GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #10: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #10: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, March 10, 2016 | 4:00 PM
Thursday, March 10, 2016 | 4:00 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

It’s official, the 2016 GNCC Racing season is underway! After a heck of an opening round in Florida, we’re now getting everything ready to go for round two, which will be our first new venue of the 2016 season. It’s looking like this weekend’s race is going to be another great one and I’ve got the details on the racecourse coming up a little bit later.

As for round one, well, other than the typical deep Florida sand whoops, everyone seemed to really enjoy the race! There were some spots that were a little snug for the ATV guys but some extra lines opened up here and there and made for a great track. Thanks to everyone who came out and raced, we hope you had a blast!

We’ll keep this intro short this week as everyone is super busy getting ready to go racing once again, so let’s dive into this week’s Quick Fill goodies!

Its almost time to go racing again, are you ready!Photo: Ken Hill
Its almost time to go racing again, are you ready!Photo: Ken Hill

Weekly Updates (Chelsea Taylor)

Wow! I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe the opening round has come and gone. I’m currently on the road to Georgia for round two at the brand-new Maxxis Cannonball GNCC. The gates open tomorrow at 9 a.m. and it will all begin again! There were mixed emotions after the first round so now is the time to correct any issues that you may have faced or keep up the good work. Either way you look at it, we are in for a treat. This round also serves as the first 50cc Micro race and it’s always fun to watch the future stars of the sport taking on the tough conditions of the GNCC courses. 

Unfortunately due to state exams we weren’t able to conduct any school visits in Florida, but this coming Friday, March 11, we will be at Putnam Elementary and Hancock County Academy. With the help of Johnny Gallagher and Chris Bach we will help spread the word about off-road racing, anti-bullying and goal setting. If you’re interested in being involved with future programs, just send me an email at [email protected].

Don’t forget that Chuck Lemaster with Team Faith is conducting chapel service on Saturday nights now. The service starts at 7 p.m. and it’s a great way to meet racers you may not know whether they ride a quad or bike. Chuck will also be conducting youth activities from 6-7 p.m.

If you missed the Wild Boar GNCC check out the ATV Race Report and the Bike Race Report. You can also watch the archived footage of the pro racing, including UTVs, HERE.

Speaking of the Wild Boar GNCC, it’s always great to get back into racing, but it was also great to see everyone. I can’t believe how fast the four-month off season went, but I’m so thankful that it did! One of the best parts about racing is the family community that comes along with it and I’m excited to be spending my weekends with you all!

When it comes to the podiums last weekend we saw familiar faces along with new ones. Jesse Ansley was a powerhouse last year and consistently showed up on the podium, but with his absence this year it opened up the door for some new faces. Perhaps the most impressive win came from Super Mini Jr. competitor Zack Davidson who ended up winning the overall over the Super Mini Sr. racers. If Zack can keep the momentum up throughout the season, it will be one exciting fight for the Youth Overall Championship.

That’s all for the updates this week, but make sure to stay connected on our social media for the most up-to-date news heading into round two!

There's a good Luxury Box spectator spot in the woods, but it could cost you!Photo: Jared Bolton
There's a good Luxury Box spectator spot in the woods, but it could cost you!Photo: Jared Bolton

Update From The Woods Of Georgia (Jared Bolton)

You already know that it’s almost time to go racing once again, and this weekend’s Maxxis Cannonball GNCC promises to be an instant classic! As I’ve mentioned before, the Hill Family Farm has seen it’s fair share of races over the years with the SORCS series holding multiple races there for a number of years now. I actually raced an 8-hour team race there about six years ago and had an absolute blast.

As for the course in store for you this weekend, we’ve got a fairly long loop here and we’ve been making several adjustments since we got here Tuesday afternoon. The facility is basically divided into two sides with the pit area separating them. Ryan Echols and I worked together to come up with a great layout and for now we’ve got about 4.5 miles on Ryan’s side and around 6.5 miles on my side, however the morning races will be shortened a little bit.

The first four miles winds around the actual farm part of the Hill Family Farm. You’ll work your way through a mile of woods and out into a big cow pasture for a little bit of grass track. Then it’s back into the woods for some twisty but flowing trails around the farm, and back up beside the finish before heading out to the side I’ve been working on.

You’ll work your way through some good hardwoods before popping out into a section that was clear cut a couple of years ago. You’ve got a section of freshly dozed trail through there that will lead you back into more hardwoods. From the six to the seven-mile mark is almost all new trail before taking a little jog down some existing trail to another section of new trail. It’s a bit tight on a quad at the moment, but we’re opening it up a little bit, but don’t expect a freeway through there!

The sections of fresh trail will continue from the eight to the nine-mile marks and also work its way between some large rocks. It won’t be like a rock garden, but it’s more like riding in between some large boulders, which is really cool! From the nine to the ten-mile mark is a bit of existing trail, and you’ll end up popping back out into the clear cut section again, through some fresh dozer trail and back into the hardwoods again to the eleven-mile mark, and begin working it’s way into the finish.

You’ve got a mix of old trails, fresh trails and more throughout the course. There’s fast sections, slow tight sections, medium speed sections and more. There’s rocks, there’s sand, there’s loamy brown dirt. Really, the only thing it’s missing is a big hillclimb but we did manage to find a couple of little hills, so don’t expect it to be totally flat! Overall, you’re looking at one of the best new courses we’ve had in a long time and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Walker Fowler rode to another dominating win, will we see the same performance in Georgia?Photo: Ken Hill
Walker Fowler rode to another dominating win, will we see the same performance in Georgia?Photo: Ken Hill

Maybe The Best (Rodney Tomblin)

I usually reserve the statement of “How do you top that?” till the end of the season. However, after witnessing the season opener Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC this past weekend, it is obvious that the question could come up. And it has bounced around in my head a little, I’m not going to lie. The great thing is, it wasn’t a great ATV or a great bike race or UTV race or what ever. It was a great race weekend from start to finish.

It all started with the youth ATV on Saturday morning when the green flag flew. Joey Ocel, Dylan Walraven, Mikey Nickels,  Tim Sroka, Michael Myers and the rest of the field of 19 Super Mini 12-15 class riders roared into the first few turns and the weekend was on from that point on. Walraven was able to best the field at the end with Ocel only a few seconds behind. Mikey Nickels was able to hold on to the third. Rhett Cox also had a good show running up front and gaining the lead on lap two before dropping to sixth for the final two laps.

Then in the Single Seat race it looked like the young Sam Yokely was going to be the man to beat. Yokely lead the first two laps dropping to second on lap three. He found some trouble on the final lap and dropped to fourth. This opened the door for Torey Rush to move out front and lead the race until the final lap when he dropped to second allowing Sam Boynton to slip by and take the opening round win. Behind Rush finishing in the number three spot was Dillon Harper who drove a steady race in fourth until the final lap where he was able to find his way to third. Yokely was fourth with Jesse Stracham moving up from seventh on lap one to fifth on the white flag lap to take it home 

4x4 Pro hit the new season with a new vigor and a deep field of contingents. It was the regular crowd up front battling though and it made for quite a spectacle. Michael Swift who won in the end started out in a battle with Kevin Trantham and Kevin Cunningham. Swift pulled it all together by the end and was had pulled from just over a one second lead to 17 second lead at the checkers. It was an exciting battle the entire two hour battle.

The WXC ATV was another great battle that yielded maybe a couple of surprises. Emily Wise took the holeshot and was not a surprise. Kara Frederick who ended the race out front to take the win showed that this season is going to be a good one. She along with the entire field of ladies seem to have really put the work in during the offseason. Kamren Bobb showed signs of a strong season ahead and was second while battling all the way from fifth place on lap number one. Tori Fryer took third in the end but ran a solid second spot for a couple of laps and showed signs of speeds to win. Alicia McCormick who was a big favorite in the class fought her way up to fourth in the end after starting the race in seventh, she was able to work her way up each lap and even turned the fastest time on the final lap.

The afternoon XC1 Pro and XC2 Pro Am left us a lot to look forward to. Walker Fowler did everything he needed to do get his momentum going to defend his nearly earned title. Brycen Neal finished in second behind Fowler and looked as though he came in to the race with a plan and executed it  with precision. He had said he wanted to finish the race in a top three and move on to more familiar terrain. As far as Chris Borich and last years number two guy Adam McGill, they actually got locked into a highly contested third place position which appeared to let the front runners slip out of reach. Borich was finally able to get around McGill to take the third spot but something wasn’t right for McGill as he ended up dropping to fifth behind Jarrod McClure. The finish produced some unanswered questions and set the stage for possibly the best championship season again.

As far as XC2 Pro Am goes, Greg Covert was able to pull out a huge win over the rest of the field. Greg said he had been putting in extra work knowing not only his competition but the fact that the XC2 class demanded a little more than all the other classes before. Westley Wolfe who won in his XC2 debut and edged Covert out for the College A title last year, finished second behind Covert. The third spot went to Matt Lindle who rode a phenomenal race himself. He started in sixth and moved to fourth and then to third the final two laps. I am not sure what to expect out of any of these guys in Georgia  but I know they all should expect some fierce competition from the likes of Marty Christofferson, Cody Collier, Dwight Pollard, Kenny Shick and several more.

The UTV race found its way to Florida for the first time in its existence. What seemed like a great combination with the sand and side by side machines turned out to be just that. There were a few surprises here and there throughout the race but it was the final lap that produced the biggest surprise. Race leader Kyle Chaney made a mistake on the trail and ended up getting stuck and dropped back to sixth. Cody Miller ended the day on top after running podium position the entire race and was gaining on the leader when he was able to pass by uncontested. Jason Luburgh was able to take second in the XC1 Pro UTV class and third overall behind XC2 Pro Sport class winner and second overall David Plavi. It was an exciting last lap and it had you waiting with baited breathe as to where the defending champ would finish.

The racing on Sunday on was just as good as Saturday. It started with the youth bike battle, which produced an overall winner from row two; the Super Mini 12-13. Zachary Davidson rode the Florida sand like it had rails and set a bar for himself that he will have to work hard to achieve on a regular basis. It is not impossible, nor unlikely for him to do this more often but knowing this division it may be harder the next time. The great thing is that he has the speed and confidence and he is not going to settle for anything less.

The WXC Bike battle was out of this world. Becca Sheets was leading into the final lap and looked to have it all but won. Then a mistake she told me she made just after thinking “I’m going to win Florida!” put her on the ground with the wind knocked out her. She continued on pushing as hard as she could but Kacy Martinez had gone by her at a fast pace and she could not catch her. She took second in the end but proved to herself she may be able to win a few more this year.

The afternoon bike race was spectacular and left us wanting more. Trevor Bolinger on his new JCR Honda ride looked flawless. Both he and XC1 teammate Chris Bach had great days going. Bach ended up falling off a few spots in the closing moments but looks to be a true threat to be contended with in 2016. The biggest surprises came in the beginning and the end of the race when Kailub Russell was hit and went down in the first turn taking Ryan Sipes with him. Russell battled the entire race to make up the lost ground from that and an indecent with Thad DuVall on lap one.

The big picture about this past weekend is that everyone came ready to race. Everyone came with realistic goals and a mindset that this will be their best year yet. The energy that has been produced by this belief in themselves by the competitors has set the stage for what likely will be the best GNCC championship in history across the board. I for one am glad to be able to be part of this time and new era of racing and look forward to what the future holds and this next race coming in Georgia this weekend. 

The ATV guys weren't the only ones who put on a great show, the XC1 bike race was epic as well!Photo: Ken Hill
The ATV guys weren't the only ones who put on a great show, the XC1 bike race was epic as well!Photo: Ken Hill

Did You Expect That? (Jared Bolton)

How about that finish? Sunday’s XC1 Pro race was nothing short of incredible! When the second through fourth place riders all finish within one second of each other, then that’s the finish of an amazing race. However, did you expect the finish order to shake out that way?

Obviously many people had Josh Strang as a shoe-in for a podium finish, while many were expecting to see Kailub Russell returning with a win. However, the one thing that not many expected, was the incredible ride that Daniel Milner put together. It’s no secret that in short sprints, Milner is easily one of the fastest riders in the world. Last year his issue was with his endurance, and a three-hour race is a very long time.

The Wild Boar GNCC was a bit of a shake up, with Strang coming away with a convincing win while Kailub Russell was trapped deep in the pack after a first turn crash left him playing catch up for most of the day. KR was still able to come away with third, finishing just inches off Milner’s rear tire, while Chris Bach was on Russell’s rear wheel making it a three-way battle for the second place position.

Milner was able to hold it together for second, and in doing so earned his first-ever GNCC overall podium. Now, many are wondering, will he do it again? Well, if you can do it once, you can definitely do it again and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Milner step up to be a frequent podium contender.

Of course, don’t count out Chris Bach who also put together an incredible performance to finish less than a second out of a podium finish. Thad Duvall also looked great early on until a mechanical issue ended his day early. With all these guys plus others like Grant Baylor, Jordan Ashburn, Ryan Sipes and plenty more, we’re in for a heck of a 2016 season.

Now the big question is, what is going to happen this weekend? If you recall, last time Kailub Russell suffered a tough opening round, he rebounded with a win at round two in Georgia. Of course, he has his work cut out for him if Josh Strang continues to ride like he did in Florida. Then of course there’s Daniel Milner who appears to be adjusting to the long, grueling three-hour races. Plus they have a number of other competitors who are no strangers to excellent finishes.

It’s pretty hard to come up with a good prediction for this weekend, but one thing is for certain, it’s going to be a great race and has the potential to be one for the record books. We’ll see what happens, don’t miss it! 


Fowler, Neal and Borich Continue the Battle Heading into the Maxxis Cannonball GNCC

Photo Gallery: Wild Boar Afternoon Bikes

Photo Gallery: Wild Boar Afternoon ATVs

Check out all the Race Reports from the 2016 season opener HERE.

The ATV guys weren't the only ones who put on a great show, the XC1 bike race was epic as well!Photo: Ken Hill
The ATV guys weren't the only ones who put on a great show, the XC1 bike race was epic as well!Photo: Ken Hill

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Check out all the GNCC LIVE coverage this season on

Next GNCC LIVE Event: March 12-13

ATV Racing, Saturday March 12 at 1 p.m. ET

Bike Racing, Sunday March 13 at 1 p.m. ET