GNCC Racing

KR4 Arrive-n-Ride Team Enjoys Return to Mountain Ridge GNCC

Friday, September 26, 2014 | 9:40 AM

With only three rounds left to run in the 2014 GNCC Racing Series, things are starting to heat up, as racers from the junior ranks to the Pro class all have their eyes on a strong year-end finish. This makes for great racing in every class, and competitors and spectators alike were treated to an excellent event over the weekend at Somerset, Pennsylvania’s Mountain Ridge GNCC. Returning to the schedule for the first time since 2011, KR4 was excited to enjoy a great race at facility so close to home-base. With giant power-generating windmills dotting the surrounding hills, we knew the track crew was going to have its hands full to try to keep the dust down, but we were ready to get down to business nonetheless.

Afternoon Race:

In XC2 Pro Lites racing action, Nick Davis nabbed the holeshot on his KR4/FAR-backed KTM and was on a mission to keep himself at the front of the pack. Nick had made a change to his bike setup for this round to better adapt to Pennsylvania’s numerous rocks, and with a great start, things looked to be working. Unfortunately, a few crashes on the opening lap demonstrated that Nick had missed the mark on his setup for this round. Not able to push like we know he can makes it a long day, but he was still able to finish 3rd place in XC2 and 8th overall for the day. Not too bad for missing his bike setup, but we know Nick is capable of much more once everything lines up correctly. Disappointed, Nick explained,

"I am upset right now. I had the start I wanted and tried to check out, but I made a bad call on my bike setup. I still finished 3rd, but I want to finish out the year on the box - the MIDDLE of the box!"

After grabbing the holeshot in the XC2 Pro Lites class, Nick Davis had some first lap crashes however he still managed a 3rd place finish.
After grabbing the holeshot in the XC2 Pro Lites class, Nick Davis had some first lap crashes however he still managed a 3rd place finish. Photo: Courtesy of KR4

Nick’s fellow teammates and XC2 competitors Ian Blythe and Shane Hufford were unable to attend Mountain Ridge. Ian Blythe is over in Australia competing in the Australasia Rally and preparing for the famed Dakar Rally coming up in January. Shane Hufford is still recovering from a head injury and was forced to miss this round.

Andy France delivered another strong performance in Pennsylvania with a 5th place in the highly competitive 4 Stroke A Lites division. Andy started the day in 6th with a good jump on the green flag, but a minor crash dropped him down to 8th. Undeterred, Andy brushed himself off and pushed back towards the front, finishing in 5th position as the checkers flew.

The 250B class has been one to keep an eye on all season-long, as each round never fails to deliver a great battle. Championship-contender Colin Keegan got off to a good start and rounded the first turn in 5th place. Colin made a few passes and came around in 3rd on the first lap. On Lap 2, Mother Nature decided to do something about the dust and rain started to fall, making the once hard-packed track into a slippery one. Colin lost one position in the slimy conditions and was now in 4th place, but he held tough to finish there at the end of the 3-hour event. Despite finishing off the podium at this round, Colin was still positive on the outcome of the day,

"I had a good start and rode well all day. It sure got slippery out there when it rained, but I was able to best my main competition out there today and that was my goal for my championship hunt."

Coleman Brinson had a mid-pack start off of the 250B line and battled his way around the opening lap to secure 9th place by the start of Lap 2. Coming around the corner by the KR4 pits, Coleman lost the front end on the slippery surface and lost a position. Coleman rode smart for the rest of the race and kept it upright to finish 10th.

Andy France was able to place an impressive 5th place in the highly competitive 4 Stroke A Lites class in Pennsylvania.
Andy France was able to place an impressive 5th place in the highly competitive 4 Stroke A Lites class in Pennsylvania. Photo: Courtesy of KR4

KR4 PM Bike Results: 

  • Nick Davis: XC2 Pro Lites  - 3rd
  • Colin Keegan: 250B   - 4th 
  • Andy France: 4 Stroke A Lites   - 5th
  • Coleman Brinson: 250B   - 10th

Morning Race:

KR4's Sarah Baldwin was hungry for her first WXC win. After having it within her grasp in Unadilla only to crash on the last lap and finish 2nd, Sarah was ready to seal the deal at Mountain Ridge! Sarah got to work immediately with a great holeshot and never looked back. Her KR4 teammate Brooke Cosner also got off the line well in 4th place, while Karlynn Beam had a mid-pack start and was stuck in the dust in 7th place on Lap 1.

Sarah was up front and putting time on the rest of the field as Brooke engaged in a fight for the last spot on the podium. Karlynn lost one position, but was still pushing hard in 8th place.

On the last lap, rain started to come down and the track was getting slippery. Brooke made the move into 2nd only to slide out and settle for 3rd. Karlynn kept charging and made two passes to end the day in 6th. Sarah used her head and rode smart to take her first WXC win! We are sure this is just the first of many, but that first one is always the hardest to get. Congrats Sarah!

Sarah Baldwin was able to capture her first WXC victory at Mountain Ridge!
Sarah Baldwin was able to capture her first WXC victory at Mountain Ridge! Photo: Courtesy of KR4

In the 200C Schoolboy division, Conner Keegan nailed the holeshot and was riding great with teammate Brittan Laird following close behind within the top 5. At the end of Lap 1, Conner was in 2nd place with Brittan still in 5th. When the rain started, Conner slipped back a couple spots to 4th position, and Brittan was not letting go of 5th. On the 4th lap, Conner made a mistake and crashed hard, ending his podium chances for the day. Brittan capitalized on his teammate’s misfortune to end up in 4th place with Conner rebounding to get 5th

Butch Molnar put his KR4 350 out front off of the start and never looked back. Butch was right at home in the dusty conditions and easily took the win in the Super Senior B (45+) division.

Will Sharp was back in action and had great jump off the start of the Open C College line. Everything was going great until Will got caught on one of the rocky uphills and shot his bike off into a ravine, costing him lots of time. With the help of some fans, Will got his bike out and finished the race with a smile on his face, happy to finally be healed up from his lingering thumb injury.

We were also excited to assist three new Grass Roots riders at the Mountain Ridge GNCC. Mark Proper, Tim Brendlinger, and Jeremy Scentmiklosi all chose KR4 Performance to help make their races go more smoothly in Pennsylvania.

Mark Proper made it out of the hole in the top-5 and came around on the first lap in 6th place in the Senkor (40+) B class. On Lap 2, Mark suffered a crash on the slippery ground right in front of the KR4 pits. He got up quickly and got going again on his Husqvarna but lost a few positions and finished in 8th place for the day in his first GNCC of the year. 

Tim Brendlinger came out for his first GNCC and was in 2nd position in the Vet (30+) C division at the end of the first lap. On Lap 2, Tim started to have brake issues that cost him a few spots. He finished in 5th for the day, which was still a nice finish for his first GNCC.

Fellow Grass Roots rider Jeffrey Scentmiklosi also raced his first GNCC in the Senior (40+) C class. Jeremy was solid as a rock all day long, starting in 11th and finishing in 11th

KR4 AM Bike Results:

  • Sarah Baldwin: WXC   - 1st
  • Butch Molnar: Super Senior (45+) B   - 1st
  • Brooke Cosner: WXC   - 3rd
  • Brittain Laird: 200C Schoolboy (12-15)   - 4th
  • Conner Keegan: 200C Schoolboy (12-15)   - 5th
  • Tim Bredlinger: Vet (30+) C   - 5th
  • Karlynn Beam: WXC   - 6th
  • Jeffrey Scentmiklosi: Senior (40+) C   - 11th
  • Will Sharp: Open C College (14-21)   - 13th 

Youth Race:

The youth track was a dust bowl. The 4-mile course’s high speeds and abundant rocks were going to be a challenge for all of the young competitors.

Finally healed up from her mid-season injury, Korie Steede was back to her dominating form at Mountain Ridge. She kicked butt and took names, handily winning the Girls (12-15) division and ending up a spectacular 14th Overall, her best finish to date.

KR4 pits at the 2014 Mountain Ridge GNCC in Central City, PA.
KR4 pits at the 2014 Mountain Ridge GNCC in Central City, PA. Photo: Courtesy of KR4

Brandon Keegan had a decent start in the Supermini (12-13) class, but the dry conditions forced him to slow down for the dust to clear and he came around the first lap in 9th place. On Lap 3, Brandon made a mistake and fell back to 10th. Brandon made his move on Lap 6, reclaiming 9th position. Then, as the white flag flew, he passed another racer to finish a hard-earned 8th.

The youngest of the Keegan boys, Brian Keegan got a mid-pack start heading into the dusty wooded section. Brian made some good passes on the first lap and was in 11th place. Brian was not done passing yet, as he worked his way up to 8th place at the finish. Brian at the end of the race wore a dusty but happy face.

Grant Davis was the youngest member of the KR4 Arrive-n-Ride Team to grab a holeshot at Mountain Ridge. Unfortunately, Grant’s lead was short-lived as he hit a rock and got a flat rear tire. Grant was not going to let a flat end his race – he was planning on going, not stopping!  Lap 1 saw Grant in 4th place, only for him to lose a spot on Lap 2. KR4 pitted Grant for fuel on Lap 3, and he refused to waste the time for a tire change. Off he went still in 5th place. Grant was getting used to the sliding-action of his flat tire and started moving through the pack. He finished the day in 3rd place in the 65cc (7-9) class, and by the end of the race, both tires were flat!

Logan Theakston got a great jump off the line in the 85cc (7-11) bracket only to get pinched off in the first turn. Logan was riding well as he came around in 14th on the opening lap with a pack of riders just in front of him. The rocky conditions caused a flat tire for Logan as well, and he was forced to slow his pace to limp back to the KR4 pits for a tire change. With a smile on his dusty face and air back in his tires, Logan returned to action and enjoyed racing his KR4 KTM. Logan finished 13th for the day but had a first-place grin.

Jamie Baskerville got a 4th place start and had his sights set on making some passes on his 85cc (12-13) rivals. Regrettably, the dusty conditions bit Jamie as an errant rock sent him into the trees. Jamie crashed hard and rolled back into the pits to gather his thoughts. After regaining his composure, Jamie toughed it out and rejoined the race. He was able to push through the pain and finish in 7th place.

Payton Whipkey started the 65cc (10-11) race strong and rode the wheels off of his little KR4 65 to finish on the box in 2nd place. He was in great form all day. 

Dylan Brinson was still recovering from his broken arm and had a super tough day. Dylan tried to gut it out but decided to pull off and rest his arm for another couple of weeks.

KR4 Youth Results:

  • Korie Steede: Girls (8-15)   - 1st (14th overall)
  • Peyton Whipkey: 65cc (10-11)   - 2nd
  • Grant Davis: 65cc (7-9)   - 3rd
  • Jamie Baskerville: 85cc (12-13)   - 7th
  • Brian Keegan: 85cc (7-11)   - 8th
  • Brandon Keegan: Supermini (12-13)   - 8th
  • Logan Theakston: 85cc (7-11)   - 13th
  • Dylan Brinson: 65cc (10-11)   - DNF