Quick Fill #49: This Week in GNCC

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TimeThursday, December 6, 2012 | 3:30 PM
FolderQuick Fill
Welcome to Quick Fill.
 
Ever since I handed the Tuesday Toolbox honors over to Jared Bolton, it seems like I don’t get to do much “journalistic writing” anymore, with the exception of this column every week. But really, the guys below do most of the reporting and juicy story telling because someone has to break the not-so-exciting housekeeping news that we all need to hear but don’t always like to see. And that person is me.
 
But last week the Racer X guys approached me about writing a feature for the magazine”†about GNCC of course”†and I jumped at the opportunity to work on a creative writing project in between the sometimes-tedious PRs. The only problem with this 2,200-word article that’s due tomorrow is that I can’t really stop the day-to-day projects that also need to get done here in the office. So I’ve been spending a lot of time before and after work hours in order to get this thing done by tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, this is in no way a torturous project. In fact, it’s been very refreshing and I’ve been able to learn a whole lot of information about our Pro Bike riders that I didn’t really know before. The basis of the article talks about all the different paths our bike pros have taken to essentially meet back in the middle ”“ which is the front row of a GNCC ”“ and to do that I actually needed to go way back in time to long before I even came onto the GNCC scene (which was only almost-two years ago). It was definitely interesting to see where all these guys started and where they are today.
 
Anyway, this was all a plot to explain why my Quick Fill entry is so short today. I’m off to writer’s lockdown. But before I go, click this LINK to view the approved number requests so far. If you’re not on there and you sent your form in, give it a few days because Dan has a lot of requests to process.
 
And register for the banquet HERE!
 
Here’s @JaredBolton:
 
As the off-season ticks away, it gives a lot of time to think back on the 2012 season and the memories it provided. Every racer, spectator, family member and everyone else has some sort of cool memory from this past season and a lot of those are probably the same memories. Yes, I speak pretty frequently about things that make this sport, and GNCC Racing special but that’s definitely another one of them, and one of the bigger ones at that.
 
Think about it. How many other places can you spend an entire weekend with thousands of other people who share the same interests as you, and go home with the same kind of memories that you can look back on together for years to come? That’s a pretty rare thing to find, and it’s easy to get caught up in the competitive aspect of this sport and forget about the little things like that. It’s easy to focus more and discuss the negatives more than we should. However, we should never forget why we got into this crazy racing scene to begin with.
 
Speaking from my personal opinion and experience, I’ve dedicated my life to this sport. I hear people speak of how as much as they love racing, they’re also excited to go do another passion. Something along the lines rock climbing, fishing, hunting, underwater basket weaving, whatever it may be, and at Loretta’s when I thought to myself, what to do now that the season is over? I realized that, well, I don’t do anything else. This is it for me. I have no other hobbies or anything else. When I finally realized it, at first I thought I needed to pick up something else but then I realized, there’s many more people out there just like me. The dedication to this sport runs deep, I know I love it more than anything in this world, and so do many of you. And it’s been said before, but that’s yet another one of the things that GNCC Racing is all about.
 
Moving on from the “touchy feely” stuff, silly season has heated up ever so slightly. It’s been really quiet this year, actually way too quiet but this week there have been a few things going around. First, KTM and Husaberg announced their factory teams for 2013 and as no surprise, Steward Baylor will be under the Factory KTM tent in 2013 in both the GNCC and National Enduro series and it’s sounding like he’s going to be sticking with the KTM 250XC 2-stroke! Kailub Russell and Charlie Mullins won’t have any changes from their 2012 program as they’re both back with the team but the notable changes were the absences of Cory Buttrick and Russell Bobbitt.
 
Cory was on a solid recovery track after his knee surgery and had been released to ride his trials bike but unfortunately had an accident on it which reinjured his knew and basically sent him back to square one. So, if Cory races at all in 2013, we won’t see him until late in the season. As for Russell Bobbitt, he made the move to the Factory Husaberg team alongside Mike Lafferty. Both of which will be focusing on the National Enduro Series where they’ve had great success in past years. Bobbitt will also compete in the OMA Series.
 
With Bobbitt moving to Husaberg, many were wondering where that would leave Nick Fahringer as the announced team only included Lafferty and Bobbitt. Earlier this week it was announced that Fahringer will still be on a Husaberg but riding for the AirGroup Radiant Team in the National Enduro’s and also OMA’s as well.
 
Then of course there’s been the biggest news of the week. That came when it was announced that Josh Strang had parted ways with the RPM KTM team that supported him for the WORCS Series in 2012. At the same time it was also announced that Strang WILL return to the GNCC’s full time in 2013, however the exact details on what Strang will be riding can’t be released just yet. Regardless, that’s huge news and it’s definitely going to be great to see Strang back at the GNCC’s. It ”˜s also going to provide another challenger to the XC1 class and could make things even more interesting in 2013!
 
As for racing that’s going on over the winter, last weekend saw the SETRA Little Brown Jug Hare Scramble which was held on a piece of property that Randy Hawkins owns not far from where the Big Buck GNCC is. Grant Baylor would end up taking the overall win ahead of Hunter Williams and SETRA-regular Tyler Trammell. That’s another win for Grant in the SETRA Hare Scrambles, and actually another solid finish for Hunter Williams as well. Both of these riders are having a stellar season in the SETRA Series so far this season.
 
This weekend, there’s a team hare scramble event at Rattlesnake Ridge in Taylorsville, North Carolina. Saturday will be dedicated to ATVs, while bikes race on Sunday. They have mini classes in the morning, and the main event each day will be a 4-hour team race, or you can run Ironman and do it by yourself. I’m heading out there Sunday to do some sweep riding, so if you come out and race and see me around, feel free to say hi! If you’re interested in checking it out, log on to www.rattlesnakeridgemotox.com and click the News and Events link to check out the flier.
 
Well, that’s going to do it for me this week. Until next time, Bolt-On out!
 
And here’s @HotRodney22:
 
Okay”¦..just a second”¦.okay”¦.I think I may have finally just started to be able to breathe after the Thanksgiving feast that seems to have stuck with me for way too long. I actually have eaten turkey with about everything. I had turkey and eggs for breakfast with some gravy and biscuits. Stuffing fries up nicely for hash browns and cranberry sauce makes a wonderful topping on your pancakes. I have to say that my wife never ceases to amaze me with not only her talent but also her creativity. One other thing before I close out Thanksgiving finally and that is I told the wife that ham is on the menu for Christmas.
The last time in Quick Fill we examined the Youth ATV classes and since we are still a little time away from the banquet that it may be a good time to look at each division a little closer since the seasons end. This week we look into the morning ATV racing that includes the Women, Utility, Novice, Senior, Masters, Sport, Schoolboy and Sportsman classes.
To begin, let's look at the overall and then look at the classes themselves. Obviously winning your class seems to be the goal, but a secondary goal is to place the best you can overall which ultimately only boils down to bragging rights and a top national number for the following season. The morning races national rankings begin with the #201 being the top ranked from the previous season. If you have been around for a while, it almost seemed for several years that the 201, 202, 203 and 204 numbers were reserved for the Women’s class. However, the last few seasons have seen a change with more riders from other classes contending for the top overall numbers. 

Don't think that means that Women’s class racing has gotten any less competitive because it has gotten more competitive in my opinion. What it does mean is that other classes have gotten so much more competitive. The 4x4 ATVs and age classes are all turning into premier morning races to watch. The 2012 season saw a number of classes and individuals taking top honors at various times throughout the season.

The national #201 this season goes again to the lightening quick Dave Simmons, who also rode for the team that won the 2012 Dealer Challenge supported by GT Thunder. Dave is a little more than 50 years old but races the Super Senior 45+ class. Dave is actually the first non-female #201 plate holder in the series for a long time and it looks like he wants to keep it for a long time.

Simmons took an impressive 9 overall wins in 2012. Equally as impressive is that he had only one finish out of the top 3 overall, which was a 4th at his home track at Powerline Park in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Dave not only rode impressively overall, he also won every round in his class making him the only undefeated ATV GNCC rider in 2012. (*Maria Forsberg Women Motorcycle Champion is the only other to win all 13 rounds). 

The rider that earned the #202 this year was 4x4 Open class champ Bryan Buckhannon. Buckhannon more than had his hands full heading into the 2012 season. Buckhannon battled all season with Michael Swift and Zachary Zakowski, who finished 2nd and 3rd in the class. Buckhannon took two overall wins this season along with a couple other overall podiums. Brian actually started the season out with the overall win in Florida which was a surprise to a number of people considering terrain and conditions. 

The 4x4 class saw the trio battle race after race in the class, which often put them in the overall positions. Zach Zakowski who ended the season in 3rd in class and with national #247 injured himself at the Ironman. It looks like a damaged ACL and PCL in the right knee and may require surgery. Zakowski is hoping to return in 2013 and make another run at the championship. Michael Swift finished the class in 3rd and with the #207 national number is hoping to take  title as well and you know Buckhannon is not looking to be stopped. This messy combination can only mean that 2013 is going to be even better.

The #203 belongs to now 9-Time GNCC Women class champ Traci Cecco. Cecco who announced her retirement at the Ironman GNCC and battled the entire season with long time nemesis Angel Atwell. It came down to the end of the season and a huge burden of winning out the final rounds for the challenger. Atwell wasn't able to make it happen and Cecco's early-season dominance paid huge dividends in the end. Atwell, who had a great season nonetheless, finished the season 2nd in class and with the national #205.

#204 was earned by Clifton Beasley, who is the winningest 4x4 ATV racer in GNCC history. Beasley, who has taken overall wins and podiums this year, is one of the few riders in the history of the sport to complete a season undefeated in his class. At one time in his history, he was looking for 23 straight wins before he was stopped while trying to complete back-to-back undefeated seasons. Beasley is another rider that is said to be retiring from chasing championships and will always be remembered as one of the greatest of this era in 4x4 ATV racing.

#206 Kevin Trantham is another 4x4 rider that defied the odds against the sport ATVs. The fact that 40% of the top 10 overall rode some form of utility ATV is kind of a surprise this season since this year wouldn't really be considered a mud year where the 4x4 would often have the advantages. Trantham rode to 10 class wins and 4 overall podiums this season and is expected be back next season with a vengeance.  

Glenn McConnell squeaked out a win in the Masters 50+ class championship and earned himself the #208 in the process. Glenn was part of the GT Thunder Dealer Challenge team with Dave Simmons. McConnell was noted as much as anything for his impressive starts this season. Kenny Rich Sr. gave him a run for the title, but Glenn pulled this one out by a mere 3 points.
Women’s class competitor Kylie Ahart (a.k.a. The Marrietta Missile ) finished 4th in the class but again with the way the overall points work was able to achieve a #209 ranking. Kylie’s rank makes 30% of the top 10 being women. This isn't really that big of a surprise, other than the women riders names are beginning to change. With Cecco's retirement and the new faces in the Women ranks, it has been very exciting to see that this class is only getting stronger.   If the girls classes and Women’s Novice riders are much of an indication the future looks bright for this division.

The true surprise of the season may just have been the rider earning the #210 for 2013. It was 20+ Novice rider Brigham Patterson who captured 9 class-wins for the season to claim that championship. Patterson would often run close to a top ten or even in the top often throughout the latter part of the season. Patterson's best finish came at Loretta Lynn's when he finished 6th overall. This big season finish actually helped loft him in the points past riders like Forrest Whorton and Robert Smith. I am sure Patterson will be moving up to the afternoon in 2013 but if you watch his progression you can tell that he really started peaking toward the end of the season.

That is kind of an overview of the morning races and next time I hope to look through the classes and point out some of the interesting battles of 2012.

Before we go though, I got this note from Zac Zakowski, who just recently had knee surgery:
I know it has taken awhile to get this to you but I finally have our final numbers for our breast cancer awareness fundraiser with the shirts. Our total from all of our breast cancer addition Zakowski Motorsports shirts reached $7,320.00!!!  That is $4,320 over our original goal of $3,000.00!  On top of that, the McGill Mafia and DeRisi Racing donated an additional $320.00 to our effort through their fundraisers.  This brings our total amount to be donated to an amazing $7,640.  That means that we will be donating $2,546.00 to the three following Breast Cancer Foundations.”¨

1.Faith Alliance, Inc. A Breast Cancer Resource for Montgomery County, Crawfordsville, IN
2.Spiering Cancer Foundation, Little Chute, WI
3.American Cancer Society, Green Bay, WI
 
We would just like to give a huge Thank You to Countryside Auto Transport for donating the t-shirts so that we were able to give 100% of the sales/donations to charity.  Countryside has committed to the effort for next year; we will have more shirts and goodies to beat this year's contribution.  Also, thank you to everyone that stopped by our pit and made a contribution, shared a story, wore a shirt or a bra!  We appreciate your support.  Together we ALL are making a difference for someone else diagnosed with this life changing disease.
 
On a side note.  I wound up tearing my ACL and PCL in my right knee at Ironman.  Went in for surgery November 28th, surgery went good and I am hoping to make a full recovery and be back on the quad for next year.  This is why this kind of took awhile, I have been a little pre-occupied.
 
Thanks,
Zac Zakowski Â 
 
That'll do it for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.