The John Penton GNCC Race Report
William Yokley finished 5th Overall today in
We headed to
The rains stopped and the sun came out on race day and I thought that the conditions would be better by the afternoon race, but the track never did improve and was super muddy. We have been racing GNCCs at Millfield for many years, and the thick
The starter dropped the flag and I got a decent start going into the woods in 6th place, and made my way to 4th fairly quickly. Taylor Kiser and I both wanted the same line and I was going too fast to back out; I came out on the short end of the stick when my front end clipped a tree. I was only down for a brief moment, but I dropped back to 9th place. I ruined my goggles while trying to make up time, and had to pit for a fresh pair dropping me back to mid pack. My bike had so much mud on it that it felt and handled like a concrete mixer with flat tires!
I told myself to calm down and concentrate because the easiest thing to do when this stuff happens is to get overly excited and screw up even more, and besides, everybody is in the same boat with me. Once I calmed down and got into a rhythm, things started picking up for me. The track was pretty tough with lapped traffic being worse than normal, creating many bottlenecks. This actually worked to my advantage, as I just slowed down and tried to pick the best lines, as well as having some luck for a change. There were so many things which happened today that by the finish, I had no idea where I placed; I just know there were bikes all over everywhere, some running and some not. I rolled into the pits and everyone seemed excited; I was wondering why they were so happy, and then they told me I finished in 5th which was a nice surprise. I was pleased because like I said, I really didn’t know where I was with all the mayhem.
My teammate Mark Notman had a great day and made it on the podium with a 2nd place finish in the Pro Am class. His day started with decent start in 12th place, and worked his way up to 8th at the end of lap 1. Even stalling his bike a couple of times, he was able to work his way up to 6th on lap 3 and to 3rd on lap 5. The mud and ruts were getting worse but he rode smart and used his head dealing with the many bottlenecks. Two miles from the finish on lap 6, there was a huge traffic jam with bikes everywhere; he passed for 2nd place and a spot on the podium!
It was a good day for the National Guard Team. Now we go home and start cleaning all this