GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #31: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #31: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, August 14, 2014 | 3:35 PM
Thursday, August 14, 2014 | 3:35 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

This week’s edition comes to you from Crawfordsville, Indiana but don’t worry, we didn’t move the Ironman GNCC on you! We’re actually here on the coveted grounds of the Shaver Family Farm for the first-ever Pro Motocross National at Ironman Raceway and I just can’t wait to see the brand new motocross track in action this weekend. And just in case you didn’t recognize “Ironman Raceway”, that’s the new name of the new motocross track that just so happens to be placed inside the boundaries of the Ironman woods. We got to experience a tiny bit of the moto track when we were here in October but the place looks nothing like it did back then. Jeff Russell, Barry Hawk, Tommy Harris and the entire crew are over here making things happen, along with the Shaver family and the entire Indiana GNCC crew, so it will actually feel like a GNCC without the oversized tanks, hand guards and hopefully no mud.

So if you’re in the area (or even if you’re not) come on out to Ironman Raceway and experience a little piece of racing history as the first-ever Pro Motocross National lands right here in Crawfordsville. But please, do not ask for free tickets because we don’t have any!

As we continue to soldier through this summer break, don’t forget to follow along with what’s happening with our fellow GNCC racers along the way. We have several guys and gals taking part in Yamaha’s All American ATV Racer contest, and it’s all about the votes so head over to their Facebook app and vote for the rider you think is most deserving of an amazing opportunity to feel like a Yamaha factory racer in 2015. All you need to do is click HERE and they will walk you through the rest of the voting process.

I received a note from Michael Swift today, who is gearing up to race Vegas to Reno this weekend with Team UXC Racing/Driven Powersports teammates Don Higbee and Chris Robinson. The trio will be racing the Polaris Scrambler XP 100 as a team in the Expert ATV Class so be sure to keep an eye out for the #400 machine. They want to remind everyone to follow along with their Team UXC Racing Facbook page, as they’ll be working hard to provide updates as much as possible throughout the journey. You can find their page by clicking HERE or visiting

That’s going to do it for me this week. Hope to see some of you at Ironman…Raceway!

Hey, while you're surfing the web this week, jump onto and catch up on everything happening in the world of motorsports with The Racer X Show with Greg White presented by Chapparal Motorsports. Click HERE to view the latest show now.


Another week has come and gone and while that means a lot of kids are getting close to heading back to school, it also means we're that much closer to returning to GNCC Racing at Unadilla. Personally, I can't wait. It's not that my summer hasn't been filled with racing action; it's the fact that none of that has been GNCC Racing, and I'm ready to be back in the woods.

Whose ready to be back GNCC Racing?!
Whose ready to be back GNCC Racing?! Photo: Ken Hill

There are plenty of you who feel the same way too; I see it every day on various social media. I also feel like Unadilla is a great place to come back from summer break at. I mean, it's Una-freakin-Dilla, one of the most legendary motocross facilities in the world. GNCCers are pretty lucky too in the fact that it's one of very, very, very few opportunities to ride the National track, other than qualifying for the National. 

Speaking of Nationals, attention this weekend is on another GNCC venue, as the Ironman hosts it's first ever, Pro Motocross event this weekend. This is really cool because GNCC has visited its share of motocross facilities over the years but to my knowledge, this is the first time that a GNCC venue has transformed into also hosting a Pro Motocross event. Everyone seems to be super excited for the event, and why not?! It's an excellent track and will once again play host to an excellent GNCC finale when we get there in October.

Andrew DeLong has been on a roll in the National Enduro Series with another win this past weekend.
Andrew DeLong has been on a roll in the National Enduro Series with another win this past weekend. Photo: Ken Hill

Last week I mentioned the National Enduro in Colorado. Well, Andrew Delong pulled out yet another win with Jesse Groemm showing his previous round win was no fluke by backing it up with a 2nd place followed by Stu Baylor rounding out the podium. This made for a pretty big points shake up at Andrew Delong has now taken over the National Enduro points lead. This will also serve as a huge confidence booster when we get to Unadilla. Delong had his best ride of the season at Snowshoe and between that and grabbing some wins in addition to the points lead in the enduros this summer, Delong will definitely be a guy to keep an eye on.

I want to take the time to share a little story I've been meaning to share for about a month now but haven't been able to squeeze it in. Many of you know, or at least recognize the name Al Chuppa. Al is a long-time GNCC racer competing in the Elite Masters 65+ class. You see him out there in the morning bike race on the #327 KR4 backed KTM. Al typically thrives in the tough technical terrain; however, I came up on Al at the edge of the woods at Snowshoe by this small uphill that became a bottleneck (it was where you came up onto the paved road for those who were there)

Al was sitting down taking a break and looked pretty winded when I saw him. He ended up asking me if I could ride his bike up to the road for him, which isn't typical of Al so I knew something was up. To make a long story short, Al was pretty winded and ended up catching a ride back up the mountain with the medics who happened to be sitting nearby while I took his bike back to the KR4 truck. I didn't think anything of it because he was alert and talking when I left. 

Al "Chuppacabra" Chuppa #327 Photo: Ken Hill

As the afternoon race went on I started hearing all sorts of different stories about what had happened with Al. A few days later I actually got a call from Al who thanked me for helping him, and while I was just a small piece of the puzzle, he told me his side of the story, and it's pretty wild. When he got to the medic station at the top of the mountain, the lady checking him over told him "Al, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to shock you."

Now, I'm sure everyone has seen it in the movies where someone flat-lines and they use the paddles to shock them back to life. Well, Al was actually awake for this entire process and it was done to get his heart rate back up. So, that's what they did and Al told me that he wouldn't wish that on anyone but once it was done, he said he almost immediately felt a hundred times better.

I wanted to share Al's (who I'm now calling "Al Chuppacabra") story with all of you because, well, that's just an example of being ultra-tough, and that's another one of the many things that GNCC Racing is all about. Anyone who even gives it one try is automatically tougher than the average person, and those of you who are there week in and week out, never forget that you are a true warrior. 

That's all I've got for this week, until next time, Bolt-On out!


Before I begin this week’s contribution to Quick Fill I must say it is nice to be looking at the calendar and knowing that GNCC Racing resumes in only a few more weeks. What a summer! The weather has been for the most part rather mild with a few spotty hot days thrown in. This year’s AMA Amateur National Championship was without a doubt the first in history with as mild of temperatures and no rain combined. The Loretta Lynn’s ATV Dirt Days for the ATV motocross side of things were not so lucky. The rains finally came but honestly it did not dampen the spirits of great a championship wrap up, it merely added a different element and made for some unexpected changes in some championship finals. Also if you did not catch it, Dirt Days was presented live on and you can catch the archive here.

Now that summer break is nearly over, we can begin to focus a little more on GNCC. Obviously it hasn’t been forgotten and in my travel and times now with nearly 20 years associated with this series, I have never known it to have such notoriety, respect and mystery to the racing world as it ever has. If one thing I noticed this year more than ever is that we as a racing family and the “GNCC Racin’ Nation” are a part of something bigger than we all can imagine. To even be a competitor in our series is only a fantasy for many and to be a champion would be a dream come true.

Kylie Ahart has a 3 point lead in the ATV WXC class heading into Unadilla in September.
Kylie Ahart has a 3 point lead in the ATV WXC class heading into Unadilla in September. Photo: Ken Hill

The most interesting battle of all our championships in 2014 may actually be the ATV WXC class. Since the retirement of Traci Cecco Pickens a couple of seasons ago, we have witnessed the birth of a new era in GNCC women’s racing. A number of the girls that started racing in the youth classes are starting to graduate into the big bike realm just like we have seen happening in the XC2 and XC1. And just like the boys classes, the WXC has more than benefited in creating great racers and great championship battles for the women’s classes.

If you look at the WXC point breakdown your jaw may just drop to the keyboard. Theoretically there are 7 different ladies that could capture the title at the end of the season. In reality and not taking anything away from anyone there are 5 that may actually have a strong shot at if things go in their favor. 13 points separate the top 5 in the class at the moment and the wins are kind of spread out.

Defending class champion Kylie Ahart has only one win and a 3 point lead over a consistent but winless Kara Merritt. To complicate matters for these two former youth division standouts is the fact that former Women class champion Angel Knox a.k.a. Angel Atwell is hot on their heels in points. Though Angel has had two finishes outside the top 3 she has won 4 rounds to date. She sits 3rd in points but with the drop factor coming into play all of a sudden Angel may be about to make it number 3 if I am not mistaken.

Another rider that may be playing sleeper in the WXC class is 5th place point holder Quincey Cunningham. Quincey has been quietly collecting top finishes as well a win earlier in the season. She may be the one that no one has noticed so much this season but could be about to get our attention in a big way. Cunningham is only two points behind Angel and 13 points out the lead. I for one can’t wait to see how this all unfolds. There are a number of hopes and dreams on the line in this class and each racer has a unique story but ultimately they want it to end the same way. The only thing is that there can only be one champion. The ride to the end will be filled with special and character building memories that will last a lifetime. “That’s what GNCC Racing is all about!”

Tanner Bowles has 8 straight wins in the 4x4 A/B class, pretty much bagging the championship already.
Tanner Bowles has 8 straight wins in the 4x4 A/B class, pretty much bagging the championship already. Photo: Ken Hill

As we continue to break down the championship battles in the morning ATV races, the class-by-class breakdowns are looking kind of interesting. One thing out of the norm is that no one at this point is undefeated in 9 rounds of racing. Tanner Bowles of the 4x4 A/B class has 8 wins straight after a 2nd place in the opening round at the Mud Mucker. Past that, most wins are spread out a little more this season than it seems ever. That is a good sign of challenging race battles.

In the 4x4 Pro class points battle its only starting to heat up. Only 7 points separate Bryan Buckhannon and Kevin Trantham. Both riders have 3 wins each it looks like the final four rounds are going to carry some heavy weight as far as this class is concerned. Robert Smith sits only a few points back in 3rd place with Rick Cecco in 4th only a few more points back. Knowing how the point system works with the 4 drops and so forth, it is obvious things are about to get interesting.

As mentioned in the 4x4 A/B class, Tanner Bowles has dominated the entire season and we can safely say he has this championship in the bag. He is looking more toward the overall now and the rest of the class is battling for 2nd. Corey Bartlett, Michael Edwards and Josh Trafelet have a rather close battle going on heading into the final four rounds and yet again, this battle hinges a lot on what happens then. Consistency and strong rides are going to be key to bringing home the runner up in this class.

Only 7 points separate Bryan Buckhannon and Kevin Trantham in the 4x4 Pro class.
Only 7 points separate Bryan Buckhannon and Kevin Trantham in the 4x4 Pro class. Photo: Ken Hill

4x4 C class is rather interesting when you break it down. Point leader Brent Tindall has one win and a 29-point lead over 2nd in the class. Nicholas Eichelberger has only been to 5 rounds but has won all five rounds attended. Though not technically undefeated, he has yet to be beaten this season and it in order to win the championship he must run the final four rounds and finish strong consistently and the drop process may work out in his favor. It appears that may be what he is banking on he could possibly edge out Tindall for that title. Tindall has his work cut out for him and may pull it out with a little luck on his side.

4x4 Senior (40+) Class racing has gotten interesting. Terry Whiteside has 4 wins, one 2nd and two 3rd place finishes but only a 7-point lead in the championship. A look back to 3rd in the class, Nick Case who also has one win in the class is only another 4 points back and another 12 points back is Branon White in 4th. The title could swing in a number different direction for this class and any true race fan may want to watch and see what happens here. A lot of this battle will hinge on hard work in the off-season, preparation for both man and machine and determination. Who really wants it the most? Who is prepared? Time will tell this story for this senior class and the old school boys have got a good one cooking in this class.

Behind Tanner Bowles, there is quite a battle for 2nd and 3rd between Corey Bartlett, Michael Edwards and Josh Trafelet.
Behind Tanner Bowles, there is quite a battle for 2nd and 3rd between Corey Bartlett, Michael Edwards and Josh Trafelet. Photo: Ken Hill

That’s a lot to think about. So with that we will stop and soak it all in. Next week will continue the rest of the morning ATV classes and already you can see that this year’s championships may hold some of the most special and challenging moments of this modern day era of GNCC.

That’s it for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.