GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #41: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, October 23, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill. The grand finale is here!

Okay folks, we'll start this off with news: we have to make yet ANOTHER schedule change for the 2009 Can-Am GNCC tour. We got some feedback from racers after we announced the change last week, so we felt we needed to listen to our racers. Also, the FIM World Congress just wrapped up and we now know the 2009 International Six-Days Enduro will take place on October 10-16, not October 5-10 as originally planned. The good news about this is that was can return to the 2009 Ironman GNCC back to its original date, which means we're not going to be racing on Halloween. It means we will race on So the final 2009 schedule looks like this:

Round 1 February 28 - March 3 
Round 2 March 7/8  
Round 3 March 21/22  
Round 4 April 4/5  
Round 5 April 18/19  
Round 6 May 2/3  
Round 7 May 16/17  
Round 8 June 6/7  
Round 9 June 27/28  
Round 10 September 12/13  
Round 11 September 26/27  
Round 12 October 3/4  
Round 13 October 24/25

To make it easier on you, check out the new series ad we completed today.

We will run back to back races for rounds 11 and 12 in order to fit the ISDE Schedule, which is very important to the race teams, the AMA and American off-road racing. And you get to spend Halloween at home.

Just got a call from GNCC Trail Boss Jeff Russell, who is down in Indiana right now. The Can-Am, Yamaha, KTM and Polaris test ride loops are set up and ready. Yamaha is also going to have Rhino test drives to go along with their ATV rides. If it rains all day, though, some of the demo rides might be postponed, but Jeff says he expects most of the rain in the morning and nothing too bad after that. Cold will be a bigger factor this weekend than rain. So dress warm and be thankfull that the Ironman course holds up well if it gets wet. Yes, it gets sloppy, but it usually doesn't develop giant mud holes. Jeff sais they will run the Ironman hillclimb, going up, but only for the afternoon races.

Afternoon riders, you're going up this.
Hooper photo

It's been a great year for GNCC racing, and we hope to cap it with the best edition yet of what many consider the best race of the year: the Klotz Ironman GNCC. This race in Indiana has it all. The track is one of the best in the business, with the perfect mix of wide-open stuff and technical terrain, flowing woods trails and high-speed corn fields, gnarly uphills, deep water crossings and just about everything else you can think of. It's like we take features from every GNCC track, shake it up, and place it down in the middle of Indiana. Except we haven't figured out a way to get Florida sand there.

Plus, the track is surrounded by some of the most passionate fans in off-road racing, and the infamous Ironman Hill and the Twin Hills climb will pack them in. If you don't make it up, don't worry, because help is never far away.

The Ironman marked the debut of our UTV racing series last year and we'll run the big machines again this year (including the new Honda Pilot class. If you have one of those old machines, bring it out). The Ironman should be the toughest track yet for the UTVs, and it will also be the longest. Jeff Russell and the GNCC track builders expect to get at least four miles in on this one, so that should cut back on traffic.

However, the UTVs may not run the Twin Hills section they did last year if it rains.

As always, the special events at this race are off the chart. Just today we've gotten word of free Polaris demo rides (to go along with Can-Am, KTM and Yamaha) and even better, Polaris will pick the name of one person who participated in the demo to win a brand-new 2009 Outlaw 525 Limited Edition. This could be your race machine for next year! No charge to participate, all you need to do is sign up and ride one of the new Polaris machines and you're eligible to win. Huge thanks to Tom's Marine Polaris (the land owners at this race) for setting this up.

Wow, free demos on four different ATV brands (and KTM bikes, to boot). Bring some extra gear!

We've got plenty of ATVs to ride this weekend.
Hooper photo

Now we have word that the Parts Unlimited Mechanics' Challenge is back.

After a successful debut at the opening round of the 2008 Can-Am GNCC tour in Florida, the Parts Unlimited Pro Mechanics' Challenge returns for this weekend's finale, the Klotz Ironman GNCC. Action starts after the Parts Unlimited dinner concludes on Saturday, which should be around 6:30 p.m.

This is a rider and mechanic team event and is restricted to bike XC1 and XC2 riders and teams only.

Riders will take off and complete a lap of a short course built next to the Parts Unlimited dinner tent. At the end of the lap they must stop and put their bike on a stand. The mechnanic will then step in and remove the rear wheel, and then the wheel must pass all the way around the bike (riders can hand off of pick up the wheel, but either way, the wheel must pass all the way around the bike). Then the rear wheel must be put back on, the bike comes off the stand, and the rider completes another lap. At the end of the lap the rider must put the bike on the stand, which stops the clock.

Bonus time if a rider is able to do a stoppie and drop the bike onto the stand without putting his feet down.

At the Florida event, Am-Pro Yamaha's Barry Hawk and Doug Whitmer put in a lightning fast time and looked to have victory in their grasp, but the team of Jason and Darrell Raines stepped up and bettered the time to take the win. It was later revealed that Team Raines competed without a rear disc, which was not against the rules. However this time, each bike will go through a tech inspection before they run, and a mechanic will certify that the rear brakes, chain and axle are all in proper race condition.

Donations will be taken from fans for a purse, as this is a dash for cash event. The Florida race featured a purse of over $500, which Darrell Raines certainly enjoyed.

Rumor has it some teams are already practicing for this event (Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha). All XC1 and XC2 riders are teams are eligible. Come check it out on Saturday night.

Jason Raines started the year off winning the Mechanics' Challenge with his dad.
Now he's won the AMA Hare Scrambles East/West Challenge.
Hooper photo

We'll also have Trick-or-Treating at the track at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

In the spirit of Halloween, we're organizing the first-ever GNCC Trick-or-Treat this Saturday. We've told the GNCC vendors and the GNCC teams to get some candy ready for the kids, and we're encouraging kids to wear costumes and bring a bag so they can collect the goods.

We'll open Vendors and Pro Row up for Trick-or-Treating by about five p.m. on Saturday. By then we should have a good mix of bike and ATV teams in, and Vendor's row will be ready. The Klotz and Moose Trucks are already set to go, and we'll surely have more Vendors ready with candy as well.

But remember: Kids only, and Trick-or-Treaters must wear costumes.

So: Trick-or-Treat, followed by Parts Unlimited Dinner, followed by the Parts Unlimited Mechanics' Challenge. Awesome.

The Ironman fans are some of the best in the sport.
Hooper photo

Onto the racing, although at this point we pretty much know the score. Knighter will race an ATV, Ballance, McGill, Borich, Cook and the rest of the field are ready for one last crazy battle, and the Women's ATV Title is on the line in the morning.

On Sunday, things are wide open again since Knight won't be racing, and Thad DuVall will take another crack at the XC1 class, leaving XC2 wide-open as well. I expect the field to really be fired up about beating Paul Whibley, because we all know this is "position yourself for 2009" time, and no one wants to go into the off-season giving Whibs a big mental edge. Expect recent podium finishers Josh Strang and Charlie Mullins to push hard. Barry Hawk is planning on racing a 450. And I really expect Nathan Kanney to be on it, he does not want to go winless all season and the last time he raced the Ironman, in 2006, he straight-up took it to everyone and won the race.

Last weekend the AMA held the first East/West Hare Scrambles Shootout in Oklahoma, pitting Western HS Champ Brian Garrahan and Eastern Champ Jason Raines against each other and anyone else who showed. Raines was on it and put it to everyone, winning the race by several minutes. He said the course was a whopping 23 miles long! Well done, Jason. Now get it going at a GNCC this weekend, please.

Also heard Steward Baylor (all of 13-years-old) won a SETRA overall over the weekend.

Nate Kanney won the Ironman bike race
as a privateer in 2006.
Gundy photo

A few GNCC Racers just put up new websites:

Maxxis Tire/ HMF/ Monster Energy Kawasaki
 Jesse Robinson launches a new web site.( The web site is still under construction but it's up and running. Our friend Chris, at, has done a great job getting this going. You can link to all our sponsors and to the GNCC for all your information needs. Check out video at the interview icon. See everyone at Indiana this weekend.

Also, Darrell Rath, whose Rath Racing team now competes in the GNCC Series, has a site up:

GNCC Banquet info:

We'll all meet up again on Thanksgiving weekend for the 2008 GNCC Banquets. We have flyers and info that we'll hand the info out at the track this weekend. And we'll also post the info on the main page as soon as we're done posting this, so you can download it today.

This year GNCC Class Champions will received Moose or Thor gear and Thor Quadrant boots. If you're a class champion, please give us your gear size info this weekend so we can get your gear on order. We'll need Jersey size (Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL or XXXL) Pants size (waist), Glove size (Small, Medium, Large and XL) and boot size (no half sizes, please). Youth gear is also available, please let us know.

The racing at the Ironman should be epic because most of our titles are wrapped up, which means riders try new classes and bikes for fun. On the ATV side we have a few top A riders running XC2, and on bikes you have situations like Jordan Ashburn racing Open A after wrapping the 250 A Title (Jordan has run Open A at the last few races and is looking good. Word has it that Kawasaki has signed him to a big deal in 2009. Congrats). That Open A Title looks to be all Joe "Dirt" Scherer, though. Joe Dirt is on it. Barry Hawk came to an AWRCS race over the weekend to test his new 450 and Dirt battled him every step of the way.

"We must have passed each other 400 times," said Hawk. "It was a real technical track, and that's where Joe does really well. He was riding awesome."

Hawk edged him for the win. If it gets really rainy and muddy this weekend, though, Joe Dirt could be fighting for Top Amateur honors.

In ATV Youth, Josh Merritt has had a solid season and looks ready to collect a number-one plate. It's been really fun racing this year in the ATV Youth Ranks, with a few Four-Stroke pilots in there winning overalls as well.


Indiana packs in some great fans.
Hooper photo

On Youth Bikes, Baylor already has his title sewn up, leaving riders like Zach Nolan, Ryan Lojak, Chris Meadows and Layne Michael battling for overall wins. Nolan has won three-straight heading into the Ironman, and I know he's itching to get on a big bike.

One youth rider already made the move, AJ Stewart. After four podiums this year in the Youth bike ranks, AJ just got too big so he moved to a YZ250F. Now he's organizing his Annual Charity Ride for MS. Here are the details:

7th Memorial MX-4-MS
AJ Stewart is 15 years old and rides the #999 Yamaha YZ250F. AJ began the 2008 GNCC Series in the Super Mini 14-15 class but moved to the Four Stroke B lites the last few races. He lives in Lake Lynn, Pa.  AJ has a passion for racing, but he also has another passion and that is to help those battling Multiple Sclerosis. He decided to use his love of racing to help those battling MS.

For the past 6 years he has held a charity ride for MS. AJ was inspired to create this ride by his Uncle.  It is called the MX-4-MS Ride. AJ has raised over $23,000.00 to help those with Multiple Sclerosis.

 On November 8, 2008, AJ is committed to riding 50 laps for a donation to the MS Society. All donations will go directly to the National MS Society. This society has many programs to help those with MS and a portion goes toward research to help find a cure. Please make checks payable to the National MS Society and they can be given to AJ. We can be contacted at 724-725-5373, at [email protected]or at the Indiana race. Information is also available through Brian Vasko at the Waynesburg, Pa Yamaha Shop.

 For more information on the National MS Society go to  or 1-800-fightms.

Thank you,
The Stewarts  

Finally, we close this with a story from our esteemed leader, Rita Coombs. Rita got herself a new-fangled phone that can check email. But as expected, she got really, really confused when she went to check it and the menu screen gave her an option that said "bill balance"

So at the last race, she  said "Why does my phone say Bill Ballance? I've never even called that guy!"

Turns out the phone has an option to check the balance of your monthly bill. Your bill balance. Rita gets kind of confused with that technology stuff.

That's going to do it for this week's Quick Fill, we want to make sure everyone gets to see this before they get on the road. So, see you tomorrow at the track, and enjoy your grand finale!

Check out this awesome championship ad Michelin made for David Knight!