GNCC Racing

Kailub Russell Seals Third-Consecutive GNCC Victory With a Striking Las-Lap Pass in Georgia

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 2:30 PM


WASHINGTON, Ga. – FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell extends his points lead in the 2020 AMA Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series after sealing a come-from-behind victory with a striking last-lap pass at Sunday’s General GNCC in Washington, Georgia. Russell’s Round 3 win marks three-in-a-row for the Seven-Time Champion as he continues his bid for an eighth-consecutive title in 2020.

Darrin Chapman

XC1 Open Pro

With a little bit of rainfall leading up to the weekend, track conditions were ideal for the three-hour race as a whopping 166 participants lined up for the afternoon slot. Choosing an outside position for the XC1 Open Pro start, Russell’s line choice didn’t work out in his favor as he got pushed wide before the first turn, resulting in a mid-pack start. He quickly put on a charge aboard the KTM 350 XC-F reaching fourth-place by the end of the opening lap. The reigning champion played a game of yo-yo for a majority of the race, as he would fight his way into the lead battle before making a mistake that would quickly drop him out of contention. He swapped the lead with Steward Baylor Jr. several times throughout the race and the two riders carried that close battle all the way into the final lap of racing. 
As the white flag flew, Russell sat within striking distance of Baylor’s lead. Due to the fresh rainfall, Russell chose to stop for a new pair of goggles at the beginning of the lap, which allowed Baylor to gain a small lead once again. However, Russell dug deep and pushed his way back into contention as they came into the final turns nearly side-by-side with Russell strategically plotting his last-minute pass for the lead. Taking advantage of Baylor’s outside line choice, Russell marched inside one of the final turns to overtake the lead just seconds before the checkered flag.

Kailub Russell: “I was physically ready to go today but I had a little bit of a cold this week and just didn’t feel 100%, so I was happy to get up front there at the end. It was a tough race – I just couldn’t get going and Stu was riding really good but I was making it really hard on myself by crashing, getting stuck and just making dumb mistakes. I kept catching him and honestly, I thought I was going to run out of time but I made it happen. I was going to give it a hard charge and throw it in on him in one of these corners, but luckily, he doesn’t have much of a moto background and he just went wide for me and made it easy. It was fun riding with him today.”

Darrin Chapman

XC2 250 Pro

After a career-first victory last weekend in Florida, Trail Jesters KTM Racing Team’s Johnny Girrior followed it up with a hard-fought second-place finish in the XC2 250 Pro class on Sunday. Girrior positioned his KTM 250 XC-F inside the top-three on the opening lap and from there, he engaged in an intense three-way battle for the top position. Perhaps the most intense battle came in the final lap as Girrior rode the rollercoaster of lead-swaps and crashes throughout the last 30 minutes of racing. In the end, he was able to hold strong and secure a runner-up finish to assume the sole lead in the XC2 250 Pro Championship standings.

Johnny Girrior: “I had a good day. I knew it was going to be a fight this year in the championship with Craig [DeLong] and Mike [Witkowski]. The last lap was hectic, I crashed two or three times, made a bunch of mistakes and then was able to get by Craig. He got back by me and I showed him a wheel a couple times and then Mike was bumping my rear tire the whole time trying to get around me. It was a hard-fought last lap but it’s good for it to be over.”

GNCC recently made an announcement that due to COVID-19 concerns, Round 4 will no longer take place at the Steele Creek Campground in Morganton, North Carolina on Sunday, April 5. At this time, the series plans to host the race on the same date at an alternate location. For more information on the rescheduled location, please visit

XC1 Open Pro Results – The General GNCC
1. Kailub Russell, KTM
2. Steward Baylor Jr., SHR
3. Josh Strang, KAW

Overall Championship Standings
1. Kailub Russell, 90 points (3 wins)
2. Josh Strang, 67
3. Ricky Russell, 59

XC2 250 Pro Results – The General GNCC
1. Craig DeLong, HQV
2. Johnny Girroir, KTM
3. Michael Witkowski, YAM

XC2 250 Pro Championship Standings
1. Johnny Girroir, 80 points (1 win)
2. Michael Witkowski, 76 (1 win)
3. Craig DeLong, 72 (1 win)