KTM Race Report: Mullins Wins Loretta Lynn's GNCC

TimeMonday, May 12, 2014 | 12:10 PM

Factory FMF/KTM rider Charlie Mullins took a hard fought win against his teammate Kailub Russell at the sixth round of the GNCC Racing Series held at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Joining Mullins at the top of the podium were his teammates Grant Baylor and Kacy Martinez taking the victories in the XC2 Pro Lites and WXC classes. 

Russell pulled his first holeshot of the season at Loretta Lynn's
Russell pulled his first holeshot of the season at Loretta Lynn's Photo: Ken Hill

Weather was the biggest factor in the sixth round of the series as riders were faced with warm temperatures and high humidity. Hard rainfall dropped immediately prior to the start of the afternoon races which allowed for no dust during the race but a very slippery race course. The riders raced an 11.5 mile rocky loop for six total laps.

For the first time this season, Russell pulled the holeshot followed closely by his teammate Mullins off the start of the XC1 Pro line. The two riders immediately began a battle that would last the next three hours. Russell led the race until mile eight where he stopped to get goggles. This quick stop dropped him to 5th place. By the end of the second lap, Russell was able to catch back up to 2nd place behind Mullins. On that same lap, both riders came into the pits for goggles and Russell decided to refuel.

Mullins came out on top in Tennessee winning his third race of the season
Mullins came out on top in Tennessee winning his third race of the season Photo: Ken Hill

At the end of the third lap, Mullins stopped for gas which allowed Russell to get out front and pull a 16 second gap on Mullins. A few miles into that lap, Russell suffered a crash which allowed Mullins to close the gap. With two laps to go, only 10 seconds separated the teammates. On the final lap, Russell had to stop for a splash of gas which allowed Mullins to close within 5 seconds of him. Around the 8 mile marker of the final lap, Mullins was able to challenge Russell for the lead and made a pass to take over the top spot. Russell fell as a result of the contact made during the pass and lost a few seconds to Mullins. At the end of the race, Mullins took his third win of the season by a 6 second victory over Russell.

“It was a tough battle today,” stated Mullins. “Kailub (Russell) rode a strong race as he always does and we battled the whole time. I am happy to get a win here and gain a few more points toward the championship.”

Stew Baylor was running in the top 10 before pulling out of the race
Stew Baylor was running in the top 10 before pulling out of the race Photo: Ken Hill

Steward Baylor had a day he would like to forget in the XC1 Pro class. He started the race in the bottom ten, but got dizzy as a result of a concussion suffered at the third round of the series. The team decided it was best for him to pull off and seek medical attention. Baylor will be evaluated this week and it will be determined if he will need to sit out any remaining rounds to recover. 

Grant Baylor quickly moved through the pack, winning the race by 37 seconds
Grant Baylor quickly moved through the pack, winning the race by 37 seconds Photo: Ken Hill

In the XC2 Pro Lites class, Grant Baylor had an 8th place start off the line. He quickly moved up to 3rd place by the end of the first lap. On the second lap he was able to make a pass for the lead and never looked back. He went on to lead the remaining laps and took the win by 37 seconds over the 2nd place ride of Ricky Russell. Baylor now holds the points lead heading to the next round.

Baldwin and Martinez finished second and first at Loretta Lynn's
Baldwin and Martinez finished second and first at Loretta Lynn's Photo: Ken Hill

In the WXC class, Martinez came out first around the opening corner and never lost her lead position. She led all four laps of the race to take her fifth win of the series over fellow KTM rider Sarah Baldwin. She now holds an 18 point lead in the championship standings.

Next Event: Masontown, WV – May 25, 2014

Mullins, Russell and Strang rounded out the podium in Tennessee
Mullins, Russell and Strang rounded out the podium in Tennessee Photo: Ken Hill

Overall Results –

  1. Charlie Mullins – KTM
  2. Kailub Russell – KTM
  3. Josh Strang
  4. Chris Bach
  5. Jordan Ashburn
  6. Andrew Delong
  7. Paul Whibley
  8. Grant Baylor – KTM
  9. Ricky Russell
  10. Takeshi Koikeda

Overall Results XC2 Pro Lites –

  1. Grant Baylor – KTM
  2. Ricky Russell
  3. Layne Michael
  4. Jessie Groemm – KTM 
  5. Chris Douglas – KTM
  6. Jedediah Haines
  7. Samuel Evans – KTM
  8. Callan May
  9. Trevor Bollinger
  10. Shane Hufford – KTM

Overall Results WXC –

  1. Kacy Martinez – KTM
  2. Sarah Baldwin – KTM
  3. Jessica Patterson
  4. Mandi Mastin – KTM
  5. Brooke Cosner – KTM
  6. Karlynn Beam – KTM
  7. Samantha Steiner – KTM
  8. Allie Spurgeon
  9. Becca Sheets
  10. Taylor Gray

Overall Point Standings XC1 –

  1. Charlie Mullins – 155
  2. Kailub Russell – 143
  3. Josh Strang – 111 

Overall Point Standings XC2 Pro Lites –

  1. Grant Baylor – 151
  2. Ricky Russell – 148
  3. Trevor Bollinger – 117

Overall Point Standings WXC –

  1. Kacy Martinez – 119
  2. Mandi Mastin – 101
  3. Becca Sheets – 100