GNCC Racing

KR4 Performance Race Report from The John Penton

Thursday, June 12, 2014 | 1:05 PM

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” Jack Dempsey (1895-1983) 8 Years Consecutive World Boxing Champion 1919-1926

“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat…the human drama of athletic competition” – 1961’s ABC Wide World of Sports infamous introduction.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters” Epictetus – Ancient Philosopher (AD 55 – 135)

At KR4, one of our goals is to build champions, and we have a team full of them in the making. We feel a true champion is not defined by the championship itself, but instead what a rider goes through to earn one. Our riders are groomed to get up when others can’t, and to realize what matters most is how you persevere when the going gets tough. This principal was tested at last weekend’s 2014 John Penton GNCC, as our KR4 Arrive-n-Ride team experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Brandon Keegan unfortunately suffered a fall that jammed his hand guard into his front brake lever, making his brake drag
Brandon Keegan unfortunately suffered a fall that jammed his hand guard into his front brake lever, making his brake drag Photo: Courtesy of KR4

Overall, 17 KR4 riders competed at the John Penton. Eight riders made podium appearances, while four were just off the podium, barely missing the thrill of victory. Five of our riders, however, got a taste of defeat. A few of them are featured here in this addition of the KR4 2014 John Penton press release:

Youth Race:

KR4 rider Brandon Keegan contests the highly-competitive Supermini 12-13 class. On Sunday, 23 riders were in his class, and Brandon got off to an excellent start only to fall in the first turn. He got up quickly and put his head down to come through in 9th position at the end of the first lap, just two seconds out of 8th and a mere 36 seconds from the 5th place rider! Brandon was clearly in a position to have a go at a top five and could even pull out a podium finish if things really went his way.

Unfortunately, disaster struck on the second lap after a minor fall jammed the hand guard into the front brake lever, causing the brake to drag intermittently. Brandon made a brief stop with a KR4 track spotter who attempted to correct the problem and sent him on his way. Radio transmissions were sent back to the pits, and Brandon made another stop at the main KR4 tent only to realize the problem was a mystery; he was going to have to react to what had happened to him and deal with a dragging front brake. Deal with it he did, as he spent the next four laps adapting to the spotty performance of his damaged front brake.

Looking back at their video footage, there was some muddy conditions during the John Penton
Looking back at their video footage, there was some muddy conditions during the John Penton Photo: Courtesy of KR4

On the last lap, he pushed himself to the limit and managed to lay down his fastest lap of the race - four minutes faster than his slowest! Brandon’s “champion-worthy” performance netted a 16th in the Supermini 12-13 class, allowing him to continue his hold on 8th place in the championship. 

KR4 Youth Results: 

  • Grant Davis: 65cc (7-9)   - 2nd
  • Jamie Baskerville: 85cc (12-13)   - 3rd
  • Peyton Whipkey: 65cc (10-11)   - 3rd
  • Brian Keegan: 85cc (7-11)   - 7th
  • Brandon Keegan: Supermini (12-13)   - 16th
  • Logan Theakston: 85cc (7-11)   - DNS
  • Korie Steede: Girls (8-15)   - DNS 

10 O’Clock race:

The AM race was the stage for another heartbreak story for a certain KR4 rider, but KR4 champions are those who get up when others can’t. Premier women’s WXC rider Karlynn Beam rocketed off the start and rounded the first turn in second place, hot on the heels of championship-leader Kacy Martinez. Karlynn’s GoPro shows she was able to keep Kacy in sight for a few minutes. Sarah Baldwin eventually got past her, but Karlynn latched onto her rear wheel for a good five minutes before things took a turn for the worst.

All of a sudden, Karlynn had a horrendous get-off when she hit something hidden in the trail that later claimed several other riders. The sights and sounds from the GoPro footage were scary and assured us that she was being watched-over that day, as she was unscathed in the fall!

Karlynn Beam finished 9th in the WXC class
Karlynn Beam finished 9th in the WXC class Photo: Courtesy of KR4

Unfortunately, a second fall and subsequent impalement of the handlebar into a “mud wall” brought her total of lost time to five minutes. Karlynn dug deep and did what all the KR4 champions do - she got back on her bike and kept going. Karlynn rode smart and kept it upright, soldiering on to finish the race in 9th and help maintain her current 6th- place ranking in the WXC championship.

KR4 Amateur Bike Results:

  • Brittan Laird: 200C Schoolboy (12-15)   - 2nd
  • Albert Chuppa: Elite Masters (65+)   - 2nd  
  • George Molnar: Super Senior B (45+)   - 3rd
  • Conner Keegan: 200C Schoolboy (12-15)   - 5th
  • Brook Cosner: WXC   - 6th
  • Will Sharp: Open C College  (14-21) – 7th
  • Karlynn Beam: WXC   - 9th
  • Erek Kudla: Sportsman A – 18th

PM Race: 

By Saturday afternoon, the track was dusty and the moto track had hardened into concrete. With the weather in the upper 70's and a chance of thunderstorms, the John Penton GNCC was going to be a challenging race.

With ten seconds up, the green flag flew and it was KR4 riders Shane Hufford and Nick Davis rounding the first corner in the top 3. Once again, it looked like the stage was set for another fantastic showing, but then hardluck struck and the KR4 crew had to buckle down and deal with adversity.

Brandon got off to an excellent start in the Supermini (12-13) class
Brandon got off to an excellent start in the Supermini (12-13) class Photo: Courtesy of KR4

KR4 spotters sent in a report that Shane's bike was really loud and that he was having trouble making it around the 12-mile track. A new report came in that Shane had a smashed exhaust pipe. Shockingly, Shane caught a vine and it ripped the header pipe right out of the cylinder! When Shane finally made it back to the pit area he was in a distant 16th place, but the KR4 pit crew was ready and waiting to install a new pipe. With a new pipe on his bike, Shane was ready to push as hard as he could to get to the front.

Nick Davis was on the gas and in 2nd place on lap 1. Everything looked to be going his way until the adverse conditions reached up and bit Nick. A huge endo out of nowhere slapped Nick hard into the ground, and everyone could hardly believe that Nick picked himself up and kept going, but that is exactly what KR4 champions do. Incredibly, Nick was able to hold on to 2nd place.

Lap 2 saw Nick pit for fuel and drink while still running in 2nd. Shane was up to 15th and was still charging to make up for lost time. 

Rain started to fall on lap 3 and made the track into an ice skating rink. This made for some interesting action as the riders made their way around the John Penton track.

Nick pitted for fuel again on lap 4 of the five lap race still in 2nd place, and he was showing no signs of slowing down. Shane was still pushing forward and had made it up to 13th.

When the checkered flew, it was Nick Davis in 2nd place and Shane Hufford in 12th.

KR4 PM Bike Results:

  • Colin Keegan: 250B   - 2nd
  • Nick Davis: XC2 Pro Lites.  – 2nd  
  • Shane Hufford: XC2 Pro Lites   - 12th
  • Coleman Brinson: 250B   - DNF