GNCC Racing

Knight on Fire Heading into Loretta Lynn's

Monday, April 21, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Hurricane Mills, Tenn (April 21, 2008) -- David Knight’s charge for a second-straight Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Title could get much easier if he can win this weekend’s Acerbis Loretta Lynn’s GNCC in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. With three wins in four races already this season, Knight can establish dominance over the competition if he can win again. Expect his competition to step up this weekend to loosen his championship grip.

Many will look to FMF Suzuki’s Charlie Mullins to stop Knight this weekend, as Mullins is the only other rider to take a victory this season. “Hot Rod” won in Georgia, but crashed and suffered a wrist injury at the next race in North Carolina, and then managed third while riding through pain at the previous GNCC in South Carolina. He will be 100 percent healed and ready to win again for Loretta’s.

Mullins teammates have all looked strong this season, with Paul Whibley, Jimmy Jarrett and Joshua Strang all collecting podium finishes. Also, Knight’s teammate Nathan Kanney has shown tremendous speed since returning from Europe’s World Enduro Championships. Kanney has led segments of each GNCC this year and could be the one who ultimately ends his teammates’ win streak.

In the battle for momentum, another group of riders will look for Loretta’s to produce a much-needed confidence boost. Am-Pro Yamaha’s Jason Raines, Kawasaki riders Garrett Edmisten and Jesse Robinson, and the new factory Husqvarna team, with Australian Glenn Kearney and Northern Ireland’s Gordon Crockard, will all aim for podium finishes this weekend.

The GNCC XC2 Class features a budding battle between points leader Thad DuVall, of the Am-Pro Yamaha team, and Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha riders Dustin Gibson and Josh Weisenfels. DuVall notched wins at the first three races of the season, but Gibson came back to win the previous round in South Carolina, while Weisenfels led most of the race before getting stuck in a mud hole on the last lap.

Bike pros race on Sunday for three hours, beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday’s program also features Youth bike racing at 8 a.m. and beginning amateurs at 10 a.m.