FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kanati Tires Buckwheat 100: Motorcycle Race Report
Delong Earns Overall Win at Penultimate Round
NEWBURG, W.Va. (October 9, 2023) – Temperatures were on the chilly side in West Virginia as Round 11 of the 2023 Progressive Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) made its way to Newburg, West Virginia for the Kanati Tires Buckwheat 100 GNCC.
When the green flag dropped for the XC1 Open Pro bike start it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig Delong who captured the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award. Delong would put together a flawless day, leading the duration of the seven-lap race and capturing his third overall win of the year. Delong now sits 23 points ahead in the points standings as the series heads into its finale in two weeks at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
“I came into today with the mindset to win,” said Delong. “I knew that we needed it, and I just put my head down and made it happen. The team and I worked great together today and now we’ve got one round left to seal this championship. We’ll be ready for Ironman.”
AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell would have a good start to the day as he came through second on the opening lap. Russell would continue to battle at the front of the pack for the remaining six laps, coming through to earn second overall on the day. Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang would steadily work his way up from an eighth place start on the day to round out the top three overall finishers at round 11 in West Virginia.
“It was an epic track, but it was hard to push,” said Russell. “Last lap I tried to make a pass on Ryder [Lafferty] and I went down, and I was trying to catch up then and I saw Ryder [Lafferty], so he must have fell but Craig [Delong] was gone. I pulled it in for second, I’m happy and rode good all day and I feel good.”
As Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn came through to earn fourth overall on the day, he would put it a strong ride throughout the course of the race managing to battle in the top five for the duration of seven laps. Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Grant Baylor would go back-and-forth but would ultimately come through fifth overall on the day.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Trevor Bollinger put in a hard charge after starting out his day back in the tenth place position. Bollinger would continue to push, resulting in his season-best result of sixth place overall. Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty made the move up to the XC1 Open Pro class and would be having a great day running up in third and second overall for the majority of the race. However, on the last lap he would unfortunately move back to seventh overall as he crossed the finish line.
Coming through eighth in the XC1 class and eleventh overall was Liqui Moly Factory Beta Racing’s Evan Smith as he continued to battle throughout the day. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley had an unfortunate crash early on in the race, sending him farther back in the pack. Kelley continued to make his way toward the front and was able to come through ninth in the XC1 class. Kelley continues to sit third in the points standings and is 33 points out from the lead.
Coming through tenth in the XC1 class was Rocky Mountain/Tely Energy/KTM’s Steward Baylor after he had to make his way back to his pits for an untimely pit stop to work on a bike issue. Baylor would then have to leave his pits to return to where he exited the track taking up more valuable time. Baylor would continue to push forward trying to salvage any points for his chance at the National Championship. Baylor now sits 23 points behind Delong as they head into the season finale race in two weeks.
As the XC2 250 Pro Sport saw the green flag waving it would be Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Mason Semmens earning the $250 Steel City Men’s Holeshot Award and the race would be underway. AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper would get out to the early lead after making his way around Semmens on lap one. Draper would continue to push, but he would have company from FMF/RPM KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan as they are battling for the XC2 National Championship.
Riordan would move into the lead on lap three, but Draper would be right there to push back and make his way back into the lead on the fourth lap. Draper would continue to hold the lead, but he would have to make strategic line choices as he made his way into the finish. Draper came through to earn the win and extend his points lead over Riordan who would finish second in the XC2 class. Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Mason Semmens continued to battle at the front of the pack and round out the top three XC2 finishers.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am it would be Josh Lojaks House of Speed XC Coaching/Kibuk Cycle’s/Steel City Men’s Clinic-backed rider, Sawyer Carratura grabbing the $100 Lojak Cycle Salese Holeshot Award to start out the day. However, it would not take long for the battles to begin as Hall’s Cycles/Enduro Engineering/Moose Racing’s Jhak Walker made his way into the lead on the opening lap.
Behind Walker though Beaver Creek Cycles/Bells Electric/Wossner Piston’s Toby Cleveland was feverishly making his way through the pack of riders to battle for the number one spot. As the riders emerged from the woods on the second lap it would be Cleveland into the lead with Walker right behind him. That would not bother Cleveland though, who continued to lead the rest of the race earning his sixth win of the season and clinching the 2023 FMF XC3 National Championship.
Walker would come through to earn second on the day, while FXR/X Brand Goggles/6D Helmet’s Dakoda Devore would battle back and forth throughout the course of the day as he was hoping to put a stop to Cleveland’s possibility of clinching. Devore would cross the line third in the FMF XC3 class.
Jason Tino came through to earn the Top Amateur honors this weekend with a 14th overall finishing position and a 250 A first place finish. Joseph Cunningham would come through to earn second overall on the Top Amateur podium with a 17th overall finishing position, and a second in the 250 A class. Michael Delosa rounded out the Top Amateur podium with a 18th overall finishing position and a third in the 250 A class.
As the WXC racers took off the line at the Kanati Tires Buckwheat 100, it would be AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer jumping off the line and heading into the woods just ahead of Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede. Archer would continue to lead and place a gap over the rest of the field, while Steede would continue to battle behind her.
Archer would continue to push and come through with over a two minute gap back to second place. However, Steede would push hard for the duration of the race with a handful of other WXC racers looking to make a push for the podium. Steede would come through second in the WXC class on the day. Bonecutter GASGAS/Fly Racing/Scott Goggle’s Prestin Raines would make her way back onto the podium this weekend with a third in the WXC class.
Winning the morning overall race was Archer, but behind her Kiefer Galiano and Caden Staats out of the 150 Schoolboy B (12-17) class would come through to earn second and third overall in the race.
In the Youth race it was Doc Smith coming from the second row in the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. class to take the overall win and his class win at the eleventh round of the season in West Virginia. Another rider coming from the second row to finish second overall was Ethan Harwell. Rounding out the top three overall youth finishers was the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. competitor, Ryan Amancio.
Caleb Wood came through second in the YXC1 class and fourth overall on the day, while James Jenkins rounded out the top three YXC1 finishers. Travis Lentz would come through to earn third in the YXC2 class.
In the 85 Big Wheel class it would be Colton McQuarrie taking the win, while Ryder Reick battled back to earn the 85 (12-13) class win and in the 85 (7-11) class it would be Hayden Dupuis taking home the win. In the 65 (10-11) class it would be Beau Garetson coming through in first, while Hunter Jones came through to take the 65 (9) class win and Tripp Lewis coming through to earn the 65 (7-8) class win. In the Girls Super Mini (12-16) class it was Zoey Kimble earning the win, and Josei Grozbean taking home the Girls 85 (7-13) class win while Paisley Harris earned the Girls 65 (7-11) class win. Brant Mills from Buckhannon, WV, earned the Trail Rider class win.
The GNCC Season Finale will take place on October 20-22, in Crawfordsville, Indiana with the Yamaha Racing Ironman GNCC. This event will be the series Breast Cancer Awareness event, so wear your pink! There will also be live entertainment Friday and Saturday, along with trick-or-treating, a Halloween costume contest, ePeeWee Racing and so many more special activities and events taking place. More information on the event can be found online at www.gnccracing.com/event/ironman.
Catch GNCC Pro ATV and Motorcycle Racing free via RacerTV.com all season long. Pro ATV Racing starts Saturday’s at 2pm ET, with the exception of Big Buck, Snowshoe and Ironman events where they will start at 1pm ET. GNCC Pro Motorcycle Racing will begin at 1pm ET on Sunday’s. Later in the year GNCC Racing will premiere on MAVTV with event highlight episodes.
For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.
Kanati Tires Buckwheat 100 Results and Points Standings
Newburg, West Virginia
Round 11 of 12
Sunday, October 8, 2023
XC1 Pro Event Results:
- Craig Delong (HQV)
- Ricky Russell (YAM)
- Josh Strang (KAW)
- Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
- Grant Baylor (KAW)
- Trevor Bollinger (HQV)
- Ryder Lafferty (GAS)
- Evan Smith (BET)
- Benjamin Kelley (KTM)
- Steward Baylor (KTM)
*Overall National Championship Standings:
- Craig Delong (233)
- Steward Baylor (210)
- Ben Kelley (200)
- Jordan Ashburn (187)
- Ricky Russell (159)
- Grant Baylor (155)
- Josh Strang (140)
- Jonathan Girroir (124)
- Angus Riordan (123)
- Liam Draper (120)
*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2023 National Champion.
XC2 250 Pro Event Results:
- Liam Draper (YAM)
- Angus Riordan (KTM)
- Mason Semmens (KTM)
- Cody Barnes (HON)
- Grant Davis (KTM)
- Michael Witkowski (HON)
- Nathaniel Tasha (KTM)
- Jonathan Johnson (BET)
- Jesse Ansley (KTM)
- Brody Johnson (HQV)
XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:
- Liam Draper (245)
- Angus Riordan (227)
- Cody Barnes (210)
- Ruy Barbosa (191)
- Michael Witkowski (172)
- Mason Semmens (166)
- Ryder Lafferty (155)
- Jonathan Johnson (150)
- Evan Smith (123)
- Grant Davis (119)
To get the latest GNCC Racing clothing and merchandise visit https://www.mototees.com.
How to Watch
Racer TV and MAVTV are the official homes for coverage of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 12 rounds, from the season opener in South Carolina to the finale, will air in taped-delayed telecasts on MAVTV, while Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 2 p.m. ATV and 1 p.m. motorcycle races from each event. Catch all the action at http://www.mavtv.com/ and http://www.racertv.com/.
About GNCC Racing
The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, is the world premier cross country racing series. Founded in 1975, the 12-round motorcycle and ATV championship and 9-round eMTB championship, is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling two and three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,800 riders through racetracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks, and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised live on RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.