GNCC Racing

Toolbox With....Bill Ballance!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | 12:00 AM

If you look up Champion in the dictionary, you might see a picture of Bill Ballance with the GNCC number one plate. The Kentucky rider just capped another amazing championship run, winning the Klotz Ironman GNCC to capture the ’07 GNCC Title and become the all-time King of ATVs in the woods. Bill finished on the podium in every race this season, and now stands alone with eight-straight GNCC titles. After he won this weekend, he just didn’t know what to say. “Eight straight. I don’t know, man, that’s just ï¿Â½“I don’t even know what to say about that,” he said.

Figuring he might have more to say now, we tracked Bill down for an interview.

Interview by Jenn Sheppard
Photos by David Scearce

Hey Bill, how are feeling?

Pretty good.

Did you stay and watch the bike races on Sunday?


Yeah. We came out there and watched quite a bit of it, and then headed home.

What are your plans for the winter?

I’m going to take a couple weeks off, and then I’m going out to meet a bunch of the Yamaha guys and some of my sponsors. We’re going to Glamis and hang out there for four or five days and do some riding , and just have a little fun.

So, did you get a big bonus for your championship?

Yes I did. 

Is this one any different to you as the record-breaking eighth in a row?

Yeah, it does feel a little bit different. I mean, I don’t know how to explain it, just some goals that I had set for myself, and it just feels like a big compliment achieving them.

Now you’re really more of a role model for the young racers growing up. Even Adam McGill said he listened to your advice this weekend. Did you ever think that you would be giving them advice and competing against them?

No, not really. [laughs.] I never dreamed to be doing that. Sometimes I just have to stop and look back because it’s like I’ve gotten to where I’m at and I really don’t even realize it yet it seems like sometimes.

I can imagine. When you won your first championship, did you ever have any relationships with the guys you were racing back then?

I’ve always had a pretty decent relationship with all the riders, and we always got along good. That’s one thing that’s good about the GNCCs. It seems like all the competitors are pretty decent friends off the track and competitors on the track. It’s good to be able to get out there and race with people that you get along with pretty well.

For sure. The spectator side of the sport has grown as well, like the crowd this weekend”¦

Yeah it was a big crowdï¿Â½” I was really surprised. I feel pretty good about it, and not just for myself. It’s just the sport getting recognized the way it should have been, and the way it should be. You compare it to other kinds of racing, and it’s a pretty extreme sport. I’m glad that as many people are starting to take notice of it as what there is. I think a lot of the factories are getting involved like they are, and the image of the sport and where it’s goingï¿Â½” it’s pretty amazing.

What do you think about next year? Do you the think the sport will continue to grow?

I think that it will keep growingï¿Â½” well it’s already showing that with Can-Am coming in with new bikes and sponsoring new teams. Suzuki I think they’re trying to get involved with Borich next year. Polaris and Kawasaki are around. It seems like all the players are just finally coming together for next year, and all of them are going to be competing against each other. I think next year is going to be the first true for sure year in the ATV side of the sport that we’ve got all the factories involved.

That’s pretty big then?


So, can YOU get any better?

I hope so! I still learn things when I go out and rideï¿Â½” learn from some mistakes. It seems like from time to time I catch on to things that’s making me a little bit faster and learning from that. So yeah, I think I’ve still got some room to improveï¿Â½” I hope.

What would be one of your weaknesses if you had to say one thing?

One of my weaknesses? It’s harder for me to get in shape than it used to be when I was 22 or 23 years old. Now that I’m 31, it takes more training and stuff, so I just have to put more time forth to make it happen.



What do you focus on other than riding the most?

It used to be in years past the only thing I would do is ride, but now I’m having to do some other things, mountain biking and some endurance stuff, a little bit of the weight room stuff to try to help out.

How’s your family doing?

I have two little girls. Lauren is five, and she’s in Kindergarten now. Leah is a year and a half old. She stays home with Momma most of the time.

Is she the one that rode with you to the podium?

That was my older one. That was Lauren.

So, they’re pretty supportive of your career choice?

Yeah, they like going to the races with daddy and riding around on the four-wheelers here at home. Lauren’s got her a little four-wheeler and she rides with me. They like getting out and playing some too, so it’s pretty cool.

Now we know you have a motocross track (look for it at and the ATVA/ITP Moose Racing National Motocross series is going there again in 2008, so what can we look forward to next year?

There’s going to be some new changes with the track next year. We’re going to lengthen it just a little bit and change up some of the jumps. The facility is going to get a little bit nicer still, and just try to work towards getting some electricity and water hookups for the people that like to camp, fence in some more area. Just work on it a little all the way around and try to make it a little bit nicer and nicer each year.

Not to end on a bad note, but what do you have to say to your competition next year?

[long pause] Ahh, what do I have to say to my competition? Be ready.

Thanks for your time, Bill.

No problem. Thank you.

Bill would like to thank the following sponsors:

I want to thank the Lord first and foremost. I had an awesome year of racingï¿Â½” no injuries or anything, and I just want to thank Him for that. I want to thank all my pit crew, my family, my main mechanic Elliot Skaggs, Brock Booth back at the shop. Man those guys, they put their heart into it just as much as I do, whether they’re on the road or in the shop, and I want to thank them big time. I want to thank Team Yamaha. GYTR. Ohlins suspension. ARS-FX, Maxxis, Douglas Wheels, GT Thunder, IMS, Moose Racing, One Industries, Precision, Wiseco, Regina Chains, Powermadd, Klotz, Alpinestars and Scott Goggles.