Cory Buttrick has raced every KENDA Full Gas Sprint Enduro event since the inception of the series in 2014 and has narrowly missed the podium on several occasions but that all changed at Round 6 of the series in Brazil, IN where the SRT Off-Road-backed racer put his KTM on the top step of the podium after two days of special test racing.
The first test of the weekend was the cross test featuring the motocross track at the Staunton MX facility as well as a rolling grass track section and it was KR4 Performance’s Thad DuVall–who flew to the race directly from the Team USA’s ISDE training camp—who took the test win by 6-seconds ahead of Buttrick with a 5:08.757 test time. MCS Suzuki’s Ricky Russell was 3rd ahead of RPM KTM’s Mike Witkowski with Austin Lee rounding out the top-5.
A rain shower on Friday afternoon made an already technical enduro test more difficult and Ohio-native, Buttrick, who felt right at home on the test took the win by 8-seconds over DuVall with an 8:04.375 test time to DuVall’s 8:12.488. Ricky Russell, who admittedly was struggling early on getting up to speed, again finished 3rd in the test another 12-seconds behind DuVall.
Russell found his groove in the 3rd test of the day, the 2nd time on the cross test, taking the test win with a 5:05.212 ahead of Mike Witkowski and Drew Higgins. Race leaders Buttrick and DuVall both struggled on the test with Buttrick finishing 5th with a 5:11.303 but it was DuVall who faired much worse, having a massive crash over a jump on the motocross track and finishing 50-seconds back of test winner Russell with a 5:55.404 test time.
DuVall would bounce back and take the final three test wins of the day to work his way back into 3rd-place overall. Buttrick would stay consistent finishing 2nd behind DuVall in the final three tests to keep a 34.4-second lead at the end of the first day of racing. Ricky Russell finished the day in 2nd-overall, 7-seconds ahead of DuVall.
Day two started the same as day one, on the cross test, which had dried considerably since the start of the event and dust became an issue for riders on the course, but it didn’t slow down DuVall, who started 3rd, as he took the test win by 3-seconds ahead of Buttrick with Mike Witkowski in 3rd and Russell in 4th.
Another test win for DuVall, this time in the enduro test, cut 6 more seconds into Buttrick’s lead and also moved the KR4 Performance rider into 2nd overall ahead of Ricky Russell.
“After yesterday’s fiasco I knew it would be tough to run Cory down, he rides really well at these. It was a better day today and I was able to get maximum points for the championship which is good,” said DuVall.
Feeling the heat from DuVall, Buttrick wicked it up for the 3rd test of the day, the cross test, and took the win by 5-seconds over DuVall to help rebuild the lead he had at the start of the day. The SRT Off-Road racer would keep the momentum going into the 4th test and add another 5-seconds back with another test win over DuVall in the enduro test.
DuVall would rebound and take the final two test wins, good enough to give him the overall win for Sunday’s racing by 8-seconds over Buttrick, but not enough to take the weekend overall event win.
“You definitely couldn’t force the issue out here, it was definitely slick and definitely easy to end up hitting the deck. Thad got me by a couple seconds in the first cross test today and I knew we could handle that, then he got me by six seconds in the first enduro test and I thought that I better wick it back up. Today Thad gave me a couple of more presents with crashes that let me build the gap back up and after that I just stayed consistent and tried to keep it upright,” said overall winner, Buttrick.
Ricky Russell stayed consistent on Sunday to clinch 3rd-place overall, his first-ever Full Gas Podium finish, ahead of Drew Higgins and Mike Witkowski.
“I’ve just got to minimize those little mistakes, I didn’t really have any big ones, but those two guys, Buttrick and DuVall, were just on it this weekend. I struggled with the cross test, but it’s awesome practice and I’m just glad to be up here in 3rd,” said Russell.
Billy Schlag took the top amateur spot with an impressive 7th-place overall with his Open A competitors Jacob Rowland, Cody Pingley, and Tristian Stumbo rounding out the top-10 overall.
Becca Sheets and Brooke Cosner had a great battle for the win in the Women’s Pro class with Sheets coming out on top for the weekend overall. Cosner still holds the series points lead ahead of Sheets by 31 points.
The KENDA Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing will continue with its 7th round on August 13-14 at the Rockcrusher Farm on the Georgia / North Carolina border. Online pre-entry is now open for the event at LiveLaps.com.
For full race results visit results.sprintenduro.com
1. Cory Buttrick – KTM – 1:16:25.578
2. Thad DuVall – HSQ – 1:16:51.092
3. Ricky Russell – SUZ – 1:17:36.880
4. Drew Higgins – KTM – 1:18:53.497
5. Mike Witkowski – KTM – 1:18:55.869
6. Austin Lee – YAM – 1:19:13.203
7. Billy Schlag – KTM – 1:19:37.505
8. Jacob Rowland – HSQ – 1:19:55.262
9. Cody Pingley – KTM – 1:20:33.959
10. Tristian Stumbo – YAM – 1:22:06.549