Quick Fill #5: This Week in GNCC

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TimeThursday, January 31, 2013 | 4:30 PM
FolderQuick Fill

Welcome to Quick Fill.

This week’s edition comes to you from Pittsburgh International Airport by way of Nature’s Kitchen Fresh Café, where it looks like I’ll be spending a good portion of my day due to a flight delay. The weather here in Pittsburgh doesn’t seem too bad, but connecting at Chicago O’Hare is always like dealing with another climate with the brutal wind and even more chilling temperatures that the Midwest so graciously offers this time of year. Which by the way, I do not miss”¦

But anyway, most of the RP staff is headed west to California this weekend for a conglomeration of business-affiliated things, as well as Anaheim (A3) SX. I’m looking forward to catching some good racing on Saturday evening and, of course, it’s never a bad time when the whole MX crew gets together!

We heard from Chris Bach last week about his plans to race aboard a Carolina KTM 350 this season and we just got word today that Chris is going to actually take part in KR4 Performance’s Arrive-N-Ride Program at four select rounds this year ”“ River Ranch, The General, Powerline Park and Ironman ”“ and will maintain KR4 as an associate sponsor throughout the rest of the season. I’ve heard a couple things about KR4 Performance’s new program, although I have yet to see a PR or any information on it, it sounds like they’re doing exactly what the name suggests. Apparently riders can sign up for the program (for a fee, I believe) and KR4 will transport the rider’s machine to each round of GNCC and maintain the bike in between. This actually sounds like a pretty sweet deal for a family that doesn’t have the means to travel to each and every round with a truck, trailer and all the expensive accessories that are usually required to haul a bike or ATV for 13 rounds. We’ve seen this type of program be successful in the Pro Motocross Series with Team Gus, who did essentially the same thing. It really cuts the major legwork out for families who can afford to go to the races but may not necessarily have the means to do so in an efficient way. So hats off to those guys for thinking of innovative ways to help our riders make it to the races every weekend.

Speaking of new and innovative things, GNCC is introducing an all-new 50cc Micro Series to this year’s lineup. Just like the UTV racing, the Micros will race at six select events this season, beginning at the opening round in Florida and concluding at The Gusher in September. The other four rounds include Steele Creek, The Mammoth, Limestone 100 and Unadilla. Those races will take place Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. for ATV’s and 5:15 p.m. for bikes (with the exception of Florida, where they begin at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday). The addition of the Micro race is HUGE for GNCC and the sport in general because now racers under the age of 7 have the unprecedented opportunity to compete for a championship. It gives the youngest racers a chance to work their way into the Youth ranks, which is a pretty big deal when you’re dealing with the younger kids. So check out the 50cc Micro rules to see full details regarding class specifications and other rules and we’re looking forward to having the Micros join the GNCC Racing program this season!

That being said, the official UTV schedule is now up if you haven’t seen it yet. UTV racing will kick off at The General, before going to Big Buck, John Penton, Mountaineer Run, Powerline Park and they will round out at Ironman.

As I said last week, things are really shaping up on the sponsorship forefront and the GNCC team is hard at work to finalize all the deals so we can get things announced for you folks very soon. By now many people may know that Can-Am will not return as title sponsor of the series. However, Can-Am is still very involved in sponsorship of GNCC and we couldn’t be more excited to have them on board and continue the strong partnership that we’ve always had with them. New things are on the horizon as far as a title sponsor is concerned, so stay tuned for announcements in the near future.

We’re also getting things lined up for the 2013 television package, which also will be making great strides this year. GNCC will be incorporating a lot more online interaction this season and beyond, so once we get more details we will have those announced as well. Part of that includes the Live Stream that we tested out at the end of last season. We’ve been testing all-new state-of-the-art equipment that should make this year’s Live Stream much more seamless than in the past. That all ties in with our BRAND NEW GNCCRacing.com website that should be ready to launch next month. I, personally, am SO excited for the new website and I think you all will be blown away by the new updates. The same company that built the all-new Racer X Online website is building the GNCC site, so you already know that it will be a million times more user friendly than the old site and should have a pretty neat cool-factor as well.

Also, MotoTees is looking for some additional help at the GNCC races this season. They are looking for someone who is capable of changing tires for the Dunlop setup located at the MotoTees merchandise trailer at all 13 rounds of GNCC this year. Obviously, you need to be able to change tires and must be available both Saturday and Sunday mornings, but you will be finished by the time racing begins in the afternoon. If you’re interested in this position, please contact Rachel@gearracewear.com. 

If you are a Veteran who races GNCC and would like to meet other vets in the sport and be a part of an all-new resource at the races, our friend Rick Proctor has an amazing new organization that will be hitting GNCC in 2013. I’m going to pass it along to the folks over at Vigilant Vet Racing to tell you a little more about their new program. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thanks Jen. Vigilant Vet Racing is a not-for-profit effort to raise PTSD awareness as well as introduce the sport of XC ATV Racing to our Military Veterans. Whether it is called “shell shock,” the “1,000 stare” or “battle fatigue,” PTSD currently affects 1 in 5 Veterans returning home from deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. That number does not account for cases that go unreported. In fact, it is estimated that nearly half of those with PTSD do not seek treatment. In 2012, the Army saw nearly 1 suicide per day in their active duty ranks. 20% of all suicides in this country are committed by Veterans.

Beginning in Morganton, NC they will be set up on Vendor’s Row at each race. Vigilant Vet Racing plans to have one of the Veteran’s Organizations on site to answer questions, help with benefits, etc. Also, GNCC would like to honor other Vets racing their series by having them present the colors prior to each race on Saturday as well as issuing special decals for the Veterans’ number plates. Rick also hopes to acquire one or two UTVs to transport disabled Veterans to and from the starting lines, hill climbs, mud pits, etc. as soon as funds become available.

Rick Proctor founded Vigilant Vet Racing because he believes this does not have to happen. Rick served 10 years in the US Army and WV Army National guard, which included 1 tour in Iraq during 2004 as a Combat Medic. When a friend invited Rick to come watch his son race in a popular local XC racing series, he was immediately struck by the excitement of the sport. In fact, Rick purchased a used Yamaha Warrior the very next week just to give racing a try. A few weeks later, he bought a YFZ 450 as he knew there was something about XC ATV racing that had really caught his attention.

Always wanting to learn more, Rick looked for reasons why he, at 35 years old with a new wife, new baby and new house had such a strong desire to blast through the woods on a quad at break-neck speeds for 2 hours earning nothing but a smile. And then it dawned on him: most Vets who have spent time in a combat zone have a hard time dealing with the “boring” life back home and finding something to smile about can sometimes be a struggle. Rick found that XC racing provided the perfect amount of adrenaline rush, and while concentrating on the more “mundane” aspects such as prepping for weekly races, and maintaining his race equipment, he found some relief from the flood of thoughts usually clouding his mind. An added bonus is that GNCC Racing is one of the more family-oriented/friendly sports out there.

Vigilant Vet Racing hopes to share this story and attract more Veterans to the sport of GNCC Racing. Rick Proctor will be racing for VVR in the Vet B class this season. His teammate, Chasen Bush, will be racing in the College B class. Doug Bush and Jack Morton, who are also Veterans, run the pits and help out with various parts of the organization. We are doing this on our own dime and could not do so without the help of our sponsors: Waynesburg Yamaha, AMSOIL Fasst Company, ZBROZ Racing, Rekluse, Houser and GBC Motorsports.

If you’re a Veteran and would like to know more about the Vigilant Vet program, please send an email with your contact information to Rick.Proctor@VigilantVetRacing.com Follow Vigilant Vet Racing via their website/blog, their Facebook and Twitter.

And here’s Jared.

@JaredBolton:

The weeks of winter break are ticking by and we’re starting to get into the swing of things again as far as racing is concerned. While we’re still 38 days away from the first green flag flying for the 2013 GNCC season, there’s already a bit of racing going on and even more coming up before we head into Florida. Even for the guys who haven’t been in the aforementioned races, there’s still quite a few who have been putting in the seat time somewhere.

Last weekend saw the opening round of the National Hare Scramble Series with the Burnt Gin in Wedgefield, South Carolina. The front row was a combined Pro and AA class (think of AA sort of as Sportsman A combined with XC2 as it served as a stepping stone out of A but didn’t pay points) that saw riders lined up across almost the entire width of the starting line. Actually, it was like that for just about every row as many rows saw several classes combined and made the starts pretty interesting to watch.

Russell Bobbitt jumped out front early in his 2nd race aboard his new Husaberg TE300 and was followed by Charlie Mullins and Mike Lafferty for the majority of the race. Kailub Russell and Andrew Delong battled for the fourth place spot early on but KR only ended up making 3 laps. I didn’t get a chance to find out exactly what happened with KR but he was riding pretty well while he was out there. Thad Duvall also dropped out and I was told that he was experiencing some clutch issues that took him out of the race.

Chris Bach and Rory Mead battled it out inside the top 10 during the opening laps but apparently Rory ran into some issues as well. While there were several guys who ran up front early that experienced problems, it gave some advantage to the guys a little further in the pack who were actually all charging pretty hard later in the race and began catching the lead group. Brad Bakken, Jed Haines and Nick Davis were three riders who came from back in the pack to charge hard.

Meanwhile, the trio up front kept each other honest and was actually all on each other’s rear wheels at one point during the race. (You can see that in my video, link is coming in a minute) When the white flag flew, Russell Bobbitt made a stop for gas, which handed the lead over to Charlie Mullins. Lafferty and Delong were also close enough to get around Bobbitt heading into the final lap. Mullins went into the “Checkout Charlie” mode that we’ve seen many times over the years and ended up stretching his lead out to 44 seconds when he took the checkered flag. Lafferty would end up second, while Bobbitt got back around Delong for third.

Chris Bach came into the final turns pretty hot but apparently Brad Bakken had put on a charge and was on Bach’s rear wheel as they entered the no-passing zone. Jed Haines would end up with 7th place followed by Nick Davis in 8th. Grant Baylor and Scott Grills rounded out the top 10, respectively.

Another class worth mentioning was the Women’s class. Ashley Copeland ended up starting almost an entire row late but apparently put in a heck of a charge and took over the lead on the FIRST LAP! Rachel Gutish held third early over Sarah Whitmore and Becca Sheets. Mandi Mastin was fifth on the first lap but worked her way through the pack. When it was over, Ashley Copeland ended up with the win over Mandi Mastin, Rachel Gutish, Becca Sheets and Sarah Whitmore.

Interesting to note as well, I spoke with Whitmore a bit and she was riding the bike she rode at the ISDE, and she has only ridden a little since the final round of WMX back in September. Since the WMX schedule is down to 3 rounds this year, she’s planning on doing some of the National Enduro Series and hoping to make as many GNCC events as she can. Could be interesting to see an extra challenger in that Women’s class as Sarah actually challenged for the win in Florida last year on a borrowed KTM 125.

Oh, and Barry Hawk also raced at the Burnt Gin! He showed up to “get out of the house for a weekend” and have a little fun. Barry ended up just going out and playing around a little bit, and actually ended up riding with Vet-A rider Shawn Remington a bit. He still makes a cameo in my video though if you can spot him.

Speaking of the video, here’s the one I threw together from the Burnt Gin HERE. The guys at Offroad Viking also threw together a cool video which can be seen HERE.

As for this weekend, the action will be back in Wedgefield, South Carolina again except this time it will be the Sumter Enduro. This race can be pretty tough but it’s also a lot of fun. The whoops seem to be endless and the trails are tight but the SERMA guys do a fantastic job with the event. It’s NOT a National Enduro this year and there are actually still plenty of spots open if you want to race. For info, check out www.sermaclub.com

We’ve still got a lot of time before Florida but these winter races serve as a good opportunity for the guys to experience the new equipment in a race environment. Thad Duvall had tweeted earlier this week about making some adjustments to his bikes for 2013, and the Burnt Gin race definitely gave him a good experience in learning what needs to be done, as it did for many riders. There are several more big races before Florida and I’d expect to see these kind of stacked pro results in the coming weeks.

Before I go just a reminder, if you have anyone you would like to see featured in an upcoming Tuesday Toolbox, drop me a line at jbolton@jaredbolton.com I've got a few on deck but as always, I'd love to hear who you would like to see featured.

Well, that’s going to do it for me this week. I’ll be racing Sumter this weekend via row 38 provided that I have a bike to ride (fingers crossed!) so if you’re going to be there, feel free to say hi, chat a bit, or just roost me when you pass me! Until next time, Bolt-On out!

@HotRodney22:

About five weeks and counting and the new GNCC Season will be upon us. It's hard to believe how quickly time is passing by. It seems like we were just waiting for the banquet and now we are gearing up to go racing! 

A week ago I commented on a Facebook post that Josh Strang had put up with a picture of his kitchen being packed and ready to move back east. A week later he was rolling in Hickory, North Carolina and back to his home away from home. Crazy how time flies, it seems like a few days ago we were talking about his not being able to return to GNCC and now we are anticipating his return to try and gain GNCC title #2.

I was looking at the roster of riders and how much deeper the talent pool is getting on every front of the GNCC. I mentioned it several times how 2012 was the best season of racing in history and by all indications 2013 may be better. If everyone remains as confident and hungry as they have been all I can say is, "Get in, sit down, shut up and hold on. This is going to be a fun ride.:"

Kevin Yoho sent me a message and said he had an update on recent injury. He said he got his staples out last night and "it's looking good." I’m not too sure whether meant the scar, or the healing process itself. Whichever, we are happy for you Kev.

Zac Zakowski is having yet another surgery this week. It seems he is actually excited about this one because it’s one-step closer to being healed, he says. It is a very optimistic outlook, especially knowing that he’s been on crutches since the injury at the end of 2012. One has to wonder how much of a threat he will be with all of this happening, but I think he will be better than we realize. Attitude could be what gets him through this, good luck Zac.

I want to give a Happy Birthday shout to Levi Cohen as well. He just turned 17 and is looking forward to the New Year. I know we haven't heard much of him since the youth ranks, but I feel that 2013 will be a totally different story for him. Especially after the beating and ridicule he has gotten since being beaten by his Pop Norm Bickley from Fast Traxx and Walker Fowler in the Team Harescramble Championship of the World last fall.

I received and email from Bee Parks the #123 Girls class rider. It seems she had a few more things she wanted to say at the banquet, so I told her to send me a note. She did”¦.and I kind of let it slip last week so I apologize but here is what Miss Bee had to say:

Hi Rodney,

Thank you for letting me email you so I can thank my sponsors.  I guess Delilah got nervous on the stage at her doing her first banquet and forgot to let some of us thank the people who help us race.  So here's how my season went:

The 2012 season certainly had its ups and downs.  I started the year with back-to-back wins at River Ranch and The General, winning my class by close to 10 minutes at each race.  After doing so well the first two roundsI wasn't expecting it to get as competitive as it did.  It came down to Loretta Lynn's for the class championship.  At that point it looked like I would end up 3rd for the year.  My quad was failing towards the end of the race but I ended up racing it to the finish and taking the win by .001 of a second.  What a season!  Starting the year with win by a mile and ending it with a photo finish.  The win at Loretta's but Saie welch and I in a tie for points and gave me the tiebreaker.  Sadie needed a win for the championship so Catlyn Bennett sealed the season win by ONE POINT.  Yes, top 3 in the Girls class were separated by one point.  It was the closest race I have ever been in.  Overall, it was a very fun year and next season my goal is to win the class and drastically improve my overall number.

There are many I want to thank for supporting my race season.  First off, I'd like to thank my dad and all he does to keep my bike ready and all of the sacrifices my parents have made to get us to the races to do what we love.  I thank my mom for organizing the trips and helping us get there.  Also, Chuck Frazier for being the BEST mechanic ever!  Lenny and Nick for being awesome travel buddies!  Rath racing, Maxxis, Hiper wheels, Powermadd, G4 Graphics, Girlyz clothing, Twin Air, Laz, from GT Thunder, and Sadie and Catlyn for the awesome competition and of course Racer Productions for bringing us all together.  Thanks everyone for your support!  I hope I didn't miss any :)

See you in March Rodney! - Bryanne (Bee) Parks #123  

Thanks Bee and sorry about that.

One event that has got me excited for this season is the all-new Gusher GNCC. I had a chance to look at some of the information about this one and it appears to be a home run in the making. Terrain, amenities and a local area that is very historical and gives you a chance to take advantage of for the family. It also has an old golf course from what I have been told and how many times have you wanted to go out and rip one up. Not too many people other than the Baylor Boys, Chris Borich, Johnny Gallagher and a few others may know how this feels. They have raised a Rukus on one, so the story goes.

That's all I got right now. I know there are several local series starting up right now, FTR in Florida has got some stuff coming up and next week I am sure we will hear lots of things from around the racing world.

Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs