GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #14: This Week In GNCC

Quick Fill #14: This Week In GNCC

Thursday, April 9, 2015 | 11:50 AM
Thursday, April 9, 2015 | 11:50 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

This week comes to you from THE Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone considering the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC is set to get underway in less than 24 hours! I say less than 24 hours because by Friday afternoon this facility will look full on ready to go GNCC Racing even though the actual racing doesn’t begin until Saturday morning. If you’ve never been to a GNCC early on Thursday…well, don’t begin now because the gates aren’t actually open…but it’s pretty cool to see everyone busting their butts to create the spectacle that we all enjoy over the weekend.

The antennas are up here at the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC!
The antennas are up here at the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC! Photo: JK

The first wave of the GNCC Crew typically gets on-site Monday or Tuesday before each event and from there, more and more folks come pouring in to do things like course building, pit building, hanging antennas and PA systems, laying out the parking, and much more. I’ve had the luxury of hanging out with the crew all day today, and no I’m not talking about Rodney Tomblin, Johnny Gallagher, Fred Andrews or Chuck LeMaster! I’m talking about the behind-the-scenes people that don’t get nearly enough credit for what they do on Thursday, Friday and throughout the weekend. With temperatures nearly in the nineties today, it was an interesting day of setting up because it’s been quite some time since we’ve done anything in such warm weather. I’m not going to complain after the chill we all experienced last round in North Carolina, though! So in a nutshell, these guys arrive on Thursday, scope out their remote camera locations with Jeff Russell, unpack two trailers and organize all the equipment, and then it’s hard to work in burying cables, hanging antennas, and beginning the wireless system that ultimately brings you live video feed on the web! Tomorrow the rest of the crew arrives to complete the PA system and continue hooking cameras up in the woods. Of course, there’s much more that I’m missing in between but it was a neat reminder of all the work everyone here at GNCC does before the rest of the world arrives on-site Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

So with that being said, don’t forget to log onto on Saturday at 1 p.m. EST for LIVE coverage of the pro ATVs, and then again at 4:30 p.m. for Side-by-Side racing, and yet again on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. for LIVE coverage of the pro bikes.

Kailub Russell looks to get his fourth consecutive win this weekend. Photo: Ken Hill
Kailub Russell looks to get his fourth consecutive win this weekend. Photo: Ken Hill Photo: JK

It’s Time To Race, Again! (Jared Bolton)

So here we are, already approaching the fourth round of the season and once again, we’ve got a great weekend of racing to look forward to. For one, you’ve got the excellent battles we’ve seen in the ATV ranks, which will be interesting to see unfold. At the same time, you’ve got the bike side, which is pretty epic as well.

Now, I’m sure some of you are saying “but Kailub has been checking out each race!” and yes, that’s true but the question is, how long can KR continue to do so? We all know that anything can happen in the world of GNCC Racing. Nobody has ever had a perfect season of overall wins, but it’s not an impossible feat. Could KR complete a clean sweep of the 2015 season?

Of course, there’s also the chance that someone else could step up and grab a win. Josh Strang has proved that he can win races and championships; he’s done it before. Thad Duvall has also proved that he has what it takes to win as well, and so far in 2015 Thad is putting together his best XC1 season to date. There’s also Chris Bach who has shown time and time again that he has what it takes to run with the front of the pack and land on the podium, but still has yet to claim an overall win.

There’s also the likes of Ryan Sipes. Sipes has shown that he can definitely run up front, but has had some tough luck with keeping that up for the entire race. Sipes broke through for his first GNCC podium last year at The Ironman, but a string of tough luck in the first three rounds in 2015 has kept him out of podium contention. Once things turn around, there’s no doubt that Sipes also has a shot at a podium finish as well.

You also can’t rule out Grant Baylor. Grant has been fairly quiet so far in 2015, but sits a solid 4th place overall through the first three rounds. Grant cracked the top 5 for the first time this season at Steele Creek. Big Buck is home soil for the South Carolina native, and Grant even won last year’s Little Brown Jug National Enduro, which used Big Buck for parking and the final section of the race. Could Grant break through for his first podium of the season? We’ll find out soon! 

The defending champion, Chris Borich, is looking to get back to the middle step of the podium in South CarolinaPhoto: Ken Hill
The defending champion, Chris Borich, is looking to get back to the middle step of the podium in South CarolinaPhoto: Ken Hill Photo: JK

Wide Open (Rodney Tomblin) 

The statement “Wide Open” takes on many meanings in the early part of the 2015 season. Only three rounds in and it has been nothing but wide open. The opening two rounds are jammed one week apart then we head to the establishing round in North Carolina just two weeks ago. “Wide Open” may feel like an understatement for some as already a season’s worth of obstacles have come their way. All disciplines of GNCC are primed and this weekend with the way things have been going, “Wide Open” may throw a few curve balls.

There is no doubt that Adam McGill came into this season pegged from the drop of the green flag. Aside from one late race mistake he could be looking at the possibility of four in a row rather than three. Regardless it has been a phenomenal start for Adam and he is not ready to slow down. Momentum is building with Adam’s motto, #CUZAMERICA THAT’S WHY, and Adam is at the forefront of proving that the little man still has power. Adam has made the comment on several occasions that this year is different. Each time the helmet goes on, he is thinking win and making friends on the track is not a priority. In an interview with Greg White on The Racer X Show he stated “I have enough friends at home,” and that each time he straps his helmet on there is no more Mr. Nice Guy.

The success of Adam McGill may be overshadowing some of the competition at this point. One has to believe it is good fuel for several fires right now. One fire in particular is our 6-time and current defending XC1 GNCC ATV Champion Chris Borich. Chris has been met with obvious early season struggles, and now sits in 6th place in the standings. That’s a 39-point deficit and at the moment it seems like a long row back for the champ. As history has proven it is not impossible to come back from being this far back, but as mentioned previously this season will be a difficult one to try and make points up as quickly as possible.

The point spread and the success of Adam McGill and the “family” may prove to be a bigger obstacle than ever. Walker Fowler sits 20 points behind McGill in 2nd, so it will not be an easy task even for this young challenger. The season will have to tell this story as everyone knows there are many twists and turns to get us to crowning a champion at the end of the season. That may be the most exciting thing about this championship, and as great as last season’s battle to the finale was, this season appears to be heading down an even more exciting path where the championship with all its players is still “Wide Open.”

Jason Thomas has taken over the number one spot in the XC2 Pro Lites championship standingsPhoto: Ken Hill
Jason Thomas has taken over the number one spot in the XC2 Pro Lites championship standingsPhoto: Ken Hill Photo: JK

What About XC2? (Jared Bolton)

With Grant Baylor making the move to XC1 for 2015, and Jason Thomas working his way back into the XC2 class, this has made for a pretty interesting beginning to the season. After swapping wins in the first two rounds, Nick Davis held the XC2 points leading coming into Steele Creek, but a mechanical issue ended it day early.

Davis would end up 22nd at Steele Creek, and by placing outside of the top 20, came away with 0 class points for the weekend. That, coupled with another win by Jason Thomas would allow Thomas to leave Steele Creek with the XC2 points lead. It also dropped Davis to 3rd in points behind Layne Michael, who continues to improve week-by-week.

Another rider who will be looking for a solid ride at Big Buck is Trevor Bollinger. After a tough start to the season with a 19th in Florida, Bollinger put together back-to-back podium finishes in Georgia and North Carolina. Undoubtedly, that’s still not good enough for Bollinger who is ultimately looking to come away with XC2 class wins and work his way up through the points.

The quietly consistent rider in the XC2 class is definitely Craig Delong. Craig is showing that consistency is key and currently sits 4th in the XC2 points and hasn’t finished outside of the top 5 so far this season. With a 5th in Florida and a pair of 4ths in Georgia and North Carolina, Craig is patiently waiting for his chance to break into an XC2 podium finish.

The 4x4 Pro class is definitely one to watch at 10 a.m. on Saturday! Photo: Ken Hill
The 4x4 Pro class is definitely one to watch at 10 a.m. on Saturday! Photo: Ken Hill Photo: JK

Loud and Proud (Rodney Tomblin) 

There is without a doubt a very distinct and obvious sound that everyone in the GNCC Racin’ Nation is beginning to notice. It’s the sound of nearly 1000cc power rolling through the trails of any Saturday Morning GNCC. It’s the small but noticeable group of 4x4 Pro racers carving the inaugural pages of history for this class.

Heading into its second season as a Pro GNCC class, the 4x4 Pro class has elevated its level of competition to the point you cannot help but notice. Averaging around 10 entries a race, this class has seen a transformation that has, without a doubt, become the premier morning ATV class.

Thus far the 4x4 Pro class has not only put on a show for class wins, but the intensity has driven this class to the head of the morning overall on a consistent basis. They have not only raced to the head of the morning ranks they literally race nose to tail to the checker flag. As the old saying goes, “you can throw a blanket over the leaders they are so close” so don’t be surprised to see this as the norm in the future. As well be looking for multiple winners, as nearly everyone is capable of stealing a win away at any given race.

The names are not new though there ferocity may be. These riders are Kevin Trantham, Bryan Buckhannon, Robert Smith, Michael Swift, Jordan Phillips, Zac Zakowski and Rick Cecco. They all at one time have seen the podium or even taken wins in the past. They each possess their own set of skills, and each one has a fever to win just as strong as the next one.

So as you head into the 19th running of the VP Fuels Big Buck GNCC, don’t be surprised if your attention turns to the 10 a.m. race when the leaders of the 4x4 Pro class appear. Also, don’t be surprised if you find yourself following the action to see how it all goes down. Most importantly, don’t miss the finish. This could be some of the most exciting finishes to watch as the season progresses. 

Chris Bach is looking to get back to where he was in Florida, on the podium! Photo: Ken Hill
Chris Bach is looking to get back to where he was in Florida, on the podium! Photo: Ken Hill Photo: JK

Plan Ahead For The Summer! (Jared Bolton)

For the past few years I’ve promoted the annual Zoo City GP in Asheboro, North Carolina. Well, after some tough luck with extremely cold weather in December, January and November (I’ve tried them all!) The decision was made to move the race up to July 12th this year.

What’s interesting about that is, there’s no local race in North Carolina that weekend, no GNCC, no National Enduro, no Pro Motocross. So, with a nice weekend with no racing, I decided to give folks the chance to come out and race. Yeah, it might be hot, but it’s a GP, so you’ll only be on the bike for around 45 minutes at a time.

In years past this has been a bike-only event, but I’m open to the idea of having ATVs come out and race if there’s enough interest. So, if you’re an ATV racer who would be interested in coming to North Carolina to race on July 12th, drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know you want to race. North Carolina is definitely a bike-heavy state, but I’d love to have some ATV racers come out, so if you’re interested, I’ll make time for you to race!

As for everyone else, if you’re looking for a fun summer break race to come do, I’ve got a good layout in mind, so mark your calendars because it’s going to be loads of fun!


Kailub Russell Leads The Way Into 19th Running of the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck

Adam McGill Looks to Secure Three-in-a-Row at Saturday’s VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC

Tuesday Toolbox: Randy Hamilton


What's New on

This week The Racer X Show with Greg White features highlights from an exciting thirteenth round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri where Ryan Dungey once again claimed the win, further extending his points lead. Also featured will be the eleventh round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross from Austin, Texas.

Round three of AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series Presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship took place at the picturesque Steele Creek Campground in Morganton, North Carolina with the FMF Steele Creek GNCC, and this week's show will feature action from both Saturday's ATV and Sunday's bike racing.

Also featured this week will be our Roadrace Segment, presented by Yoshimura highlighting information from the past weekend's MotoGP race. As always, information on how to watch racing on television or live in person will be featured.

News from GNCC, Riders and Sponsors

Racers, don’t forget if you earn a plaque at any GNCC event this season you can trade it in for a limited edition GNCC coin which is good for $10 toward gate admission or a race entry fee at any event this season. And if you don’t want to spend it, you can collect all the different coins as they have signatures from many of the top pros on both bikes and ATVS. If you’re interested, please see the ladies under the red registration tent!

Also, the all-new Polaris Single Seat race makes its return to GNCC Racing this Saturday at 9 a.m. If you've never seen one of those things maneuver through the woods make sure you make your way over to check them out!