.Shan Moore

Claiming his best-ever National Enduro finish was Thorn Devlin. The GasGas North America rider had been struggling in the past few rounds, but put together a strong and impressive performance in Ohio, missing the podium by just 50 seconds.

“We just tried to get ourselves back out of a rut, and it worked,” Devlin noted. “The name of the game today was just have fun, get our flow going again, and if everything fell together, then great. I was just 50 seconds from a podium, so I’m getting closer. I’m just going to keep working and we’ll get there.”

Mike Witkowski races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Mike Witkowski had a relatively uneventful day en route to fifth.Shan Moore

Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski rounded out the top five. Witkowski lost some time in the fifth test, but turned in his best performance of the day in the final test to secure the position.

“The first four tests were pretty smooth and then I think the fifth one I got a little messed up in the last part,” Witkowski said. “I lost some time, but section six was my best; I ended up third in that one, which was pretty good. I just had a lot of fun at this one. I think this is my best one yet.”

Liam Draper races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Tely Energy Racing KTM’s Liam Draper won the NE Pro2 class with a sixth place overall finish.Shan Moore

Riding with a cracked pelvis from the previous week at the Tennessee Knockout in Tennessee, Tely Energy Racing KTM’s Liam Draper won the NE Pro2 division with a solid sixth place overall finish.

“I enjoyed this place last year when we had a Sprint [Enduro] here, so I was looking forward to it,” Draper said. “I got off to a pretty decent start. I just had fun all day, kept my head down, and managed to get another win.”

Mike Lafferty races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Mike Lafferty rode a 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R to 10th place in the AA class.Shan Moore

Nick Fahringer, who has been specializing in Extreme racing, finished seventh on a Sherco. Eighth and ninth was a battle between Tely Energy Racing KTM’s Ron Commo III and Husqvarna-mounted Alex Teagarden, with Commo getting the nod by just 2.841 seconds. Commo and Teagarden were also second and third, respectively, in the NE Pro2 class. 10th overall and first in the AA class went to Michael Pilar, who raced a Yamaha.

McKenzie Tricker races at the 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
McKenzie Tricker took the win in the Women’s Elite division, winning three of the five tests.Shan Moore

Eight-time National Enduro Champ Mike Lafferty drew a lot of attention and respect by riding a KTM 790 Adventure R to 10th overall in the AA class as well.

“Last year I raced my ’97 KTM [and] the year before that I raced a 1090 [Adventure R],” Lafferty said. “I wanted to do something a little different this year, so I thought this would be the perfect race to ride the 790. It was a blast.”

Tayla Jones 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Tayla Jones wrapped up the Women’s Elite title at the previous round and finished second at the Little Raccoon National Enduro.Shan Moore

MEPMX/Fly Racing/Grizzly Peak/Travelers Rest Speedway/KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker won the Women’s Elite class by 9.88 seconds ahead of Rockstar Energy/Moose Racing/Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones, with Kelsey Pacholke finishing in third on a Husqvarna.

“I started off a little slow this morning, but I came back and got some test wins [in the] afternoon,” Tricker said. “The track was really, really fast and kind of scary at times, I had some really big moments, but that’s what happens when you’re pushing, but other than that it was a good day.”

Rider splashes through mud at 2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Race.
Some riders rode around this creek in the transfer between sections four and five, while this unidentified rider went through it.Shan Moore

2019 Little Raccoon National Enduro Overall Results

Position Rider Brand
1 Grant Baylor KTM
2 Steward Baylor KTM
3 Evan Smith Husqvarna
4 Thorn Devlin GasGas
5 Mike Witkowski Beta
6 Liam Draper KTM
7 Nick Fahringer Sherco
8 Ron Commo III KTM
9 Alex Teagarden Husqvarna
10 Michael Pillar Yamaha

2019 Kenda AMA National Enduro Point Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Steward Baylor KTM 160
2 Grant Baylor KTM 129
3 Evan Smith Husqvarna 113
4 Mike Witkowski Beta 89
5 Liam Draper KTM 88
6 Russell Bobbitt KTM 87
7 Thorn Devlin GasGas 77
8 Cody Barnes Beta 60
9 Cory Buttrick Husqvarna 59
10 Ron Commo III KTM 51