GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #21: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #21: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 5:15 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 5:15 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

This week’s edition of Quick Fill comes to you atop Snowshoe Mountain. No, I’m not kidding either. Barry Hawk and myself have made the trek up to Snowshoe for a few days this week so Barry can get a head start on figuring out a good layout for the course, and I’m basically just kind of riding around getting stuck on logs and trying not to roll down the side of the mountain.

We actually went through some pretty gnarly stuff yesterday, which a lot of the gnarly stuff we went through won’t actually be used for the race but there’s still some pretty tough stuff that’s going to make it into the track. One that stands out in my mind is the rock garden the 1pm quads went through on the west side of the mountain in 2013. However, 10am and 1pm races will be going down it and it’s still tough going to be tough, but it definitely won’t be as bad as going up.

We also rode through some nasty, wet, gnarly stuff near Howard’s Hole and went up the steep downhill from 2013, but chances are that hill won’t make it into the course because it’s very wet at the bottom of it, and it would make it super tough after the first lap. Regardless, you’re still going to have the typical tough and technical Snowshoe course to look forward to and I’m sure we’ll find some more tough stuff today and tomorrow.

One important piece of info I got from the folks here at Snowshoe is that the Mountaintop Check-In at Top of the World is CLOSED for the summer and they ask that everyone please check-in at The Inn at Snowshoe, which is the hotel located at the base of the mountain. They said they’re planning on having big signs to let everyone know, and I’ll post a reminder before the race weekend as well.

They also ask that you stick to the check-in at the base of the mountain and not use the Alleghany Springs check-in either because there’s not enough room at Alleghany Springs to accommodate a large number of people trying to check-in, so please don’t try to come to the top of the mountain and check-in there.

Of course, we’ve still got the John Penton between now and Snowshoe but it’s never too early to get excited!

Nick Davis earned his second XC2 Pro Lites victory of the season
Nick Davis earned his second XC2 Pro Lites victory of the season Photo: Ken Hill

GNCC Racing Hits The Newspaper! (Kayla Olliver)

It's definitely cool that the local Preston County Newspaper had a full page dedicated to the 2015 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC. 


Local 250 A GNCC rider, Anthony Stone was also featured in the paper for winning the Top Amateur award on Sunday. 


Another Action-Packed Weekend! (Jared Bolton)

Last weekend’s Mountaineer Run GNCC finished with a similar picture of what we saw through the first five races with Kailub Russell once again claiming the overall win. However, his win definitely didn’t come without a challenge, and it wasn’t the first time we’ve seen someone step up and challenge KR this season.

This time it would be Ryan Sipes who would spend portions of the race swapping the lead with Kailub before KR was finally able to check out and pull away for the win. I’ve mentioned before that Sipes seems to be adjusting more and more to the GNCC world, and last weekend’s performance was another prime example of how well he’s been adjusting.

Sipes would end up coming away with a solid second place finish while Thad Duvall would round out the podium in third. Thad is another rider who has worked his way up to challenge the front of the pack multiple times this season. An unfortunate crash in New York would end his podium hopes there, but he rebounded in the West Virginia rocks for his fourth podium of the season.

Chris Bach also challenged the lead pack as well and battled with Thad Duvall and Grant Baylor throughout the day. These guys were all looking for that final podium spot, and watching those guys swap positions multiple times throughout the race made for some of the best racing on the track!

On the XC2 side, Nick Davis would return to the center of the podium after a string of bad luck through the last few races. Ricky Russell would also put together an excellent ride to return to the podium in second place. Tegan Temple landed his 2nd ever GNCC podium and has established himself as one of the guys to keep an eye on in the XC2 class.

After winning round six of the season, Chris Bach ended up with a fifth place at round sven
After winning round six of the season, Chris Bach ended up with a fifth place at round sven Photo: Ken Hill

Glory Days (Rodney Tomblin)

It is hard to believe that half of the 2015 AMSOIL GNCC Championship presented by Maxxis is now complete. As we have hoped, it has not been without its twists, turns and surprises. Who would have ever thought that Chris Borich would be searching for his first win of the season, or believed that there could be so many riders that would be contending for the ATV GNCC title? On the bike side, who would have pitted Ryan Sipes as a contender? I'm sure that in our wildest dreams we could see it and more coming. But really did we expect it? We also cannot deny that there is a new and improved Thad Duvall emerging. He has shown speed as well as maturity and wisdom aside from a bad get off in New York due to brake failure, he has been pretty spot on and shown increasingly stronger and determined rides. Now the question rises of "is there more to come?" It appears the answer to that question could be yes. 

The Mountaineer Run GNCC was just a small part of a big process that has been taking place all season. In both ATV and motorcycle racing we have seen amazing things happening. No one can deny the nail biting action occurring with ATV battles on Saturday and the fact that some riders are starting to find a flow that makes Kailub Russell work harder for his wins on Sundays. The level of competition is raising and we are witnessing it right before our very eyes. 

One day in the future there will be stories told around campfires of this GNCC Racin' Nation season. They will speak of the great battles, the changing of guards, the rise of desperation, the heart of determination and the emergence of new eras. The names will be etched in memories and will seem larger than life.  

Who would have ever thought that now would be the beginning of such great lore? One can only hope and dream to be a part of something so big. At the moment we do not realize what is happening. Things have been going by at such a fever pitch that it's hard to stop and slow down to see what is going on. It feels like a dream and each day brings something unexpected. It can be good or it can seem bad, but it's all a part of the story and in the end each moment has it's place.

As the summer break approaches, we will be left with even more questions leading into the final stretch this fall. Another interesting perspective is that there is still plenty to unfold over the next two rounds. The John Penton GNCC has historically thrown it's own curves, and this year could be the biggest yet. Weather is always a factor there no matter what it is. Sunny and hot, cool and rainy, dry and dusty or wet and muddy it doesn't matter, because something always happens at John Penton to mix things up. As far as the Snowshoe GNCC goes, it is more unpredictable than a Florida GNCC. Literally anything can happen there and if you want a game changer and a chance to see a season turn from good to bad or bad to good, this is a place to see it happen.

What exactly are we witnessing? Aside from the best racing we have seen in a long time, we are witnessing history being made. We are watching legends be born, and we are seeing the fruits of labor. We are living dreams that have been dreamed by some for over four decades. We are living the new "Glory Days" of GNCC.

Adam McGill still holds the points lead as we head to the Wiseco John Penton on June 6-7
Adam McGill still holds the points lead as we head to the Wiseco John Penton on June 6-7 Photo: Ken Hill

Anyone Checked Out the Points? (Jared Bolton)

So there really hasn’t been a ton of talk on the championship points chase. We’re seven rounds into the 2015 season, which is over halfway, and it’s past time for riders to start looking at what their chances are in the series points. 

Keep in mind that the National Championship is based off the overall points and NOT class points. On the bike side, Kailub Russell holds a commanding 79 point lead. However, there’s been a shake up for second. After not scoring any points at the previous two rounds, Josh Strang has now dropped to third, and Grant Baylor has worked his way into second. Chris Bach sits fourth ahead of Thad Duvall who rounds out the top five. Bach is only 3 points behind Strang for third, so if Strang’s shoulder isn’t healed by the John Penton, and Bach continues to be as consistent as he has been recently, then we may have a new third place rider as well.

In the XC2 class, former class champion Jason Thomas is showing that he has what it takes to come away with an XC2 championship as he holds a 40 point lead over Layne Michael. Mr. Consistent, Craig Delong didn’t have ideal races the previous 2 rounds as he finished outside the top 5 for the first time in New York, and had issues again at Mountaineer Run which cost him positions. However, his early consistency still paid off as he still holds third place in the XC2 points.

The really interesting action is happening on the ATV side! Adam McGill still holds the championship points lead with a 27 point lead over Walker Fowler. They both have 3 wins each, but a little misfortune from Walker has cost him positions and valuable points.  Jarrod McClure continues his excellent season and sits third place with 3 podium finishes, and a solid top 5 last weekend.

Chris Borich has put together a season that many riders would be happy with. However, for the 6-time and defending champion, it’s considered to be tough season. Everyone expected Borich to once again be battling for the championship, not sitting 66 points behind. Chris Bithell has had a pretty good season as well, claiming a win in the mud of Indiana and 4 addition top five finishes, Bithell actually sits just 1 point behind Borich in fifth.

As for the 4x4 Pro guys, Bryan Buckhannon shows why he’s the defending class champion as he’s the only one to have finished on the podium at every race so far. Kevin Trantham sits 2nd place in class points, but Michael Swift is just one point behind Trantham. These two have battled back and forth many times, and with valuable points on the line, it might be worth keeping an eye on the morning ATV ranks!

Angel Knox grabbed her fourth win of the season! Kylie Ahart and Alicia McCormick rounded out the podium in West Virginia
Angel Knox grabbed her fourth win of the season! Kylie Ahart and Alicia McCormick rounded out the podium in West Virginia Photo: Ken Hill

Women's Racing Heating Up (Kayla Olliver)

Things seem to be intensifying in the afternoon races, but the women that race in the morning races are definitely heating things up too!

This past weekend at the 4th annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC, Angel Knox seemed to be the girl on fire during the morning ATV WXC race! She led every lap, except one during the 2-hour morning race.  Knox, who is trying to defend her WXC title, is currently fourth in points. However, with the way she has been riding it is going to be hard for someone to stop her! There are two other’s that have been able to get some wins under their belt this season however though, Kylie Ahart and current points leader, Alicia McCormick. McCormick leads the points with 131, while Ahart sits second with 127.

While on the bike side it seems like everything has worked in favor of Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez, there have been some moments that were simply not in her favor. This past weekend Martinez had an early lead in the race, but on lap two would come around in fourth! Ashley Copeland would come around lap two as the new leader. Copeland led laps 2-4, but Martinez was on the move and determined to earn her sixth win of the season. On the last lap Martinez would gain the lead, followed by Becca Sheets, Rachel Gutish rounding out the WXC  top three.

Everyone at home may not see the excitement in these morning races because they are not live on, but believe us they are just as exciting as the afternoon races at times. The battle for the championship may also not seem as exciting, but the battle for second, third and even fourth have heated up. In the WXC bike championship only one point separates Jessica Patterson taking third from Rachel Gutish, and likewise in the WXC ATV championship. Only three points separate the defending champion, Angel Knox from taking third place from Kara Merritt.

If you find yourself heading to a GNCC race, don't think the exciting races happen in the afternoon, make sure you get there to check out the 10 a.m. race. You can bet that these rad women will be racing to the finish!

Ryan Sipes (264) has been steadily improving all season long, he even lead parts of the Mountaineer Run GNCC last weekend 
Ryan Sipes (264) has been steadily improving all season long, he even lead parts of the Mountaineer Run GNCC last weekend  Photo: Ken Hill

He Has Arrived (Rodney Tomblin)

It has been building for a season and a half now, and Ryan Sipes has finally broken through. Yes he landed a podium at the Ironman last season, but more impressing has been what he has accomplished this season. Anyone that knows racing knows there is a transition often times between disciplines. Ryan knew this, but admittedly did not realize how big it was going to be. As a professional motocross racer, he knew he had the speed and growing up riding the woods as a kid he felt he had the skills. It has just taken him longer than he expected it would to make the step from racing to contending for wins. 

The 2015 season for Sipes has been a slow building process. The results show an up and down performance the first few rounds then a steady improvement with two sixth places followed by a third and this past weekends second to show the steady improvement he has been making all season.

The Tomahawk GNCC was the first real glimpse of how long and well Sipes could hang at the front-runners speed. Then, at The Mountaineer Run we saw not only how fast and how long, but how close he may be to being the next big challenge for Kailub Russell. If you wonder how Kailub feels about it you may not be surprised that he actually kind of enjoys the challenge. He by no means wants to be beaten, but he likes a good battle like anyone and enjoys the competition. I didn't speak much with Russell but I did say to him on Sunday, "Good race! Boy Ryan was on it today!" He smiled and said, "Yes he was. That was fun!" 

After the race I went over and spoke with Ryan for a short time and told him the same thing. He was still reeling from the whole day and said how much fun it was. Ryan told me that he knew it was going to be tough to make the step from Moto to off-road, but had not expected it to be as quite as what it was. He said he grew up riding and training in the woods of Kentucky where weather was wet and muddy, and the Moto tracks were often too wet to ride. He also said that GNCC was nothing like a trail ride.

Ryan said, "I may have spent a little too much energy in the early part of the race but man it was fun leading. I like those speeds and I know I can do it. I just knew that I would wear myself out. And it hit me the third hour." Then he chuckled and said he knew what he needed to work on and that there was a lot more to do. Even though he wore himself down, it didn't seem like his speed started to really fade until almost the two and a half hour mark. That it was impressive. However, Ryan said he was well spent before that and was riding on adrenaline for a while. 

So whether or not we will see a repeat performance of the last two great rides is yet to be determined, but anyone who has been in this game for as long as I have will notice certain things when riders begin to rise to the level and right now all things point to the rise of Ryan Sipes to becoming a true GNCC contender and possible great one day. Welcome Ryan Sipes to the GNCC Racin' Nation.


Kailub Russell Returns to Center of the Podium at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC

Adam McGill Back on Top with Home State Win at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC

2015 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC Photos

Tuesday Toolbox: Chris Bach


What's New on

The Racer X Show with Greg White returns tonight to recap the exciting racing that took place this past weekend, plus interviews with riders and more!

Round two of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship took place in San Bernardino, California for the FMF Glen Helen National. Eli Tomac would continue his strong start to the season, and claim both moto wins along with the overall. In the 250 class, Marvin Musquin would come away with both moto wins, and take the points lead along with the red number plate to round three.

The 2015 AMSOIL GNCC Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship took place in Masontown, West Virginia for the 4th annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC. The rough and rocky terrain challenged many of the riders on both ATVs and bikes. Adam McGill would earn the ATV win in front of his home state crowd, although Walker Fowler battled through to challenge McGill. On the bike side, Kailub Russell and Ryan Sipes would battle back and forth all afternoon, with Thad DuVall coming in third overall.

Also featured this week is AMA Pro Flat Track from Springfield, Illinois and our host Greg White talks with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Jake Lewis. Check out The Racer X Show with Greg White now, only on also returns to the ATVMX National this weekend for LIVE coverage from round five at Ironman Raceway. This Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET tune into for all the LIVE coverage from the Inaugural Ironman ATVMX National.  GNCC

News from GNCC, Riders and Sponors

The USA ISDE Trophy Teams are excited to present the second annual golf tournament team fundraiser at Snowshoe Mountain Resort’s Raven Golf Club on Friday, June 19. This unique golf tournament will assist in the team’s efforts to represent USA at the 2015 running of the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Kosice, Slovakia on Sept. 7-12.

The golf tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. on Friday morning, and will run until approximately 3:30 p.m. Participants will get to play 18 holes of golf on a championship-caliber golf course, ranked the No. 2 public golf course in the state of West Virginia by GolfWeek Magazine. Many of the USA Trophy riders will be participating in this event, which provides a unique opportunity to spend time with some of the most talented off-road racers in the world.

Each team is made up of four players and space is limited, so get your team registered early by completing the online registration form. Individual participants are also welcome and will be assigned to a team at random. The cost is $100 per person, which includes a meal at the end of the round of golf. 

All proceeds from the event will go directly to the USA ISDE Team to help fund the transportation of our athletes to this prestigious event. If you have questions about this event or would like to learn how to donate to the team, please contact [email protected]