GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #25 .... This Week in GNCC

Thursday, June 19, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill. Who’s ready to go GNCC Racing?

Still pretty quiet here on the racing front. Our group just recovered from a long hard weekend at High Point, and then they hit the road again on Tuesday to get ready for this weekend’s Yadkinville race. We can’t thank the local folks down there enough for pitching in with the race. Jamie at the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce always gets into the race, and now the Chamber is offering up shuttle service again so fans can check out the local vineyards if they have a few spare moments. And everyone should have a few spare ones. At this point in the year, we’re all in a routine. You know your bike, you know your gear, you know your travel patterns and, unfortunately, you probably know who you’re going faster than and who is going faster than you.

Big thanks to the local media outlets covering the race. Check out this link.

So this is the right time to enjoy what this Elka Yadkin Valley Stomp has to offer. First, there should be good weather this weekend, as we’re looking at 80 degree temps all weekend and a small chance of rain. And that rain would help, because we’ve had plenty of dusty races in Yadkinville before. Check the weather here:

Ryan Echols and the Yadkinville creek jump.
Hooper photo

Controversy broke out this week when a post went up on Quad Zone regarding our AMA/ATVA sanctioning. Things have been very confusing on the AMA side of business lately, and I think an explanation is needed. First, although the AMA is going through a lot of changes, they do not effect the GNCC Series in any way, shape or form. Nothing is changing at all regarding GNCC Racing. Racer Productions will continue to promote the GNCC tour, and the AMA/ATVA will continue to sanction it. The AMA is going through a lot of changes, but they don’t affect GNCC Racing.

What exactly is happening with the AMA? Here’s the story: Back in 1994, the AMA formed a new division dubbed AMA Pro Racing. That division was designed to take the biggest AMA racing series to another level. Those series included AMA Supercross and Motocross, AMA Superbike (road race) and AMA Dirt Track. The GNCC Series wasn’t as big back in 1994, so the new AMA Pro Racing wing never touched it. GNCC continued then, as it still is today, to be sanctioned by the “regular” AMA and not AMA Pro Racing.

Unfortunately for the AMA, the AMA Pro Racing thing didn’t work out. The AMA’s number-one goal is to build good will for motorcycles, ATVs, and the people that ride them. When you’re in the racing business, though, you don’t always build good will. There’s a winner and a loser at every race, and whenever there’s a protest, someone is going to leave mad. The AMA realized that running the races was harming their rep. So a few months ago, AMA President Rob Dingman decided to sell off the Pro Racing Series. As Dingman once said, “On its best day, a sanctioning body is still controversial.”Â

In the end, one company, Daytona Motorsports Group, came in and bid for all of those series. They won the bid. So DMG will basically take over the AMA sanctioning duties at events that used to be run by AMA Pro Racing. That includes AMA Superbike, AMA Motocross, and AMA Flat Track (bikes). It also includes the pro class of the ATVA National ATV MX Series, which joined AMA Pro Racing last year. It does not include AMA Supercross, since Live Nation already controls the rights to that.

For now on, the AMA will focus on the true sportsman. It will still sanction amateur races, and it will still provide lobbyists in Washington to fight for our right to ride. It will no longer decide the rules that James Stewart races under.

Still, replacing AMA Pro Racing with DMG isn’t that big of a change, either. The DMG group is focused on road racing. They’ve already admitted that the bike and ATV motocross series aren’t really their specialty, so they’ll probably just keep working with the tracks and promoters who already ran those races. If you’re a top AMA Superbike rider right now, like Matt Mladin or Ben Spies, you might see some big changes in your series for 2009. If you’re anyone else, not much is going to be different.

In that Quad Zone post, a lot of people seemed worried when our PR council, Justin Anderson, said, "It's important to understand that being involved in Pro racing means that we're not in the racing business, we're in the entertainment business." I think that freaked some people out, specifically, our amateur racers. Rest assured, we’re not changing the scope of our series. We’re not going pro only, pro based, or pro biased. Yes, we’re always trying to get bigger and more professional, but the GNCC Series still runs on the amateur numbers, and we’re not changing anything in regards to that.

Anyway, you can read the post here And thanks to everyone over at the Quad Zone. They always have our backs.

Chris Bithell won Yadkinville last year. Could a return to the track be the shot in the arm he needs?
Scearce photo

Barry Hawk is back! We held the Moto-X-Country race at High Point last weekend. Barry raced it and won the Pro class, and he also raced the amateur motocross day on Friday. Barry looked good, but he's playing coy on if he'll race Yadkinville this weekend. Charlie Mullins raced one moto and won that in College Boy, but the pro race was run in the rain so he decided not to race that one. Thad DuVall was also there but ran into bike troubles. Bryan Cook skipped his ATV race, too, since it was so darned muddy out there. Dave Smith hooked us up with some photos:

The Hawk flies again. Will he do it in Yadkinville?

Mullins on a thumper.

Youth contender Zach Nolan on a 250. photo

Last weekend the AMA Hare Scramble Series rolled into Elkland, PA, hosting an ATV race on Saturday and a bike race on Sunday (sound good?). On Saturday, Brandon Sommers battled with his GT Thunder Yamaha teammate Johnny Gallagher to take the win, with Johnny G second. A lot of top GNCC ATV pros were there, including Chris Borich, Jarrod McClure, Tyler Lenig and Jeff Pickens. That’s a big win for Brandon. As for Borich, man, it’s time for that guy to get some wins again.

The next day the bikes did battle, and Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Kanney came out on top of Am-Pro FMF Yamaha’s Jason Raines and Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney. Raines led for awhile, but Kanney got him for the win. Kanney saw it this way in a press release:

Kanney's race started out perfectly as he pulled a great holeshot. "I was in the lead going through the first turn, and then all of a sudden I high-sided. There were 36 racers in the pro class and they all passed me," says Kanney. Rather than second guessing his decision to race on an off-weekend, Kanney put his head down and began to charge. "It was really chaotic trying to come through all 35 of the pros, especially considering the extremely dusty conditions. It was very intense for a while, there were guys everywhere."

After passing reigning AMA National Hare Scramble Champion, Jason Raines, Kanney never looked back. "It was pretty good racing in the woods, but the field sections were terribly dusty. I could hardly see five feet in front of me at times," recalls a victorious Kanney. "With the temperature pushing 90°, it was a good, tough race."

Nate Kanney grabs the holeshot at a NY hare scramble.
Axehoot photo 

As for Raines, he saw it like this:

I moved into second in the beginning of the 2nd lap and took over the lead about mid-way through the 3rd lap.

I was all alone in the lead for 2 laps and was riding a comfortable pace, but I must have not been pushing hard enough because all of a sudden I heard a bike right on my tail! It was Nathan Kanney, he had caught me sleeping and before I could re-group andpick up the pacehe made the pass when I made a slight mistake with a lapped rider.

We had 2 laps to go and I wasn't going to let him go, I woke up and started pushingto match his pace. When we got the white flag, we both stopped for fuel and left out of the pits together. I was in the same position again. I would lose ground in the fields and gain in the woods. I was hoping for a mistake to make the pass, but it never happened. I crossed the finish line in 2nd about 10 seconds down. I was a little disappointed that I let my guard down and got into a pace instead of continuing to push. After looking at the lap times, once he caught me I picked it up but it was too little too late. Need to push the entire race next time!

Last week we wrote quite a bit about the big 24-hour race in Alabama, but it turns out we made a mistake and listed the wrong team as the fourth-place finisher. Fourth overall actually went to Elmer’s team, which consists of the Team South Africa GNCC Racers, Louwrens Mahoney and Kenny Gilbert, as well as some other GNCCers like Kailub Russell and Vance Earl. We got this letter regarding the team:

Just wanted to let you know, I spent last weekend at the 24 hour race in AL., and stayed up and helped in the pits the entire 24 hours! Our team, #2 Elmer's Team, finished 4th overall. Our team worked against all kinds of obstacles the entire time. We had some bike problems, flat tire, gas tank problems, brakesproblems and an injured rider just to name a few,and we still finished 4th Overall. These guys really deserve credit, finishing aswell as they did up against the factory teams. They are just a group of privateers who love to race. No practice on the bike, no suspension set up, we just met at the track and raced. Pretty amazing huh??

Maybe next year we will be 1st Overall. Thanks for your time.

Susan Earl

Elmer's team in the pits.
Earl photo

Also got this letter from Shane Watts’ people:

Off-road racing legend Shane Watts won’t be attending this weekend’s GNCC race at Yadkinville due to having to travel out of state to conduct a private 3-day Dirt Wise riding school for some “Special Operations” group members from the U.S. military. The hectic schedule of his wildly popular Dirt Wise riding schools continues as Watts is now able to announce the next batch of confirmed school dates for the immediate future:

Romney, WV Aug 2/3
Ithaca, NY Aug 9/10
Grantsburg, WI Sep 20/21
Elmira, NY Oct 11/12 (already sold out)
Kansas City, KS Oct 25/26 (already sold out)

There will be other locations confirmed for this period of time in the next week or so; eastern TN, B.C. Canada, two schools in the New England area.

In the meantime, we’ll see you at the races.

From "The House."
Hooper photo