GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #7: This Week In GNCC

Quick Fill #7: This Week In GNCC

Thursday, February 19, 2015 | 1:35 PM
Thursday, February 19, 2015 | 1:35 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our very own Rodney Tomblin, the man responsible for the many wonderful (and very catchy) phrases that have become so iconic in the world of GNCC Racing. I’ve seen plenty of “ten seconds” references all over social media and it gets me that much more excited for round one, which is TWO WEEKS AWAY!

Speaking of that, if you haven’t read up on the 2015 supplemental rules it’s probably a good time to do so. There are a few big changes that you want to be sure you’re aware of in the Pro Rules, Amateur Rules and UTV Rules.

Happy Birthday to
Happy Birthday to "Mr. 10 Seconds," Rodney Tomblin! Photo: Ken Hill

Here’s a big one that we’ve had questions about this week: track walking. Based off the 2015 rules, the course will be open to inspection Friday after 3 p.m. on race weekends. Participants are permitted to walk or bicycle the course only. However, XC1/XC2 (Bike and ATV) riders may inspect the race course the day of the race only.

So basically, everyone except for XC1 and XC2 bike and ATV riders is allowed to walk the course on Friday. Hopefully this clears up any confusion out there.

GNCC's Returning Sponsors (Jen Ken)

As we know, this racing gig can be hard on the wallet, well, most of the time. It takes a lot of support to make it all happen, from the race teams, riders and families, to the event itself, television and all the things between. GNCC is very thankful to have so many great supporters who are passionate about off-road racing and believe that it’s truly the place to be. We released a PR today thanking those sponsors who are returning with support in 2015, including the biggest one of them all with our title, AMSOIL. Thanks to AMSOIL’s continuing commitment to GNCC, we're able to continue things like GNCC LIVE on, which is back this season and hopefully better than ever.

Also, Maxxis and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, two companies that support GNCC Racing to the core, will return in 2015 with unique programs designed to help you, the racer. GNCC would also like to welcome back the following feature sponsors: Parts Unlimited, Moose Racing, FMF, ITP, VP Racing Fuels, Dunlop, Leatt, Wiseco, Powersport Grafx, and Mid-State Chevrolet. Furthermore, All Balls Racing will increase their support in 2015 as the newest addition to the feature category, in addition to providing a $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Bike Holeshot Award and a $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Pro Am ATV Holeshot Award for each of the 13 rounds this season.

Moose Racing will once again add a hospitable touch to select GNCC events this season by providing dinner, at no cost, to racers, families and fans on Saturday evening at the following events: Wild Boar, Tomahawk, Unadilla and Ironman. FMF will power the “FMF Powerpoint” section at each of the 13 rounds this season, which is deemed one of the toughest obstacles of each course. 

Racers can expect the following sponsors to be on Vendor’s Row in 2015 with products available for purchase and support for racers: Maxxis, ITP, VP Racing Fuels, Dunlop, Leatt, Factory Connection, Twin Air, ALCO Cleaners, Wiseco, Cometic and Team Faith.

If you're in need of products for your motorcycle or ATV, the above companies are the best in the business and we will release a little more information on our brand new sponsors for 2015 next week. You can check out all sponsors on our Corporate Partners page and click through to see their products and information.

That will do it for me this week. Hope you're staying warm where ever you may be!

The Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR race team has been down south putting in some laps before the start of the 2015 GNCC season  
The Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR race team has been down south putting in some laps before the start of the 2015 GNCC season   Photo: Ken Hill

It’s Almost Go Time! (Jared Bolton)

While it may not feel like it with the weather across this half of the country, the winter break is winding down and we’re creeping up on the green flag flying in Florida. As far as things go here, final equipment repairs are being made, the finishing touches are starting to be put on everything, the trucks are being loaded, and the guys will be ready to roll soon. Like, really soon.

Registration/computer wiz Jeremy Holbert and I spent sometime in the garage earlier this week testing all the checkpoint equipment. For those who don’t know, Terry Beck and I are the ones who lug those giant Pelican cases full of checkpoint equipment out into the woods before 7 a.m. on race days and set up the electronic checks in the woods, so I was glad to lend a hand and make sure everything was in check.

We got to talking to Barry Hawk, Terry Beck and Sweepmaster Tommy Harris, who are working like crazy to get the finishing touches put on all the equipment. Barry, Terry and Jeff Russell all head out on Tuesday for Georgia first, then to Florida by the end of the week. When those guys head out, it’s a big sign that things are ready to kick off.

The rest of the staff will make their way down in the days prior to the race. Personally, I’ll be stepping foot on the grounds at the Wild Boar early the week prior to the race and start heading out into the woods. I’m planning on keeping everyone updated with some cool social media posts leading up to the event, so make sure you’re following GNCC Racing on Instagram and Twitter. I’ll probably post a few things on my personal accounts as well, so if you want to see what kind of mayhem I get into, you can follow me, @JaredBolton, on Instagram and Twitter.

This season Chris Bithell will be running the #7 plates!
This season Chris Bithell will be running the #7 plates! Photo: Ken Hill

The Curse is Broken (Rodney Tomblin)

The former #4 GNCC XC1 Pro, Chris Bithell, finished the season for the first time in the past five years without earning the number 4 ranking in the championship. Chris Bithell has been a top contender for several years, however, he says as prestigious and great it was to wear the number he was getting pretty tired of it. Actually calling it “The Curse of the #4” and I am sure it may have felt like it at times.

The 2014 season saw the curse finally broken and though it may have actually seen him fall a few spots in the rankings Bithell is optimistic about the whole scenario. He said, “Someone once told me you can’t move up from the number 4, you have to go backwards first.” This kind of makes some sense in a way. It can be a feeling of complacency at some point and it takes a little shake up to get things going. Well there is the shake, let’s see if Chris Bithell can bake.

As far as the off-season is concerned, Chris had another season of time to think and put things into perspective. He hunted coyotes until the day he headed south about two weeks ago to begin training. He said to be looking for big changes on and off the track. He said, “I have been training hard and my Maxxis/Precision Suzukis are ready to go. I have been riding a ton with a lot of great riders including AMA ATVMX Pro Josh Upperman, and GNCC’s Cole Richardson, Walker Fowler, Josh Merritt, Landon Wolfe, Jay Shadron and Brycen Neal.” Chris also said he was planning on making his way over to the DTF (Daytona Training Facility) soon to ride with #1 Chris Borich.

As far as dropping a few spots in the ranking goes, Chris says, “I was growing tired of looking at the number 4. So far I like the looks of the number 7 on the bike and possibly this means The Curse of the #4 is broken!”

Jason Thomas has been in the mid-south racing some local races before the GNCC season starts  
Jason Thomas has been in the mid-south racing some local races before the GNCC season starts   Photo: Courtesy of Shane Watts

More Racing Happening! (Jared Bolton)

I got a few notes from Shane Watts, which apparently didn’t go through on one of my email accounts the first time, but thankfully we resolved the issue and Wattsy send over some results from the past few weeks and it looks like his crew is ripping it up down south as well!

While a lot of racing had been happening in the South Carolina area over the past few weeks, Jason Thomas has been taking advantage of helping with Wattsy’s DirtWise Schools around the mid-south area and hit a few races after wrapping up the schools, and of course, he faired pretty well!

Thomas claimed a couple of wins at the SECCA race in Gardendale, Alabama and another win at the first round of the Louisiana Cross Country Series. Of course, the rest of the DirtWise backed riders have also been seeing some success with Josh Weisenfels grabbing the win at the first round of the Arkansas Hare Scramble Series while their third rider, Drew Higgins, ended up 2nd place at the Sumter National Enduro.

Oh and Wattsy himself had a great ride at Sumter too! I can’t believe I forgot to mention that the week after the race. He came away with the +40-A class win. No doubt that Wattsy still has the speed. If you folks remember last year, Wattsy had planned a big comeback but with his busy schedule and team manager duties, he wasn’t able to make a full go of it, but it would still be cool to see him give it a shot here and there!

Since It’s Almost Race Time… (Jared Bolton)

Since we’re so close to getting back into the swing of GNCC Racing, I want to bring up something I’ve mentioned a few times before. Chances are the majority of the folks reading this aren’t to blame, but it’s nice to throw it out there…

I realize that when you head out into the woods to one of the cool spectator spots that you may want to take a drink and/or snack with you, but if you carry it in, please carry it back out. A lot of times trash cans are placed nearby so please take the time to throw your trash away.

When you throw down trash in the woods, someone has to pick it up. And a lot of times the people that pick it up are named Barry Hawk, Jeff Russell, Tommy Harris or Jared Bolton (just to name a few!). Long after everyone has come and had a fantastic weekend of racing, there’s still a crew pulling down all the arrows, tape, banners, stakes, signs, and trash to make sure that we respect the land and the landowner so we can come back to race again.

So please, while it may be easy to throw down your trash in the woods, keep in mind that there’s someone who has to pick that up long after you’ve gone home, and by that point, they want to go home too. 

Even though McClure may not have had a lot of off-season practice, he's ready to battle at the front of the XC1 Pro pack
Even though McClure may not have had a lot of off-season practice, he's ready to battle at the front of the XC1 Pro pack Photo: Ken Hill

The Snake Hibernates (Rodney Tomblin)

It’s no secret that Jarrod McClure a.k.a. “Sneaky Snake” is a hard working individual, although I am not sure folks know just how hard working he is. While many of the top GNCC Pros and up-and-comers work hard to hone their skills this off-season in the warm confines of Florida and other warm climate states, McClure works himself away in the frozen tundra of Kaska, Pennsylvania.

It’s not a new story and it isn’t really a sad a story, it is in fact what we like to say, what GNCC Racing is all about. It is exactly what this series is built upon and what drives the pure core of it all. However, one would think that being ranked, as the 4th greatest rider basically in the world of off-road, things would be different. Unfortunately that is not the case and as the struggle is more real today than one may ever imagine. Even though the sport does not see high salaries, it sees some of the most competitive and heart pounding racing moments that any form of sports could ever see. The only thing lucrative in this sport is the feeling you get at the end of it all, everyone feels a little richer in the end.

While Jarrod turns wrenches at one of his top supporters Bower’s Motorcycle Supplies (and shovels snow) his heart remains strong and his vision true. Jarrod told me that he hasn’t ridden his quad since January before the weather broke and things turned bad for riding. He said he has been hitting the gym a lot and is continuing a strict diet and training regimen. He said that he and GNCC XC2 Pro Am rider, Randy Hamilton, was in the same position. According to Jarrod they will have the same team as last year, he told me “Product wise the support is great but financially it will be a tight year for me really and that’s why I never get south to ride. I haven’t ridden at all since back in January because we have had 8 inches of snow on the ground. So I have just been working steady and banking some money to try and afford to go racing. I am hitting the gym with workouts from Moto Pro Training and really it has been a rather boring winter.”

Though he has had a boring winter, Jarrod McClure sets poised for one of his greatest seasons. The hard work pays off but normally it takes a while to get up to speed. McClure is hoping he can continue his progress and looks forward to the racing season ahead. Jarrod is in great spirits but feels like so many do in our sport. He said, “I’m just really bummed that #4 can’t get paid.” That is a feeling that many share but hopefully someone, somewhere recognizes the true heart of our sport and just how valuable the efforts are that are put forth by so many.

Here's your classic Blackwater photo of the week from the collection of the infamous Rick
Here's your classic Blackwater photo of the week from the collection of the infamous Rick "Super Hunky" Siemen, who is still regarded as one of the greatest moto jounalists of all time. Photo: GNCC Archives/Rick Siemen

#ThrowbackThursday (Jared Bolton)


No, Barry Hawk wasn't intentionally trying to run over Chad Duvall back in 1995. 
No, Barry Hawk wasn't intentionally trying to run over Chad Duvall back in 1995.  Photo: GNCC Archives


Here's a cool shot of the
Here's a cool shot of the "Great Scotts" Scott Summers on the left, and Scott Plessinger on the right at the 1988 Blackwater, before either one of them claimed a GNCC title.  Photo: GNCC Archives


Hey Adam McGill, you're not the first one to show off for the cameras! 
Hey Adam McGill, you're not the first one to show off for the cameras!  Photo: GNCC Archives


Pro Taper Announces Pro Class Sponsorship for GNCC Racers

Tuesday Toolbox: Thad Duvall



What’s New on

This week, The Racer X Show with Greg White features highlights from round seven of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, from Arlington, Texas. With the opening round of the Eastern Regional 250SX Championship on Saturday, a fresh set of rivalries entered the stadium and we have highlights of all the action.

AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross saw its first off weekend of the season. With the break in racing action, host Greg White recaps the season thus far with the first-hand perspective of Team Babbitt's Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Jacob Hayes. Greg White also talks to the owner and racer for Team HERO EBR, Larry Pegram, who will be making his bid for a World Superbike title in 2015. Check out The Racer X Show every Tuesday at 7 p.m., only on

News from GNCC, Sponsors and Riders

Steve Hatch Racing: March 11 GNCC Camp in Macon, GA
A note from Steve: "This is my favorite camp to teach as we will be doing A LOT of riding and working on a GNCC style format. I will set up a mini GNCC track, meaning we will work on dead engine starts, woods, tree roots, corners, easy safe MX turns & sections, line selection, talk on topics of mental and nutrition training. Everything you need to become better at GNCC’s (all parents and friends of participants are welcome to also watch and listen to camp)!"

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Prepares for Exciting GNCC Season
The 2015 season of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, will begin on March 7 with the Moose Racing Wild Boar in Palatka, Florida. As in years past, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC will have strong presence as a GNCC sponsor and through related programs.