Championship will come down to final race for Mullins

HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. – Factory FMF/KTM rider Cory Buttrick earned an impressive 2nd place finish in his most inspiring race this season at day one of the Loretta Lynn’s double-header on his new 2012 KTM 450 XC-W. His teammate and current XC1 GNCC point’s leader, Charlie Mullins, suffered a heartbreaking day after leading the majority of the race to encounter a bike problem on the final lap placing him in 14th overall moving the championship decision to the final race day.


Buttrick and Mullins were joined on the starting line by their teammates, 2-time GNCC XC2 Lites Champion, Kailub Russell and newly crowned AMA National Enduro Champion, Russell Bobbitt. All four riders got off to a great start sitting in the lead pack. Within the first few miles, Mullins proved why he leads this series, as he quickly moved into the lead ahead of holeshot winner Jedediah Haines. Buttrick matched the pace of his teammate and took over 2nd position.

The story would remain the same out front as the two riders continued to pull away from the pack. By the fourth lap Mullins had stretched his lead to over one minute and thirty seconds on the rest of the field. Mullins held a 38 point lead heading into this race and knew he only had to remain in front of Josh Strang in order to clinch the championship title. It was on the next lap that the most unfortunate situation occurred. Mullins bike encountered a mechanical problem and he had to push it back to the pits. As Mullins watched his team swap motors, Buttrick pitted for gas allowing Russell, Paul Whibley and Strang to pass.

A lap later, Whibley held the lead while Buttrick moved back into 2nd after Russell suffered a crash and Strang stopped for gas. Whibley went on to take the win while Buttrick held on to 2nd place earning his best finish this season. Strang secured the final podium spot while Russell recovered from his last lap crash to take 4th and Bobbitt rounded out the top five.


“It feels great to get back on the podium. I have struggled this year with an early season illness and a concussion and it is a great feeling to be in strong enough physical condition to run at the front of the pack. My new 450 is running awesome and I can’t wait to try and return to the podium in Sunday’s race,” commented Buttrick.


While the top five were busy crossing the finish line, Mullins team had just finished replacing his engine and he went out for the final lap to try and salvage any possible points. Mullins crossed the finish line in 14th earning 7 points for the day’s race.


With one race remaining, Mullins still holds an 18 point lead on the championship point standings. The final race will take place on Sunday, November 6th at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch where Mullins will need to finish 9th or better to earn his first XC1 career title.


“We are obviously very disappointed in the situation today. Mullins was doing his part and it is very unfortunate that a bike problem occurred. The team is working tirelessly to ensure all problems are fixed and Mullins will have his fair shot at the title come Sunday,” remarked Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen.


Overall Results –

1)     Paul Whibley

2)     Cory Buttrick – KTM

3)     Josh Strang

4)     Kailub Russell – KTM

5)     Russell Bobbitt – KTM

6)     Nate Kanney – KTM

7)     Scott Watkins

8)     Jesse Robinson

9)     Kenneth Gilbert – KTM

10) Toby Price – KTM

11) Cody Webb

12) Jedediah Haines

13) Thad Duvall

14) Charlie Mullins – KTM

15) Jimmy Jarrett


Overall Point Standings –

1)     Charlie Mullins – 282

2)     Paul Whibley – 264

3)     Joshua Strang – 258

4)     Kailub Russell – 208

5)     Nate Kanney – 186

Russell Bobbitt

Cory Buttrick

Kailub Russell

Charlie Mullins

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