KR4/Husqvarna Team Report: Tomahawk GNCC

TimeTuesday, June 12, 2018 | 11:45 AM

The fourth annual Tomahawk GNCC took place this past weekend in Odessa, New York. The empire state treated the KR4 team to perfect race conditions with a dry racecourse and plenty of sun. The team welcomed new faces to the both the Arrive-n-Ride and grassroots racing divisions, while the AMSOIL Garage mechanics helped local riders make last minute tune-ups to their bikes before hitting the woods.

Both team members in the XC1 Pro class got off to a less than desirable start once the green flag waved. Cory Buttrick and Layne Michael then joined together to start picking off the riders in front of them and quickly moved through the pack. On the second lap, Buttrick encountered a mechanical issue that ended his race early.

Meanwhile, Michael also faced some setbacks after he smashed his foot on the third lap which resulted in a few broken toes. “After that mishap, I was able to regroup and come from pretty far back in the results to finish sixth in class,” reported Michael.

Liam Draper had a solid ride in the XC2 250 Pro class, which resulted in one of this best finishes of the year. Draper battled the entire three hours going from fourth, to third, to fifth, to even sixth place before ultimately crossing the finish line fifth in class and an impressive 11th overall. “I got off to a good start and was in third,” said Draper. “I ended up crashing with a lapped rider on the fourth lap and fell back a little, but I’m happy with my finish. I’m looking forward to Snowshoe where I’ll get to see my family from New Zealand!”

Brothers Shawn and Jeff O’Learly flew in from Texas to take part in the KR4 Arrive-n-Ride program for their first-ever GNCC. Older brother, Shawn, landed a podium finish with third in the Senior A (40+) class, while Jeff placed eighth in the Vet A (30+) division.

KR4 Performance Team 1 p.m. Race Results: 

  • Layne Michael – XC1 Open Pro – 6th (9th overall)
  • Cory Buttrick – XC1 Open Pro – 13th (194th overall)
  • Liam Draper – XC2 250 Pro – 5th (11th overall)
  • Shawn O’Leary – Senior A (40+) – 3rd (94th overall)
  • Jeff O’Leary – Vet A (30+) – 8th (182nd overall)

After grabbing her first holeshot of the year, Tayla Jones battled all day and ended up finished second in the WXC class - continuing her season-long podium streak. Bill Gold raced his way to second in the Silver Masters A (55+) division, while Racer X Marketing Manager, Justin Hale, tried out the Arrive-n-Ride program and finished ninth in the Vet C (30+) class.

“The Tomahawk GNCC was a blast,” said Hale. “The KR4 team made it super easy to just show up and have everything ready to race. They took care of my pit with goggles, water, etc. I couldn’t have asked for more!”

KR4 Performance Team 10 a.m. Race Results:

  • Tayla Jones – WXC – 2nd (4th overall)
  • Bill Gold – Silver Masters A (55+) – 2nd (42nd overall)

Peyton and Tucker Whipkey made their debut on the Grassroots KR4 teak. After taking over the lead at the mid-way point of the 8 a.m. youth race, Peyton took home his fifth overall win. His younger brother, Tucker, scored his first win of the season in the 65 10-11 class.

KR4 Performance Team 8 a.m. Race Results:

  • Peyton Whipkey – YXC1 Super Mini Sr. (14-15) – 1st (1st overall)
  • Tucker Whipkey – 65 (10-11) – 1st (41st overall)

Next GNCC Event: Round 9 – Snowshoe, West Virginia – June 24, 2018

With two weeks off, GNCC Racing will resume on June 24 with the Snowshoe GNCC in West Virginia. Deemed “America’s Toughest Race,” the KR4 team will be busy preparing for whatever the mountain may bring! The team will also travel to the Jolly Mine Full Gas Sprint Enduro race this weekend in Ohio.

**Photos courtesy of Ken Hill

KR4/Husqvarna Team Sponsors:

HusqvarnaKenda TireMoose RacingAMSOILEnduro EngineeringGTR ComplexFMF RacingSchulz CycleSeat ConceptsP3 CarbonWiseco Performance ProductsProX Racing PartsEngine IceODI Bars & GripsIMS ProductsAlco CleanersG2 ErgonomicsTwin AirMoto-Master BrakesRekluseMotion ProCometic GasketsX Brand GogglesTM Design WorksRegina ChainsHBD MotoGraphxTrail TechFPS RacingBell HelmetsAll Balls RacingSidi BootsSuper B Batteries and Nitro Mousse Bibs.

About KR4 Performance:

KR4 Performance is a leading professional and amateur race team that participates in the Grand National Cross Country Championships (GNCC), the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series (FGSE) and the National Enduro Promotions Group (NEPG) series. The 2017 KR4 team took home championships in each respective series. This year Layne Michael will make his XC1 Open Pro debut with the KR4 team, while Tayla Jones will look to repeat her Women’s Pro championships. KR4’s solid team structure is made up of former GNCC pros, expert motorcycle mechanics, and industry enthusiasts that are 100% dedicated to helping clients achieve their racing goals. Visit for more information.  

About the KR4 Arrive-N-Ride Program:

KR4 is paving the way for the future of off-road racing with its unparalleled Arrive-N-Ride Program, saving riders time, money and hassle. For an affordable fee, KR4 can offset the cost of racing and have everything ready for riders on race day. With the KR4 Arrive-N-Ride program, bikes are prepped by the KR4 team before a race and delivered with gear to riders on race day to the location of their choosing. To learn more or sign up for the Arrive-N-Ride experience, please contact [email protected] or visit For additional information, follow the team on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. For the team’s photo gallery, visit their Flickr page.