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GNCC Yamaha Racing Ironman: Motorcycle Race Report
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (October 25, 2021) – The Yamaha Racing Ironman event would break the series previous record of 2,442 entries with 2,711 total entries.
The 2021 season finale of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized concluded on Sunday, October 24. The skies opened up and rain showers persisted throughout the day.
Ben Kelley and Becca Sheets Crowned GNCC National Champions
With the XC1 Open Pro riders lined up, the stage was set for the 2021 GNCC National Championship battle. With the rain tapering off, the green flag was ready to wave for the final race of the 2021 season, and the battle between FMF/KTM Factory Racing Ben Kelley and AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor was one that everyone had their sights set on watching.
As Ricky Towery threw the green flag it was the No. 212 Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ricky Russell grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award. However, it would be the Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang coming through the finish line first on the opening lap with Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall behind him in second.
Duvall’s teammate, Trevor Bollinger found himself running at the front of the pack on lap one as he came through third in XC1 with their other teammate Craig DeLong racing through in fourth. All eyes continued to search for the No. 514 and 530 to see who would emerge first, but both seemed to have some bad luck on the opening lap as they came through out of the top 20 overall.
Bollinger would make his way into the lead on the second lap with Strang and Duvall coming through behind him in second and third. Unfortunately for Bollinger and Russell, who had grabbed the holeshot, they would be unable to complete lap three as their machines were succumbing to the weather conditions.
Lap three saw Strang move back into the lead position with Duvall just five second behind him. DeLong had moved back into third in XC1 while FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley had become a man on a mission as he made his way back into the top 20 overall racers and sat fourth in XC1. AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor had found himself in his pits for a clutch swap and was trying feverishly to make up time and ground on his competition.
Kelley’s teammate Josh Toth found himself running fifth by lap three, but his motorcycle would sadly be unable to finish the race.
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