GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #27 .... This Week in GNCC

Thursday, July 3, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill. Happy holiday weekend.

Oh wait, you’re spending it with us! We apologize to everyone who really, really doesn’t want to spend their July 4th weekend at the GNCCs, but we hope your GNCC family is fun enough to hang out with. Hey, it seems to work having our GNCC banquets on Thanksgiving weekend, so maybe this is not too bad.

It will be a rockin' 4th of July this weekend.
Hooper photo

In any event, we’ve tried to find some fun stuff for you to do if you join us for the 4th. You can check out the Flight 93 Memorial across the street from the track, or visit Idlewild Park, which is only a few minutes away. And for some old-fashioned July 4th Fireworks, the town of Somerset will light ”˜em up downtown on Saturday night. Here are the details:

Somerset4th of July Fireworks
Somerset High School

645 S. Columbia Ave.
Somerset, PA  15501

Saturday, July 5th 9:30 p.m.

Why are they holding them on Saturday and not the actual 4th, Friday? We’re not sure. Maybe the town of Somerset will be busy racing ATVs on Friday?

We’ll also have not one but two free dinners at the track on Friday night, so maybe that will take the edge off. The good folks over at will host their annual dinner over at the corner of ATV Pro Row, and Moose Racing is putting together a dinner as well over at their big tent. Props to the Moose Racing gang for hosting dinner on Friday for the first time, just for the ATV gang.

Regrettably, I won’t be there on Friday for the Quadzone party, as much as I would like to engage in another verbal battle royal with Cardio Stack’s Jasen Bougher. You’re gonna’ have to find someone else to battle this year, Jasen. Where the heck is Jim Stack lately? He would be perfect.

I won’t be the only one missing the parties on Friday. The GEICO TDI bike race team is pulling double duty this weekend, racing the Las Vegas EnduroCross on Saturday night, and then flying red-eye. So if you see JT Bennett (XC2 class) or Josh McLevy (XC1) on Sunday, make sure to give them a pat on the back and a cup of coffee (or Red Bull or Monster).

Josh Strang's win in North Carolina is generating some attention.
Hooper photo


With all the success the Australian riders have had this year in the GNCCs, it’s no surprise they’re beginning to pick up a lot of press back home. We spotted two articles on Josh Strang:

Click here and here.


The other top Aussie in the series, Glenn Kearney, may soon have company in racing Huskys at the front of the pack. Who is going to join him? Maybe you! Husqvarna has just announced a mammoth contingency program that’s bigger than any other in the series. They're paying a massive $500,000! Team Manager Scott Summers says people would be surprised how race ready the Husky is. Of course, he’s paid to say that, but, Scott is also winning the Vet A class every weekend on one. But then again, he’s Scott Summers, so he should be able to win. So maybe you just need to check for yourself.


Husky Contingency

Yesterday we received word that Rich Caselli, father of WORCS Champion and ISDE Top American Kurt Caselli, had passed away. Rich was a tireless supporter of the sport, and his crowning achievement is coming this year, as he helped organize what may be the strongest American ISDE Trophy Team effort ever. The Caselli family is asking for donations to the ISDE fund instead of cards and letters. Here's a letter from Kurt.

Kurt was scheduled to race this weekend in Somerset, but he’s going to take the weekend off. Everyone in the GNCC Family wishes our best to Kurt and family.


There are other riders trying to raise money for the ISDE Team. Here’s a note from Amanda Mastin:


I just wanted to let you know and maybe you could help advertise for us on the Quick Fill this week. After watching the Plessinger gang have such a successful weekend with their lemonade stand at the Spartan GNCC, Dennis Decker, Jeff Fredette and myself decided that it would be a great way for us to fund raise for the ISDE in Greece this year. So this weekend at Somerset, we will have a Lemonade stand and ice pops for the kids. All the money will go to the ISDE team. We will also have ISDE T-shirts available for sale and my lottery tickets are still available.



We found out that GNCC XC2 Winner Jason Thomas has his own website. Through that website, we found that he raced last weekend in Canada and won. So apparently, he’s still racing. Here's his website:

Did you notice the new video on the front page of our site? The Gear Media team had put a bunch of new DVDs together, and they’re available at the MotoTees truck at the track or at The TV shows won’t begin airing until Sunday, August 3rd, but you can see the action now by checking out the DVDs, which feature extended coverage of the footage that will air on TV. Amateur racing is included as well, including coverage of the Youth and Morning races. So check them out at the T-shirt truck this weekend.

And Jeremy Saylor, who puts the DVDs together, told me this:

I had a dream about the GNCC's the other night - Taylor Kiser won the race, and I missed the finish because my camera was messed up.

Wow. That would be cool for Taylor, at least. has quickly become the top amateur motocross site in the country, and the boys from the site decided to stop by the Yadkinville GNCC last weekend to see what off-road racing is all about. It's cool to see an outside perspective on the sport. Check out Brent Stallo's Vurb Moto report here. 


So who is going to win this weekend? Josh Strang is going to test the “once you win one, the rest come easy” theory. I contacted Josh this week and he says he’s feeling good, and he’s looking forward to the rocks. “Pennsylvania was my best race last year except for Unadilla, so I’m looking forward to it,” says Josh.


Barry Hawk is back on the trail starting this weekend, just like he said he would be when he first got injured. I’m sure Barry would like to go straight back to victory lane (where he ended up last year) but it’s a little touch and go right now. Barry says his shoulder is maybe 75 percent. He feels good but he doesn’t know how well he will handle the third hour of the race yet. Personally, I’m curious to see how the YZ250 performs. With a lot of four-strokes running up front now, Barry would make for a good yard stick to see if we really are in the midst of a four-stroke revolution, or if the guys who happen to be riding the big bikes just happen to be riding well. Right now we have Charlie Mullins, Nathan Kanney and Jimmy Jarrett representing the two-stroke crowd, and I’d say all three of them aren’t grabbing the amount of podiums and wins they would have wanted at this point in the season.

Barry Hawk will be back on row 1 this weekend.
Hooper photo


Jason Raines scored a bit of a breakthrough last weekend, topping Kearney for a National Hare Scramble win in Indiana. Jason is said to have made some changes to his 450 and he thinks it will help this weekend. Raines back on the podium would be really cool. Let’s see if he can make it happen.


The big X-factor (literally) is David Knight. Knight says the next three rounds of the tour are his favorite””the rocks of Pennsylvania, the mud of Unadilla, and the mud and rocks of Snowshoe. I know he will want to start firing as soon as they hit those rocks this weekend, and it’s hard to beat that guy in technical terrain like that. If bad luck gets him again (like it did last year) that’s one thing, but trying to keep Knighter at bay this weekend is going to be tough.


In the XC2 class, this will be a true test this weekend for all of the boys. Thad DuVall has had a couple of tough races, and last year’s Pennsylvania winner, Dustin Gibson, is slowing closing on him in points. And what of Justin Williamson? He finally, finally broke through with a close run for second at the last race in North Carolina. If the real J-Dub is back, he will be tough this weekend in the rocks. I think it’s too late for Justin to get back into championship contention, but wins are not out of the question.


Then we have about a billion other contenders, like Thomas, the winner of the last event, as well as Kailub Russell, who won the race before. What about Josh Weisenfels? The Monster Kawasaki tandem of Matusek and Watkins. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone, too. This class is that deep.


On ATVs, Bill Ballance may just have everyone beaten already. His confidence has to be as high as ever, and I’m not sure if the other guys who have won races this year, Adam McGill and Chris Borich, have the fire they had earlier in the season. I hope they prove me, wrong, though. I’m just shocked how quickly Ballance has turned things around, and I’m sure McGill and Borich are, too. Still, don’t forget that Bryan Cook won our last race in North Carolina, and a few others, like Brandon Sommers and Taylor Kiser, are on the verge of breaking right through and getting a win. This race is key because it’s all mental heading into the summer break. If Ballance gets one, it may be a long summer for everyone else.

Chris Borich was one determined guy in Somerset last year. Can he get back to that level this time.
Scearce photo


The ATV XC2 class is super stacked as well. Donnie Ockerman has gotten a lot of wins, but there’s a lots of competition in there, like David Crane, Brian Wolfe, Tyler Lenig, Mark Notman, Josh Kirkland and the winner of the previous race, Jeff Maloney. That class is fun to watch.


A few other battles to talk about. Bryan Buckhannon and Cliff Beasley have perfect seasons going in their 4x4 classes, and Angel Atwell and Traci Cecco are waging war for the women’s class title. Both ladies hail from Pennsylvania, so they’ll be gunning for it (although Angel is a little closer to this track, if that means anything). Even the ATV Super Senior class has been tight this year, with John Gallagher getting wins on his Polaris, but John Kenney and Robert Conkle have kept him honest.


And don’t forget that we have the return of UTV racing this Saturday at 4:30. You never know what to expect there, but I know William Yokley was crazy fast the last time we raced with his National Guard Polaris. Can someone knock the Yoke off?


I hope all of this action is enough to encourage you to head to the races this weekend. We’d love to have you spend your holiday with us.

Our thoughts are with the Caselli family this weekend.