GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #17: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #17: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, April 30, 2015 | 4:55 PM
Thursday, April 30, 2015 | 4:55 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

After a muddy weekend of racing at the Limestone 100, the warm temperatures and dry weather that looks to be in store for most of the east coast this upcoming weekend will be a welcome relief. It also gives everyone the opportunity to get out and do some local races, which I’m sure plenty of people will do because, well, there’s no such thing as too much racing!

While the Limestone may have been wet and muddy for the ATVs on Saturday, that didn’t seem to stop everyone from enjoying themselves. At the end of the day, there were some changes that needed to be made to the track before the bike race on Sunday. These kinds of things take some time, and the track crew was still in the woods after dark. Personally, it was after 9pm before I ever came out of the woods to call it a day.

That’s the kind of stuff that most racers and spectators never know goes on. Guys like Jeff Russell, Barry Hawk, Bill Allen, Howard Russell, Tommy Harris, Terry Beck, our new recruit Mike “Lollipop” LaFollette and myself spend countless hours in the woods piecing the tracks together, and those hours grow even longer when the races get muddy. Then of course you can’t forget the guys like Dean VanLeeuwen, Joel Creed, and Justin Holbert that make sure all the banners, tents, and signage are all set up and good to go.

Every race seems to amaze me at just how hard these guys all work to make sure everyone has the most fun they can have in a given weekend of GNCC Racing, and for me, there’s nothing I love more than to see racers coming by yelling, giving a thumbs up, or whatever else that shows they’re having a great time, because that’s what GNCC Racing is all about!

However, I was pretty disappointed Sunday morning to see that one of the big red GNCC arrow signs pointing drivers where to turn on the road to the track had been stolen. Those signs aren’t free, and they’re mounted on big wooden sandwich boards, which are pretty heavy and also not free. So, if you “borrowed” that sign, or know who “borrowed” it, we’d really like to have it back so everyone knows where to turn to make it to the race. Drop me a line at [email protected] if you know what happened.

Maxxis/FLY/Factory Connection rider Chris Douglas had an impressive ride at the Limestone 100 finishing 9th in the XC1 Pro classPhoto: Ken Hill
Maxxis/FLY/Factory Connection rider Chris Douglas had an impressive ride at the Limestone 100 finishing 9th in the XC1 Pro classPhoto: Ken Hill

Game Changer (Rodney Tomblin)

If you attended, watched or heard about the Limestone 100 GNCC, then there is a good chance you were left scratching your head saying you didn't see that coming? Who could have seen it coming though? There were a lot of surprises and some excitement that made this race rather memorable, and there may have been a glimpse of the future. By no means can one say it's a whole new game, but we can say that it got very interesting this past weekend.

As things got underway on Saturday morning it seemed like a somewhat normal morning all things considered. The rains were starting to fall and it was getting sloppy but all in all it seemed normal. Ronnie Rusch somehow pulled out win number five for the youth race and it seemed like business as usual. Then the 10:00 a.m. race took off and again things seemed to be normal. 

It was a welcomed site to see Indiana native, and former GNCC XC1 rider, Donnie Ockerman make an appearance. Donnie planned to run the morning Sportsman A class along with another former XC1 Pro rider, Brandon Sommers. Donnie had mechanical issues and could not make it happen, but Sommers raced and afterwards he told me that the track was great for the first two laps. The track was a little slick, but you could slide through turns and have some fun. Then he said things went south real quick. Ruts began to form, and quads were getting stuck everywhere. He said the fun factor went out the window and it became a game of survival. He said that was fun too but that he liked it the first two laps much more. 

Congratulations to Michael Swift on his 4x4 Pro class and overall win. It's been some time since we last saw Michael center of the box like that, but something tells me there may be more coming in the future. He now remembers and knows what it feels like so he will be a bit more determined. It will be a fun class to watch as already in five rounds we have seen three different winners. The point’s race is as well tightening up but Bryan Buckhannon who has two wins so far sits with only an 18-point lead over Kevin Trantham who also has two wins. Swift is 30 points behind and Robert Smith is only 1 point behind Swift. There is no real clear-cut winner it looks like this year so skill of winning plus consistency when you don't will be the key to winning this title.

The big turn around began with the XC1 Pro ATV race. Points leader Adam McGill did not get the great start we have been seeing from him, and then finding him all the way back in 11th on the first lap, it appeared it may be a long day for this title contender. It wasn't long before reports of electrical issues began to come in and it was quickly realized this would be a very long day and Adam went into salvage mode. The saving grace for Adam was the fact that both Walker Fowler and Brycen Neal, his two closest competitors in points, had issues of their own. Neither Fowler, who finished 71st overall, nor Neal, who finished 34th overall, scored points so Adam's 9th overall scored huge points against those two. Fowler holds onto 2nd in points, but Neal dropped from 3rd to 6th indicating that things just got really tight among the top six.

Some other big news was Chris Borich's solid and impressive turn around from obvious issues in earlier rounds. Though the mud is a great equalizer the defending champ said that he was more prepared this race than any so far this season. Borich is now 36 points behind McGill and is currently sitting fourth in point. He is only 3 points behind Jarrod McClure who sits third and 9 points behind Fowler in second now. A lot of hard work lies ahead for all these players and the championship battle form this title is one you cannot afford miss. 

As far as Sunday goes, it was another great day of racing. Youth racing saw Jesse Ansley take the win and again some interesting battles developing throughout the race. The 10:00 a.m. race saw  good battles and it looks like a new player has found his way into the mix. Phil Smith, who is a long time GNCC racer, has elected to run the Sr. A 45 + class. He said that Vance Earl was going to be a challenge, but looked forward to racing him. He ended up finishing second overall in the morning race and said it was a lot of fun. Always the bashful one, Phil didn't make it to the podium to celebrate but be looking for him there in the future as his career takes on a whole new life.

Then of course there was possibly the best XC1 bike race we have seen all season long. Kailub's second turn get-off set the stage for a great race. With shortened laps due to the course conditions the riders were plagued with more obstacles than they had seen all year. There were 9 laps total ran and the shorter laps gave fans the chance to see the riders more. It kept the racing tight and it gave Grant Baylor the chance to see what it takes to run with Kailub. Will he repeat the performance in New York for the Tomahawk? Who knows but is going to be fun to see if he does. I said going into the race day that something was about to happen. I said we might see a game changer when it was all over and for the XC1 Pro bikes it may be in the form of Grant Baylor.

These ladies have been on another level this season!Photo: Ken Hill
These ladies have been on another level this season!Photo: Ken Hill

These Girls Are On Fire! (Jared Bolton)

It’s no secret that the WXC classes in both the ATV and bike ranks seem to get faster and faster every year. The current crop of ladies contesting the WXC classes have been absolutely flying this year and don’t show any signs of slowing down either!

On the ATV side, Alicia McCormick is showing that consistency is key as she leads the class points with 2 wins thus far in 2015, but more importantly she hasn’t finished off the podium all season. Angel Knox and Kylie Ahart have also claimed wins thus far in the 2015 season, but missing Steele Creek and a little tough luck at Big Buck has Angel working her way up from 6th place currently.

On the bike side Kacy Martinez has once again been absolutely on rails through the opening rounds. Jessica Patterson did sneak in to grab the win at Big Buck, but otherwise Kacy has been on fire. Of course, those wins haven’t always came without a challenge as the WXC bike ranks are super stacked with talent once again.

Becca Sheets has been putting together her best season to date and currently sits 2nd in the WXC class points. While she still hasn’t been able to come away with a class win, she’s been consistently inside the top 5 all season. Rachel Gutish has also been putting together an excellent season. While she’s only landed 1 podium so far, she’s shown that she can run with the front of the pack.

There’s also ladies that have been struck by some tough luck so far this season including Sarah Baldwin, who many expected to be one of the top class contenders. Brooke Cosner has also been slightly off her usual finishes but both of these riders have ran with the front of the pack for portions of the race. However, with their level of talent, it’s only a matter of time before we see them return to the podium.

Rodney is officially a race dad! His son Chance competed in his first race at the Limestone 100!Photo: Dave Smith
Rodney is officially a race dad! His son Chance competed in his first race at the Limestone 100!Photo: Dave Smith

Crossing Over (Rodney Tomblin)

This past weekend I entered a realm in the racing world I had never experienced. It quite possibly may have been one of, if not the greatest, moment of my career. My son raced for the very first time ever. And not only did he do it, he did it much better than I ever could of the expected. I really didn't know if he would do it when it came time and if he did I really wondered if he would make an entire lap. Not because I have doubt in his skills, but because he has never done anything like this. I know he has grown up around it, but racing and riding around a field at home are two different arenas.

Being a financially strapped individual last summer I bought my son Chance a new, to him, motorcycle for his birthday. It was a 2004 KTM Mini Adventure I found at a neighboring farm in our hometown. I gave only a few hundred dollars for it but it was well worth the money. Until then he had ridden only about a 1993 PW50 that the 1988 Blackwater Champ Timmy Coombs and his son Cade had given him a couple of years before. It was the perfect bike that he still rides. Our gear is all hand me down units from people we know. A pair of old green fly pants that are busting at the seams with a red Answer jersey he won in a raffle and an old pair of Alpine Stars that were literally falling apart. It was our way of entering the word at grass level and proving that it doesn’t take much to do it. He ended up wearing his Travis Pastrans hoodie though because it was cold. 

On Friday evening we walked the Micro Track and watched for all the black arrows that he would follow. I was a little surprised as I had never walked the micro track and thought that it seemed rather challenging. All the while my son looked for race lines and good places to pass. In my mind I was thinking he has never ridden anything like this and was worried it may be overwhelming for him. He seemed to not be phased. As a matter of fact he seemed more determined.

Race day greeted us with rain. I have my job as announcer so I was out most of the morning. At 10:00 a.m. he rolled out dressed and ready to go. Asking every few minutes "Dad, how much longer till my race?" Which I would reply to "not till at least 4:30. So a few hours longer." It never seemed to be the right answer. 

Then came the starting line. Chuck LeMaster from Team Faith said he would do the start so I could play dad. It was a great feeling and I jumped at the opportunity. Chance was in the Trail Rider class and was starting last row. It was rainy, muddy and slick as could be. The first turn was changed to go straight down the hill and I about fainted. I looked at Chance and his faced turned from all smiles to a look of concern. I thought that he was going to change his mind but there was no way. The green flag finally flew for him and off he went. Down the slick hill into the woods in last place. I was stoked because step one was out of the way. 

As the bikes went into the woods I jogged along behind never laying eyes on my son. I thought to myself that he would be along the trail somewhere up ahead. Then I get a call on the radio from Barry Hawk. He said, "Rodney. I just passed your boy and it sounds like his choke is stuck but he is still moving." I was surprised. Then Ricky Towery radioed from the finish that he had just gone through. I said, "Did he keep going or pull off?" They said he kept going. So I waited and soon he came around where I was on lap 2! I was certainly proud and surprised.

He went on to complete lap two then must have missed the checker or something because he went on for lap 3. It did not count but in my mind it did not matter. He did great. He raced like a champion as far as I am concerned. He got 2nd out of two in his class but scored 24th out of 32 overall. That to me was monumental. I didn't know what to expect but received more than I ever bargained for. He wants to race again and he will but we are not sure when. All I know is that I am so glad to be a part of something that is so big but at the same time so down to earth. Big Dave certainly set the wheels in motion with the GNCC and we did it old school the way he would have wanted. I am glad to have experienced that way. Thanks to Rita Coombs and Carrie Coombs Russell and Jeff Russell and Timmy Coombs and Davey Coombs for everything they do and have done to keep the dream alive and growing.

Chris Douglas (20) and Adam Bonneur (25) both landed inside the top 10 at the Limestone 100.Photo: Ken Hill
Chris Douglas (20) and Adam Bonneur (25) both landed inside the top 10 at the Limestone 100.Photo: Ken Hill

More Pro Action (Jared Bolton)

While the focus may be on the front runners of the XC1 and XC2 classes, there’s still a number of hard working and dedicated riders who make up the rest of the pack and they battle just as hard as the guys up front.

We also made a little mistake and left a couple of those hard working guys out of the post PR. Chris Douglas and Adam Bonneur finished 9th and 10th in the XC1 class, respectively and we actually forgot to give those guys props on their good finishes, so our apologies for leaving you guys out and great job on the top 10 finishes!

There’s also some guys that have been having some up and down luck this season. Chris Bach has shown that he can finish on the podium and inside the top 5 but some tough luck has also kept Bach a little further behind in the series points. Ryan Sipes has also had some flashes of brilliance through the opening rounds but hasn’t been able to put together a whole race.

Perhaps nobody has had a more disappointing start to the 2015 season than Daniel Milner. There’s no doubt that Milner is one of top riders in the world thanks to his excellent ISDE finishes, but has struggled with some bad luck thus far in his GNCC career. However, there’s no doubt that once Milner can find his groove in GNCC that he could run at the front of the pack.


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What's New on

The Racer X Show with Greg White features highlights from the penultimate round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship action in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as well as exciting highlights from the fourteenth round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross in Fresno, California.

Round five of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship took place over the weekend with the Limestone 100 GNCC in Springville, Indiana. Rain throughout the day Saturday made for a wet and muddy ATV race, which led to a rough and rutted motorcycle race on Sunday. This week’s show highlights action from both days of racing.

Also featured this week will be highlights from round three of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series with the Rad Dad National Enduro in Westpoint, Tennessee where Russell Bobbitt would claim his first win of the season in a tough and muddy race. Watch the newest show by clicking here!

News from GNCC, Riders and Sponsors

At last year’s GNCC banquet, our friends from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC once again gave away one of their awesome “Ticket to Ride” trips that allows the winners to go spend a few days riding in some of the most scenic terrain Utah has to offer. Well as we speak, Mike Tetlow Jr and Sr, along with our GNCC Sweepmaster Tommy Harris, are out enjoying some excellent riding in Utah. Here’s a few photos from their trip so far!

The guys check some awesome Utah scenery out.
The guys check some awesome Utah scenery out. Photo: Courtesy Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Mike Tetlow Jr splashes his way through a creek crossing....
Mike Tetlow Jr splashes his way through a creek crossing.... Photo: Courtesy Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
And our GNCC Sweepmaster, Tommy Harris, does the same!
And our GNCC Sweepmaster, Tommy Harris, does the same! Photo: Courtesy Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Then they check out even more awesome scenery!
Then they check out even more awesome scenery! Photo: Courtesy Rocky Mountain ATV/MC