GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #9: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #9: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, March 3, 2016 | 12:00 PM
Thursday, March 3, 2016 | 12:00 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

Well, it’s go time! The 2016 GNCC Racing season officially kicks off this weekend with the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC in Palatka, Florida. It’s been a long off-season and everyone is anxious to get the season underway. We are too! The 2016 season is already promising to be one of the best seasons of GNCC Racing in the history of the sport, and with the course we’ve put together for this weekend, it also promises to be one of the most fun opening rounds in history as well.

I’ve got the low-down on the track a little later, so stay tuned for that! Also coming up is a look back at what hasn’t changed much in the past years. While our sport is ever evolving, a lot of things remain the same and we’ll take a look at that as well. We’ll keep the intro short this week and dive right into the pre-race goodies!

Josh Merritt is ready to go GNCC Racing! Are you?Photo: Ken Hill
Josh Merritt is ready to go GNCC Racing! Are you?Photo: Ken Hill

Weekly Updates (Chelsea Taylor)

Well the time is finally here! We’re on the road to the Sunshine State seeking some warmer temps and good racing. Right now I’m trucking down the interstate with a few of the Racer TV guys. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… We are in for a great season!

A few things to keep in mind as we head into the opening round this weekend; Parts Unlimited will be hosting one of their fantastic dinners on Saturday night at 6pm. As always, it’s free to everyone! Just show up, eat and give a big thanks to everyone who helps make it happen. Following the dinner the Daytona Supercross will be broadcast at the Parts Unlimited tent, so stick around and watch the race!

Practice will be taking place this weekend. Quads will practice Friday with Youth from 1-2pm, and Morning/Afternoon racers from 2-4pm. Bikes will practice Saturday with Youth from 12-1pm and Morning/Afternoon racers from 1-4pm.

Of course, the practice track will be completely separate from the racecourse but will be pretty similar to what you’ll encounter during the race. We would like to note that you do not have to register to race in order to practice. Rider Registration will be offering a separate 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. For more details check HERE.

As a reminder, if you’re making a vacation out of the first round then check out camping information HERE. For a reasonable price you’ll have a place to stay and practice in Georgia before the second round.

That’s all for the updates this week and we’ll see you at the Rodman Plantation this weekend! 

12 years ago Thad Duvall claimed the Big Wheel 14-15 class championship in the Youth Bike ranks. Could 2016 be another championship run for Thad?Photo: Ken Hill
12 years ago Thad Duvall claimed the Big Wheel 14-15 class championship in the Youth Bike ranks. Could 2016 be another championship run for Thad?Photo: Ken Hill

12 Years, Not Much Has Changed! (Jared Bolton)

This year marks the second annual Wild Boar GNCC, and while this was a new addition last year, the venue was no stranger to GNCC Racing. Back in 2003 and 2004, the Hurricane GNCC took place on the same piece of property, however it was located at the Rodman Plantation just a few miles down the road. There’s a few sections we ride that were used in the original Palatka event but by and far it’s a completely different venue. It’s now been 12 years since the second annual Hurricane GNCC and while some things have changed in that time, a lot still remains the same.

Taking a trip down memory lane, the 2004 GNCC season was unforgettable. Not only would it mark championships number five for both Bill Ballance and Rodney Smith, but it 2004 would also see the GNCC Youth Bike program really become an attraction of it’s own. When you look back at the Youth class champions from 2004, you see a list of today’s top GNCC superstars. Cory Buttrick, Thad Duvall, Kailub Russell, Walker Fowler and Steward Baylor each claimed their respective Youth class championships in 2004.

Today, each of these riders have XC1 or XC2 class wins to their credit, while Russell and Fowler also have GNCC National Championships. Of course, the familiar names don’t stop there. A look back through the 2004 points will also see Andrew Delong, Chris Douglas, Layne Michael, Tegan Temple, Aaron Plessinger and other familiar names, including Grant Baylor’s mechanic, Corey MacDonald, who is an accomplished racer-turned-mechanic.

As kids these racers all duked it out with the hopes of one day making a name for themselves in the pro ranks. Now, they’ve done exactly that. You never know what the future will bring but in 12 more year’s we very well could be looking at names of today’s top Youth racers in the front of the XC1 field. With a number of top mini pilots transitioning to big bikes this season, the process has already began to groom the next crop of top professional talent, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to watch it unfold. Keep an eye on these kids, they’ll be contending for the number one plate some day!

Brycen Neal comes into the 2016 season with some strong support!Photo: Ken Hill
Brycen Neal comes into the 2016 season with some strong support!Photo: Ken Hill

Building The Puzzle (Rodney Tomblin)

Each season I get an anxious feeling as the madness quickly approaches. Actually we have gone basically now from “approaching” to “it’s here!” That’s right! The GNCC Racin’ Nation is making it’s pilgrimage south to Florida to celebrate Daytona Bike Week. It will kick off the 42nd season of GNCC that began in 1975 as the Blackwater 100. Since those days there have been many changes and America’s Toughest Race has become a world premier spectacle. And knowing that it only makes sense why we get so excited with the coming year.

The stage is set for one of the greatest seasons on tap. I realize I am sounding like a broken record but each season we ask “how are we going to top that?” And each of the recent seasons have somehow been able to be even better than the one before. I don’t know what has been the key to this happening but as Bolton points out, the youth system that GNCC established in both bikes and quads has paid huge dividends and GNCC has created its own stars of off road.

One of the rising stars on the quad side of things is Brycen Neal. Brycen, like many of the top riders who are not Walker Fowler or Chris Borich, may be getting overlooked right now. Brycen at just 20 years old and only 3 years in the XC1 Pro class is showing some major signs of being a threat as time goes on. If you look at his record you have to be amazed and especially knowing he never won a race in the youth division and took a couple of years after moving up the bigger machines before he ever found his flow. Brycen from that respect is a surprise player in the field but knowing Brycen on a more personal level you may figure out just exactly why. You can listen to Brycen talk about it all in a recent Quad Radio interview I did with him that you can listen to by clicking here.

Aside from the amazing momentum he has on his side he has been fortunate enough to work with the Broc Booth this past season. Brycen took a big gamble and put his fate basically in the hands of Booth who was part of the driving force during Walker Fowler’s Ballance Racing days. Booth introduced him to a whole program and whole new world of possibilities. And it could not have come at a better time. Brycen made the switch to the Yamaha from the Honda and never missed a beat. One year later Brycen will stay true to the blue but under different guidance.

After a phenomenal year capturing a top five number with the assistance of Booth, he is moving to a whole new team with a whole new leader. And before you speculate it’s not because there is bad blood or ill will. The why was because for Broc Booth his job is done. He helped guide and direct another young racer toward living his dreams and now he steps away. Brycen told me that he thought of Broc like he was an uncle and that they were worked great together but Broc was ready to focus on things in his personal life and Brycen was presented with the deal of a lifetime.

Under normal circumstances one may say that if it sounds to good to be true than it may be too good to be true. The circumstances under which we are talking though are not normal. The circumstances we are talking about is the circumstance of having 7-Time GNCC ATV and 2003 motorcycle champion Barry Hawk as your mentor, manager and leader. You likely have heard or read about Barry Hawk moving into a position of team manager for Coastal Racing, which will field a motorcycle, ATV and Side by Side effort. Brycen says Barry has been very beneficial in his preseason training and that Hawk even has a quad he rides with Brycen to help him train. And if you wonder if he is any good still on the quad, Brycen said Barry is faster than he ever thought and enjoyed riding with him gaining knowledge with each lap.

Now if you are wondering if will we ever see Barry Hawk race a quad again or even race a bike for that matter, I unfortunately cannot answer that at this moment but the positive side to that is that there is still a chance it may happen. And with that chance comes hope and I will hang on to the hope that it will happen someday soon.

Having that kind of knowledge behind you has to be inspiring. Not only inspiring but possibly extremely confident in your abilities. The confidence in some cases may short lived or even based on false pretenses but with Brycen spending the past two years running consistently toward the front of the pack he could be a bigger threat than we thought. He wants to win the championship and though some may say he is a ways away from seeing that happen, others say he’s got the talent, he’s got the speed and he has the heart which may be the biggest piece to whole puzzle.

The Wild Boar GNCC course is coming together!Photo: Jared Bolton
The Wild Boar GNCC course is coming together!Photo: Jared Bolton

Update from the Woods of Florida! (Jared Bolton)

Here’s the part everyone has been waiting for, info on the racecourse for this weekend’s Wild Boar GNCC! Last year, this track proved be a popular addition to the series as many riders raved about the course being one of the best Florida tracks they’ve ever ridden. We hope that this year’s course will live up to that reputation, and I believe it will!

You’ll actually be starting the race at the end of the loop and will by-pass the finish line off the start. The track has some good, fun, flowing turns for the first mile and a half or so before it breaks off into a few sections of new, fresh trail. These new sections aren’t the typical wide-open sand whoop sections many people expect in Florida. They’re a bit slower and more technical, but still have a great flow and will be a lot of fun.

Once you make it to the three-mile mark, the Afternoon races will dive down into the sandpit they went through last year for the FMF Powerpoint and RacerTV Live camera shot. The course will then work it’s way back away from the sandpit and the afternoon course will have another one mile long section of fresh trail. Once again, it will be a little on the tight and technical side but a lot of fun at the same time. It then has a medium-speed section from the four-mile mark, back to the sandpit again to the five-mile mark. From the five to just before the six is another medium-speed section, before weaving through some planted pines to the six-mile mark.

At the seven-mile mark, the track ventures into what we’re calling “The Atomic Forest”, which will prove to be a bit of a tough section. The track goes around a section of woods that had all the undergrowth burnt out of it with a control burned a while back. This left the bottom of the trees charred black and the ground a bit hard.. Oh, and there’s a good bit of palmetto roots in there as well!

You’ll get a break after that as you’ll have a nice grass track section leading you to a wide planted pine tree section past the eight-mile mark. However, this is where things will get interesting! The track will work it’s way to the backside of the parking area, but you’ll have to pick your way around some mudholes! There’s plenty of ways around, I haven’t gotten muddy yet, but if you’re willing to go through them, you’ll find some faster lines!

Once you make your way through all of that, its smooth sailing back through more planted pines, a good wooded section with a little muddy spot that could make for a good hotline if you pick the right line, then more planted pines into the finish. Overall, the track really has something for everyone and hopefully everyone enjoys it!

Craig Delong is just one name on the long list of XC2 championship contenders!Photo: Ken Hill
Craig Delong is just one name on the long list of XC2 championship contenders!Photo: Ken Hill

XC2 Preview (Jared Bolton)

Arguably one of the biggest battles of the 2016 season could end up being the fight for the XC2 championship on the bike side. With a number of top contenders looking for their shot at a class championship, it’s already shaping up to be one of the most stacked seasons the XC2 class has ever seen, and it’s just about impossible to pick a clear favorite.

Trevor Bollinger has turned heads several times over the past few seasons with excellent finishes, including an XC2 win at Steele Creek in 2014. He turned enough heads that the JCR/Honda squad took noticed and has added Trevor to their team for 2016. With the extra support and guidance from experienced racers like Chris Bach, and of course, Johnny Campbell himself, Trevor is definitely going to be on of the contenders for the XC2 class championship.

Of course, he’s not the only XC2 race with great guidance. The addition of the Coastal Racing Husqvarna team has been huge for 2016 and with two XC2 riders, in addition to Ryan Sipes in the XC1 class, this could be a team that achieves great success in a short amount of time. Craig Delong and Layne Michael will both be riding for Coastal and both have a fair amount of success in the XC2 class. With an added level of support for both of these riders and guidance from one of the greatest GNCC racers of all-time, Barry Hawk, both Layne and Craig will be two more names to keep an eye out as the 2016 season unfolds.

Of course, these guys aren’t alone! N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha has picked up Nick Davis to contest the XC2 class in 2016, and with Davis on new equipment with guidance from a great team manager in the form of Randy Hawkins, this very well could be the turning point in Davis’ career. Nick has proved that he has what it takes to win XC2 class races. He was a championship favorite in early 2015, until a string of bad luck kept him out of contention. However, the switch to a new machine could be what Nick needs, so keep an eye on “Dick Navis” in 2016 as well.

Then there are the Beta boys. Jesse Groemm and Tegan Temple have both had stellar XC2 class races in the past few years, and have shown they have what it takes to contend for XC2 class wins. Both of these riders are extremely talented and have been putting in the work over the winter to be ready for this season. These guys will be two more to watch in 2016! 

These are just a few of the names that come to mind when looking at contenders in an ultra-competitive XC2 class. Who will come away with the championship in the end? It’s hard to say, but we do know it’s going be a great one to watch unfold!

For the first time ever, UTVs are racing the Wild Boar GNCC!Photo: Ken Hill
For the first time ever, UTVs are racing the Wild Boar GNCC!Photo: Ken Hill

Don’t Forget The Big Dogs! (Jared Bolton)

As the 2016 season gets underway, we also can’t forget the big dogs! That, of course, would be the UTV XC1 and 4x4 Pro classes! For the first time ever, the GNCC UTV series kicks off in Florida at round one. Traditionally the UTVs have started out in Georgia, but we decided to mix things up in 2016 and have them come play in the sand, and it promises to be a heck of a race! 

Two-time GNCC UTV National Champion Kyle Chaney returns in 2016 with the number one plate on his machine, hoping to come away with title number three. While Chaney is ultimately going to be the man to beat, in 2015 he did show that anything can, and will go wrong as the championship came down to the final round due to some mechanical issues suffered by Chaney. 

Machine issues aside, Chaney will still have his work cut out for him as last year’s runner-up Tim Farr ended the season on a high-note, winning the final two rounds. Those wins can be like blood in the water to a racer, as they make you hungry for more. Farr isn’t the only challenger either as last year’s third place finisher, Larry Hendershot would like a title shot of his own, maybe we’ll have to call him “Title Shot Hendershot” if everything pans out in his favor. Only time will tell!

These guys aren’t the only ones hungry for a title, either. The boys in the 4x4 Pro class will also be looking to put together an amazing season of their own. Two-time 4x4 Pro champion, Bryan Buckhannon will also be looking to make it three in a row, but if the 2015 season is any indication of what he’s in store for, title number three will require a good amount of hard work, and a little bit of good luck as well.

Michael Swift challenged Buckhannon all the way down to the final round in what was pretty close to being a true winner-take-all race. After coming that close to the title, Swift will also have that “blood in the water” feel coming into the 2016 season as he’ll be hoping to topple Buckhannon as 4x4 Pro champion. Of course, it’s not a two man battle as Swift’s Team UXC teammate Kevin Trantham has also shown that he’s a championship contender and will challenge both of these guys to the 4x4 Pro title.

They’re not alone either as the 4x4 Pro class is full of competition. Guys like Robert Smith, Zac Zakowski and Jordan Phillips have all landed 4x4 Pro class podiums and been there contending for ones. These guys put in some great racing week-in and week-out and with a field of talent this deep, the 4x4 Pro class will definitely be producing some great racing once again in 2016.

2015 Top Ten Moments!

Over the past few weeks we’ve been releasing videos of the Top 10 Moments of 2015 on social media. Well it’s almost time to reveal the number one moment, but while you wait check out the past nine. These short videos are a great way to relive the record breaking season last year, while getting excited to do it all over again starting this weekend! 










A Day with Jerry Robin: The Transition to GNCC Racing

StukMX Graphix Becomes Official Graphics of GNCC Racing

Honda to Host Daytona Kick-Off Party

2016 JCR/Honda Team Video

Vote Nick Gennusa in Champion Spark Plugs "Search for a Champion"


What's New on

RacerTV goes LIVE this weekend with round one of the 2016 GNCC Season in Palatka, Florida for the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC! Go ahead and share that graphic above! Don't forget to hashtag #GNCCLIVE

RacerTV also caught up with Jerry Robin down in Florida as he makes his transition from motocross to off-road racing this year! Robin did some preseason training down south with Kailub Russell, so you may want to keep an eye out for the No. 194 this season. Watch A Day with Jerry Robin: The Transition to GNCC Racing now!

News from GNCC, Riders and Sponsors 

Twin Air and Moto-Master Support at the 2016 GNCC Series
Twin Air and Moto-Master products will be available to racers competing in the GNCC Series at all rounds of the 2016 season.  Twin Air and Moto-Master will be represented on vendor row at each event.  

Twin Air has all the filtration products you need to achieve maximum performance and protection from Air Filters to Air Box Covers to Oil Filters. Visit the Twin Air booth to purchase your BIO Factory Pre-Oiled filter for only $20! 

Moto-Master Brake Systems offer high performance brake components for Motorcycles and ATVs to meet all your racing needs. Visit the Moto-Master booth where a variety of high quality brake pads, rotors and lines will be available for purchase! 

Contact: [email protected] or call 800-749-2890.

Introducing New Sizes for Dunlop Geomax Tires 

Dunlop’s Geomax® line of tires has met with overwhelming success since its introduction. In the pro ranks, Geomax MX32 and MX52 patterned tires have won every Supercross and motocross national championship four years in a row, and the Geomax AT81 went straight from the production line to the podium, winning back-to-back national Enduro and GNCC championships in 2014 and 2015. And for the first time in history, Dunlop Geomax tires were on every championship-winning bike at this year’s Loretta Lynn amateur national motocross.

Now there’s more good news for Geomax riders:
The MX32 and MX52 are now available in 18-inch rear sizes. 

“We’ve had a lot of requests for 18-inch rear fitments from off-road riders who want the same performance that motocross riders get from the 19-inch rear Geomax MX series tires, so we’re making 18-inch sizes available in January, 2016,” said Mike Manning, Director of Marketing, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires. “Additionally, we’ve renamed the MX32 to avoid any confusion between a competitor’s tire and ours. The Dunlop Geomax MX32 is now the Geomax MX3S, but only the name has changed. It’s the same tire that has won numerous championships, and now it’s available to even more riders in 18-inch sizes.”

The Geomax MX52 will be available in a 110/100-18 size, and the MX3S will come in 110/100-18 and120/90-18 sizes. Both tires feature the same technology that has made them favorites among professional and amateur racers alike: 

  • The Geomax MX3S covers soft-to-intermediate terrain while the MX52 excels in intermediate-to-hard terrain conditions.  
  • Superior grip in a wider variety of terrain from block-within-a-block tread knobs.
  • Enhanced handling and improved knob durability via more flex and less knob tearing through recess carcass design. 
  • Superior bump absorption through damping control sidewall rubber compound and recess carcass design that help to damp out bounce, acting as a suspension component so the tire can better follow the track surface.
  • Directional front tire design provides enhanced grip and steering feel. 


For more information visit

Get all the information you need for round one of the 2016 GNCC Series HERE!

See you all in Florida!