GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #8: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #8: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, February 25, 2016 | 1:00 PM
Thursday, February 25, 2016 | 1:00 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

This week’s edition officially marks the first “on the road” Quick Fill of 2016. The first part of the crew has made their way south as Jeff Russell, Terry Beck, Ryan Echols and myself are all in Sparta, Georgia getting a few things set up for round two. Traditionally that’s how it’s done. Since the turn around between the two races is so short (and used to be much shorter when we raced Sunday/Tuesday) we visit the Georgia track first to get a head start on a track layout, then it’s off to Florida this weekend to get things rolling down there.

Actually, I just caught up with those guys last night. They’ve actually already been to Florida to take care of some various business, and came back up to Georgia. These first two events always take a ton of man power and even more man hours to make sure everything goes smoothly, and for some it turns into around 24 days of straight work, then it’s back to work again to get ready for round three. That’s a lot of work for everyone involved but we all enjoy doing it and we want you to have as much fun as possible racing your machine.

Speaking of that, make sure you tune into next week’s pre-race edition of Quick Fill as well. By that time, I’ll have a good course preview for you, and some cool teaser photos. Of course, we’ll also be sharing some teaser photos and hopefully some video clips on the GNCC social media accounts. So make sure you follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and like the Facebook page as well.

Check out this year's checks that will be awarded for XC1 and XC2 Holeshots as well as ATV Amateur Overall and GNCC Top Amateur. 
Check out this year's checks that will be awarded for XC1 and XC2 Holeshots as well as ATV Amateur Overall and GNCC Top Amateur. 

Weekly Updates (Chelsea Taylor)

Who’s ready to hear “teeeeennnnn secccccooonnnndddsss?” Well, in just over a week all the GNCC staff will be gearing up for the first round, and many of you will be making your way down to the Sunshine State. In fact, many of our staff members are already on the road! I’ll be heading down next Wednesday with the registration ladies, but there’s still so much to do before we can buckle up and head to warmer weather.

However, there’s one person who’s already down in Florida prepping for the upcoming season. RacerTV stopped by and checked in with Thad Duvall to see what goes into his training regime. For the exclusive full video click HERE.

Many of you will be making a vacation out of the first two rounds. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in between the Wild Boar GNCC and the Cannonball GNCC check out the latest camping info HERE. Not only will you be able to camp for a reasonable price, there will also be practice available!

Between rounds there is also the RCSX and ATVSX races you could check out in Daytona. There’s also the Anniversary Party going on at Wyotech. You can tour the facility, attend workshops and much more! Kailub Russell will be signing autographs at the party on Wednesday, March 9 from 1-3 p.m.

Speaking of practice, the tradition of practice at the first round will continue. Youth ATVs kick off the action at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 4. Then AM and PM racers will take the course from 2-4 p.m. Youth bikes practice from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, with AM and PM bikes practicing from 1-4 p.m. You don’t have to race in order to practice, but you do have to register! For more details check HERE.

Just yesterday we announced a change in the youth podium procedure. We will be reverting back to the original plan and interviewing the top three overall, top three girls and then the winner in each class due to time restrictions. After these interviews have taken place, we will welcome any other racers to the podium who would like to be interviewed!

Moose Racing will be provide free dinner on Saturday, March 5 at 6 p.m., and all you have to do is show up hungry. After the dinner Team Faith’s Chuck Lemaster will be conducting a chapel service from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Unlike last year, there will only be one service per race weekend, meaning you don’t want to miss this! After the service there will be a supercross watch party! SO bring your coolers, snacks and chairs and make a night out of it!

You can earn $20 just for racing! How you ask? All you have to do is use the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Fast Track Registration Program. In return for pre-registering you’ll receive a $20 Race Gas gift card redeemable on anything Rocky Mountain ATV/MC offers! In addition you’ll save some time once you get to the track. Get pre-registered by clicking HERE.

Once again we have an amazing group of sponsors that are backing our XC1 and XC2 holeshot racers along with the top amateurs. Wiseco will provided $250 to every ATV XC1 holeshot winner per round, while All Balls Racing will be awarding $100 per round to the ATV XC2 holeshot. In addition, All Balls Racing will be awarding $125 to the Bike XC1 category. Hot Cams will be providing $100 to the Bike XC2 holeshot winner. There will be $125 dollars up for grabs with the ATV Amateur Overall Award, and American Kargo returns with $125 to the bike Top Amateur. 

We are just days away from seeing the green flag wave!
We are just days away from seeing the green flag wave! Photo: Ken Hill

GNCC Practice at Round 1 (Kayla Olliver)

The tradition of practice at round one will continue this year.

The practice schedule is as follows: 

Friday:                    1 pm:  ATV Youth

                                2 - 4 pm: ATV (AM/PM) 

Saturday:              12 pm: Bike Youth

                                1 - 4 pm: Bike (AM/PM)

We would like to note that you do not have to register to race in order to practice. Rider Registration will be offering a seperate line to riders who would like to sign up for practice only. You will fill out a data entry card, sign releases and receive a wristband indicating you have signed up to practice. Practice is $20. THIS DOES NOT SIGN YOU UP TO RACE. 

Riders wanting to sign up to practice and race will have to go through the whole registration process. If you practice and then would like to sign up to race you will have to come back to rider registration and fully complete your race registration at the trailer.

Brycen Neal might be in the shadows, but he is looking to emerge as a top contender this season. 
Brycen Neal might be in the shadows, but he is looking to emerge as a top contender this season.  Photo: Ken Hill

Living In Shadows (Rodney Tomblin)

The flying of the first green flag of the season is only days away. Last minute preparations are underway and while others are waiting the day, others are still searching for time while waiting on parts. We’ve seen the propaganda videos rubbing in the face of those of our faces still stuck north and it does make us yearn for the start of the racing. Recent videos of Kailub Russell and Thad DuVall on is enough to make you almost pack up and head out early. As well, ATV racers have been popping up on Quad Radio shedding light on the coming season opener.

There has been a lot of talk on the ATV side of things about Walker Fowler and Chris Borich and what this season will bring now that Chris is back on his old Suzuki. They wonder if Walker can face the challenge and honestly it may be a good question. They wonder if Chris is washed up and if it matters what brand he rides. What folks haven’t talked much about is anybody else. Is it good to be in the spotlight or is it better to fly under the radar? I suppose it depends on who you are.

Adam McGill joined me on Quad Radio this past week and without a doubt says he feels overlooked. Sarcasm was much of the overtone of the interview, which often times seems to be the case for Adam. It is his way of making light of the situation but also saying “Hey! What about me?” He is the number two guy now, but again folks continue to question the before mentioned Fowler vs. Borich situation and it kind of puts him in a shadow that he has worked so hard and long to get out from under.

The big picture is that Adam is a fighter and a fan favorite. He wins the hearts of fans with his boyish charm and good looks. He has created a family based support system. He even loves his fans so much he calls them family. This gave birth to the McGill Mafia which is a family concept and network of friends that stick together through thick and thin. He is a showman on and off the track, and he always brings something to every start introduction and prerace and podium interview. People will actually wait five minutes just to hear what he has to say. If he is in a good mood then he is funny and has a good time. If he is in a foul mood then he still interesting to watch, because the past has shown him to be somewhat unfiltered which turns out to be funny and his way of blowing off steam.

The fact that Chis Borich has won six titles and has the most race wins of any GNCC rider in it’s history with 72 total so far warrants a lot of attention and casts a shadow that no one may ever be able to get out from under. Plus, the fact that Walker Fowler nearly won the title in 2014 with a head-to-head battle with Chris Borich also warrants that light shine in his favor.

The good thing for Adam is that even though he may feel in the shadows of Chris Borich and Walker Fowler he is closer than anyone else to stepping out and gaining the notoritity he deserves. He is also not alone as there are others in his shadow that he hasn’t ever recognized yet. Jarrod McClure, Brycen Neal, Cole Richardson and others all feel the same way. They too desire to achieve the greatness of being a champion. Some may one day while others may not, but the exciting angle for all of the fans of racing is the fact that the sport is in a transition and shadows are growing dim. So for Adam, Jarrod, Brycen, Cole and the rest of the rising stars of GNCC as dark and hopeless as it may seem, brighter days are coming.

Ryan Sipes had an outstanding 2015 season, but is still looking to earn his first GNCC overall win.
Ryan Sipes had an outstanding 2015 season, but is still looking to earn his first GNCC overall win. Photo: Ken Hill

2016 Bike Preview (Jared Bolton)

Throughout the winter we’ve mentioned some of the names that will likely set themselves up as contenders in the 2016 season. Well, this week I’d like to dive a little deeper into that and take a look at some of the names on the bike side who will be looking to contend for race wins and championships of their own. 

As we come into the 2016 season, obviously all eyes are on Kailub Russell. KR comes into this season as a three-peat champion looking to make it four in a row. While Kailub has already shattered the record books, he looks to continue to break records. Currently sitting third on the all-time bike win list, KR is just three wins behind Rodney Smith to take the number two spot, and 16 wins away from becoming the all-time bike winner. He’ll have to topple Scott Summer’s record of 46 wins to make that happen. That’s not far-fetched, and neither is championship number four, which would also put him in the record books as only the second bike rider to win more than three consecutive championships. Ed Lojak holds the record with five-straight from 1980-1984.

However, this could be a season where Russell has his work cut out for him. Last year’s runner-up, Grant Baylor, comes into the 2016 season strong. After finishing second place to Kailub in both the GNCC and National Enduro Series’ in 2015, Baylor will be looking to not only claim his first-ever GNCC overall win, but will be hoping for a championship as well. Grant started 2016 strong with the Sumter National Enduro win, and will carry that momentum into the 2016 GNCC Racing season. Grant was the first one to give Kailub Russell a run for his money in 2015 as he led portions of races over the defending champ. Could we see Grant take his first win in 2016? If he plays it smart enough, it can happen!

Of course, don’t count out Josh Strang! Strang came on strong in the last part of the 2015 season, winning three of the final four rounds, thus establishing himself as one of the favorites to put together a championship run in 2016. Strang knows how to win a championship, as he claimed the GNCC crown in 2010, and nearly backed it up with a second title in 2011 but a little bad luck cost him the title. After a stint out west in 2012, Strang put together his own deal and returned in 2013. With a little extra support in 2014, Strang would grab a win at Powerline Park, which would help to assure him of a spot on the Husqvarna Factory Racing team last season. The Husky proved to be a good match for Josh who was Mr. Consistent in 2015, even though a mid-season shoulder injury kept him out of a few races.

It seems hard to believe that Chris Bach would be considered a “veteran” but the JCR/Honda rider enters his seventh season in the XC1 Pro class and with that experience comes a lot of valuable knowledge. Bach would be the first rider to grab a win over Kailub Russell in 2015, and that win would also mark the first of Bach’s career. Coming into 2016, Bach is full of confidence and past experience. Definitely keep an eye on the tall man as his 2015 Tomahawk win more than likely won’t be his last. 

It’s no secret that Thad Duvall has had an up and down XC1 career. After claiming the 2008 XC2 class championship, Duvall made his way into XC1 the next season but would suffer a string of bad luck. Eventually his luck would turn around with Thad claiming his first-ever overall win at Unadilla in 2012. The ultra-muddy 2013 Mammoth GNCC would see Thad claim a second win. While Thad would put together excellent rides throughout the 2014 and 2015 seasons, it would take Thad until the 2015 Mountain Ridge GNCC to win again. With a late season win, Thad will also come into 2016 confident and looking to contend for the championship.

Then there’s Ryan Sipes. There’s no doubt that the 2015 season was a year that Sipes will never forget. With multiple podium finishes and an ISDE Individual Overall win, the former pro-motocrosser has definitely made the transition to being a true contender in the off-road world. The only thing that still eludes him is his first GNCC overall win. However, if there’s anytime for Sipes to win, it’s now and 2016 very well could see Sipes’ first win.

These guys are just a few of the contenders who will be looking for podiums in 2016. Charlie Mullins will make his return in 2016, although a recent foot injury has looked to complicate things slightly. However, you can never count out Mullins. Jordan Ashburn looks to contend for wins as he transitions to a KTM for 2016. Last year’s XC2 class champion Jason Thomas will be looking to establish himself as an XC1 class contender, while Ricky Russell will be hoping for the same as he will also transition to a new machine aboard an Obermeyer/MCS Racing Suzuki.

Next week we’ll take a look at the XC2 class. This year’s crop of XC2 talent is some of the strongest we’ve seen in a long time and it’s going to be a heck of a championship to watch unfold!

Adam McGill has big plans on and off of his ATV this season. He talked with GNCC Racing in this week's Tuesday Toolbox.
Adam McGill has big plans on and off of his ATV this season. He talked with GNCC Racing in this week's Tuesday Toolbox. Photo: Ken Hill

Ready To Rumble (Rodney Tomblin)

The approaching season kickoff brings with it an anticipation that is hard to contain. The impending battles among all the riders trying to sort out and make a statement as to who has been working in the offseason is enough to make a race fan giddy in some weird sort of way. Even though the real questions aren’t answered at round one there is usually plenty of light shed on what could be expected for the upcoming season. We have also seen some pretty big surprises that really had no affect on what the rest of the year held, but it’s a sure fire indicator that when folks roll into the sunshine state for Bike Week at Daytona Beach they show up itching for trouble and ready to rumble.

The following weekend in Georgia may honestly give a little better insight into the future possibilities of how the championship could play out, but even then folks are still running on the first race adrenaline and the true weight of a season hasn’t been felt until round three or four. That’s usually when things begin to settle and signs begin to show of what could be. These statements can be said for both bike and ATV. Contrary to this statement may actually be this years ATV championship battle.

All eyes will be focused on the new champion and the old champion to see if a new season and back in a familiar program for the old will turn things around. It’s is hard not to be excited when you know you will have guys like Adam McGill, Jarrod McClure, Brycen Neal, Cole Richardson, Jay Shadron and of course Chris Borich going after it with everything they have and more with each wave of the green flag. Everyone is tied for the championship at round one and look for everyone to ride like they want that points lead heading into Georgia.

In an interview I had with Chris Borich on Quad Radio earlier this week, Chris talked about the switch back to his old program and how inspired he was heading into this season. He said he has worked harder the last two years than he ever has during his career. He said that not only does he have Walker to contend with but also Adam, Jarrod, Brycen and all the younger riders working their way up. Riders on the radar include Cody Collier, Hunter Hart and Westley Wolfe who are not far away from being a major threat and in reality,  threats for overalls with both Collier and Wolfe in the XC2 Pro Am and battling in that class. Borich did say though even though he is working harder he feels the pace actually slowed down last season without him up front to push the leaders.

The newly crowned champ Walker Fowler was also a guest earlier this week and said a lot of what Chris said about the rising level of competition that seemed to be coming behind them. Walker knows he is only the first of many coming to the front and that the “old school ATV riders” were nearly extinct in a nutshell and that Chris Borich was kind of the last of them. This may make Adam McGill feel better to be able to ride during the transition to the new era and know he stands a chance to make a mark in both.

Many folks may wonder if Fowler had listened to Borich’s interview and is was apparent that he had quoting him on an occasion or two and even agreeing with him on some things. Fowler’s response to the speed slowing down statement was one of confidence when he said, “Maybe we did slow down, I don’t know. But I do know that it’s really hard to tell just how hard we are pushing and how fast we are going from two minutes behind.” A statement, which will fuel Borich as Borich’s statement has fueled Fowler. The gloves are about to come off and the Wild Boar GNCC is about to see the battles of the century to kick this new season into gear.

Craig Delong earned a spot on the new Coastal Racing/Rockstar/Husqvarna team for 2016, Delong will contest in the XC2 Pro Lites class.
Craig Delong earned a spot on the new Coastal Racing/Rockstar/Husqvarna team for 2016, Delong will contest in the XC2 Pro Lites class. Photo: Ken Hill

School’s In! (Jared Bolton)

This week we start a new feature here in Quick Fill. We’re going to call it “School’s In” and we’re going to bring you info on upcoming riding schools, tips, and much more that can help contribute you making you an even bigger contender on the race track. With help from some GNCC legends like Steve Hatch, Shane Watts, Jason Raines and more, this promises to be a popular new feature.

If there’s something specific you’d like to see here, let us know! Or if you’re hosting a riding school or have riding tips of your own you’d like to share, again, let us know and we’ll be glad to add the info. Just drop me a line at [email protected] and we’ll get your info out there.

To kick things off, let’s first take a look at some of the upcoming dates for Shane Watt’s DirtWise Academy of Off-Road Riding…

5/6 - Young Harris, GA - In-Dpeth with Shane
12/13 - Penhook, VA - In-Depth with Shane
31/April 1 - Lebanon, OR - Advanced Race Techniques with Shane

2/3 - Lebanon, OR - In-Depth with Shane

More schools coming soon! For more info on Wattsy’s schools, or to sign up, visit

Now let’s check in with Steve Hatch to see his plans for 2016!

Please contact [email protected] for registering and more information as the clinics are starred with an asterisk.  Many of the locations I will already be coaching at I can add in potential coaching on either end of the dates if I am available.

2/15 to 3/14-SC, GA, FL check for availability
4/7 to 4/10 Loretta Lynn’s, TN MTDR Annual Spring ride
*4/15 (Fri) San Antonio, TX A and AA level 1 day clinic
*4/16, 17 San Antonio, TX C and B level riders 2 day clinic
4/19 to 21 Houston, TX AVAILABLE for coaching
*4/22 (Fri) Houston, TX A and AA level 1 day clinic
*4/23, 24 Houston, TX C and B level riders 2 day clinic

Steve also has some great insight that can be a big help to any racer, take a look…

Usually, I hate to look backwards. Often times in racing, looking back on "Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda" is usually at the top of the "DON'Ts" list! But in Life, it is good to take a quick snapshot of what was learned and what still needs to be improved upon. Equally important is to reflect upon what we did well and take note of that also. This is often overlooked, because as driven individuals, we usually don't give ourselves much credit for past accomplishments since we are already focused forward to the future.

Even though I no longer race for a living, this same philosophy has become permanently ingrained in me, and I still use it to this day to tackle every aspect of life.  Here is how it works:

First, I pick a few categories I want to reflect on, such as family, business, health, vacations, etc.

Then, I take 3 key points from each category and figure out how I can tweak and improve them. I really get clear on what I want to see happen for myself, my family, my riders, and the world around me. Finally, I pick 3 things I did well, so I can take a moment to appreciate my success and remember what I did right to get there. Here are what mine look like for 2015:

My Top 3 of what I learned:
Balance is the key to consistency.
Having a system for everything helps to keep track of what works and what doesn't.
Managing energy levels through proper and scheduled diet are key ingredients for keeping a mental and physical edge. 

My Top 3 of what I want to improve on:

1. Extend my calendar out farther:
Short-term: from where it is now (6 months) out to 18 months.
Long-term: setting goals for 5, 10, and 20 years down the road.
2. Renovate Steve Hatch Racing website.
3. Constantly work to improve all levels of image and professionalism.

My Top 3 of what was done well:
Got to help amazing riders get better.
Enjoyed great results with many racers.
Developed more systems and improved verbiage to deliver better instruction to my students.

Now it's your turn! Take a moment to think back on your life in 2015 and think of 3 things you learned, 3 things you need to improve on, and 3 things you did well over the past year. Remember the old saying, "if you do not know where you are going, you may end up someplace that you do not want to be." Take your insight to help you achieve the 2016 you wish to see and live!

Thanks Steve and Shane! Again, if anyone has any upcoming riding schools to share, tech tips, riding tips, or anything they would like to share as part of this section each week, email me at [email protected] and we’ll be glad to include the info. We want this to be a popular, informative addition each week that can help racers gain knowledge to help them on and off the track!

Can Walker Fowler defend his title this season?
Can Walker Fowler defend his title this season? Photo: Ken Hill


NBCSN Television Schedule Announced for 2016 GNCC Season

Tuesday Toolbox: Adam McGill

AMA Press Release: Season Opener of AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis to Take Place March 5-6 in Palatka, Fla.

Mackenzie Tricker to Suzuki For 2016 GNCC and WMX Series

DP Brakes Announces Extensive ATV Sponsorships for 2016

Competition Bulletin 2016-7: ATV and Bike Youth Podium Procedure

What's New on caught up with GNCC Pro bike rider Thad Duvall while down in Florida. Check out Thad Duvall as he comes into 2016 looking to contend for the GNCC National Championship in the new video

GNCC defending champion Kailub Russell will be looking to earn his fourth consecutive championship this year.
GNCC defending champion Kailub Russell will be looking to earn his fourth consecutive championship this year. Photo: Simon Cudby

News from GNCC, Riders and Sponsors

GNCC would like to give a shoutout to two local dealerships in the area of the Moose Racing Wild Boar event coming up on March 5 and 6. Our friends at Martins Yamaha in Ocala, Florida and St. Johns Powersports in Palatka, Florida have received some great items, and let us know they will be in attendance at round one. So come out and 

Delearships that are in contact with Matt Watson ([email protected]) will be featured in Quick Fill each week. 

Camping and Practice Available Between Florida and Georgia:
Need a place to go between round 1 and 2? Thanks to our friends in Georgia camping and practice will be available to you! Starting on Monday, March 7 at 8 am the gates will open, and remain open until Friday, March 11. Practice will begin each day at 8 am and run until dark (5:30 - 6 pm). read more...