GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #19: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #19: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, May 14, 2015 | 5:00 PM
Thursday, May 14, 2015 | 5:00 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

This week’s edition of Quick Fill comes to you from a relatively quiet Racer Productions/MX Sports/Racer X office. A lot of folks have made the trip west for the opening round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, which kicks off this weekend at Hangtown in Sacramento, California. Another chunk of the crew is just up the road at High Point Raceway getting things ready for this weekend’s Mtn Dew ATV Motocross race. I’ll be heading up there this weekend to lend a hand, and also run a camera for the live broadcast on on Saturday starting at 2:30pm EST.

That leaves a handful of us in the office and other than Dan blasting every genre of music from techno to classic country, it’s pretty quiet. However, the racing world itself really isn’t all that quiet as we had an incredible weekend of racing last week at the inaugural Dunlop Tomahawk GNCC in New York.

It seems like the general consensus from those who raced was that everyone really seemed to enjoy the track. Personally I was wanted to jump on a bike and rip a few laps myself because it looked like a lot of fun, and after hearing everyone speak about how much they enjoyed it, I was pretty jealous.

It did end up getting a little rockier than a lot of people had thought, but it wasn’t anything like the rocks we see in West Virginia or Pennsylvania. It consisted of mostly smaller rocks, which makes for an easier ride than the big rocks we see at other tracks. Overall it was a lot of fun and it sounds like a lot of folks are already looking forward to next year. 

Thad Duvall was putting together a solid ride at Tomahawk until brake failure and a hard crash ended his day early. Photo: Ken Hill
Thad Duvall was putting together a solid ride at Tomahawk until brake failure and a hard crash ended his day early. Photo: Ken Hill

Did You See That? (Rodney Tomblin)

Anyone that watched this past weekend’s Tomahawk GNCC may be asking this question in disbelief, did you see that? Did you really see what just happened? I too am a little surprised and heck I even said to expect some surprises to be coming. I just didn't know that they were going to be what we saw.

First off, I know I don't talk a lot about the bike action, as that is covered by Bolt-On, but I couldn't go without saying a few things about the way things have been going. At the start of the season, everyone knew we were in for a rather interesting season. The early chatter had plenty of topics to discuss but the big unknown was who would step up to challenge Kailub Russell.

The past couple of rounds have presented opportunities for riders to make their challenge, and what might be seen now as ‘staking their claims’ as the next possible threats. The first was Grant Baylor at the Limestone 100 and the second in as many races was Chris Bach this past weekend at the inaugural Tomahawk GNCC. Are they the last and are they in for the long haul?

Congratulations to Chris Bach on a stellar performance this past weekend. Watching Chris ride was like watching poetry in motion. He rode a nearly flawless race and I’m not sure I have ever seen him ride like he did that day. There have been times we’ve seen glimpses, but never a performance like Sunday's. It makes one really wonder what the rest of the season holds.

Grant Baylor had a rough day by comparison to his ride two weeks ago, but in talking with Grant after the race he said that other than a little malfunction, things were still on track. He noted his 4th place finish was not where he wanted to be, but all things considered he was just happy to finish. He said he still feels confident as he did and expects to be back in it for the next round.

A rider that may not have logged any wins so far this but is surely on the cusp is Thad Duvall. Thad has been performing strongly this season and consistent strong rides are only getting stronger. While leading the race this weekend Thad developed rear brake issues from overheating. After a quick pit stop to try and rectify his problem, off he went only losing a little time. While catching up and pulling the leaders back in sight he found himself without brakes going down a long straight away through a woods section when his brakes overheated again and found himself on the ground after a hard crash. 

A concussion and dislocated hip were the results of Thad's crash. Thankfully he was able to get his hip back in place but had to sit a few days out to make sure there are no lingering issues from his head injury. According to social media reports he’s doing great though disappointed with the incident. He also knows that it was not from doing anything wrong and that it was an unfortunate mechanical issue that he can overcome without losing an ounce of the confidence he has gained over the course of this season alone.

The biggest "did you see that" moment though came from Kailub Russell, coming up short finishing 2nd. Not that it is the end of the world, by no means but it does answer the question many posed before the season even started. Can Kailub go undefeated? The answer is obviously “no” but if anyone was going to do it, it would have been him.  

Chris Bach broke through for his first-ever GNCC overall win in New York! Photo: Ken Hill
Chris Bach broke through for his first-ever GNCC overall win in New York! Photo: Ken Hill

First Time Winner in New York (Jared Bolton)

For the first time since 2012, the bike side of the GNCC Racing Nation saw a first time overall winner. Chris Bach emerged with the overall win at the Tomahawk GNCC. While Chris has seen his fair share of podium finishes since moving to the XC1 class in 2010, this marked his first career overall win.

The last time we saw a first time winner was Thad Duvall’s win at the 2012 Unadilla GNCC. Even more interesting is that Bach was a first time winner at a first time event. The last time that happened was also in 2012 with Rory Mead’s triumphant win at The Mammoth GNCC.

While Bach has established himself as one of the front-runners of the GNCC Racing world, not many people were expecting him to be the one to end Kailub Russell’s win streak. Our old buddy Jason Weigandt chatted with Bach for a Racer X interview earlier this week and Chris mentioned that everything seemed to come easy. He talked about how he rode much harder at Limestone and didn’t have near as good a race.

Most racers have experienced the same thing. I’m definitely nowhere close to being fast enough to contend for overall wins anywhere, but I knew exactly what Chris was talking about. As a racer, some days are just your day. It’s that day where everything seems to come together perfectly and a good finish comes easily. On the flipside, there’s days where you put in everything you have and come up way short of what you expected. That’s part of racing.

For Bach, it was his day. He charged through the pack, coming from as far behind as sixth on the first lap. At the top tier level of the XC1 class, it’s no easy task to work your way up through the pack. You have to be on top of your game and keep the mistakes to a minimum. It’s also no easy task to topple Kailub Russell. So far, Bach has been the only one to do so this season. KR mentioned that he struggled with bike set-up and Bach beat him straight up. No excuses. That’s pretty impressive.

Walker Fowler charged through the pack to take the Tomahawk GNCC win last weekend. Photo: Ken Hill
Walker Fowler charged through the pack to take the Tomahawk GNCC win last weekend. Photo: Ken Hill

What Just Happened (Rodney Tomblin)

As Saturday's ATV XC1 Pro race neared it's completion, the stage was set for another amazing finish. Near the eight mile mark of a near 10 mile race track, Walker Fowler had capitalized on a twenty second lead heading into final lap and was heading to victory. The real battle was for the runner up spot and for Chris Borich some valuable points he could gain on the season and position himself a little stronger for the chase. 

Chris was battling with Adam McGill and Jarrod McClure when all of a sudden the machine just shut down due to some overheating issues. His hand waved in the air and as if the air deflated from a balloon Chris just kind of slumped down on the machine for a moment knowing that it may have just came tumbling down. In the end he was able to finish 17th overall, which yielded points, but was a far cry from where he needed to be.

Before the 2015 GNCC Racing season ever began, I mentioned on a few occasions that ATV racing could see the beginning of a new era. Actually, we saw the beginning of the new era start last season when Walker Fowler challenged Chris Borich down to the final race of the season, but if you were not convinced then, maybe you are now. After Fowler’s performance and Borich’s misfortune at last weekend’s Tomahawk GNCC, did we just witness the actual "wheels in motion" moment that heralds the coming of that change? As hard as it is to say, it very well may have been. 

Personally, the moment it happened it was as if someone punched me right in the gut. I cannot imagine what it felt like for our reigning ATV Champ but I am sure it hit him a lot harder. I have always played the "Devil's Advocate" from a hype perspective to try and spur along more excitement and interests in what's going on. It's my job. I am the announcer and I also have to keep people excited and thinking about the possibilities. The realm is huge and if we just expect certain things to happen it gets really boring. So sometimes there has to be a "story" created when there may not be much there. However lately the "story" has taken on a life of it's own. We all saw it coming but are we really ready for what it's going to bring?

I have already stated that if Chris Borich were able to win the 2015 championship it may be the greatest comeback in GNCC history and now it is quite certain it would be. Not only would it be the greatest comeback but maybe a championship miracle. Can it be done? I think you may know the answer I have for this. Yes it can, and if anyone can do it, it will be Chris Borich. 

As we approach the midway point of the season there is in no way shape or form a sign as to who is going to win this title. The players are many. Adam McGill enjoys a 22 point lead over Walker Fowler. 15 points behind Fowler is Jarrod McClure who could be a bigger player than we know, and his Sneaky Snake name could fit him even better, or could change to King Cobra? Only 9 points behind Sneaky Snake is Chris Bithell, who has mounted his quiet but effective attack on the championship. Then another 6 points back is Brycen Neal and Chris Borich, which puts them 57 points from the leader. 

Can any of those deficits be made up? Or the bigger question, can Chris Borich bridge such a gap with only 7 rounds to go. The big picture is, he fell behind that far in only 6 rounds so why can't he make them all up by the end? Seems a little far fetched but a good story has to start somewhere and great needs to seem impossible. 

After a solid 2nd place start in New York, Josh Strang faded through the pack due to a separated shoulder from a practice crash. Photo: Ken Hill
After a solid 2nd place start in New York, Josh Strang faded through the pack due to a separated shoulder from a practice crash. Photo: Ken Hill

What Happens Next? (Jared Bolton)

Now that Kailub Russell’s win streak has come to a close, it leaves many wondering what will happen when we head to the rocks of the the Mountaineer Run next weekend. There’s no doubt that Kailub is still the favorite to take the win, but after Bach broke through to end the win streak, it proves to others that KR is human and not some kind of KTM winning machine. 

The question a lot of people will be asking is, who else can win? I’ve mentioned previously that Grant Baylor put together a solid performance in Indiana to challenge for the overall win. However, Grant may not be the only one able to challenge for wins. Thad Duvall has shown that he can challenge for the lead, but brake issues and a tough crash resulting in a concussion and dislocated hip (which he put back into place himself!) took him out of contention in New York.

Ryan Sipes seems to be like a fine wine. He only gets better with age. While the former pro motocrosser is no where near what could be considered an older guy, he still has a few years on the majority of the XC1 competitors. However, Sipes seems to be adjusting even more to the GNCC Racing world and logged his second GNCC podium in New York. What’s next for Sipes? We’ll see!

Last season Josh Strang was the only rider other than Charlie Mullins to come away with a win against Russell. However, after a solid start at last weekend’s Tomahawk GNCC, Strang seemed to disappear pretty quickly. In fact, on the first lap, by the time they reached the five mile marker, Strang was all the way behind the front runners of the A classes. 

Strang also never put a charge back on to try to regroup from being out of the lead pack and only completed three laps in 2 hours 56 minutes. This left a ton of questions on the table wondering if Strang hurt himself on that opening lap, or was he hurt prior to the race since he completed the race and seemed to be in cruise mode all day.

Well, on Monday Strang posted on Instagram stating that he had separated his shoulder in a practice crash last week and went out to salvage points. It’s pretty common to see a racer do this because the racer in each of us wants to stay on top of their game. However, while he did earn XC1 points, the GNCC championship is based off Overall points and to earn overall points, you have to finish in the top 20 overall, which he wasn’t able to do. Regardless, hopefully Josh gets healed up quick and is back up front soon. 

Next time these three make it on the podium together, someone bring Kylie a kid to hold! Photo: Ken Hill
Next time these three make it on the podium together, someone bring Kylie a kid to hold! Photo: Ken Hill

The Women of GNCC (Kayla Olliver)

We’ve all heard the stories about the XC1 ATV and Bike races from the inaugural Tomahawk GNCC. Now, we’ve got to talk about the Women of our sport!

Saturday’s WXC ATV race saw one of the best battles of the season as defending WXC ATV Champion, Angel Knox and 9x GNCC WXC ATV Champion, Traci Cecco duked it out for a good portion of the race. Traci was able to hold the lead for two laps with Angel close in tow. Angel and Traci would swap the number one spot multiple times throughout the rest of the race, but Angel was able to work her way into the lead and pull away from Traci to take her third win of the season.

2013 WXC class champion Kylie Ahart worked her way up from a sixth place start to end up rounding out the podium in third. However, it seemed that Kylie was the only one on the podium without a small child to hold. So next time if these three are on the podium together, someone get Kylie a kid to hold!

Current WXC ATV points leader Alicia McCormick would finish the day with a fourth in the WXC ATV class, and holds the class point’s lead by five points.

Sunday’s WXC Bike race saw Factory FMF KTM’s Kacy Martinez earn her fifth win of the season in New York. The N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha rider and 7 time WMX Champion Jessica Patterson finished off the day with a second place WXC finish and fifth overall. No matter where JP Money$ throws her leg over a bike, you can almost guarantee she’s going to running up at the front of the pack. She was the only one able to stop Martinez’ win streak at round four, and continues to put in solid top 10 and top 5 finishes.

Rocky Mountain ATV*MC KR4/FAR’s Brooke Cosner got off to a great start capturing the lead on lap one, but Martinez and Patterson found their way around her on lap two. Cosner held her third place position throughout the remaining laps and earned herself a spot on the podium. This is Cosner’s third consecutive race finishing inside the top five of the WXC class. N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Becca Sheets finished a solid fourth place, keeping her second in WXC class points.

There’s no doubt that these battles seem to be intensifying left and right, and these girls are definitely ones to watch in the morning races. They just seem to get faster and faster, and with that, the racing action becomes more and more intense!

The 4x4 Pro racing this season has been nothing short of intense! Photo: Ken Hill
The 4x4 Pro racing this season has been nothing short of intense! Photo: Ken Hill

4x4 Pro Action (Jared Bolton)

Things are starting to heat up in the 4x4 Pro ranks as defending class champion, Bryan Buckhannon has exchanged wins with the always-fast Kevin Trantham. Michael Swift also has a win to his credit this season and always adds another challenge to the front of the 4x4 Pro class.

However, Buckhannon has proved to be Mr. Consistent in the 4x4 Pro class as he has yet to finish off the podium this season. While Trantham and Swift have shown they can come away with race wins, they’ve also had a little tough luck and have finished outside of the top 5 a few times this season.

Of course, there’s also a number of other challengers who spice things up even more. Robert Smith has landed on the podium twice so far in 2015 and currently sits fourth place in the 4x4 Pro class points. Zachary Zakowski and Jordan Phillips also have podium finishes to their credit. While they’ve missed a few rounds, Craig Bowman and Rick Cecco have both also finished on the podium in 2015.

That makes eight different riders that have finished on the 4x4 Pro podium in six rounds of the 2015 season. There’s no doubt that the 4x4 Pro class provides some of the most exciting racing action in all of GNCC Racing, and last weekend’s battle down to the wire for the 4x4 Pro win between Trantham and Swift was a prime example of that.

Of course, just racing the 4x4 Pro class in itself is pretty darn impressive. Keep in mind that these guys are racing big, heavy machines that put a ton of power to the ground. I, along with the rest of the GNCC track crew, spend a lot of time on utility quads, and while these guys put a ton of work into their machine to make them race ready, there’s still no doubt in my mind that these guys contesting the 4x4 Pro class are a pretty gnarly bunch.


GNCC on NBCSN this Sunday

Don’t miss the GNCC ATV feature show on NBCSN this Sunday, May 16th at 5 p.m. ET from The Maxxis General, Round 2 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis.

If you miss a show, full replays will be archived on throughout the season. 

Sunday, May 17
ATV Feature Show
Television: 5:00 pm ET, NBCSN

#ThrowbackThursday (Jared Bolton)


Here's Bob Sloan on the way to claiming one of his many overall wins.
Here's Bob Sloan on the way to claiming one of his many overall wins. Photo: GNCC Archives
Check out Scott Summers ripping his way through the Big Bear 100 a few years before he became the man to beat.
Check out Scott Summers ripping his way through the Big Bear 100 a few years before he became the man to beat. Photo: GNCC Archives
Here's another classic Blackwater 100 moment from 1990.
Here's another classic Blackwater 100 moment from 1990. Photo: GNCC Archives
Last but not least, Ed Lojak makes his way around the Blackwater course as well.
Last but not least, Ed Lojak makes his way around the Blackwater course as well. Photo: GNCC Archives


Chris Bach Earns First Career Overall Win at Inaugural Tomahawk GNCC

Fowler Claims Inaugural Dunlop Tomahawk GNCC Win

Check out all the photo galleries from the Tomahawk GNCC

Tuesday Toolbox: Ronnie Rusch 

What's New on

This week The Racer X Show with Greg White highlights action from round six of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship at the inaugural Dunlop Tomahawk GNCC in Odessa, New York. Saturday’s ATV racing saw Walker Fowler break through to claim his third win of the season while Sunday’s bike race saw Chris Bach claim his first ever GNCC overall win.

Factory FMF KTM rider and GNCC Racing point’s leader Kailub Russell stops by to join host Greg White in-studio to give a first-hand account of the past weekend’s Tomahawk GNCC as well as the previous weekend’s Full Gas Sprint Enduro in Thornton, West Virginia.

Also joining the show this week will be Jason Weigandt, who gives us a preview of the upcoming Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season set to begin this weekend with the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, California.

For this week’s Yoshimura Road Racing segment, Roger Hayden sits down for an interview to discuss his MotoAmerica season and the show recaps the past weekend’s World Superbike round in Italy. Weekly favorites also return this week including information on where to watch racing action on television, or live in person.

Also this week will be at High Point Raceway to broadcast round four of the 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship LIVE!  The live coverage will begin Saturday, May 16th at 2:30 p.m. EST and end around 5:30 p.m. EST time. The broadcast will start with the first Pro Moto then showcase amateur racing until 5 p.m. when the Pro’s take the track for their second moto.


News From GNCC, Sponsors and Riders

We are reaching out to the GNCC Racing family, since they have the best men. MX Sports Pro Racing needs 30 men for caution flagging at the High Point National in Mount Morris, PA.  The race is Saturday, June 13. 

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • In good physical condition
  • Be able to pick up a 450cc motorcycle

As consideration for your service, you will receive (2) MX Sports Pro Passes for your guests or family (these are the all-day pit passes and are good all weekend), free weekend camping, free race entry for Sunday’s amateur motocross race and free race entry to your next GNCC race.

If interested, please email [email protected].  Thanks! And we’ll see you at the races!