GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #38: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #38: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, December 7, 2017 | 4:30 PM
Thursday, December 7, 2017 | 4:30 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

With the banquet weekend finally coming and going, we can officially close the book on the 2017 GNCC Racing season. There’s no doubt that the season was full of ups and downs but overall it was a pretty exciting season full of record-breaking performances. That kind of excitement also leads us towards the 2018 season with high expectations of great racing, and of course loads of fun as well. Speaking of 2018, Chelsea will have a few details on the 2018 schedule coming up a little later in this week’s edition of Quick Fill, so keep reading ahead to get the details.

As always, the GNCC banquet was an excellent opportunity for us to gather as racers, families and friends alike and celebrate the accomplishments of top finishers in the 2017 season. Everyone I spoke to seemed to enjoy themselves and there’s some who took the opportunity to celebrate in style. How much style? Well, Steward Baylor showed up sporting a mullet that would put both Joe Dirt and Billy Ray Cyrus to shame. However, as quickly as the mullet made a big public appearance, it disappeared. Why? Well, Stu was polite enough to cut it off before he proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Jade! She said yes, so big congrats go out to Stu and Jade… However, it would’ve been pretty memorable with the mullet too. 

So all in all the 2017 GNCC Night of Champions banquet was as much fun as the 2017 season itself and lets us end the 2017 GNCC Racing season on a high note. It also sets the bar high for 2018, so here’s to capping off a great 2017 season and looking ahead to an even better 2018! 

Congrats to Andrew Delong for landing a ride with the Factory GasGas team!
Congrats to Andrew Delong for landing a ride with the Factory GasGas team! Courtesy Andrew's Facebook

Weekly Updates (Chelsea Taylor)

Things haven’t slowed down one bit after the banquet, and we are full speed ahead planning for the 2018 season. If you attended the banquet and saw the schedule in the program please be aware that the DATES ARE INCORRECT. We had originally shifted our schedule to accommodate for the ISDE, and just a few hours before the ATV and UTV banquet we found out the ISDE had been changed, allowing for us to use the traditional schedule dates. We hope to release the schedule sometime before Christmas. Good news is that the delay is because we are searching for NEW venues! We may not have all of them on this year’s circuit, but if everything goes well we should see some new stops on the tour sometime soon. 

Andrew Delong will be making his much-anticipated return to the front row this coming season on the Factory GasGas team. Andrew made some appearances this past fall, and rumors were quickly buzzing about him returning to the full series. I was so excited when I opened up my email and saw the official press release that it was true, and you can read for yourself HERE

Also, congratulations to all of our National Champions and Specialty Award winners from the banquet. If you couldn’t make it to the banquet, and would like to have your award sent to you, please fill out THIS FORM. You’ll be responsible for shipping, but it’s worth it to have your award sitting on that trophy shelf! The deadline to submit is Sunday, December 31. 

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC returned with their Ticket to Ride program for the fifth year at the banquet. Four lucky winners received a paid trip-for-two to Moab, Utah for a riding excursion with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC staff to take place this upcoming spring. Congratulations to Friday night’s winner’s 4x4 A champion Dwight Pollard from Clayton, Georgia, and WXC rider Alicia McCormick from Muncy, Pennsylvania, who will be provided with Side-by-Side machines on the trip. Motorcycles will be provided for Saturday night’s winners, Junior A/B (25+) competitor Kasey Belt from Weston, West Virginia and 4-Stroke A Lites rider Conner Keegan from Coal Center, Pennsylvania. Our GNCC Trail Boss, Jeff Russell, will also be tagging along! 

Walker Fowler's John Penton GNCC performance was one for the record books!
Walker Fowler's John Penton GNCC performance was one for the record books! Ken Hill

Looking Back on 2017 Part Seven (Jared Bolton)

If you’ve missed the last few weeks of Quick Fill, we’ve been taking a glance back on the 2017 season. We’ve been taking it round by round, breaking down what happened throughout the weekend at each event. It originally started by covering two rounds in each segment, but as the season progressed, each round has ended up needing it’s own section. We’re still discussing two events per week but there’s so much to discuss at some rounds that we’ve needed to give each event their own segment! So let’s pick back up where the left off. 

After an eventful Snowshoe GNCC, the series would head to Ohio for The John Penton GNCC, the final round before the GNCC Summer Break. Saturday’s ATV race was pretty exciting! On the opening lap, Walker Fowler would end up getting a fairly sizable log wedged in his machine. He lost a lot of time getting it out, getting things straightened out and getting back going again. Adam McGill would end up leading laps one through four, while Fowler was left to work his way through the pack. 

McGill, Chris Borich and Jarrod McClure would keep each other close throughout the majority of the race. However, Fowler was the man on the move making up time after his first lap mishap. In one of the most impressive rides in recent history, Fowler would charge through the pack, coming from 12th place on lap one, all the way up to fourth place when the white flag flew. Throughout the final lap, Fowler would pick off McClure, Borich and McGill to claim yet another win. 

Fowler himself admitted that he wasn’t sure he could pull off the win, but that determination and drive goes to show that when you’re face to face with adversity, you can push through the complications and finish what you set out to do. Borich would end the day in second place, with McGill rounding out the podium in third. Brycen Neal would sneak into the pack to finish the day in fourth place while Jarrod McClure would round out the top five. 

On the bike side, this would prove to be of the most interesting races of the season. Kailub Russell and Thad Duvall would have yet another tight battle, and exchange the lead lap after lap. Additional podium contenders would change throughout the day but Russell Bobbitt, Ricky Russell, and Josh Strang were all in podium contention at some point in the early stages of the race. The course included the tight and technical John Penton Section, which was a bit longer than the past couple of years and definitely played a part in keeping the racing tight, both figuratively and literally. 

Kailub Russell would experience some mechanical issues late in the race and it would be Thad Duvall crossing the finish line first with Grant Baylor in second and Kailub Russell in third. However, video surfaced of Thad choosing a line pointed by a spectator, more than 25 feet off the course which would result in a penalty and the win going to Grant Baylor. As for the XC2 guys, Layne Michael would put together his best performance of the season, leading wire to wire to claim the XC2 class win. Josh Toth would come from sixth place on the opening laps to finish the day second in XC2, while Craig Delong rounded out the XC3 podium. In the XC3 class, Hunter Neuwirth would claim his first-ever XC3 class win with Mark Heresco and Devan Welch rounding out the podium. 

After a great beginning to the season, the series would then head to summer break. In many ways it would be a welcomed relief, while it would also seem to drag on in other ways and have many people looking ahead to the final four rounds. 

This past weekend's GNCC Banquet was loads of fun!
This past weekend's GNCC Banquet was loads of fun! Ken Hill

Rappin’ With Rodney (Rodney Tomblin)

That’s it! It’s over! And that will do it! It is hard to believe it is over. However I will say this year certainly has been one of the best of my career from a racing standpoint. I can’t remember a season as a whole with the amount of competition in every series and form of racing that I was able to be a part of this year. It’s almost as if you say to yourself, “that was perfect! Don’t do anything to mess it up. Just walk away and live on the memories.” I’m sure many won’t but I’m sure it’s going to be hard to top. 

This past weekend’s banquet in Morgantown for the celebration of the “Night of Champions” was a great way to cap of this exciting year. It was good to see most of the XC1 Pro riders on both Friday and Saturday nights. The stories told were great and I have to say the speech that Kailub Russell presented from the heart was the best I ever heard him give. It was an honor to be part of such a monumental season of accomplishments for this young man and to think he is not done yet is a little overwhelming imagining where it will lead and what kind of records will be posted by the time he is done. The same thing goes for Walker Fowler, who has a host of things to check off his list of trying to become the best ATV GNCC racer ever. Fowler’s wins keep adding up and it appears no one has anything to challenge him with yet so the reign could live long. 

And now we are faced with the long off-season. I have no idea right now what is going on as most folks are readying for Christmas before heading south somewhere dry and warm to train for the 2018 season. So right now there is nothing for me to talk about and I won’t bore you with a host of words that go nowhere. 

That’s it for me for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs. 

The Unadilla GNCC would see several lead changes throughout the day. Read ahead to relive the action.
The Unadilla GNCC would see several lead changes throughout the day. Read ahead to relive the action. Ken Hill

Looking Back on 2017 Part Eight (Jared Bolton)

Continuing with our look back on the 2017 season, we’ll roll on past summer break and head back into the action at Unadilla. This proved to be yet another exciting round full of close racing and some interesting moments as well. Overall, it ended up being one of the most fitting ways to return from summer break as the action on the track helped to kill those summer break blues that many people were faced with. 

Saturday’s ATV race would see a similar start to the first part of the season. It would be Walker Fowler jumping out front to the early lead. There’s no question that it would be yet another day that Walker was on top of his game, as he would actually lead wire to wire to claim the win, leading every single lap along the way. Chris Borich would keep Walker close in the opening portions of the race but he ended up running into some mechanical issues, which cost him a lot of time on lap four. Borich would end up dropping out of podium contention but still managed to finish the race and rally back from 13th place to finish 10th in the XC1 class. 

Jarrod McClure would put together an impressive ride, hanging inside the top five on the opening laps to put himself up into podium contention and eventually finish second place on the day. Another impressive ride would come from Brycen Neal, who worked his way from as far back as ninth place on lap one to end the day on the podium in third place. Westley Wolfe would also have a great day, finishing a season best fourth place while Landon Wolfe rounded out the top five. Adam McGill would hang around the top five for most of the race but he ended up suffered a break down in the final lap and would need to be towed in. On the flip side, Walker’s win would mark his ninth of the season, which was good enough to secure the 2017 GNCC ATV National Championship, his third one in a row. 

On the bike side, it would be back to business as usual for Kailub Russell. However, Ricky Russell, Ryan Sipes and Jordan Ashburn would all lead laps of their own before Kailub worked his way into the lead. Once Russell found the lead, he would stay there and hold on for the win, pushing himself one round closer to his fifth championship. With Kailub out front, that would leave the battle up to the boys looking to round out the podium. Steward Baylor would work his way through the pack, coming from seventh place on the opening lap, to finish the day second overall. Early leader, Ricky Russell, would stay within podium contention all day and end up third. 

In the XC2 ranks, Layne Michael would pick back up where he left off before summer break. He would once again lead wire to wire to claim the XC2 class win but this time it would be Ben Kelley ending the day in second place, his second podium finish of the season. Craig Delong would end up on the podium in third place while Josh Toth and Austin Lee would round out the top five in fourth and fifth place, respectively. 

With the final push of the season coming up, things were getting exciting and would make for three more exciting rounds following Unadilla. Be sure to check back next week to pick back up where we left off!

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