GNCC Racing

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

Thursday, May 29, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill. We’re going racing again!


It has been three weeks since we’ve held a GNCC race, but it feels like months. It was muddy at the Wiseco John Penton GNCC a few weeks back, but you have no excuse to not have a clean machine after that much time off. Plus, it looks like good weather for this weekend’s event in Sparta, Kentucky. Thank your lucky stars for that, because we’ve seen it all in Sparta: horrible mud and terrible dust.


The weather says a chance of rain on Saturday and sun on Sunday””sounds like most of the races this year. But a little rain will be just what the place needs, so we’re probably looking at optimum conditions for the weekend.


I sure hope everyone takes advantage, because by the time we’re done racing in Kentucky we’ll be past the halfway point of the 2008 GNCC tour. Can you believe it?

Things sure have changed since this podium photo from last year's Sparta race
(except for that Ballance guy still winning).


For a preview of our pro races this weekend, check out the BIKE and ATV previews we posted today. These are pivotal times. The FMF Suzuki boys are beginning to find their form, with Paul Whibley notching another win at an OMA race last weekend. Paul was exceptionally happy with his win over Jimmy Jarrett, Nate Kanney and Brian Garrahan, because he’s always struggled a bit in tighter conditions, and that OMA race had plenty of it. He won, so now’s he’s even more confident.


Meanwhile Josh Strang told me he has actually been a little sick since The John Penton race he nearly won (sick from that one? Gee, how could that have happened?). But he feels better now, and Suzuki has made some changes and upgrades to his bike. He should be ready this weekend.


And Charlie Mullins needs to put in a good ride, and he thinks he can. He told me today that he is 100 percent healthy and ready for this weekend’s race, which also happens to be about 30 minutes from his hometown in Ohio.


When you consider how muddy the Penton race was, it’s been over a month since the bike riders have actually battled in normal conditions. We have a lot of riders who were busy building momentum back at Loretta’s that would love to continue that here. Kanney, Glenn Kearney and Jason Raines appear to be one break-through ride away from putting it all together, so this could be the weekend.

Last year Knighter ruled the roost in Kentucky. He hopes to do it again.


Of course, this all depends on how David Knight does, which should probably be an acronym: DOHDKD. When the big man is on his game, he’s proven virtually impossible to beat. I see that David and his Red Bull KTM team have gone out of their way to avoid some of the problems they had last year. For example, he’s skipping a lot of the international races he did last year to maintain his focus on the GNCCs. And now that KTM has Polish technician Taddy Blasusiak on their bikes, they don’t need Knight for Erzberg or EnduroCross to get wins. That’s bad news for the GNCC guys, because Knight was often most vulnerable after he had to go race elsewhere.


On the ATV side, this is Adam McGill’s big test. If he can hold Bill Ballance back this time and win, in Kentucky, after Ballance has won two in a row, he will have really served notice of his championship intentions. Surely Ballance believes he has everything under control right now. Let’s see if McGill can stop that thinking. There are plenty of others to watch for, remember to check that preview.


Off the race track, this weekend we have the return of a popular show from last year: GNCC has Got Talent!

Now that takes talent!


Last year at Sparta we ran a talent show, so we’re bringing it back this weekend. It's time to show what you can do (besides ride). Whatever you can do that's cool is good for the show. Dancing, singing, twirling, jumping, playing an instrument....whatever you can do, we want it.


Sign up for the talent show will take place at Rider Registration, and we’ll hold the show on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.


Last year’s podium ended up like this:

1st Adair Smith
2nd  Samantha Wellborn
3rd  Lacy Buttrick
Honorable Mention
Sadie Welch

Check out the photos on the left to see what the show looked like. And  we’ll have some more fun in Kentucky.

You might have caught our race report on the German Cross Country Championship (XCC Series) earlier today. We’ll post reports here from time to time, as we’ve begun partnering up with the XCC and the JNCC (Japan National Cross Country) Series to form more uniform rules for racing around the world. We hope to get some of the XCC and JNCC riders competing over here, and maybe to have some of our boys head over there for some races. Certainly we’ve had success sending a crew over for the Japan races in the past, so this should be fun.

This week’s Steward Baylor story:

Honorable mention last year for Sadie.

Want to hear something amazing!?  I'm friends with Steward Baylor (Overall GNCC Youth Points Leader) and spoke with him this past weekend in N.C. at the Mideast race.  Ready for this??  He won the overall youth National Hare Scramble in N.Y. on Saturday and then his family drove all night down to NC (got there at 5:00 a.m.) and took the overall in the Mideast morning youth race. THEN, he took a 20 minute break and borrowed a KTM 250 XC and raced in the 2 hour afternoon race!! That’s THREE harescrambles in a 24 hour period! Wait, there's more! He started from the very back row and finished 15th overall behind all the pros! His last lap was faster than Glen Kearney's last lap!!! Mullins, Kearney, and Jesse Robinson raced.  THIS KID IS 13 YRS OLD!! 
I talked to him after the race, and he said he had never ridden a 250 before!  Future GNCC champ??? 

Check it all out at


- Clint Conner


Our good friend Jim Harris is a local who always helps us with the Sparta race. He’s got a cool thing going this weekend. Jim makes these beautiful etchings from real photos, so this weekend he’s going to create a raffle to raise money for Rider Down Foundation. It’s $1 per raffle ticket, and the winner gets an etching for free (that’s a $100 value).  Yes, the winner just gives Jim a photo and he’ll make a killer 8x11 etching out of it. Check out more at Race Day Keep Sakes. The website is

Our old chaplain Joey Halloway.

We’ve got more cool events upcoming. Dave Smith, the digital shooter for, is planning the next GNCC Vendor’s Row Challenge. Here’s his plan:

Wow we had a great week end shooting the ATV MX Nationals at High Point this past week end and we are getting ready for the Moto Cross Country event that is just around the corner at the Fathers Day Outdoor National at Highpoint MX.  Something else that we are getting ready for is the Second Annual Vendors Row Challenge that is just around the corner at Yadkinville GNCC.  Believe it or not I have actually started a running regiment and doing some other exercises to get ready for the event.  I have even bigger challenges this year.  John Gallagher of Polaris ATV fame has stepped up and wants a piece of the challenge too. On a bike.  He will be riding a friend’s bike and will also ride for the Racedaypix Squad.  I believe that

The talent show podium shooter Jason Hooper took the challenge last year. We are once hoping that this will bring out some of the Vendor row riders, as well as many of the parents that get caught up in the "I'm too busy with my kids to ride."  This is the year. I may be a bit out of shape, haven't ridden in a while, but I really want to race at least once this year class for most of us.  I know that last year I called out Jim Belue, (Ryan Belue's Dad) and boy was he glad that I got hurt so he didn't have to race.  I believe that John Rainey (John Michael Rainey’s Dad) is going to make it this year.  I hope that many others like Bart Hayes of Powersport Grafx, and Gary Delapenna of the Finish Line Cafe will make it out and ride.  I think the guys from Rekluse Clutch just got scared and decided to skip a few races.    I know that Jeff from Maxxis really wants to race but he admits that the world may be a safer place with out him on a bike.  Let's see who else may join the challenge and get out and ride.  I may even do another sit up or two before then. 
David Smith


Okay, between all of today’s race reports and previews and features, I think we’re all primed and ready for a big weekend in Kentucky. Welcome back to the races and thanks for reading Quick Fill!