GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #21 .... This Week in GNCC

Thursday, May 22, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill. It’s another weekend off.

Well, it’s off for GNCC Racing, but not for Racer Productions, our parent company. I think we often take it for granted that everyone knows how our company works, but with so many new people signing up for GNCC each year, we probably have some newcomers who don’t actually understand it all. So here’s an idea.


Where we started: GNCC before it was GNCC
Racer Productions Archives

Racer Productions is based in Morgantown, West Virginia, and the company was started by Dave and Rita Coombs. Big Dave was a school teacher who also played in a band, but once he saw the seminal early-70’s motorcycle movie “On Any Sunday,” he fell in love with motocross. He showed up at a track one weekend looking to race, and he asked them where he could get a bike. Dave was so new at the whole game he thought the tracks rented them out! Eventually he figured it out and raced in some races, and then he decided to try hosting some races of his own. Racer Productions was born.

Then Dave found out that he liked riding challenging trails just as much as motocross, so he started producing Hare Scrambles (and of course, he would race in his own races when he had a chance to sneak away). Racer Productions kept growing from there, moving its major motocross races to High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, in the mid-1970’s. That track has certainly evolved.


The High Point National is now headed into its 32nd year, dubbed the Kawasaki/Monster Energy Pro Motocross National at High Point presented by Centra Bank. James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto and the boys will all be racing our High Point event on June 15. If you come, you’ll see pretty much everyone on the GNCC crew working that race. Big John will be on security patrol, Jeff Russell will be working the track, and even I’ll be up in the announcer’s tower. Rita Coombs will be there too, still doing whatever she does, which is about everything.


Last year's High Point ATV National.
Shane Hartman photo

High Point also hosted the first-ever AMA National Hare Scramble race in 1979. Eventually the National Hare Scramble Series branched off on its own. Racer Productions called their off-road races “100 Milers” because they always covered 100 miles, but times changed and the race distance was cut to reduce the torture factor. The name of the races changed to Grand National Cross Country. We’re obviously still doing that today.

In 1982, Big Dave and partner Paul Schlegal completed their vision for the first true amateur national motocross championship, and they held the race at Loretta Lynn’s. So our company runs that event, too, The Air Nautiques/AMA Amateur Nationals at Loretta Lynn’s, and it’s bigger than ever after 25-plus years.

In the mid 1980s, ATV racing grew big enough to create a need for a racing series. The ATV Grand National Championships were born, and Racer Productions has hosted races in that tour since day one””this year we’ll hold ATV motocross races at High Point (this weekend) and also the series’ finale at Loretta Lynn’s in August.

So in short, we’re a pretty busy gang here. Throw in a few local motocross races with AMA District 5 and the PA MX Association, and we’re racing basically every weekend from March’s GNCC in Florida all the way through the Ironman in Indiana. I’d like to think that GNCC is nearest and dearest to our company, because we put together 13 of them, and Big Dave had a special love for super-tough off-road races. But our company has expanded to the point where everyone on staff has personal favorites. We have motocross guys and gals, ATV people, amateur MX fans, GNCC types and even some road racers. Regardless, everyone has a love for what they’re working on.

Why do I even bring this up? Not sure. I just think we take it for granted that everyone knows about everything we do. And also it’s a good way to let everyone know that our traditional schedule will change this weekend for the first time in 32 years (which is longer than I have even been on this planet). For the first time, the ATV Motocross Stampede at High Point Raceway will take place on Memorial Day Weekend, while the bike race will take place on Father’s Day Weekend. A change in the AMA Motocross Schedule forced us to swap and the bike and ATV dates, but we think it will work out. One way or another, it always seems to.  

Anyway, now you all know how it works. We like bikes and ATVs, vets, pros, kids and amateurs all the same. That’s why we hold such a variety of races. Unfortunately, trying to work our crew around so many different race schedules is tough. For example, the change of the High Point Motocross date resulted in us holding the Somerset, PA GNCC in July, and pushing Snowshoe GNCC back to September. Snowshoe was only available for one weekend in June, and that conflicted with the new High Point date, so we had to move it.

It’s all very complicated, but we can assure you that there is usually a reason for everything. On the ATV side, we’ve put a lot of energy into the ATV Motocross end of the business lately. Another series made some major inroads in that sport, but competition always improves the breed. We’ve done our best to upgrade the ITP/Moose ATV National Motocross Series, and this weekend’s race at High Point will offer up an example. It’s the first round of the new Grand Slam presented by Quad Magazine, a four-race series within the series that offers up big money bonuses for the pros. It’s also an ATV Showcase event, where a variety of companies from outside the industry will put their outdoor lifestyle products on display. These are all new ideas and we hope they take off. We also have many, many big plans in the future for that series, probably for 2009 or 2010. But I have a feeling that when I type them in here my bosses will tell me to edit________

Yup. They did.

That’s what most of Racer Productions has going on this weekend. Right now, though, I’m on a plane to California with Davey Coombs of Racer X Illustrated. We’re going to Glen Helen for the opening round of the AMA/Toyota Motocross Championship (for bikes). Want to know who wins the opener? Listen live to our Racer X webcast Sunday afternoon on, and check out our videos from the track on that site all weekend. is the web home for video and audio from the "Outdoor Nationals" this summer.

Cobra rider Ryan Ratliff has a few overall wins
this year in the Youth Series.
Hooper photo

Okay enough of that, let’s talk GNCC racing. Over the last few weeks we’re had many requests to put some spotlights on the talented boys and girls of the GNCC Youth ATV Series.

This year we moved the Cobras into their own class, dubbed Super-Mini 13-15. With past champions Walker Fowler and Dylan Bradford racing in the Schoolboy class in the afternoon, that class has been wide open. We have had three different winners, Jerry Welch, Josh Merritt and Ryan Ratliff, and when you throw in Ryan Earley’s overall win out of the modified class last weekend, and you have four different overall winners in six races this year. The best battle of all may have come at the opener in Florida, when Welch held off Seth Mumford for the win by a bike length. Great racing all around there. Welch currently leads the points, but the ever-consistent Matt Harris and Michael Spalding are right there, and Ratliff skipped round one, so he will be closer in points once throw-aways are factored.

We mentioned Earley’s win in the Modified (12-15) division, but he’s got a points battle right now with Logan Fluharty. Should be good there, although I’ve heard Earley might be on some better equipment before the year is up. But since he likes those single a-arms, it may not matter!

The 90 Limited (12-15) Class has also had four different winners, with a real title battle between Dustin Adams, Cheyanne Chadron, Kamren Bob and Blake Chirdon.

Jay Shadron has been the man (boy?) in the younger classes, taking his 90cc Modified Apex to the top in five of six races, and also carding four top-four overall finishes despite being a bunch younger than most of those riders. Jays’ highlight was a third overall at the Big Buck.

The 90cc Limited (8-10) class is all mixed up, too, with five different winners this year: Allie Slate, Cole Shiflett, Trenner Wile, Blaine Martin and Tristan Garrett. And the most amazing part is that none of these five are leading the points! That honor goes to the consistent Cole Setser.

And in the 70cc Class, Zach Webb leads the points, with Jerry “Mr. Interview” Welch, and Junior Austad taking wins also this year.


Walker Fowler is having a tough season.
Hooper photo

Meanwhile, a lot of the fast kids from the Youth ATV ranks move up to the Schoolboy Class, which is a (13-15) division that races in the morning on ATVs up to 300cc. Seth Munford, who was in the hunt for the Youth Championship for the last three years, has decided to make the move up part way through this season, starting at the Big Buck. He finished second in the class at the John Penton on his familiar #900.

Two-time GNCC Youth ATV Champion Walker Fowler won that Schoolboy class last year, but his title defense has gotten off to a shaky start. Walker folded his ankle under his machine in Georgia. The sprained ligaments are taking forever to heal. Walker is still trying to race both the ATV and the bike (in Four-Stroke Lites A) but right now he’s not really able to do either. In fact, at Loretta’s, he decided to try the bike only, hoping that would be better for his ankle, and he had to pull off for the first time in his life. Walker hopes to be back to for Kentucky, but no guarantees there. If he doesn’t make it back, look for a two-way fight for the title between Hunter Dalrymple and Cody Parmerter, who have won races this year and sit 1-2 in points. By the way, last year’s Youth ATV Champ, Dylan Bradford, had a Yamaha ride to race this class this year but hasn’t been to the last few races. I sent his dad an email in to check on his status, as soon as I know where he went I’ll post it here.

Even with Fowler ailing, Yamaha has yet another young ace up their sleeve, this one in the Youth Bike Ranks. It’s been quite a week for the Plessinger gang! We caught word a few days ago that the factory Yamaha folks have signed on to support Aaron Plessinger racing both motocross and GNCC, which makes him the first Youth rider with a real factory connection since Thad DuVall a few years back (and that’s worked out pretty well). Here’s a link to the release from Yamaha.

Aaron is having another great season, winning five out of six races in the bike 85cc (7-11) class.

In addition, the Plessinger family is going to open up a Lemonade stand next weekend at Sparta in a project called “Operation Lemonaid.”Â

The Plessinger kids are attending Ohio Virtual Academy this year, to allow more time for racing, and their school is holding a fundraiser for Childhood Cancer.  The fundraiser is called Operation Lemonaid and all the kids have been asked to have a lemonade stand for the weekend of May 31 and June 1st.  They will set it up in front of their camper, so be sure to stop and visit the Plessinger gang next weekend and support great cause. Here’s a web link to the project:


Speaking of Youth Bikes, overall points leader
Steward Baylor made the trek to upstate NY
for a Hare Scramble last weekend and won it.
Axehoot photo

This year, Rekluse Automatic Clutches joined the GNCC Family as a sponsor, and they also back the Holeshot Award for the ATV XC2 class. After half of a season, they’re pumped, and they sent us a letter.

First off, we would like to thank the Racer Productions/GNCC crew for all they have done to welcome the Rekluse staff to the 2008 GNCC season. When traveling from a distant locale such as Boise, Idaho, sometimes it's rather difficult to find your way around a new race venue! So from all of us at Rekluse, thank you for assisting us on our maiden voyage to GNCC racing, you have all been tremendously helpful! 


We are also very thankful for the all the new friendships we gained during these first 6 rounds. Whether it's supporting our sponsored riders, meeting new folks at the races, providing tech support, or simply enjoying the GNCC evening atmosphere, we want to make sure everyone understands how grateful we are for all the kindness the GNCC racing community has shared with us these last three months. Even on the "off weekends" or on weekdays between rounds, we find ourselves invited to dinner, invited to go riding, or testing, or the like. What's more, most the time it’s a request to stop by and hang out! What more could you ask for when you're 2000+ miles from home? Thanks GNCC racers, families, and friends ”¦ we're stoked to be a part of this very special group of people.


Finally, many of you may not know we will not be making the next few rounds with the Rekluse road show. Following Round #6, we packed up and returned home to begin the process of taking care of our commitments out West. We want all of you to know we are still here for you, simply pick up the phone and we're happy to help you out. Fear not though, we'll be back ”¦ and the good news is we are in the planning stages of making sure this happens for Rounds #11, 12, & 13! We are looking forward to continuing our successes this 2008 season. Thank you all for welcoming us to the GNCC program and we’d like to congratulate our racers who are earning podiums every weekend. We'll see you sooner rather than later!

And this holeshot award thing is working out so well that we now have a UTV holeshot award, perfect for our next event in Pennsylvania in July.

Instigator Racing will be sponsoring the 751-850cc Modified UTV Holeshot award.  They will pay $100 for the holeshot at the next three UTV events.  Check them out at

Okay, that’s enough for this week, our crew has some major track changes to finish up at High Point and I’m trying to brace myself for West Coast time. Look for a great preview of the Kentucky race here next week. Until then, have a good weekend!


These Youth riders will race through anything!
Hooper photo