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Check Point | 2020 Bulldog GNCC

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PRESENTED BY MOOSE RACING

MEDIA | GNCC

Sunday marked the return to action for the GNCC series with the 2020 Bulldog GNCC, which came after significant changes to the 2020 schedule due to COVID-19. The efforts made GNCC the first full-time professional motorcycle racing championship to resume in the US and ended the two-month span between rounds. We have to applaud the series organizers, competitors, and property owners for their willingness to make races happen properly and in accordance with health and safety guidelines because this event will be an indication of what we can expect at tracks going forward in this current situation.

Followers of the East Coast off-road series will note that the Bulldog GNCC ran at the same exact venue as the prior round, the General GNCC. This is due to Georgia’s early easing of restrictions for gatherings after COVID-19 and that the facility is already completely capable of holding an event of this size without issue.

The first rounds of the GNCC series have been exciting, with Kailub Russell winning the first two races in his farewell season of full-time competition. The multi-time champion came back to Georgia with a commanding lead in the point standings and has a favorite for the weekend’s win. There were some shakeups in the series during the break, including Steward Baylor’s split from the FactoryONE Sherco squad. Baylor nearly topped Russell at the General round a few weeks back but saw the win slip away with a last-lap pass. Unfortunately, Baylor was unable to put together a deal to race the Bulldog round and was absent from the starting line.

When the Pro Class riders pulled to the starting line for the afternoon’s three-hour long battle, excitement and anticipation were high. Everyone on site abided by the guidelines, including masks worn by officials and race teams and proper distance encouraged between spectators. Riders separated around the property as soon as the green flag flew, as FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell claimed the holeshot and led the XC1 pack into the woods. With one Russell in control at the front of the field, attention turned to Coastal Racing Husqvarna rider Ricky Russell and his run to second place, which culminated in another last-lap duel for the top spot in Georgia. Unfortunately, Ricky Russell made a mistake in the woods while attempting to pass Kailub Russell, ran into a tree, and was gored by the handlebars; the Husqvarna rider suffered a broken hip and cut open his femoral artery. Medics were able to get Russell to a local hospital, where surgery was done to repair the damage and being the recovery process.

Josh Strang benefitted from the late-race carnage, as it completed the Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki rider’s push from the mid-pack to the runner-up spot. The runner-up finish puts Strang up to second place in the championship standings. AmPro Yamaha’s Layne Michael spent the early part of the race in right behind leader Russell, but slipped back to third place before the checkered flag.

The XC2 class was won by Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Craig DeLong, who started the race with the holeshot in the class and attempted to keep pace with the XC1 group. DeLong eventually eased into a tempo that kept him in control of the top spot in XC2 and put him third overall on the day. Ryder Lafferty worked his XC Gear/Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna into podium position early, reached second place, and stayed there until the checkered flag. AmPro Yamaha/St. Lawrence Radiology Mike Witkowski made a crucial pass to take third place in the running order with two laps to go and he secured the final podium finishing position.

XC1 Pro Event Results

1. Kailub Russell
2. Josh Strang
3. Layne Michael
4. Jordan Ashburn
5. Josh Toth
6. Grant Baylor
7. Andrew DeLong
8. Evan Earl
9. Ricky Russell

Overall National Championship Standings

1. Kailub Russell | 120
2. Josh Strang | 92
3. Jordan Ashburn | 60
4. Ricky Russell | 59
5. Steward Baylor Jr. | 43
6. Grant Baylor | 43
7. Layne Michael | 36
8. Andrew DeLong | 35
9. Josh Toth | 14
10. Todd Kellett | 11

XC2 250 Pro Event Results

1. Craig DeLong
2. Ryder Lafferty
3. Mike Witkowski
4. Jonathan Girroir
5. Cody Barnes
6. Thorn Devlin
7. Jonathan Johnson
8. Liam Draper
9. Ben Nelko
10. Ryder LeBlond 

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings

1. Craig DeLong | 102
2. Jonathan Girroir | 98
3. Mike Witkowski | 97
4. Cody Barnes | 67
5. Liam Draper | 56
6. Thorn Devlin | 50
7. Jonathan Johnson | 45
8. Simon Johnson | 42
9. Evan Smith | 39
10. Jesse Ansley | 37

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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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