GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #1: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #1: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, January 7, 2016 | 3:50 PM
Thursday, January 7, 2016 | 3:50 PM

Welcome to the first Quick Fill of 2016.

The weeks still continue to tick away as we work closer and closer to the beginning of the 2016 GNCC season. The good news is, we’re now officially into the New Year and that means that we’re starting to see the final off-season preparations beginning to take place. From here, it becomes all about riding and off-season racing as the winter break starts to wind down. In fact, there’s already been some racing going on and we’ll have some more details on that a little later.

We also do have some unfortunate news to share this week. Over the years many GNCC family members have came to know Darrell Raines, who is the father of multi-time GNCC race winner and National Hare Scramble Champ, Jason Raines. Darrell passed away yesterday morning in his home state of Washington. Darrell and Jason were a fixture in GNCC Racing for a number of years with Jason contending for championships through the mid-2000s.

Even after Jason stepped away from full-time racing to focus on his riding schools, Darrell still worked with the AmPro Yamaha team for a number of years and had an incredibly positive impact on all those who knew him. Everyone with GNCC Racing would like to send our condolences to the Raines Family on their loss. Darrell was a great man who would go well out of his way to help you anyway you needed and will be missed by many.

The 2016 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Off-Road team is ready for 2016!
The 2016 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Off-Road team is ready for 2016! Photo: Courtesy of Husqvarna

Weekly Updates (Chelsea Taylor)

With the off season in full swing, there isn’t too many updates for this week. If you weren’t able to attend the banquet you can still receive your trophy and contingency. Click HERE to fill out all the information, and you’ll be responsible for covering the shipping which has been running around $15-20. The deadline is February 1.

There have been a lot of announcements regarding new teams for 2016. The dynamic duo, KTM and Husqvarna, recently announced their team members. In regards to GNCC racing Andrew Delong and Josh Strang will be representing the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Off-Road team, both running their career numbers. Kailub Russell, Kacy Martinez and Charlie Mullins will all be returning to the Factory FMF/KTM team. Although the team members seem to be staying the same, Kacy will be transitioning to the National Enduro Series. She’ll still be defending her GNCC National title, but will now have her eyes set on two National Championships in the 2016 season.

Ricky Russell will be trading in his Yamaha for his brand-new ride with Obermeyer MCS Suzuki Racing team. He’ll be joining Chris Douglas who recently made the switch to the team just last season. Russell will also be making his Pro XC1 debut, and with two professionally ranked riders the Obermeyer MCS Suzuki Racing team will be one to keep your eye on! 

GNCC Racing sends out condolences to the Raines Family on the passing of Jason Raines father, Darrell.
GNCC Racing sends out condolences to the Raines Family on the passing of Jason Raines father, Darrell.

Randomness With Rodney (Rodney Tomblin)

This weekend though I will fill my #racehole with a little Amsoil Arenacross in Cincinnati for the kick-off to that championship. It will be one of the rare times I actually get to spectate and absolutely nothing is expected of me from a work standpoint. So minus Christmas and maybe one other off weekend since the seasons conclusion I will be technically off and expect to enjoy it to it’s fullest. I will have the kids with me so there should be no reason to search the court records on Monday to see just exactly how much fun I do have. They should keep me in check and I hope to have something cool to share next week.

Last weekend I had the honor of working with long time promoter Drew Wolfe of Action Sports Promotions. It was 30 years ago or so that the first Huntington Indoor Motocross Championships was held and it was a privilege to be there knowing the history that the arena holds. It may not be the biggest event I do these days but it means as much as any I have ever announced.

One thing I was able to take away from last weekend’s event that may actually parallel GNCC Racing is the fact that I ran into the folks at Bonzi Racing who will be fielding a GNCC Team in 2016. Kevin told me they will be out in full force come Florida and there will be some familiarity to the team. You may remember they made a few guest appearances last season kind of testing the waters and look like they are ready to take the plunge. I will get the full scoop on the team but I know that motocrosser Levi Kilbarger has been approached to be the XC1 rider for the team but he said he would rather help more behind the scenes and at least in the beginning he will be doing all the suspension for the team.

I did just notice a few minutes ago while cruising social media that XC2 Pro Lites contender Nick Davis has announced his engagement to his now fiancé. Congratulations to them both and all the warm wishes for a bright future ahead. There was no mention of when or where anything would be taking place but I am sure that when the time comes everyone will be informed.

On a sad note, condolences for former GNCC contender and 6 time AMA National Hare Scramble Champion Jason Raines and his family. The GNCC Racin’ Nation lost a great man with the passing of Darrell Raines. I understand Jason’s loss having lost my father a year ago yesterday. Many positive thoughts and prayers are needed during this time and if you can take a moment I know it will mean more than you can ever realize. Godspeed Darrell.

That’s about all the random I can come up with for the moment. I know next week should yield some more solid information as my feelers are already out looking for the action. So it looks like that may it from me for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

Kevin Yoho snagged a win at the opening round of the SORCS Winter Series in Georgia!
Kevin Yoho snagged a win at the opening round of the SORCS Winter Series in Georgia! Photo: Ken Hill

Racing Down South (Jared Bolton)

So it begins. GNCC racers are beginning to make their way down south for various races, off-season riding and more. This past weekend saw a couple of highly contested races taking place down south and if these two are any indication of what we’ve got to look forward to for the rest of the winter, then we’re in for some great off-season racing action.

The SORCS Series held the first round of their winter series at The Sandbox in Wrens, Georgia. For those who may not know, the SORCS Series has gained a big following in the Georgia area in the past few years and Eddie who runs the SORCS Series was a huge help in securing our new venue with the Cannonball GNCC in Georgia, as that’s a venue the SORCS Series has raced for several years.

The SORCS winter races see a format similar to that of GNCC Racing with quads on Saturday and bikes on Sunday. This opening round also seemed like a smaller version of a GNCC with a stacked field of talent on both the quad and bike side. Saturday’s ATV race would kick off with Kevin Yoho taking the early lead over Cody Collier. Kevin and Cody would actually dominate the race with Kevin coming away with the win over Cody while Hunter Hart worked his way from as far back as sixth place to come away with third.

Sunday’s bike race saw another huge turnout, and a number of top contenders in the Pro class. For those who may have missed the info, Charlie Mullins is back on the bike and made his 2nd race appearance since Ironman 2014. He’d do it in style too as Charlie would jump out to an early lead over Grant Baylor and 2015 GNCC Top Amateur, Zack Hayes. However, a mid-race entanglement with a vine would leave Charlie with some pretty nasty scratches on his neck while Grant Baylor would work his way into the lead.

When the checkered flag flew, Baylor would come away with the win over Mullins and Zack Hayes. That’s a great ride for each of these guys, as they’ll all have their hands full of competition in 2015. Baylor and Mullins will be back in the XC1 class, while Zack Hayes will be making the transition to the XC2 class. SORCS will be in action again this weekend in Cochran, Georgia for the Fun Run, then on January 23/24 it continues to Sparta, Georgia just down the road from where round two of the 2016 GNCC season will take place.

Then of course if you want a sneak peek of what you’re in store for at the Cannonball, SORCS will be hosting a winter series round at that venue on February 6th and 7th. Overall, these are good, fun races that serve as a great pre-season training time. Also, if you get to the race and realize you need some sort of part or gear, the folks from follow the SORCS series and have a truckload of parts to check out! So if you’re looking to make a trip south, check out the races at

Congratulations to Angel Knox on her recent pregnancy! The big question for the WXC ATV class is, who is next to win?
Congratulations to Angel Knox on her recent pregnancy! The big question for the WXC ATV class is, who is next to win? Photo: Ken Hill

New Year, New You? (Chelsea Taylor)

We are now seven days into 2016, are you still going strong on your New Year’s resolution? Personally, I didn’t make a resolution, because I’m typically one of those people who views every day as a new day so the fact that we have to start writing 2016 on everything doesn’t really affect me. However, maybe you are the opposite and this year you have decided that you are going to change something in regards to your lifestyle.

The most common resolution is to lose weight, but I think the off-road community takes a different spin on their resolutions. ATV WXC racer Kara Merritt has always been focused on racing, but with the new year also brings new opportunities. With the recent announcement Angel Knox’s pregnancy (Congrats to the Knox family!), this opens the door for a new ATV WXC champion.

Kara has been training hard and is fully focused on making the most out of the new season. She even has a countdown going until the first round starts, which, if you’re wondering is only 57 days away! With Kara’s passion for the sport mixed with the competitive Kyle Ahart, Katelyn Osburn and others, the 2016 WXC class is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

#ThrowbackThursday with Glenn Kearney in 2007! GK is arguably one of the greatest racers to never claim a GNCC overall win!
#ThrowbackThursday with Glenn Kearney in 2007! GK is arguably one of the greatest racers to never claim a GNCC overall win! Photo: GNCC Archives

The Rest of the Best (Jared Bolton)

Over the past few weeks I’ve thought a lot about the upcoming 2016 GNCC season, but also about some of the seasons past. As with any form of racing, we see faces come and go. From racers to mechanics and other team members, staff members, racer families and more. The more I thought about that, the more I thought about some of the incredible riders that never really made it to that top tier level and even some top riders who never progressed past their transition to the Pro ranks. 

In the history of GNCC Racing, there’s been a huge number of riders make their way to the top step of a GNCC podium. There have also been incredible riders to never earn a single overall win. There have been incredible riders to never claim a championship, but come so very close. When you look back through some of the names to win a race, you realize that GNCC Racing can be very unique as that you never know what could happen.

The GNCC All-Time Win lists are littered with names of amazing riders who have achieved something great; earning a GNCC overall win. Looking through the lists, there’s familiar names and not-so familiar names. On the ATV side, there’s a number of riders who only have 1-5 wins to their name. Some have great stories behind those wins too. Names such as Dan Vaia, who’s only GNCC win came at the first-ever GNCC ATV race at Big Bear in 1983. 2 races later, Donnie “Skud” Huggins, would win the first ever Blackwater 100 ATV race giving him his only GNCC overall win. 

Another interesting name on the list is that of Crestwood, Kentucky’s Jeff Stoess. Jeff claimed the win at a muddy 2004 Spartan GNCC in Kentucky. This was during a time when the ATV side was dominated by a guy named Bill Ballance and Jeff sneaking in a win is another one of those heroic stories that make GNCC Racing so special. He also did so on an ATK, which some hardcore racers never expected to be a contender. Jeff actually came out and helped ride some sweep laps on his motorcycle at The Mammoth GNCC in 2012.. And what bike did he ride? An ATK!

On the bike side, there’s also a large number of riders with only a few wins to their credit. The same can be said for these guys holding cool stories behind their wins. Arguably the most famous is that of Tommy Norton, who won the 1990 Blackwater 100 on a KTM 125 as a relatively unknown rider. Of course, the Blackwater win would put him on the map as he would be a contender for a number of years but never was quite able to snag another overall win. Blackwater produced several other one-time winners including our own Timmy Coombs who’s 1988 win is still somewhat of a legend in these parts. MotoTee/Gear Racewear owner John Ayers even claimed a Blackwater win in 1980. There’s a number of other legendary racers who only have a few GNCC wins to their credit including former pro motocrossers, Guy Cooper, Ty Davis and Doug Henry, plus 8-Time National Enduro champ Mike Lafferty.

There’s a long list of greats who never claimed a win but one that always stands out in my mind is Glenn Kearney. Glenn came from Australia to contest the series from 2005-2010 and while he landed multiple podium finishes along the way and nearly won a few races, he was never able to make a race win happen. What’s even wilder is while GK returned to Australia in 2011; he made a trip over to the US to race a couple of GNCC rounds that season. However, this is when Loretta Lynn’s would have to be postponed due to the majority of the facility being underwater. The next race was the Indy 100 in Gosport, Indiana. Glenn would travel to the race, prep an entire bike during Saturday’s quad race only to have the bike race postponed due to the track being un-rideable due to excessive rain. 

All-in-all, GNCC racers are a unique breed and in the 42 year history of this sport, there’s been some of the greatest racers to ever throw a leg over a bike or ATV try their hand at GNCC Racing at some point. The future is bright and who knows who might be the next person to come away with their first-ever win.


TLD And FMF Factory KTM Offroad Partner

2016 Rockstar Husqvarna Factory Off-Road Team Announced

KTM Announces 2016 FMF KTM Factory Racing Team

Obermeyer Suzuki Announces 2016 Team

Polaris Announces Mid-Model Year Off-Road Models

Tuesday Toolbox: Claudia Danielewicz

What's New on

The GNCC LIVE broadcast schedule has been added to the website, check it out HERE! Catch up on all the action from last season, all the races and NBCSN episodes are archived for your viewing pleasure at!

News from GNCC, Riders and Sponsors

GNCC Racing Nation Sends Best Wishes to Whibley Family
Racer Productions and the entire GNCC Racing family would like to extend best wishes for a quick and full recovery to Katherine Whibley, wife of 2x GNCC National Champion, Paul Whibley. Katherine and her infant son, Colton, were involved in a car accident on December 23rd in their home country of New Zealand. Thankfully, Colton was not seriously injured and has made a full recovery. Unfortunately, Katherine sustained serious injuries and remains hospitalized, awaiting surgery. During this time of family gathering and reflection, we ask that our GNCC Racing family keep Katherine and her family in their thoughts and prayers.