2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race Report

Kailub Russell claims fifth win of the 2019 Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series.

Kailub Russell races at the 2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race.
Kailub Russell picked up the pace on Sunday, extending his lead over the competition. “The Enduro test kept getting faster. It just kept getting more traction and the main line got bette and easier to ride, so the times got faster,” Russell said. “I was really good in that test. That’s where I made up most of my time.”Darrin Chapman

Kailub Russell won round 6 of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series at LL Raceway in Fairmount City, Pennsylvania. In all, the FMF KTM Factory Racing rider never finished worse than second in any of the 12 tests and won six of the tests en route to a 20-second margin of victory over Babbitt's/Monster Energy/Kawasaki's Josh Strang. With the win Russell extended his lead in the series standings to 46 points over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thad Duvall.

“The tests were really fun and it was a good weekend for me,” Russell said. “I was able to stay pretty consistent both days and take home another win.

Each day of the two-day Full Gas Sprint Enduro races are scored as a round, and Russell won Saturday’s round by 5.3 seconds over Strang. Russell beat Strang by 14 seconds for Sunday’s win, which combined for a 20-second overall win.

“I was able to gain time in the Enduro test because the lines got drier and faster, and that suited my style,” Russell noted.

Josh Strang races at the 2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race.
Josh Strang didn’t get off to the best of starts on Saturday, but finished off the event with a win in the final test on Sunday. “The first test on Saturday, the Cross test, was slicker than I thought, and I just didn’t ride very well,” Strang admitted. “In the woods test I felt good. I won the last test of the day on Sunday and I felt like I had some pretty good lines.”Darrin Chapman

Strang finished off the weekend in the runner-up spot, after finishing second on both days. The Aussie off-road star liked the event and felt it was one of the best courses of the year.

“Actually, the conditions were perfect pretty much all weekend,” Strang said. “As far as the dirt goes, it couldn’t get much better. The grass track was a little tighter than the last two rounds. It just wasn’t as high speed. The Enduro test, I think it was the best one all year so far just because they opened it up a little more, so there was opportunity for more lines. I just think you could flow a little better and I think it just made for better racing.”

Thad Duvall races at the 2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race.
Thad Duvall finished on a high note by winning the Enduro test at the end of the day on Sunday.Darrin Chapman

Duvall won the final test of the weekend en route to third place overall. Jordan Ashburn, who signed with Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/Kawasaki during the off-season, has been looking more comfortable on the new bike, and took home a well-deserved fourth overall for the weekend. Layne Michael rounded out the top five on a Husqvarna, while sixth overall went to Tely Energy Racing KTM’s Grant Baylor.

Evan Smith and Ben Nelko race at the 2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race.
Left: Evan Smith won the Pro2 class while riding with an injured hand. "I hurt my hand a few weeks ago at Snowshoe and it's been pretty painful," Smith said. "I can't really pull my clutch in all that well and I haven't really been practicing at all since then." Right: Ben Nelko is currently racing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series and decided to ride the Sprint Enduro since the motocross series had an off this weekend. "I struggled a little bit on the enduro tests, but I won four out of the six Cross tests," Nelko said. "I loved the race; it was a lot of fun. I liked it because it was so laid-back, and you just went out and rode. It was a good time. What I liked most about it compared to the outdoors stuff is how much everybody got along. Everybody was so cool. I like the way you jump back and forth from the grass track to the woods stuff. I thought it was pretty cool."Darrin Chapman

Max Motorsports/FXR/Husqvarna’s Evan Smith finished seventh overall, which was good enough for first place in the Pro2 division. Coastal Racing Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong was eighth overall, while pro motocross racer Ben Nelko was ninth on a Yamaha and second in the Pro2 class. Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski was 10th overall and third in the Pro2 division.

Becca Sheets races at the 2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race.
Becca Sheets currently sits second in the Women’s Pro class standings after winning the Pennsylvania round.Darrin Chapman

Maxxis KTM’s Becca Sheets took the win in the Women’s Pro class, beating out Beta USA’s Korie Steede by just over three minutes. Team Green Kawasaki’s Shelby Rolen rounded out the podium in third. Mason Atherton (14th overall) topped Billy Schlag (15th overall) for the win in the Pro-Am class, with RJ Cook in third (16th overall).

Grant Baylor races at the 2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race.
Grant Baylor, who has spent most of the season recovering from injury, finished sixth overall on a Tely Energy Racing KTM.Darrin Chapman

2019 Pennsylvania Sprint Enduro Overall Results

Position Rider Brand
1 Kailub Russell KTM
2 Josh Strang Kawasaki
3 Thad Duvall Husqvarna
4 Jordan Ashburn Kawasaki
5 Layne Michael Husqvarna
6 Grant Baylor KTM
7 Evan Smith Husqvarna
8 Craig DeLong Husqvarna
9 Ben Nelko Yamaha
10 Mike Witkowski Beta
Mike Witkowski races at the 2019 Pennsylvania Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race.
Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski finished 10th overall and third in the Pro2 class.Darrin Chapman

2019 Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Championship Point Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Kailub Russell KTM 332
2 Thad Duvall Husqvarna 268
3 Josh Strang Kawasaki 256
4 Jordan Ashburn Kawasaki 193
5 Josh Toth KTM 168
6 Craig DeLong Husqvarna 147
7 Layne Michael Husqvarna 70
8 Ben Kelley KTM 63
9 Cory Buttrick Husqvarna 50
10 Steward Baylor KTM 44