GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #35: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #35: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 9:40 PM
Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 9:40 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

Another week has come and gone and we’re yet again going racing at Powerline Park. It’s an annual thing to have back-to-back opening rounds down south but due to this year’s ISDE schedule, we’re experiencing back-to-back rounds in the fall as well. This threw a pretty unique curve to the 2016 schedule but overall, it really doesn’t feel like it’s that much different than a two-week break between rounds. This weekend’s Powerline Park GNCC could see champions crowned and we have the info on that coming up a little later.

There’s lots of work to be done, so we’ll keep this intro short and sweet this week. As usual, I’ve got the low-down on the track coming up a little later, so read ahead to hear more. See you this weekend!

The UTV racers are back on track this weekend!
The UTV racers are back on track this weekend! Photo: Ken Hill

Weekly Updates (Chelsea Taylor)

Well just as things wrap up from the Mountaineer Run GNCC, it’s time to get back on the road and head to St. Clairsville! We know how tough back-to-back GNCCs are. Whether it comes to rebuilding a bike or quad, taking off work or simply just money, we appreciate everyone sticking it out so we can accommodate for the ISDE. Speaking of the ISDE, please join us on the start line for the pro bike race this weekend as we recognize all of our GNCC racers who have been selected to the Trophy and Junior Teams. 

Before the racing kicks off this weekend we will be heading to Harrison East Elementary School in Hopedale, Ohio on Friday. Hopedale is actually the home of XC2 competitor Kevin Yoho who will be helping us teach students about goal setting, perseverance and anti-bullying. We will also have Cody Collier joining us as well!

We got word that nine-time ATV National Champion Bill Ballance will be returning to the racing scene this Saturday. Although he will still be on four wheels, Bill will be competing in the UTV division instead of a quad race! We hope you are just as excited to see Bill this weekend as we are in the office! It has been awhile since the last UTV round and this weekend the fight for the title will continue. Class rookie, Cody Miller, currently leads the points race, but the defending champion, Kyle Chaney, is in hot pursuit. Catch all the action this Saturday at 4 p.m.

There are some really cool overall trophies up for grabs this weekend! Moto Metal Fabrication (@motometalfab) in Vermont personally designed our overall trophies and they are made almost exclusively from recycled parts off a dirt bike. Our trophies will utilize a clutch basket, spokes and tire nipples.

After back-to-back GNCC’s you may need some relaxing fun, and you can find that at the Ty Kesten Memorial Golf Outing. Next Saturday, October 8, the 1Six Foundation will be at the Moon Golf Club in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. All proceeds will benefit the 1Six Foundation as they continue the legacy that Ty left behind.  For more information please visit the webpage.

That’s all for the updates this week. Safe travels to Ohio and we’ll see you this weekend! 

Walker Fowler has the chance to hold onto that number one. Can he wrap up the title this weekend at Powerline Park?
Walker Fowler has the chance to hold onto that number one. Can he wrap up the title this weekend at Powerline Park? Photo: Ken Hill

Championships On The Line! (Rodney Tomblin)

This weekend will mark the penultimate round of the 2016 GNCC season and very well could finally bring the answers to many questions. The likelihood of both XC1 championships being wrapped up is very high. There are several scenarios but it looks like both will be claimed, unless something very off the wall happens. We all know anything can happen in GNCC Racing but the history of both riders tells us that the off the wall scenario doesn't carry as much weight as before but we must remember it still lurks.

Kailub Russell will have to finish 11th or better to clinch the bike title. This will mark his fourth title in the class and would be some great momentum heading into this year’s ISDE. Kailub was leading that event last year when he suffered the knee injury, which put him a little behind on training and testing coming into the season. This fourth championship is possibly one of the best so far knowing the obstacles of surgery late last year and the road he traveled to get quickly back on top. Kailub Russell is also now ranked second in overall bike wins on the all time wins list behind the great Scott Summers. 

Walker Fowler is looking at a little different scenario. Coming into the 2016 season Walker seemed to be worried about only one thing. The thing that plagued him most was whether or not he could back up his first ATV championship. The last three champions Barry Hawk, Bill Ballance and Chris Borich all had multiple championship seasons. Walker said he did not want to be the one that only got one and done. It was possibly his driving force this season. As far as wrapping up the title it is quite simple. If Adam McGill happens to win, Walker would have to finish 12th place or better. It's not out of the ordinary to see Adam win but it would be out of the ordinary to see Walker struggle and find himself in that position. Again though, this is GNCC and anything is possible.

The WXC in both ATV and bikes were decided this past weekend at Masontown. The classes this year both yielded new champions and offered a new level of excitement watching these classes. The ladies all came in on a mission this year and each raised the bars personally and in class making it one the most exciting seasons in recent history for both classes.

Congratulations to Alicia McCormick, your newly crowned WXC ATV National Champion. Alicia truly had her work cut out for her and faced the challenge without hesitation. If you have been watching Alicia, you know she was destined to get her name in the history books. She started later in life than most have done in the past in this class, but did not slow her in any way at all. It may have been more inspiration considering she has a husband and son.

Congratulations also go out to Becca Sheets, the 2016 WXC Bike National Champion. Becca too faced some big challenges and obstacles she had to overcome. It was only a year or so ago that Becca was coming up short on wins and even though she had the speed and could lead she could never seem to pull it all together. Amazingly after she figured out how to win it started becoming easier. Couple her ability to win with her consistency and one knew it may not be long before she became a championship contender. I for one will admit that I never expected to see Becca performing at the level she reached so quickly. However I know as well as anyone that once someone gets that taste and figures a few things out, they often times excel at monumental rates and this is exactly what happened to Becca. It is the result of hard work, heart and passion coming together to produce the rides to make it possible to become not only a winner but also a champion.

The 4x4 Pro class is one of the newest Pro classes we have in GNCC. Since it's beginning, Bryan Buckhannon has been the driving force and the one to beat in this class. This year, though, brought not only a new level but also some new blood. Even though the new competition brought the big guns, it was 4x4 Pro veterans rising to the top as we near the end of the season. Even though Buckhannon had a decent year, it was Kevin Cunningham pulling out to the forefront as we approach the end of the season. Cunningham has four wins this season and only finished out of top five one time. His hard riding and consistent rides should result in his being crowned champion. He has a 24-point lead heading into the last two rounds and with a little luck this weekend may very well capture that title becoming only the second champion this class has seen.

The XC1 UTV class will likely see a new champion crowned as well. Last year’s champion Kyle Chaney currently sits in second place points with two wins but a 9th and 18th place finish has him 31 points behind newcomer Cody Miller. Cody was a major competitor from the first time he showed his face at GNCC and it is no surprise he is doing so well. Not only is he a top UTV pilot but also top 4x4 Pro competitor who actually comes to GNCC with an ATVMX background. Cody should only have to drive to a consistent finish and cruise home to the UTV title. Like others there is the “anything can happen” scenario and will make for a very tense time this weekend just waiting to get on the track and let it all play out.

The Powerline Park GNCC will hold a number of special moments this weekend. Each race will hold something exciting to watch for and each will produce some of the most competitive racing may see this season. Be sure and check them all out if you are there and don't forget to check out the Single Seat race, which is becoming quickly a class of tight battles and intense racing. Only ten points separate the top four in the class which should bring the best racing this class has seen to date.

Remember you can catch most of all the battles we mention on this weekend beginning at around 1:00 pm eastern both days.

Getting out in nature is just another one of the things that make GNCC Racing so special!
Getting out in nature is just another one of the things that make GNCC Racing so special! Photo: Jared Bolton

Powerline Park Update! (Jared Bolton)

This year’s Powerline Park course is shaping up to be one of the best Powerline Park courses to date! The rains that have rolled through the area were actually much needed, as the track was very dry earlier this week. Actually, the famous Gus’ Mudhole had the least amount of water in it that I’ve ever seen. The start area has been moved back to its older location in the sloped field by where the pro pits have been the past few years.

You’re starting just beyond the finish line; so you won’t be experiencing a short opening lap this round. You’ll work your way off the start and to the patch of woods between the front gate and parking area. The trails are fairly open through here, so it’s a perfect place to go right off the start. You’ll work your way over to the power line, past the one-mile mark and into a little section of new trail. It’s a little on the tight side but a lot of fun. From there you make your way over to the famous Powerline Mudhole, which you have the option of jumping or going around. From there, everything from the two and three mile marks is pretty open and easy trail.

Just past the three you’ll get to your next major obstacle; Gus’ Mudhole. As always, if you stay to the left, it’s fairly shallow and still a fast way through while the far right is super safe but takes a little longer. The 1PM races have a new section after Gus’ that is pretty fun while the 10AM races have their own fun and flowing section. Both will come together around the 3.5-mile mark, into some twisty trails out to an open field section at the four-mile mark. This field section will work you in and out of some small woods, then back into more hard woods and to the five-mile mark.

There’s a mix of open, tight, fast and slow trails from the five to six mile marks. Just before the seven you have the big field behind the front gate with the option of shortcutting through some rocks, or going out and around. The straight line through the rocks will save you a good amount of time if you make it through there clean. From there its open trail to the eight-mile mark, then a section of trackside pitting before some more snug woods to the nine-mile mark. Just past the nine, you’ll drop down into a little valley that’s a rocky, kind of muddy bottom section before you go back up a hill out of it and work your way over to the ten-mile mark.

From there, it’s a mix of fast fields with some slower woods sections that you’ll make your way through before the eleven mile mark and over to the finish. Its going to end up being around 11.5 miles to make up the full loop and it has a mix of a little of everything! So we’ll see you guys there, it’s going to be a good one!