GNCC Racing

Paul Whibley Race Report: Victory in Ohio

Monday, October 13, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Race Report: GNCC Series Rnd 12, St Clairesville Ohio
Rider: Paul Whibley
Team: FMF Suzuki
Bike: Suzuki RMZ 450
Result: 1st
Round 12 of the GNCC series went down at St. Clairsville in Ohio over the weekend.

I got a good jump off the line but Nate Kanney spun sideways and came across and hit my front wheel, nearly taking me down.  So I ended up at the back of the pack rounding turn one.  Not where I wanted to be as the track was pretty dusty and passing was going to be really tough.  I made some passes during the course of the first lap and moved up, but I gained some serious time when Rodney Smith pointed out a hot line for us around one of the bog holes.  I think by the end of the lap I was up to fifth place.

The course was dusty but the track crew had utilized as many of the creek beds and wet areas as they could to give some kind of break from the choking dust.  There was a pretty good bog hole at the 2 mile marker that drew in a big crowd, and they enjoyed helping, pointing lines and witnessing the carnage of those who didn't make it through clean.

On lap two I missed the turn and went the long way around the mud hole where Rodney was and dropped back a few positions.  I ended up behind Mike Brown searching for a way around.  He was riding really good but he hit a big powder berm too hard and went down allowing me to shoot by.  Next, I caught my team mate Charlie Mullins who was battling with Nate Kanney.  Charlie passed Nate and I followed suit and made a move on a fast straight.  I caught Charlie again but it was really tough to make a pass in the dust.  I think it took me almost a full lap to make it happen.  Once I got by Charlie I got a pit board saying I was up to 2nd and Josh was leading, not to far in front.

I caught Josh but again struggled to find a way past.  The team signalled us that we were going to need a splash of gas to finish the race.   Josh and I came into the pits at the same time. My pit stop was Nascar fast and I left the pits in the lead.  I got the white flag then saw a pit board from Katherine saying to pin it as I needed to pit again!  It seems my pit stop was so fast I didn't take enough gas on.  So I got on it to try and build a buffer over Josh so I could gas up again.  Mid last lap I had a crash and lost probably about 20 seconds when I hit a lapper and shot over a bank.  I got going again and made it to the pits with about a 30 second lead.  I left the pits and rode hard the last 3 miles to the finish and took my third win of the season.

It was a good day for Team FMF Suzuki.  For the first time we swept the top four positions overall and we were also all riding the awesome RM-Z 450.
1st: Paul Whibley
2nd: Josh Strang
3rd: Charlie Mullins
4th: Jimmy Jarrett
5th: Nate Kanney