Dirt Bike News - Jason Raines Beats Rival Rodney Smith at Patriot GNCC - Dirt Rider Magazine

No matter the terrain, Am Pro Yamaha's Jason Raines and FMF Suzuki's Rodney Smith keep taking their battles for an AMA Grand National Cross Country win down to the final lap. For the fifth race in a row Smith, the veteran four-time GNCC Champion, and Raines, the series' top young rider, dueled wheel-to-wheel in the final minutes of a three-hour race. Raines came out on top for his second win in a row."It was an awesome battle," said Raines after capturing the Patriot GNCC at Virginia Motorsports Park. "We must have passed five or six times on the last lap. Like I've been saying, these battles have been the greatest of my life."Smith led the race heading into the last lap, but Raines caught him and the race was on. Smith's final bid for the lead ended when they raced side-by-side through a puddle. "I had water get up underneath my roll offs," said Smith. "I actually got him back, but when we got into the woods I couldn't see and I hit a tree. I'm not a sand rider, so to take second place today behind Jason, who rode awesome, I'll take it."Smith's teammate Mike Kiedrowski was also in the hunt all day, but a last-lap crash dropped him to the third. "People were getting stuck in mud holes, and we would stack up behind them, so I think that's why the racing was so back-and-forth today," said the four-time AMA National Motocross Champion. "On the last lap I hit a tree and fell, and my goggles instantly fogged up. So then I had to take my goggles off, and I knew I would just have to take third."Am Pro Yamaha's Randy Hawkins logged his best GNCC ride in years with a strong fourth-place ride, with FMF Suzuki vet Fred Andrews in fifth.Attrition took out several title contenders, most notably defending GNCC Champion Barry Hawk, who crashed out while battling Raines for the lead early. Hawk washed out in a high-speed corner and landed on his head. The champ was diagnosed with probable concussion.Parts Unlimited/Moose Honda's Scott Summers dropped out of the race early with a blown shock, and Throttlehead.com Kawasaki's Steve Hatch was on charge until he lost his rear brakes. Shane Watts logged some of the fastest laps of the day on his KTM 200, but a series of huge crashes resulted into a bent-up machine and a DNF for the Aussie.Smith leads the standings over Raines by just five points as the GNCC series heads to one of its premier events, the Parts Unlimited Wisp GNCC in Deep Creek, Maryland, in two weeks.Results: Patriot GNCC, Petersburg, VA

1. Jason Raines (Yam)
2. Rodney Smith (Suz)
3. Mike Kiedrowski (Suz)
4. Randy Hawkins (Yam)
5. Fred Andrews (Suz)
6. Robbie Jenks (Yam)
7. Doug Blackwell (Suz)
8. Steve Hatch (Kaw)
9. Cole Calkins (Kaw)
10. Nathan Kanney (Yam)
11. Charles Mullins (KTM)
12. Brian Garrahan (KTM)
13. Justin Williamson (Yam)
14. Stephen Edmondson (KTM)
15. Aaron Wegner (Yam)
16. Scott Watkins (Kaw)
17. Jesse Robinson (Kaw)
18. Travis Green (Kaw)
19. DR Atwood (KTM)
20. Garrett Edmisten (Kaw)
AMA Grand National Cross Country Series Point Standings (After 8 of 14 rounds)

1. Rodney Smith (191)
2. Jason Raines (186)
3. Barry Hawk, Jr. (124)
4. Fred Andrews (120)
5. Steve Hatch (117)
6. Mike Kiedrowski (114)
7. Scott Summers (103)
8. Brian Garrahan (92)
9. Doug Blackwell (91)
10. Cole Calkins (78)