GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #20: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #20: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, May 21, 2015 | 5:25 PM
Thursday, May 21, 2015 | 5:25 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

Everyone is getting geared up and ready for this weekend’s Mountaineer Run GNCC. While it’s ultimately considered the “home race” for GNCC Racing as it’s only about 20 minutes from our office, I like to consider all races as a “home race” not only because GNCC racers come from all over the country, and around the world, but also because being at a GNCC event really just feels like being at home, and I’m sure many of you agree.

I always try to have Quick Fill ready to roll before I head to the track on Thursday mornings and a lot of times, I don’t make it to the track until Thursday, so I don’t have a lot of info to share from the woods that early. However, I went out to the track Tuesday afternoon and rode around a little bit while Barry Hawk was still figuring out a few options for the track, and I have to say, it’s going to be pretty fun! Barry actually even had me go piece together a little section as well. It’s been used before, but it’s been a few years and the quads have never used it before, so it’s going to be a little tight for you guys, but it’s a fun section and I think everyone will enjoy it.

I also went down below that trail and pieced together a little section that would have to only be for the Afternoon bike race because it’s pretty technical and it has a few wet spots that wouldn’t hold up for the entire weekend. I’m going to have to get the go-ahead from Barry and Jeff before it becomes part of the track for sure but it will definitely be a fun added challenge if it gets the okay. Stay tuned to social media to see what happens!

The rest of the track is exactly what you would expect at Mountaineer Run. There’s fast, flowing trails, slower tighter trails, and there’s a couple of rocks out there as well… Ok, there’s a lot of rocks out there but they’re definitely navigable and add a fun challenge as well. The pit and start layout is a bit different too, which is cool because it’s been the same as long as we’ve been racing there,  so mixing it up a little bit will be a nice change. So come on out and enjoy a great weekend of racing!

Here's quite the photo from last year's Mountaineer Run GNCC, we look forward to seeing everyone this weekend!
Here's quite the photo from last year's Mountaineer Run GNCC, we look forward to seeing everyone this weekend! Photo: Ken Hill

A GNCC Homecoming (Rodney Tomblin)

The Mountaineer Run GNCC has became a homecoming of sorts for the GNCC Racin' Nation. We all know that the series began with the Blackwater 100 a little over 40 years ago. That was the spark but the fire really got burning was the 100 Miler Series. It visited facilities close to where the Mountaineer Run is located. Literally 4 races I can think of located within an hour of where Marvin's Mountaintop is located. 

This offers a unique opportunity for many of the sports pioneers to return and see what exactly they helped create and most importantly to visit with old friends. It's kind of heartwarming to be able to see folks that have not been around for a while and to meet others from before my time in the mid 1990s.

Another thing that makes this place so spectacular is the setting. I know it seems like we often times talk of the picturesque views of the different places we go, and each one has their niche that makes them different, but there is something about the simplicity of this venue that touches me a little more than some others. It is from atop this mountain that I personally have witnessed some of the most beautiful scenes. If you make it just out past where the string fences have been in the past to mark the end of the camping area you may know what I am talking about. It is from there at the edge of the mountaintop that you can see one of the most amazing views on the tour.

You may wonder why I am so impressed by this view and there are at least a couple of reasons that will explain it all. The first thing is the beauty of it all. It is remarkable and peaceful and it gives a true perspective of why they say "Almost Heaven". The second thing is kind of what I said before, it's like a homecoming. When I look out over the mountain ranges I think of the places like Fairmont, Clarksburg, Uniontown and Mt Morris, only moments away and oh much of an impact the area alone has had on the off road racing world. I mean think about it, it is a World Premier event that goes to some of the most interesting and historical places on the planet and it all started as a small dream that was shared by so many in this small area. Who would have thought it would be what is today. 

So as you make your way around this weekend take a moment to soak it all in. It is a great opportunity to give back to our roots and pay homage to the mountains and the pioneers that help create the America's greatest off-road racing experience. The Moutaineer Run could just as easily be called the Pioneer Run and it would be just as fitting. In my opinion I hope this is a venue we see grow and become one of those special must attend events.

Walker Fowler will look to earn another win this weekend!
Walker Fowler will look to earn another win this weekend! Photo: Ken Hill

4-Wheeled Frenzy (Jared Bolton)

Rodney usually covers the ATV side of things, but since he dove into what kind of mayhem to expect from the UTV crowd, that left the door wide open for me to discuss the ATV guys, and that doesn’t happen often because Rodney usually has you guys pretty well covered! 

Speaking of well covered, Adam McGill has the championship points lead covered at the moment. While Walker Fowler has more wins, he still sits 18 points behind McGill due to a little bit of bad luck here and there. However, Walker was absolutely on fire in New York and comes into this weekend’s Mountaineer Run with the momentum from that win.

Of course, you can’t count out Adam McGill who will ultimately be looking to maintain his points lead. With the way things are shaping up, we’re looking at the chance of having yet another interesting battle for the ATV championship. A big question though, is who else can come away with an overall win this season?

Chris Bithell also has a win to his credit this season and was running strong in New York as well before having a few issues slow him down. There’s also Jarrod McClure who has been having his best season to date and is hungry for his first career overall win. Then of course, you can never rule out Chris Borich. The 6-time GNCC champion has had his struggles this year but one thing is for sure, and it’s that you can never count out number one.

Kailub Russell will focus on getting back to the center of the podium this weekend
Kailub Russell will focus on getting back to the center of the podium this weekend Photo: Ken Hill

A Big Question Mark? (Jared Bolton)

After Chris Bach’s breakthrough performance at the Tomahawk GNCC two weeks ago, it could leave people wondering who else could step up to claim a win against Kailub Russell. Or, does KR go back to his winning ways, and how long can he make a win streak last? Kailub admitted that Bach beat him straight up and that he struggled with bike setup throughout the race. On the flipside, Bach made some last-minute setup changes to his machine, which were in the right direction and made his day that much easier.

There’s no doubt that any sort of racing is more about the rider piloting the machine than the machine itself. However, at the top tier levels, a machine that’s properly set to your liking will make a huge difference. Not only being physically uncomfortable on the machine, but it can also change your mental mindset to where you’re focused more on what needs to be done to the bike, opposed to focusing on what’s actually going on in the race. That’s yet another thing that makes our sport so special. Not only do you have to be physically tough, but being a mentally tough racer is an advantage as well.

KR’s early season domination undoubtedly got into the mental game of other riders. Everyone has looked at him as the man to beat, and now that it’s been show that he can be beaten, that’s going to increase everyone else’s mental toughness, and they’re going to come into this round ready to have their chance to win. However, at the same time, Kailub will be looking for redemption. While 2nd place is an excellent finish, KR wants to win and that’s exactly what he’ll be looking to do this weekend. He too can use the mental toughness, and frustration from coming up short of the win at the previous round and let that push him to ride that much harder.

KR will ultimately have a target on his back, but the only target he will see will be the checkered flag. With this kind of racing action to look forward to, the Mountaineer Run has the blueprints to be one of the most exciting races we’ve seen so far this season.

The UTV action is back this weekend at the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC! Don't forget to watch these guys Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on!
The UTV action is back this weekend at the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC! Don't forget to watch these guys Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on! Photo: Ken Hill

Those Crazy UTVs Are Back (Rodney Tomblin)

After a two-race break, GNCC welcomes back the newest addition to the weekend schedule. The UTV and Ace races will return on Saturday. The new Polaris Single Seat race take place at 9:00am following Youth ATV on Saturday morning. This is a new championship that has already yielded some exciting action this season.

After 2 rounds in the Single Seat category, there is a three way for first as the results from round 2 show the same top 5, but in nearly a flip-flop order. This is interesting to me because it shows that there may be some stiff competition in this division. The first round was won by the young Sam Yokely, who is a nephew of William Yokely, and the younger brother of John Allen Yokely, who are both UTV drivers. The second round was won by Marc Spataro, who is a long time GNCC enthusiast that has raced ATVs and been a huge part of many of the top riders training programs. 

This round will be interesting from the Single Seat standpoint as the field stands wide open. Long time racers Josh Copeland and Doug Fortner are key players in this battle too. There are more to come as this is the newest form of racing and time will tell but I think that it may have a good niche. If nothing else, the battles we have been and will be treated to will be as epic as any we have seen as the heart of GNCC racing beats strong in this new class.

As far as the UTV racing is concerned, it looks like there’s a new player in town and his name is Treavis Poynter. He has been making a name for himself the past couple of seasons but this one could be the one that establishes him as a true power in the sport. You can read Tuesday Toolbox from this past week and get to know more about him and you can watch him go for the win on Saturday evening at the track or on RacerTV.coms GNCC Live. 

Treavis opened the season with the win and finished second to defending champ Kyle Chaney. These two may be the next big stars in that sport and GNCC. Poynter has been the most consistent and shown great strides last season in this, as has Chaney. This may end up being a true rivalry in the making and we could be witnessing some of the greatest moments in this sport. As unpredictable as this division is, the teams and drivers are figuring strategies out and getting together game plans to not only place well in a race but also to finish. It is one of the more demanding of the weekend on equipment and it takes the skill of a good driver, with a good head to bring all together. In the heat of battle who can stay coolest may be the one who comes out on top.

Chris Bach has been the only one to stop Russell this year so far, can he make it two-in-a-row?
Chris Bach has been the only one to stop Russell this year so far, can he make it two-in-a-row? Photo: Ken Hill

The Challengers (Jared Bolton)

While Kailub Russell leads the way, the XC1 class is still full of talent that is looking to breakthrough for their next groundbreaking performance. Chris Bach has shown that he has what it takes to come away with podiums and even race wins, but he’s not the only one that has put together a challenge this season.

Grant Baylor was the first rider all season to mount a true challenge against Kailub Russell as Grant led portions of the Limestone 100 before KR finally pulled away from him. In Grant’s first year in the XC1 class, he’s logged 2 podiums and 4 top five finishes. Of course, he’s not the only one that has put together an impressive season thus far as Thad Duvall has also seen his fair share of success.

Unfortunately, a hard crash took Thad out of contention in New York but he’s also shown that he has become one of the more consistent podium threats. Thad’s luck has definitely turned around from what it was a few years ago when it seemed like he would suffer some sort of mechanical issue at every single round. With 3 podiums so far this season, Thad has shown that he’s also one of the true contenders in GNCC Racing.

Ryan Sipes broke through for his first podium of the season in New York. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance out of Sipes all season but he hasn’t quite been able to put an entire race together until New York. Sipes is definitely figuring the GNCC game out, and with a little more work, he very well could become a consistent podium threat.

Of course there’s always Josh Strang. The 2010 GNCC champ logged 4 second place finishes in the first 4 rounds, and a 4th in Indiana before seemingly disappearing into the field in New York after a solid start. It came out after the race that Strang had suffered a shoulder injury in a practice crash the week before. The big question now is, how will Strang be feeling this weekend?

Kailub Russell won his first-ever National Enduro at last weekend's Lead Belt in Missouri
Kailub Russell won his first-ever National Enduro at last weekend's Lead Belt in Missouri Photo: Shan Moore

#ThrowbackThursday (Jared Bolton)

At last weekend’s Lead Belt National Enduro in Missouri, Kailub Russell finally broke through to claim his first-ever National Enduro win and further extended his National Enduro points lead. For those who may have missed it before, I mentioned a couple of months ago that with Kailub contesting both the National Enduro and GNCC series, he has the chance to make history in a couple of different ways.

First of course, no rider has ever won both the GNCC and National Enduro titles in the same year. In fact, Charlie Mullins is the only rider to have titles in both series, period! While there’s multiple riders who have claimed wins in both series, to my knowledge, Kailub and his dad Jeff are the only father and son duo to hold GNCC and National Enduro overall wins. AND, if Kailub claims the National Enduro title, they’ll be the only father-son duo to hold National Enduro titles.

KR and JR are the also the only father-son duo to both hold GNCC overall bike wins, while the only other father-son duo to hold GNCC overall wins are Thad and Chad Duvall (Chad claimed multiple ATV overall wins in his day). As for National Enduro, well, it’s harder to find old results from former National Enduro events since the series is made up of races hosted by individual clubs/promoters.

However, John Penton did claim a National Enduro title in 1969, and multiple wins through his career. His son, Jack, also claimed his fair share of National Enduro wins, including finishing runner-up in the 1970 National Enduro championship. Unfortunately for Jack, he was only 15 when the season began and since the National Enduros required you to have a drivers license, the AMA withdrew the points he earned before turning 16. Had that never happened, Jack very well could have claimed a National Enduro title as well!


Walker Fowler Looks to Earn Fourth Victory at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC

Video Report: Tomahawk Bikes

Video Report: Tomahawk ATVs

Tuesday Toolbox: Treavis Poynter

Watch GNCC on NBCSN This Sunday at 5 PM ET


What's New on

The Racer X Show with Greg White returns to tonight to recap racing from the past weekend and more. The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season began this past weekend at Hangtown Motocross in Sacramento, California where GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac put together an incredible ride to come away with the 450 class overall win in dominating fashion while the defending 250 champion, Jeremy Martin showed that his championship last season was no fluke as he would claim 250 class overall win. This week’s show highlights the racing action from both classes, as well as racing in the WMX class where defending series champion Marissa Markelon would come away with the win.

Meanwhile, in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania the fourth round of the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship took place at High Point Raceway where Joel Hetrick and Chad Wienen battled back and forth for both motos in their bids for the overall win. This week’s show features the racing action between these two riders with Joel Hetrick claiming his second win of the season and taking over the championship points lead.

Also featured on this week’s show will be highlights from the Lead Belt National Enduro in Park Hills, Missouri where championship points leader Kailub Russell broke through for his first-ever National Enduro win, and extended his points lead.

For this week’s Yoshimura Road Racing segment, the show highlights racing action from round three of the 2015 MotoAmerica season held at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Virginia. Weekly favorites also return this week including information on where to watch racing action on television, or live in person.


Don't forget to set your DVR's or tune in after the LIVE coverage on Sunday. The FMF Steele Creek GNCC Bike Feature Show will be on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. ET!

News from GNCC, Riders or Sponsors

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!