Kelley Rolls to Sixth-Straight Victory at GNCC Round 6
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 | 1:00 PM
KELLEY ROLLS TO SIXTH-STRAIGHT VICTORY AT GNCC ROUND 6
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley raced to his sixth-consecutive victory of the 2022 AMA Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series on Sunday with a dominant performance at The Hoosier GNCC. Crossing the line nearly four minutes ahead of second place, the defending XC1 Open Pro Champion has now surpassed former teammate Kailub Russell for the all-time record of most consecutive GNCC overall-wins with six and counting. His teammate, Josh Toth, made his second podium appearance of the season with a strong third-place finish at the sixth round.
Blasting his KTM 350 XC-F into third off the line, Kelley quickly put himself into second at the start of the first lap. He followed teammate Josh Toth early on before making his way into the lead halfway through the lap, and the two riders raced closely into the timing and scoring loop for the end of lap one. As the race wore on, Kelley continued to put distance between himself and the rest of the field, while tackling the ruts and mud holes throughout the rain-soaked trail. By the end of the three-hour battle, Kelley had worked up a healthy lead to ultimately claim his sixth victory of the season by almost four minutes.
Ben Kelley: “It was a solid race. I've been getting good starts and it's just clicking right now. I’m riding good and having fun doing it. I'm just having to push at a comfortable pace to stay focused out there and hit my marks. We've been training hard and it's paying off, I'm really happy with the progression. I have a refreshing outlook this year and I'm just trying to enjoy it. As long as I put in a solid race and do the best I can, I'm happy. It’s pretty cool to have more consecutive wins than Kailub Russell, he’s the one helping me get here this year, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Teammate Josh Toth seized his second XC1 Open Pro podium of the season at The Hoosier GNCC. Pulling the holeshot aboard his KTM 350 XC-F, Toth led the way early in the opening lap, with a hard-charging group of riders, led by his teammate Kelley, close in tow. After getting passed by Kelley on lap one, Toth held steady in the second-place spot for most of the three-hour battle. However, Toth found himself buried deep in a mud section on the final lap and he lost valuable time trying to get his bike free late in the race. Re-mounting in third, Toth attempted to make up the lost time but he wasn’t able to regain the position before the checkers fell, settling for a hard-fought third on the day.
Josh Toth: “I pulled the holeshot and got out front early on but it was super tricky because there were so many lines and a wide track, so I just did the best I could. I knew Ben had some good lines so I let him by and just followed him. We picked up the pace and worked together to try and pull away from the guys. I had just a few mistakes later in the race - I took a hard hit and that knocked the wind out of my sails and then on the very last lap, I got stuck in a rut and Trevor went by. It's frustrating to lose second but overall, I'm really pumped on the day.”
Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede took her second WXC win of the season, with KTM-supported rider Brandy Richards following up with a strong second in her second GNCC appearance of the year.
Next Race: John Penton GNCC – Millfield, Ohio – May 22, 2022
XC1 Open Pro Results – The Hoosier GNCC
1. Ben Kelley, KTM, 02:59:00.958
2. Trevor Bollinger, HQV, +03:46.538
3. Josh Toth, KTM, +23.543
10. Justin Ashburn, KTM
Overall Championship Standings
1. Ben Kelley, 180 points
2. Jordan Ashburn, 115
3. Trevor Bollinger, 114
6. Josh Toth, 77