GNCC Racing

The News Herald: Local Rider Bollinger Wins Third Straight Event to Start Year at GNCC Steele Creek

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 | 2:10 PM

Pro off-road riders don’t get much hotter than Trevor Bollinger is at the moment.

Bollinger, 21, steered his Honda machine to a third consecutive XC 2 pro lites series victory to start the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series in 2016 on Sunday at the annual race held at the Steele Creek Campground course north of Morganton off N.C. 181 in the GNCC’s third of 13 championship races this season.

Bollinger is a Burke County native who attended Liberty Middle and Patton High before graduating from Avery County High. His win came on the heels of second- and third-place results at Steele Creek in the same series the last two years.

In between his last win and Sunday’s, Bollinger had also claimed a Mid East Hare Scramble Association race last weekend at Antioch Speedway’s off-road course.

On Sunday, the nationally-ranked Bollinger, also a former U.S. junior world trophy team member, bested both Layne Michael and Craig Delong to the finish line by 1 and 2 seconds after seven laps around the course, which if often described by riders as one of the nicest-looking yet most rugged stops all season.

Rain late last week in the days just prior to the event led to the rugged nature of this weekend’s action, creating certainly enough mud but not too much.

In other dirtbike action Sunday, Kailub Russell of Boonville won his record fourth straight XC1 Pro title. Among the local winners were Morganton’s Jesse Robinson in the Vet A (30+) race, Morganton’s Kaleb Stamey in 250 C (22+) and Valdese’s Manley Bradshaw in Silver Masters A.

Other top-10 Burke County riders included Patrick Billings (second; Trail Rider), Aaron Curtis (second; Sportsman B), Kyle Caraway (second; 200 C 16+), Jonathan McManus and Garen Mull (4-Stroke C lites), Seth Trumble (125 B/C), Nicj Reed Jr. (Super Vet C 35+), Ryan Stamey and Rick Barlow (250 C 22+), Tony Stamey (Super Senior C 45+), Chris McManus (4-Stroke A lites), Cameron Sisk (250 A) and Teddy Rhoney (Jr. A/B 25+). The Junior A/B race was claimed by Lattimore’s Lucas Towery.

Other Western N.C. winners Sunday included Bolton Beroth of Pfafftown (4-Stroke B lites), Connor Campbell of West Jefferson (200 B), Morgan Annas (4-Stroke C lites), Cody Gragg (Sportsman A),

On Sunday morning in youth bikes races, Morganton natives Mason Moretz and Maddox Moretz placed fourth and sixth respectively in the 7-9 and 4-6 age groups. Valdese’s Hannah Stephens, Morganton’s Sydney Roper, Caitlin Gauldin and Makayla Conner all placed in the top 10 of the girls (8-15) race.

While Sunday featured 44 bikes races over various skill and age divisions at Steele Creek, Saturday kicked off the weekend with 33 ATV races. Among the top local showings were Rodney Rector of Connelly Springs (third) and Zakery Arrowood of Morganton (fourth) in Trail Rider; William Myers of Morganton (fourth) in Junior B (22+); Brian Epley of Morganton (sixth) in Vet B (30+); and Haden Cooper of Morganton (seventh) in 50 Open Sr. (ages 7-11).

Walker Fowler of Rogers, Ohio, was the ATV XC1 Pro series champion.

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