KENDA POWERLINE PARK: GNCC ATV RACE REPORT

Josh Merritt Earns First-Ever GNCC Overall Win in Ohio

Kenda Powerline Park: GNCC ATV Race Report
Josh Merritt Earns First-Ever GNCC Overall Win in Ohio

Words by Kayla Bolton, Photos by Mack Faint

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (May 12, 2024) – The Progressive Grand National Cross Country (GNCC Racing) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, held its seventh round of racing, Kenda Powerline Park GNCC, in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Rain early on in the day made for some slick conditions throughout the day.

Josh Merritt earned his first-ever GNCC Overall win on Saturday in Ohio.
Josh Merritt earned his first-ever GNCC Overall win on Saturday in Ohio. Photo credit Mack Faint

After a slight delay the racing got underway as Action Off-Road/GBC/BNR Motorsport’s Josh Merritt shot off the line and grabbed the $250 Kanati Tires XC1 Holeshot Award. As the pack of racers made their way through the course on the opening lap, Phoenix Racing Yamaha’s Brycen Neal made his way into the lead position. Neal would battle at the front for the first couple of laps with WFR/GBC/Fly Racing/BNR/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler right behind him. However, on lap three, both Neal and Fowler would fall back to sixth and tenth in the XC1 class.

Merritt would make his way into the lead with two laps remaining in the race, as Action Off-Road/GBC/Houser’s Wyatt Wilkin would make his way into second place. Neal would continue to fight after falling back to sixth, however he would be unable to make a push for the win. Merritt would come through to earn his first-ever GNCC National Overall win, while Wilkin and Neal would round out the top three overall finishers.

JMR/GBC/Elka/Moose Racing’s Jarrod McClure had his best race thus far in the season as he came through fourth overall on the day. McClure would battle between fourth and third throughout the duration of the day but was unable to clinch the last spot on the podium.

Wyatt Wilkin came through to earn second overall on the day.
Wyatt Wilkin came through to earn second overall on the day. Photo credit Mack Faint

Coming through fifth overall on the day was Action Off-Road/AMSOIL/CB Racing’s Chris Borich. As the race got underway Borich would find himself back in ninth on the opening lap, but he would put his head down and charge forward for the next three laps. Action Off-Road/Maxxis/Fly Racing/Lonestar’s Austin Abney battled his way up to sixth overall after battling through the slick conditions.

McGill Mafia/OBOR Tires/Moose Racing’s Adam McGill did not have the day he hoped for as he came through seventh overall on the day. The muddy conditions proved to be unfavorable to McGill in Ohio as he could not put on a hard charge. BNR Motorsports/Fearless/Kenda Tires’ Steven Harrell came through to finish eighth overall on the day after making his way up from a tenth place start to the day. Fowler unfortunately could not regain many positions after falling back on the third lap of the race. He would come through ninth in XC1 and eleventh overall on the day. Rounding out the top ten in the XC1 Pro class was Sturdivant Racing’s Branden Owens.

Grayson Eller earned the XC2 Pro-Am class win at Powerline Park.
Grayson Eller earned the XC2 Pro-Am class win at Powerline Park. Photo credit Mack Faint

The XC2 Pro-Am class would see some battles shape up throughout the race as Phoenix Racing Yamaha’s Grayson Eller grabbed the $100 BNR Motorsports XC2 Holeshot Award to start his day. However, as they emerged out of the woods into the timing and scoring zone it would be BNR Motorsports/GBC/Pro Graphx/Nine 2 Goggles’ Kevin Yoho holding onto the early lead in the race. Yoho would continue to hold the lead for the first two laps, as Eller would once again find himself battling for the number one spot.

Eller would make the pass stick on Yoho and continue in the lead for the remaining two laps of the race. This is Eller’s second win of the season, but after consistent finishes throughout the season he remains the points leader in the XC2 class. Mountain Motor Works/BNR Motorsports/Jett Boots USA’s Christopher Howard battled his way up to the front of the pack as he emerged in third on lap two, and he would continue to battle for an even better position. Howard would also make the pass on Yoho as Eller did to take over second place in the XC2 class. Yoho would remain third to round out the top three in the XC2 Pro-Am class at round seven.

Earning the Top Amateur honors at the Kenda Powerline Park GNCC was Nick Davidson as he came through 13th overall, while also earning the Vet A (28+) class win. Jeremiah Wolf would be second atop the Top Amateur podium as he came through 15th overall, while also earning the College A (16-18) class win. Nicholas Dearing would round out the Top Amateur podium with a 16th overall finishing position and a second place in the  College A (16-18) class.

Brandon Frazier held the lead from start to finish in the 4x4 Pro class.
Brandon Frazier held the lead from start to finish in the 4×4 Pro class. Photo credit Mack Faint

In the 4×4 Pro class it would be Pro Row 784/TMS/Edgewood/DeRisi’s Brandon Frazier jumping off the line first to earn himself the $100 BNR Motorsports 4×4 Pro Holeshot Award to start the race. From there Frazier would continue to push forward and not look back as he continued to lead the duration of the race, earning his fourth win of the season and taking over the points lead. Kenda/KMK/Ryco Electric’s Cody Collier would hold the number two spot for the entire four laps of the race, as KMK Off-Road/OBOR/FXR’s Kaden Wharff would hold onto third at seven in Ohio.

As the WXC class took off it was JMR/Action Off-Road/GBC/Moose Racing’s Katelyn Osburn grabbing the $100 BNR Motorsports WXC Holeshot Award to start off her day in Ohio. Osburn continued to lead the way in the WXC class as the rain continued to fall on the morning racers. As the race wore on Osburn would continue to find herself in the lead placing a gap over the rest of the WXC field. After four laps of intense racing and muddy conditions, Osburn would find herself crossing the finish line to earn her first win of the season. Kenda/Moose Racing/Teixeira Tech’s Hannah Hunter would have her work cut out as she made her way around in second and then back in the fourth place position. Hunter would put her and down and push on through the conditions making the necessary passes to get back up to second by the time the checkered flag flew. Osburn Off-Road/Pierce Performance/Moose Racing’s Chloe Harper would make the pass for third on the second lap of the race continue to hold that position until she came through to see the checkered flag waving at the Kenda Powerline Park GNCC.

Katelyn Osburn (center), Hannah Hunter (right) and Chloe Harper (left) rounded out the WXC class top three.
Katelyn Osburn (center), Hannah Hunter (right) and Chloe Harper (left) rounded out the WXC class top three. Photo credit Mack Faint

In the Youth ATV race it would be Noah Lykins in the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. (13-15) class leading from the time the green flag flew, until the checkered flag waved at the finish line in Ohio. This was Lykins fourth win of the season, and he maintains the points lead in the YXC1 class through the seventh round. Avery Collins would work her way from a third place start to the day to finishing second overall and in the YXC1 class. Garrett Cox would battle with Collins, and ultimately cross the finish line third overall and in the YXC1 class.

Jacob Smallwood would also lead in the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. (12-13) from start to finish, earning his second YXC2 class win of the season. Chase Rayburn worked his way up to second after starting back in the seventh place position during lap one. Landon Glauda would round out the top three in YXC2 after also having to work his way up through the pack.

Keelyn Eichelberger earned the 250 (13-15) class win in Ohio, while Eli McCrary took the 250 Limited (13-15) class win. Wyatt Dolan came through to earn the 125 (8-12) class wink and Mason Shrewsberry would earn the 125 Limited (8-12) class win at Powerline Park. In the 90 (8-12) class it was Cullen Laye earning the win, while Kelci Stringfellow earned the Schoolgirl (12-15) class win. Alexis Collins came through first in the Girls Sr. (12-15) class at round seven with Ava Lucas earned the Girls Jr. (8-11) class win, and JP Pickens Jr. would come through to earn the 70 CVT (6-11) class win in Ohio.

Noah Lykins battled back to earn the Youth ATV win.
Noah Lykins battled back to earn the Youth ATV win. Photo credit Mack Faint

Coming through to earn the Micro ATV Overall win was MXC2 (6-8) competitor, Kolston Wilson, as he also took home his class win. Audrey Petrilla would come through to earn second overall and the MXC1 (8-9) class win. Casen Jennings battled back to third overall in the Micro ATV race and would cross the line second in the MXC2 (6-8) class. Colt Delabar would come through to finish second in the MXC1 class and Ryder Tenney would come through to round out the top three MXC1 finishers. Kruz Libecco came through to round out the top three in the MXC2 class.

Cash Knecht battled back to earn the 50 Sr. (6-7) class win, while Ryder Lewis earned the 50 Jr. (4-5) class win at Powerline Park. Henry Cecco came through and would earn the 90 Stock (8-9) class win in the Micro ATV race, while Ange Magana earned the 110 CVT Stock (8-9) class win.

In the Micro Bike race, it was Tripp Lewis in the MXC1 (8-9) class coming through first to earn the overall win, and his class win. Kane Morrison in the MXC2 (6-8) class would come through to finish second overall in the race, as well as earning himself his class win. Rounding out the Micro Bike overall podium and finishing second in his class was MXC1 racer, Todd Toland. Ellis Austin would come through third in the MCX1 class, while Cade Propst and Maura Tsakanikas finished second and third in the MXC2 class.

Tanner Toland would come through to take home the 50 Sr. 1 (7) class win, while Carson Zink earned the 50 Sr. 2 (6) win. Paxton Allen would earn the win in the 50 Jr. 1 (6-7) class, as Jacobi Duvall earned the 50 Jr. 2 (4-5) class win in Ohio. Deegan Deel earned the Micro-E (4-7) class win while Carson Propst earned the Micro Shaft Drive (4-6) class win, and Watson Brendlinger took home the Trail Rider (7-9) class win.

Ben Ortt held off the GNCC eMTB Defending Champion to earn his first win of the season.
Ben Ortt held off the GNCC eMTB Defending Champion to earn his first win of the season. Photo credit Mack Faint

On Friday afternoon the second round of the Specialized eMTB GNCC National Championship would take place at the Kenda Powerline Park GNCC. Conditions were muddy, and not as favorable as one eMTB racer would hope, but that would not stop Ben Ortt from battling it out with the Defending Champion, Cypress Gorry. Ortt and Gorry would battle back-and-forth for the duration of the race, but Ortt would be able to hold off Gorry at the end to earn his first win. Gorry would come through in second, while Cody Pivirotto would round out the top three overall and XC1 Pro finishers on the day.

In the XC2 class it was Talon Hawk coming through to earn his second-straight win of the season, while also coming through to finish fourth overall on the day. Garrett Stout would come through fifth overall and second in the XC2 class, while Phillip Sollon would round out the top three in the class.

In the XC3 (40+) class Jon Agin would take home the class win, while Ashley Hendershot came through to earn the WXC class win ahead of Megan Lipscomb and Ginny McFall in Ohio. Madisyn Marsh earned the Women’s class win, while John Pellan took home the Senior (40+) class win. Nicole Hiles earned herself the Women (35+) class win, Kenny Hawkins took home the Masters (55+) class win and Vinny Tomich would earn the Big Bore (200lb+) class win. Brandon Cutlip battled back to earn the Amateur class win and Karder Demidovich earned the Youth (8-13) class win.

The AMSOIL Moto Hero was awarded to Boone Shrader from Louisville, Ohio. Shrader is a Corporal in the United States Marines. Boone received a $250 AMSOIL shopping spree, a $500 Kanati performance tires gift certificate as well as a commemorative American flag courtesy of Columbia flag and sign co along with a $200 gift certificate for their online store.

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.

Kenda Powerline Park: Josh Merritt (center), Wyatt Wilkin (right) and Brycen Neal (left) rounded out the top three overall finishers on Saturday.
Kenda Powerline Park: Josh Merritt (center), Wyatt Wilkin (right) and Brycen Neal (left) rounded out the top three overall finishers on Saturday. Photo credit Mack Faint

Kenda Powerline Park GNCC Results and Points Standings
St. Clairsville, Ohio
Round 7 of 13
Saturday, May 11, 2024

XC1 Pro Event Results:

  1. Josh Merritt (YAM)
  2. Wyatt Wilkin (YAM)
  3. Brycen Neal (YAM)
  4. Jarrod McClure (HON)
  5. Chris Borich (YAM)
  6. Austin Abney (YAM)
  7. Adam McGill (HON)
  8. Steven Harrell (YAM)
  9. Walker Fowler (YAM)
  10. Branden Owens (YAM)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Brycen Neal (192)
  2. Walker Fowler (161)
  3. Joshua Merritt (144)
  4. Wyatt Wilkin (130)
  5. Adam McGill (107)
  6. Steven Harrell (87)
  7. Hunter Hart (84)
  8. Austin Abney (84)
  9. Chris Borich (79)
  10. Jarrod McClure (65)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2024 National Champion.

XC2 Pro-Am Event Results:

  1. Grayson Eller (YAM)
  2. Christopher Howard (YAM)
  3. Kevin Yoho (YAM)
  4. Alex Thieman (YAM)
  5. Daulton Keyes (HON)
  6. Alex Elioff (YAM)
  7. Kenny Shick (YAM)
  8. James Glauda (YAM)
  9. Keaton Henderson (YAM)
  10. Dylan Walraven (YAM)

XC2 Pro-Am Series Standings:

  1. Grayson Eller (165)
  2. Alex Thiemans (150)
  3. James Glauda (118)
  4. Braxton Grosse (113)
  5. Christopher Howard (103)
  6. Daulton Keyes (97)
  7. Dylan Walraven (95)
  8. Alex Elioff (90)
  9. Kenny Shick (81)
  10. Keaton Henderson (78)

To get the latest GNCC Racing clothing and merchandise visit https://www.mototees.com.

About GNCC Racing
The Progressive Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, is the world premier cross country racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round motorcycle and ATV championship and 10-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.

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