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Steward Baylor Takes First Career Win, Ryan Sipes Takes Third at GNCC Big Buck

The battle begins. Photo Credit: Ken Hill
The battle begins. Photo Credit: Ken Hill

A great weekend of racing at the GNCC Big Buck for Leatt Family

The GNCC season kicked off on 5 March at the Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina. Presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, it was a highly-anticipated race.

The weather played along and riders as well as spectators could enjoy warm, sunny conditions.

Josh Strang, rider for Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing, had a good start taking the holeshot, and with it the All Balls Racing $250 Holeshot Award. An old ankle injury ended his luck, and he decided to end his race early.

Steward Baylor Jr. was now leading the third lap, but began to feel pressure from FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russel. The two riders battled it out for the lead whilst Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall and Coastal Racing’s Ryan Sipes were also in the mix before the third lap was complete.

Photo Credit: Ken Hill
Steward Baylor with his eye on the prize. Photo Credit: Ken Hill

Thad Duvall also had a stroke of bad luck due to a bent rotor, and whilst he stopped to get it fixed, Sipes focused on catching up with Baylor and Russel. He closed in, but lapped riders troubled his journey.

“I started in sixth but I eventually caught up with Baylor and Russell and was right on their back wheels when the lappers got pretty bad,” said Sipes. “They were both riding really good and when I lost them it was hard to make up time.”

Ryan Sipes proving that he is still in the game. Photo Credit: Ken Hill.
Ryan Sipes proving that he is still in the game. Photo Credit: Ken Hill.

When the two-lap card came out, Baylor maintained his focus. Russell attempted to close the gap, but Baylor continued to only get faster.

When Baylor crossed the finish line, it was almost a minute and a half until Russell saw the checkered flag. After racing his own race, Sipes would end up finishing in the third overall position.

“I knew coming into this race that Russell and Duvall would be the guys to be with,” said Baylor. “I put myself in a position to ride with them. Once Russell made his mistake and I had a clear trail, I gave it everything I could to get a big lead knowing that every second counts because Russell is the fastest guy on the line. I just knew I couldn’t make a mistake and it feels great to pull off my first win not only at the season opener, but also in front of my friends and family.”

The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes in one week, March 11 and 12, in Palatka, Florida with the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC.

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.

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:

  1. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
  2. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  3. Ryan Sipes (HSQ)
  4. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  5. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  6. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
  7. Chris Bach (KTM)
  8. Grant Baylor (HSQ)
  9. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
  10. Cory Buttrick (KTM)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Steward Baylor Jr. (30)
  2. Kailub Russell (25)
  3. Ryan Sipes (21)
  4. Josh Toth (18)
  5. Trevor Bollinger (16)
  6. Ricky Russell (15)
  7. Russell Bobbitt (14)
  8. Layne Michael (13)
  9. Chris Bach (12)
  10. Grant Baylor (11)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2017 National Champion.

Source and Photo Credit: GNCC.



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