GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #40: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #40: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:35 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:35 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

Well, this is officially our last “on-the-way-to-the-track” entry of the year and frankly, it’s a bittersweet feeling. What are Thursday afternoons without a computer, caffeine, good tunes and the open road? I know what you’re probably thinking, better information in Quick Fill! Yeah, you’re probably right. But the information you’re getting on race weekends is authentic road-trip quality and there’s something to be said for grassroots media, right?

I’m sitting co-pilot in the Mid-State Chevy truck with some of the as we continue our trek to the Midwest.  If you saw the GNCC website earlier in the week you may have noticed a travel advisory for I-70 W and I-74 W due to construction but as we passed through this evening around 6 p.m., we noticed that things were moving pretty fast so it all depends on the time of day. If you’re traveling mid-day or during rush hour, please leave yourself ample time to make it through the potential traffic.

#throwbackthursday of Michael Swift and Jen Ken on the 2013 Ironman podium
#throwbackthursday of Michael Swift and Jen Ken on the 2013 Ironman podium Photo: Ken HIll

A couple quick things about the upcoming event: if you entered for the preferred parking lottery, we drew 30 names at random this morning and our system sent an email to the lucky winners. Make sure you check your email and if you didn’t receive anything, I am sorry but you were not drawn. Those of you who did receive an email indicating that you’re a winner, you don’t need to do anything else besides show up and tell the front gate the name on the credit card and you’ll receive your parking pass. If you reserved for Friday night, you can arrive any time after the gates open for parking. If you reserved for Saturday night only, you won’t be able to pull into your spot until after the Friday night folks have exited out, which should be no later than 6 p.m., or sooner if at all possible. Saturday evening folks will be loaded into their spots between 6 and 8 p.m. depending on how quickly the Friday folks got out. If you have any questions, please ask the front gate, registration or Dean in the pro pits.

Also, since Ironman is the weekend before Halloween we’re bringing back GNCC Trick-or-Treat for the kids! GNCC Registration and Vendor Row will have candy ready for anyone who shows up in costume on Saturday at 6 PM! And for those of you who would like to participate, we will provide orange balloons at registration so you can let everyone know you’re open for business! So bring your best costumes out and enjoy the festivities with the GNCC Racin’ Nation.

#throwbackthursday XC1 podium at 2013 Ironman GNCC (Mullins, Russell, Whibley)
#throwbackthursday XC1 podium at 2013 Ironman GNCC (Mullins, Russell, Whibley) Photo: Ken Hill

Team UXC will be hosting two guest racers piloting the Polaris 850 Scrambler. Graham Widdicombe will be making the long trip across the ocean to try his hand at GNCC racing. Graham lives in Taunton, Somerset England with his wife Becky along with their 17-year-old son, Sam. Graham races with his entire family and enjoys the chance to spend time together with them doing what they love. Graham is relatively new to ATV racing, but has clicked with it better than his 20+ years racing Enduro bikes. Over the last 4 seasons, he has gone from strength to strength and collected lots of trophies along the way. His achievements include:

  • Great 8—8 Hour Endurance Event 2014 · 2nd in Ironman
  • QEUK British Quad Cross-Country Championship 2012 · 2nd in 4x4 Class
  • Purbeck 900—9 Hour Endurance Event 2010 · 2nd in Ironman
  • UK GNCC Dragon Quad Club and Gravity Quad Club · Single event wins 2010—2014

That's going to do it for me this week. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone decked out in their pink attire!

Ironman Spectators help riders up the infamous hill climb by building human chains
Ironman Spectators help riders up the infamous hill climb by building human chains Photo: Ken Hill

An Ironman History Lesson (Jared Bolton/Rodney Tomblin)

This year will mark the 20th annual Ironman GNCC and while there are many GNCC events that are rich in history, Ironman stands out in many people's minds as the most notable one. The Ironman serves as a great way to cap off a season of racing with its huge spectator turnout and a course that almost all racers from all over  enjoy racing. 

Since its addition to the GNCC schedule in 1995, the race has grown more and more every year. I like to call it "the county fair" because with all the awesome food vendors, in addition to what seems like the entire town of Crawfordsville in attendance, it seems like the only thing missing is a Ferris wheel. 

Most folks know that Ironman received its name to honor the late Bob Sloan who was one of the original ATV superstars of GNCC Racing. Sloan earned the Ironman nickname by racing (and many times winning) the ATV race on Saturday and then also racing a bike on Sunday. 

Bob was also a fierce competitor and if you have ever heard Barry Hawk speak of the man you would realize just how much of an impact he had on the GNCC Racin’ Nation. Unfortunately Bob passed away but did it in true “Ironman” style racing head-to-head with Barry Hawk who had won the championship the year before it in 1993 in what is now the last time a GNCC ATV title came down to the final race as it has here in 2014.

The Ironman and its infamous Ironman hill climb have gained worldwide fame online thanks to numerous videos highlighting some of the, well, lowlights for the riders who didn't quite make it up the hill. This year has already been huge for the Ironman as it hosted its first ever Pro Motocross event on the newly built Ironman Motocross track. 

When Big Dave first toured the property he knew it was quite possibly the most perfect place on the planet to hold a GNCC. It had everything. It had good level parking, the richest soil with field, hills, rocks, creeks and plenty of woods. It had a little of everything and it was tough just like Big Dave wanted it to be.

What's funny is, there was almost a possibility that all of this never happened. The story goes that when Jeff Russell went to look at the property originally, he turned one road too early and mistook another piece of property for what would become The Ironman. Looking at it and knowing right away that a race wouldn't work, Jeff turned around and started to leave. Luckily, the Shavers (who own the property) spotted him, flagged him down and got him to their property, which is definitely suited for a race.

A Year of ATV History (Rodney Tomblin)

The start of the 2014 season was set for history to be written. It was a fact that nearly everyone expected to see unless something monumental was to occur. The history that I speak of if you wonder is the record breaking win record that Chris Borich was on at the start of the season. A year ago as we were heading into the Ironman GNCC that was all the hype.

The question at the beginning of the 2013 season was, "Can Chris Borich break the All-Time Wins record held by Barry Hawk at 68. At this time last year we realized it was not going to happen but Chris could still tie Bill Ballance at 67 wins. He did just that and became the All-Time Wins record holder for ATV racing. (Barry Hawk's 68 wins combines both ATV and Motorcycle Overall Wins). So we still had something to look forward to celebrate this season if Chris could beat Bill’s record, tie Barry’s record then eventually beat Barry’s record. He did just that and it looked like the fireworks were over for 2014 ATV GNCC Racing.

After Chris did all the early season record-setting, it looked like we were on our way to watching the champ work his way to another championship. We did expect some competition and we did expect excitement but did we really expect to see what happened? Did we really expect to see Chris Borich in another history making moment of GNCC? I can say we may have dreamed it talked about it and maybe even hoped for it but did we expect it? The answer to that question I feel is quite possibly an overwhelming no!

Could we have been more wrong? I mean everyone looks at the ATV championship as a reign so to speak. Generally ATV Champs in GNCC have a long-lived reign and Chris Borich is practically in the middle ages of his kingdom, so we expected good battles but not a possible overthrow like we are faced with heading into the Ironman GNCC. Like knights on the battlefield Chris Borich and Walker Fowler will line up ready to wage war to the bitter end. Whoever beats the other quite simply wins the title.

Grant Baylor will be making his XC1 debut this weekend
Grant Baylor will be making his XC1 debut this weekend Photo: Ken Hill

Grant Baylor's XC1 Debut (Jared Bolton)

One of the big storylines this weekend will be the XC1 debut of back-to-back XC2 champion Grant Baylor. The last time an XC2 rider moved up to XC1 for the final round was back in 2010 when Kailub Russell wrapped up his second XC2 championship at Powerline Park and made the move to XC1 at Ironman. 

Russell would end up pulling the holeshot (still on a 250F) and leading the beginning of the race before a tip-over in one of the creek crossings ended his day early. Hopefully Grant's day goes a little bit better than that, and I imagine it will. Grant will be riding a 450, which he rode all season in the National Enduros, so he's definitely used to the bike. 

It was sort of interesting to see him on a 450 at the enduros, which are traditionally a little tighter and more technical, which doesn't exactly suit a 450. Even Charlie Mullins opts to ride a 350 at the National Enduros. However, Grant made it work as he finished third overall in the final points, even winning the Little Brown Jug National Enduro in South Carolina.

This is also only the second time ever that an XC2 rider has successfully defended their title. After his 2007 championship the first-ever XC2 champ, Justin Williamson, had a tough 2008 season and Thad Duvall claimed his XC2 title. In 2009 Thad went straight to XC2 and Kailub Russell claimed his back-to-back XC2 titles in 2009 and 2010. 2011 saw Steward Baylor take his XC2 championship before running into trouble, and injuries in 2012, which gave the title to Jason Thomas. Thomas would come up short in his hopes of title number two in 2013, where Grant Baylor snagged his first XC2 championship.

With dominating riders such as the Baylors, Andrew Delong, and Thomas ineligible for XC2, who will be at the front of the XC2 class in 2015? An obvious favorite would be that of Ricky Russell who gave Baylor a run for his money throughout the season. Another one to keep an eye on is Trevor Bollinger, who now sits second in XC2 points as a full-blown privateer. What will 2015 bring? Only time will tell, but it could be pretty interesting!

Cole Richardson (#15) and Marshal Goings (#997) are tied for the XC2 Pro Am championship
Cole Richardson (#15) and Marshal Goings (#997) are tied for the XC2 Pro Am championship Photo: Ken Hill

History x2 = XC2 (Rodney Tomblin)

It’s hard to believe that we have the title fight we have going on in XC1 ATV racing. What is another cool element to the Ironman GNCC is that we have the same scenario point-wise between the top two XC2 Pro Am ATV leaders. Cole Richardson, who is Walker Fowler's protégé and teammate, sits tied in points heading into the final round with, get this, Indiana’s very own Marshal Goings.

All the things going on in the front row have unfortunately overshadowed this great championship battle, which can also be considered a tribute of sorts to the Ironman. This may have played an advantage to these youngsters though as the spotlight and hype has not found them with all the excitement that has been brewing and both riders have been able to focus without all the frenzy.

Things will be different though heading into the final round. Even though there is the excitement of XC1 this title fight cannot be denied the attention. One has to also wonder if the spirit of the Ironman will be riding with fellow Hoosier to help claim that title.

The defending champion in the class Cole Richardson has amassed seven wins throughout the season. He has finished second a total of four times. If it had not been for the unfortunate DNF at Big Buck this title chase would be a lot different. The opposing factor to Richardson heading into this final round, though, is the consistency of the season for Goings with five wins of his own and the momentum of two of those wins in the last two rounds. The question is can he keep the ball rolling.

An Update From the Ironman Woods (Jared Bolton)

As I mentioned before, Ironman is a pretty popular course and I can tell you now that this year's course is going to be pretty popular too. You're looking at around 12.5 miles for the full length, with portions of that being brand new trail. 

Yes, I do mean brand new trail. There's a new section of land to work with here and Barry did an awesome job putting it all together. In fact, I would even venture to say that it's some of the best trail I've ridden all season and keep in mind, I ride every inch of every course. 

Of course you can expect the infamous hill climbs and a couple of pieces of the new motocross track as well. So if by some crazy chance you're on the fence about racing, don't miss out!

Cole Richardson (#15) and Marshal Goings (#997) are tied for the XC2 Pro Am championship
Cole Richardson (#15) and Marshal Goings (#997) are tied for the XC2 Pro Am championship Photo: Ken Hill

What’s New on 

Don’t miss the LIVE coverage of this weekend’s AMSOIL Ironman GNCC finale from Crawfordsville, IN. The coverage will begin with the highly anticipated ATV race at 1 pm EST followed by UTV racing at 4:30 pm EST. Then on Sunday make sure you’re tuned in again at 1 pm EST for the bikes to take on the Ironman GNCC.

This week on The Racer X Show we have highlights of the Monster Energy Cup from Las Vegas, AMA Pro Flat Track - Pro Singles Finale, GNCC UTV racing from Powerline Park, and the first-ever Full Gas Sprint Enduro from South Carolina. We also have a special interview with the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track GNC Champion, Jared Mees. Plus moto news from the Powerline Park GNCC viral video, ATVMX races now online, MotoGP news as well as information on Ken Roczen. Check it out HERE.

Also new to are full ATVMX episodes from the 2014 season. Each week RacerTV is releasing two full episodes of the action packed season. This week episode 7 and 8 were released online for you to view. Episode 7 takes you to the Spring Creek National in Millville, MN while episode 8 takes you to the legendary Unadilla Raceway in New Berlin, NY.


Driven To Win ’14: Sewn Together

Chapter 2 Ryan Sipes: Episode 5

Notes from GNCC, Riders and Sponsors 

Some westbound travel information for Ironman this weekend! Just a warning to all GNCC Racers and families traveling to Ironman, if you’re headed westbound on I-70 from Ohio or I-74 West on the west side of Indianapolis, you may want to leave a little extra time due to heavy construction and delays. This information came from some of our Indiana racers who made the trip to Powerline Park on those roads.

Miss the action from the Mountain Ridge GNCC, or just want to watch it again? Well this Sunday October 26 NBCSN will air an ATV and Bike Highlight Show from the Mountain Ridge GNCC at 4:30 PM EST. So that means that if you’re heading out to the Ironman GNCC don’t forget to see your DVR! 

Kailub Russell will be raffling off the KTM 150XC that he raced at Powerline Park and will be racing this weekend
Kailub Russell will be raffling off the KTM 150XC that he raced at Powerline Park and will be racing this weekend Photo: Ken Hill

Just a reminder that Kailub Russell’s KTM 150XC will be raffled off this Sunday at the Ironman after the PM bikes finish! If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, DO NOT PANIC! We got a friendly PR reminder from Shane Watts over at DirtWise earlier this week, get all the information you need to know HERE

Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S. has announced two of their 2015 off-road models, an YZ250FX and a WR250F. This weekend at the Ironman GNCC, Yamaha will have the new 2015 YZ250FX on display! You will be able to get a first look at the new off-road model under the AmPro Yamaha tent on Saturday and then in the Yamaha Corporate display on Sunday. Don’t miss your chance to check it out!

Team UXC/Polaris Factory Racing

Team UXC will be giving away t-shirts at their pits on Friday and Saturday. They invite everyone to stop by the Team UXC pits during the race weekend to pick-up your free shirt (while supplies last).

Powersport Grafx is selling exclusive GNCC breast cancer awareness race stickers for a minimum of $1 donation.

Zakowski Motorsports

Zakowski Motorsports will be set up on UTV Pro Row Friday, Saturday and Sunday selling all kinds of cool stuff, including breast cancer awareness t-shirts, pink duct tape, stickers, pins, hats/caps and key chains.

100% of all sales/donations will go to the following organizations:

  • American Cancer Society
  • FAITH Alliance
  • Spiering Cancer Foundation in Wisconsin
  • Pink Ribbon Riders in Michigan

Other items for sale include:

  • Handmade Crystal Broaches in the shape of a breast cancer ribbon
  • Adam McGill autographed set of gear and autographed bumper (A $5 donation gets you one chance at winning these items and $10 donation will get you three chances to win)
  • Winners of the McGill Mafia gear will be announced at the Pro Podium of the afternoon ATV race.

Jesse Ansley Raffle

Youth Bike racer Jesse Ansley will be selling raffle tickets all weekend long for a chance to win a few items to benefit the FAITH Alliance.

You can buy 1 ticket for $5 or 5 tickets for $20.

The prizes include two Kate Spade Pink purses (valued at over $450) and one ORCA Pink 26 quart cooler (valued at $260). Ansley will be walking around the pits all weekend long and the winners will be announced on Sunday morning during the Youth bike podium.