X-Factor GNCC WXC Race Report

X-Factor GNCC WXC Race Report

TimeTuesday, May 23, 2017 | 2:00 PM
by:
TimeTuesday, May 23, 2017 | 2:00 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chelsea Taylor
(304) 284-0084
[email protected]  

X-Factor GNCC WXC Race Report
Traci Pickens and Becca Sheets Top the Charts

PERU, Ind. (May 23, 2017) – After an abundant amount of rainfall in the Midwest, the inaugural X-Factor GNCC provided the most difficult race conditions the WXC competitors have seen all season. X-Factor Whitetails in Peru, Indiana hosted a total of 49 female competitors who took on the muddy conditions throughout the course of the two-day event this past weekend, May 20 and 21.

Nine-time WXC champion Traci Pickens kicked off the women’s professional racing action on Saturday morning, but faced some bad luck when she tagged a tree just about a mile into the race. Picken’s mistake allowed for the entire class to pass her, and Angel Knox to take the lead. Knox followed the 4x4 Pros up a hillclimb, but Dillinger's Celtic Pub’s Katelyn Osburn had a faster line and moved into first by the conclusion of the first lap.

WXC riders battle through the first turn at the inaugural X-Factor GNCC in Peru, Indiana.
WXC riders battle through the first turn at the inaugural X-Factor GNCC in Peru, Indiana. Ken Hill

Knox and Pickens found themselves in a heated battle and pushed back though the field. The duo quickly made quick work of the conditions as the rain began to fall again. With a deteriorating track, Knox gave it all she had to pass Pickens until her motor blew and she had to be towed out of the woods.

“My motor got so hot that it melted the oil cap and blew up the clutch,” said Knox. “Once I got home and opened up the motor, five of the eight friction plates were broken and the motor at the rest. Never in my racing career have I ever experienced that. It was a crazy day with a fun track, but the mud wasn’t that fun!”

Traci Pickens was the only WXC rider to complete four laps on Saturday.
Traci Pickens was the only WXC rider to complete four laps on Saturday. Ken Hill

Pickens tried her best to avoid getting stuck on the last lap and took her second win of the season. Knox still continued to hold onto second for the day, and defending champion and Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Alicia McCormick recovered from a dead last start to round out the podium in third.

“It was pretty miserable, but I kept a good attitude and had fun,” said McCormick. “At the end of the day I wasn’t the fastest or the smartest racer but I finished and I finished third, which I can’t complain about after how many times I was stuck!”

Defending champion, Alicia McCormick, was all smiles after a hard fought race for third.
Defending champion, Alicia McCormick, was all smiles after a hard fought race for third. Ken Hill

The rain continued to fall overnight, and Racer Productions made the tough decision to combine the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. races into one single two-hour race on Sunday. The WXC class lined up on row six, where Trail Jesters KTM-backed Mackenzie Tricker pulled her first ever GNCC holeshot. Tricker continued leading until RPM/KTM’s Rachel Gutish made the pass.

Gutish continued to push through, while Tricker continued to have problems. Meanwhile, defending champion and Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets was busy making up time after she got stuck in a mudhole. Gutish also faced problems on the last lap. Tricker capitalized on her competition’s mistake and took command of the lead, but it wasn’t long until Sheets powered through the pack. With only a few miles to go, Sheets found herself in the lead for the first time in the race where she continued to ride until she saw the checkered flag.

Becca Sheets managed to take home her first win on the season on Sunday.
Becca Sheets managed to take home her first win on the season on Sunday. Ken Hill

“I started closing the gap on Tricker during the last lap and continued to give it all I had on the last lap. After she made a wrong turn I was able to take over the lead,” said Sheets. “My last lap was my smoothest lap, and I’m pumped to take a win on such a crazy day of racing!”

This win marks Sheet’s first victory of the 2017 season. Tricker and Gutish rounded out the class podium. Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/Husqvarna Team’s Tayla Jones, chose to sit out the race due to illness. She hopes to return ready for battle at the next round.

Sunday's WXC Podium: (1) Becca Sheets, (2) Mackenzie Tricker (3) Rachel Gutish.
Sunday's WXC Podium: (1) Becca Sheets, (2) Mackenzie Tricker (3) Rachel Gutish. Ken Hill

The combined race on Sunday was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as an archived video now online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will air Saturday, June 17 at noon.

The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes this coming weekend, May 27 and 28, with the Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio.

Saturday's overall ATV winner, Johnny Gallagher, lends a helping hand to Mckenzie Tricker.
Saturday's overall ATV winner, Johnny Gallagher, lends a helping hand to Mckenzie Tricker. Ken Hill

For more information on the series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.

X-Factor GNCC
Peru, Indiana
Round 6 of 13
May 20-21, 2017

WXC ATV Event Results:

  1. Traci Pickens (YAM)
  2. Angel Knox (HON)
  3. Alicia McCormick (SUZ)
  4. Jaida Phillips (YAM)
  5. Katelyn Osburn (HON)
  6. Abbi Troy (HON)
  7. Kara Merritt (YAM)
  8. Kamren Bobb (HON)

WXC ATV Series Standings:

  1. Angel Knox (116)
  2. Traci Pickens (116)
  3. Katelyn Osburn (105)
  4. Alicia McCormick (99)
  5. Kara Merritt (96)
  6. Kamren Bobb (73)
  7. Jaida Phillips (57)
  8. Megan Shepherd (52)
  9. Melanie Sill (49)
  10. Abbi Troy (29)

WXC Bike Event Results:

  1. Becca Sheets (KTM)
  2. Mackenzie Tricker (KTM)
  3. Rachel Gutish (KTM)
  4. Natasha Lachapelle (KTM)

WXC Bike Series Standings:

  1. Becca Sheets (113)
  2. Mackenzie Tricker (109)
  3. Tayla Jones (100)
  4. Rachel Gutish (100)
  5. Shelby Rolen (57)
  6. Brooke Cosner (50)
  7. Kendall LaFollette (48)
  8. Rachael Archer (30)
  9. Allie Spurgeon (26)
  10. Felicia Robichaud (25)

About GNCC Racing

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised weekly on NBC Sports and RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

-RP-