GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #40: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #40: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, October 15, 2015 | 1:20 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2015 | 1:20 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

Another week has flown by and we’re now once again preparing ourselves to go GNCC Racing. This time we head to Powerline Park, which is home to some infamous mudholes, and a history of some great racing. With the ATV National Championship still up for grabs, and a number of bike riders looking for a win before the end of the season, we undoubtedly could be treated to another epic Powerline Park event.

We’ve also got some really cool trophies for the overall ATV and bike winners at Powerline Park. Aaron Seymour with Motocross Metal Fabrication specializes in making trophies and other cool items from motorcycle parts, and he made some special powerlines, incorporating some spoke nipples and a clutch basket into it as well. These are super cool and the guys that take these handmade beauties home will be extra lucky!

While Powerline Park is always full of excitement, it’s also a reminder that the season is coming to a close. Of course, the Ironman is another event that everyone looks forward to and it’s an excellent way to cap off the season. Speaking of the Ironman, don’t forget that it will be a “pink race” once again so get your pink gear, including your special pink numberplate backgrounds which you can get from Powersport Grafx at this link:

Don’t forget that Single Seat and UTV racing returns for the final two rounds as well. We actually haven’t seen these racers in action since the John Penton back in June, so they’re all going to be anxious to get back to racing. The championship is still up for grabs, and while Kyle Chaney holds a commanding lead, anything can happen. It’s definitely going to be good to watch it all unfold this weekend, and again at Ironman. 

The good news is this weekend's weather looks to be a bit nicer than our last round.
The good news is this weekend's weather looks to be a bit nicer than our last round. Photo: Ken Hill

Weekly Updates (Chelsea Taylor)

It looks like we are in for a great weekend of racing at Powerline Park, even with the forecasted chilly temperatures the rain looks as if it will hold off making for some great track conditions! Although I think anything is going to be better than the last round!

Although Andrew Delong is taking off the rest of the season to heal from some pretty gnarly injuries, he has some big plans for 2016! I don’t use the word gnarly often, actually I can’t remember the last time that I did, but after listening to Pit Pass Moto on Tuesday night I think that’s the only way to describe his season. You can find out more about Andrew’s hopes for 2016 in his interview by clicking HERE, just forward to the 1:26:44 mark to get straight to Andrew’s part!

This weekend at Powerline Park we will have the Wheelie Wizard performing a show at 7:30 on the starting lines! I was able to watch him at the Ironman Pro MX National, and trust me you won’t want to miss it! After the show is over you can head on over and make memories on the mechanical bull, it’s sure to be a good time!

While we finalize registration for the banquet, go ahead and reserve your room with the special group discount of $120 + tax at the Waterfront Place Hotel. The group code for making reservations online is 282101. To reserve click HERE or call toll free 1-866-STAY-WPH and mention “2015 Night of Champions” to receive the group rate. In order to receive the group rate, please make reservations no later than December 4.

That’s all I have for now, I’m looking forward to spending another great weekend with you all this weekend at Powerline Park!

Adam McGill is still in the hunt for the ATV Championship!
Adam McGill is still in the hunt for the ATV Championship! Photo: Ken Hill

The Line (Rodney Tomblin)

This year we celebrate 14 years of racing at the Powerline Park GNCC, which means it will be the 15th running. So many times this “penultimate” round of racing has produced championship scenarios where it can be won or lost depending on the outcome. It is also a race where some riders make the step up to begin to test the waters for the next level. It is a race where sometimes new alliances and sponsorships are unveiled for the upcoming season. It also can be one the biggest shockers of the year and Powerline Park could not be a more fitting GNCC venue for this round in the series.

The very first pro GNCC races in 2001 were won by Fred Andrews on the bike and Bill Ballance on the quad. Little did either know that this round would eventually be one of the longest running races on the series. At nearly a decade and a half, St. Clairsville’s Powerline has offered some exciting moments that are forever etched into the memories of GNCC fans.

As mentioned, Ohio’s Fred Andrews won the inaugural Powerline Park GNCC and he also won the second running in 2002. These were win numbers 23 and 24 of his 25 total overall wins. Win 25 for Andrews came the following season at Big Buck, which also holds a special place in GNCC history. For Freddy, it may have marked the end of the line in a way but he also left an everlasting mark in GNCC that drew the line for all Ohio riders to try to cross. The only other true Buckeyes to do it have been Kailub Russell who was born grew up in Kingston, Ohio before moving to North Carolina and won the race in 2011 and 2012 a full decade after Andrews. Then western Ohio native Charlie Mullins won in 2013 but he too now calls North Carolina home. So I guess if we draw the line, Freddy is the only technically Ohio rider to ever win this race.

The ATV side of GNCC never saw an Ohio native win at Powerline until the young Walker Fowler made his way onto the scene in 2013. Fowler won again in 2014 when the chips were down in his dogfight of a battle during his bid for last year’s title with Chris Borich. This year the Buckeye is hoping the home soils are as sweet as they have been as this could be the maker or breaker for Walker’s title fight in 2015.

Adam McGill who sits behind in points has a bittersweet relationship with this Ohio track. Once nearly drowning in a mud hole after missing a turn in blind dust when he rode for factory KTM could be the bitter. Insult to injury that day was the fact it was cold out and McGill nearly froze before getting to warmth. Then of course McGill would find redemption in 2012. Even though it was a win Adam can’t help but feel Powerline still owes him a big spoonful of sweet. The McGill Mafia will be out in full force battling with the Fowler Fanatics to try and keep Adam’s championship hopes alive as it all comes down to “the line.”  

Who do you think will be next?
Who do you think will be next? Photo: Ken Hill

Now Who’s Next? (Jared Bolton)

Continuing along with the theme of the past few weeks, everyone seems to be question who will be the next rider to step up to claim an overall win before the end of the season. Thad Duvall broke through at the Mountain Ridge GNCC to claim his first overall win since the ultra-muddy Mammoth GNCC in 2013. However, the Yamaha boys of Grant Baylor and Jordan Ashburn both led portions of the race and showed that they also want to snag their first-ever GNCC overall wins.

Theoretically, Grant Baylor seems to be a top choice for most people as the next winner. Grant has shown several glimpses of brilliance throughout the 2015 season, but just hasn’t been able to hold onto the number 1 spot. However, a win wouldn’t come easy as Ryan Sipes will be looking for his first overall win as well. We’ve discussed all of these guys, plus others over the past few weeks and they all have a good shot at the win.

However, lets go a little deeper and break it down a little further. The favorites to come away with a win at Powerline Park are Grant Baylor, Ryan Sipes, Josh Strang, Thad Duvall, Chris Bach, and Jordan Ashburn. While Powerline Park is a pretty typical GNCC course, it presents some unique challenges in the way of it’s famous mudholes, rolling terrain, and a generally rough track.  When you look at that, it doesn’t really narrow any of these guys down because they’re all good in this type of terrain. So, let’s dig further.

Josh Strang has the most Powerline Park success of all these riders with 2 wins and 2 additional podium finishes at Powerline, and a 3rd place in 2010 was good enough to give Strang the 2010 GNCC championship. The rest of the mentioned riders have seen up and down luck at Powerline Park. Thad Duvall made his way onto the Powerline Park podium in 2011, and just missed the podium in 2012. Outside of that, Thad hasn’t had much luck at Powerline. However, momentum from the Mountain Ridge win could be what it takes for Thad to overcome his Powerline misfortune and possibly contend for a win.

Chris Bach has had some decent Powerline Park finishes, dating back to claiming Top Amateur honors with an impressive 7th overall there in 2009. Chris actually missed the 2011 and 2012 Powerline Park events, and has finished 6th at Powerline the past 2 years, so he really hasn’t had the opportunity to have any real tough luck with Powerline, but he’ll definitely be looking to improve on 6th place from the past 2 seasons. Chris has shown he has what it takes to win, and the question is; can he do it again?

Jordan Ashburn has seen a bit of good luck at Powerline with a 3rd place last year, 5th in 2013, 2nd place in XC2 in 2011, and a top amateur finish with 11th overall in 2011. It’s no secret that Jordan likes the mud, and while the entire course may not be muddy, the muddy areas definitely play out to Jordan’s skills, so keep and eye on him this weekend as well.

Ryan Sipes is definitely toughest to break down. Ryan only has 1 Powerline Park event under his belt, and it was a tough day in the saddle that he probably doesn’t want to remember. However, Sipes has come a very long way in the off-road world in the past year. With an ISDE overall win, and National Enduro overall win to his credit, he’s still searching for that GNCC overall win. The thing about GNCC Racing is, you never know what could happen. Any of these guys, or others, can be the next to win. One thing is certain, it’s going to be a fun one to watch unfold!

Check out Jessica's interview with Motocross Action Magazine below!
Check out Jessica's interview with Motocross Action Magazine below! Photo: Ken Hill

Retirement Isn’t The End (Chelsea Taylor)

Some people may have been surprised to hear about Jessica Patterson retiring after this season. At first I know I was, but the more I think about it the more I understand the reasoning behind her decision. At Unadilla John Basher from Motocross Action Magazine was able to meet up with Jessica for an interview, and Jessica gave great insight to the world of female motocross and off-road racing. You can read the article by clicking HERE.

We constantly hear about gender equality, and right now there is a big debate on pay for males and females. That’s a whole other argument to make, but I think GNCC Racing provides females excellent opportunities in racing, and that through them and WMX that female motocross is on the rise.

As if being a female in a male dominated sport isn’t hard enough by itself. It makes it even more difficult trying to balance a family at the same time. Jessica brought up that it would be hard to ride while she was pregnant, and that’s something that female athletes face every day. Thankfully in the sport of motocross, once you retire that doesn’t mean it’s the end, and you can always come back and race any time especially in GNCC Racing. However, if you think of sports such as the WNBA once females stop playing to have a family, it is almost impossible for a team to pick them up again. Of course they can join rec leagues or play pick-up games, but never do they have the chance to be on that high of a competitive level again, in most situations. 

It’s hard to females to have a “normal” life and still chase their passion of racing, but knowing this we still participate in this sport and make sacrifices to do this. If it wouldn’t have been for this sport Jessica may have never met the love of her life and husband, Eddie Ray. Even though she may be hanging up the boots right now, the sport will always be with her. Although people quit racing for school or work, the friendships that are made through this sport are some of the strongest you may ever have in your life.

With this being said, I have faith that Jessica will still be around racing in the future. It’s an addicting sport, and after you swing that leg over the bike for the first time you’re hooked. Who knows, maybe in 20 years Eddie and Jessica’s children will be pulling holeshots and winning races rather it be from behind a gate or waiting until the blue flag waves.

The Powerline Park mudhole is sure to be a hit this coming weekend!
The Powerline Park mudhole is sure to be a hit this coming weekend! Photo: Ken Hill

Powerful Memories (Rodney Tomblin)

For me, the Powerline Park GNCC holds a number of memories. Chris Borich’s domination of this event with seven wins of at this event alone is a big one. Could this be the place where things turn back around for the champ? Who really knows but if he does it will be another great memory to reflect on in the future.

A few memories come to mind for me when I think of Powerline Park. Gus’s Mud Hole, which was at one time one of the major obstacles of the event, is now nothing more than a history marker of one of GNCC Racing’s homes. Then Dead Deer Hollow, where a dead deer was once found during building the track. Then there is Fly Island, which is a section of grassy area that the crew was attacked by a bunch of flies. Most of these historical markers don’t mean much but one of the most recent spots of legend that has come into being may hold some of the most powerful memories of the Powerline Park GNCC, and we are talking about Powerline Mud Hole. 

The Powerline Mud Hole has been the main place of attraction now for several years. It has been run both directions and even made easier but somehow it always gets really bad. This is really good for the GNCC faithful and the Mud Fleas appear from out of the woodworks and you get to see first hand why these people exist. I think it’s as simple as see how much you can help the worst guys off out there and how muddy you can get in the process. It’s a badge of honor for many.

One of the most powerful memories I have personally though of Powerline is the year that Barry Hawk and Shane Watts battled literally down to the final moments in 2003 when Wattsy pulled the pass in a large open grass field section and stood upon his seat and ghost rode the bike over the finish. Barry came back for redemption ultimately though by winning the championship that year and coming back in 2004 to capture the win at Powerline. Those are some powerful memories.

UTVs are back in action this weekend for their fifth round.
UTVs are back in action this weekend for their fifth round. Photo: Ken Hill

4x4 Pro and UTV Titles Heat Up! (Jared Bolton)

As we head to the penultimate round at Powerline Park, there’s another pair of National Championships still up for grabs with the 4x4 Pro class, and UTV. In the 4x4 Pro ranks, Bryan Buckhannon still holds the class points leads with 2 rounds remaining. However, it’s definitely not over yet!

Michael Swift sits just 14 points behind and has actually amassed more wins than Buckhannon, who hasn’t claimed the win since round 4 at Big Buck. Unfortunately for Swift, Buckhannon has stayed super consistent, never finishing off the podium through the 11 rounds we’ve raced so far. Swift’s teammate, Kevin Trantham actually has the most wins in the class, but sits 3rd in 4x4 Pro points due to being struck by tough luck here and there.

With the championship on the line, these guys are definitely going to be the ones to watch. They always add a big level of excitement to the morning ATV race, and with the championship battle heating up, these final two rounds could be some of the best racing the class has ever seen. Of course, the guys battling for the title aren’t the only ones who stand a chance to win as there’s numerous 4x4 Pro riders who have landed on the podium throughout the 2015 season.

The UTV ranks will be one to keep an eye on as well. Kyle Chaney holds good lead with 24 points over Larry Hendershot. However, Chaney will still have to stay on top of his game to keep his points lead. It’s been a really interesting year in the UTV ranks as some of the top drivers have been struck by bad luck earlier in the season. The defending champ, Chaney, has shown why he holds that number 1 plate but guys like Larry Hendershot and Mouse Pratt also want their shot at number one.

With the championship on the line, and a long break for these guys, these guys will be another group to keep an eye on this weekend as it very well could produce some of the best UTV racing to date.


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What's New on

GNCC Live returns this weekend for round 12 of the GNCC series from Powerline Park in Ohio. Be sure to catch all the action this weekend starting Saturday, October 17th at 1 p.m. EST for Pro ATV racing, followed by UTV racing at 4:30 p.m. EST. Then Sunday the Pro Bike race will be LIVE online starting at 1 p.m. EST.