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2024 The Old Gray GNCC | Race Report, Results & Recap Video


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The Grand National Cross Country Series continued its thirteen-round tour with the 2024 The Old Gray GNCC in Tennessee. The fifth round took place at an all-new venue and once again proved why this year should be one of the most best ever for the East Coast off-road championship, thanks to the list of capable and competitive title contenders, increasing support from motorcycle brands, and a hearty turnout of amateur participants and highly-engaged fans.

The 2024 Progressive Grand National Cross Country (GNCC Racing) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, continued yesterday, April 14, with the inaugural Dunlop Motorcycle Tires Old Gray GNCC event. Racers and fans from across the world converged in Monterey, Tennessee to witness Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki’s Steward Baylor claim his first win of the 2024 season. 

When the green flag waved Phoenix Racing Honda’s Michael Witkowski found himself getting a quick jump off the line and earning the $250 Steel City Medical Center Holeshot Award, but it wouldn’t take long for the hometown favorite Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jordan Ashburn to transition into the lead as they entered the woods. 

Meanwhile, the freight train of racers behind Ashburn continued to push forward towards him to battle for that number one spot. FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Johnny Girroir and AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell would come through in second and third on the opening lap, but no one could rule out Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki’s Steward Baylor as he was just 1.1 seconds behind Russell coming through timing and scoring on lap one.

Ashburn continued to hold the lead as they checked through timing and scoring on the second lap, but a hard-charging Baylor had made his way around Russell and had his sights set on passing Girroir and taking that number one spot from Ashburn.

As the pack of racers came through to complete three laps of racing, Baylor had taken over the lead, but Ashburn did not seem to be going down without a fight as he had a lot of hometown support being from just about 20 minutes away from the track location. Girroir would now sit back in third as Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Craig Delong started to creep up closer to the front-runners.

As the race wore on, Baylor would continue to lead the way, but a last lap mishap would put Ashburn right on his back wheel as the two came through pro row and then into the woods just before the finish line. Baylor would continue to push all the way to the checkered flag, earning his first win of the 2024 with just a 1.8 second lead over Ashburn who came through to earn second in front his family, friends and a lot of hometown fans. 

Girroir would push himself almost to take max as he came through to round out the top three and remain in the points lead after five rounds of racing. Delong would be unable to become a real threat to the top three this round as he fought back to finish fourth on the day. After earning the holeshot award, Witkowski would drop back to sixth fir the first half of the race, but he would be able to make it up to fifth to end his day out. 

Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Grant Baylor had his work cut out of him as he came through tenth on the opening lap. Baylor would continue to push forward and ultimately made his way up to sixth in XC1 Open Pro and eighth overall on the day. 

Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Trevor Bollinger had a good start to his day and came through running inside the top five after the first lap. Bollinger would continue to try and remain consistent on his day, finishing seventh in XC1 and tenth overall. Active Air/Max Motorsports/FXR/Husqvarna’s Evan Smith remained eighth in the XC1 class throughout the day,  while JS7 Sherco Racing’s Josh Strang and Morgantown Powersports/Tely Energy’s Layne Michael rounded out the top 10 finishers in the XC1 class. 

Unfortunately for some other racers they would only be able to complete half the laps as Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty was out after 3 laps, as well as Mitchell Frantz and AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell who suffered a crash that took him out with a tweaked shoulder. For Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass he was unfortunately out before completing one lap due to a mechanical issue. 

The XC2 250 Pro class would be an exciting one to watch as Great Britain’s Jack Edmondson returned to racing and grabbed himself the $250 Steel City Medical Center’s Holeshot Award to start his return. However, it would not take long for Team Enduro Engineering’s Josh Toth and FMF KTM Factory Racing Lander’s Grant Davis to begin the long three-hour battle back-and-forth for the lead. Toth and Davis would continue to swap the lead multiple times throughout the day, but as the checkered flag came out it was Davis making his way out of the woods first to earn his second class win of the season, moving him into the XC2 class points lead. Toth would hold on to finish second in the class.

A little farther back saw some exciting battles as well as AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper made a last lap pass on Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki’s Thad Duvall to take over the last podium spot in the XC2 class. Duvall would finish fourth in the class, while Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cody Barnes made his way up to fifth in the class after coming around in eleventh on the opening lap.

As the morning race took off it was Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Korie Steede getting the jump off the line and earning herself the $100 Kanati Performance Tires WXC Holeshot Award. It would not take the number one machine of Rocky Mountain  Red Bear Kawasaki’s Rachael Archer to make her way past Steede as she was on a mission to get to the front of the race this weekend. 

Archer would move into the lead on the opening lap and not look back. She continued to gain momentum and push herself throughout the two-hour race. Archer came through to earn her second WXC class win of the season, and first overall morning race win of the season. Enduro Engineering/GASGAS/FXR Moto’s Shelby Turner would continue to battle behind Archer with Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Korie Steede throughout the duration of the race. Turner would be able to hold off Steede as she came through to earn second overall and in the WXC class. Steede would hold on to round out the top three overall finishers in the morning race and in the WXC class. 

2024 The Old Gray GNCC | Monterey, Tennessee
Round Five Results & Standings

XC1 Pro Event Results
1. Steward Baylor
2. Jordan Ashburn
3. Jonathan Girroir
4. Craig Delong
5. Michael Witkowski
6. Grant Baylor
7. Trevor Bollinger
8. Evan Smith
9. Josh Strang
10. Layne Michael

Overall National Championship Standings
1. Jonathan Girroir | 131
2. Steward Baylor | 112
3. Jordan Ashburn | 91
4. Grant Davis | 79
5. Grant Baylor | 62
6. Angus Riordan | 61
7. Josh Toth | 50
8. Craig Delong | 49
9. Dante Oliveira | 49
10. Michael Witkowski | 46

XC2 250 Pro Event Results
1. Grant Davis
2. Josh Toth
3. Liam Draper
4. Thad Duvall
5. Cody Barnes
6. Ruy Barbosa
7. Angus Riordan
8. Brody Johnson
9. Tyler Palmer
10. Jason Lipscomb

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings
1. Grant Davis | 131
2. Angus Riordan | 117
3. Josh Toth | 93
4. Liam Draper | 91
5. Jesse Ansley | 67
6. Ruy Barbosa | 67
7. Cody Barnes | 66
8. Thad Duvall | 65
9. Tyler Palmer | 59
10. Brody Johnson | 55

Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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