GNCC Racing

Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC Women’s Race Report

Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC Women’s Race Report

Friday, March 16, 2018 | 9:55 PM
Friday, March 16, 2018 | 9:55 PM

Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC Women’s Race Report
Victory is claimed by McCormick and Jones

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (March 16, 2018) – Round two of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, took place this past weekend, March 10th and 11th in Palatka, Florida. For the fourth year in a row, the Hog Waller Mud Bog & ATV Park hosted the prestigious event, suitably named the “Wild Boar” GNCC. The 2-day event kicked off the 77th running of the famed Daytona Bike Week.

A total of 53 female competitors lined up over the weekend, with Muncey, Pennsylvania’s Alicia McCormick taking her first win of the season, and defending 2017 champion Tayla Jones taking her second win in the premier classes. 

Alicia McCormick secured her first win of the 2018 season at the Wild Boar GNCC.
Alicia McCormick secured her first win of the 2018 season at the Wild Boar GNCC. Ken Hill

Florida gave up something for everyone. The majority of the trail consisted of deep sand, which worked its way into equally deep whoops. The famed Florida swamps were unforgiving as well, with bottomless holes and soft spots that swallowed man and machine near whole. To really complicate matters, the track crew threw in some tighter-than-usual sections with an assortment of palmetto and tree roots. Conditions were great for the 1,112 riders who competed over the course of the weekend, with no rain and relatively mild temperatures compared to the heat waves seen years past. 

In the ATV Women’s pro division, Traci Pickens of Pennsylvania grabbed the holeshot, with Ohio’s Sadiee Gorrell and Alicia McCormick, also of Pennsylvania, close behind. The dust was more of a challenge than it would be for the motorcycles the next day, leaving those in the back of the pack at a marked disadvantage. Georgia’s Megan Shepherd would move up through the ranks to second place by the 12-mile marker. But as luck would have it, she soon clipped a tree, crashed and was pinned under her machine, pushing her back to 6th place.

The original top three riders continued to hang closely together that first lap, coming into the barrels with only five seconds between the three of them. Katelyn Osburn of New York got stuck in some ruts on the first lap and was down roughly a minute and a half from the pack in fourth place. Fifth was taken by Jaida Phillips, who had recovered from a poor start and losing her seat two corners into the race. 

Traci Pickens got off to a great start, snagging the holeshot. She would finish the day out in second overall. 
Traci Pickens got off to a great start, snagging the holeshot. She would finish the day out in second overall.  Ken Hill

On lap two, second place rider Gorrell ‘s engine blew up. With Gorrell out of the race, Osburn moved up into third place. By this time Shepherd was back on the gas and charged back up to fourth. Phillips was still holding down the fifth place position, and this is where the two of them would stay for the remainder of the race. Near the middle of this lap, McCormick took over the lead, although she and Pickens would go back and forth a couple of times.

Meanwhile, Osburn had been steadily plugging away at the leaders. Coming into the last lap, she, McCormick and Pickens were all separated by less than twenty seconds apiece. Pickens lost sight of McCormick after getting tangled with a lapper, and Osburn slipped past her to take over second place. Pickens assumed she was going to take a third for the day, but in the last field section, less than two miles from the finish, Osburn started to have issues with her machine. Despite these problems, she was still able to take the last podium spot and 27th overall, but it definitely wasn’t easy. “About a mile and a half before the end of the race my clutch went out. I managed to limp it along in first gear to the finish,” offered Osburn. “I actually had to walk it the last little bit through the finish line. I still managed a podium position and some points though, so I can’t complain.”

Although safely around Osburn, Pickens was not able to close the gap on McCormick. When asked about her race, she replied, “Me and Florida terrain sorta have a love-hate relationship. I pulled the holeshot - my GBC tires sure do hook up - and I ended up in second today. Congratulations to Alicia [McCormick] on her win and props to Kate [Osburn] and crew on still getting her to the finish line for third!” In addition to her second place finish, Pickens took 14th place overall. Your winner, Alicia McCormick, took 10th overall and made similar remarks about Florida, keeping it short and sweet: “Surviving Florida is typically a win for me, actually winning Florida is just icing on the cake!”  McCormick more than survived, she racked up 10th Overall honors in a field of over 150 riders.

Korie Steede put her Factory GasGas/FAR machine out front early with the holeshot in the WXC bike division. 
Korie Steede put her Factory GasGas/FAR machine out front early with the holeshot in the WXC bike division.  Ken Hill

For the second race in-a-row, 13-year old Bella Burgess of Pennsylvania put the hammer to the boys, finishing 2nd in the 125 Sr. (12-15) division. Twelve-year old Morgan Johnson of Ohio (YAM) won a hard-fought battle over Indiana’s Alexis Keyes (YAM), capturing the win in the ATV Girls (8-15) Class. Thirteen-year old Andrea Rodgers (YAM) from Ohio rounded out the podium. Johnson, Keyes and Burgess finished 11th, 12th and 13th overall, respectively, out of 52 youth riders. The winner of the amateur Women’s class was Indiana’s Stephanie Wray Parks (HON). 

In the bike WXC class, Korie Steede from Ohio took the holeshot, with Australia’s Mackenzie Tricker and Indiana’s Rachel Gutish hot on her heels. The first lap was a rough one for the WXC riders, with most of the top racers going down at least once during the lap. The track crew had kindly bulldozed large swaths of the course, giving the AM riders what appeared to be a smooth trail to start, masking the many roots and palmettos hidden beneath the thin layer of san, roots that were not dusted off until the second lap. Returning champion Tayla Jones, another Aussie, went down in the second corner, forcing her to charge her way up through the pack. Steede fell less than a mile into the race, as did Ohio’s Becca Sheets. Tricker soon followed, leaving Gutish to take a short-lived lead. Still early in the first lap, Jones regained the lead, and Tricker got by Gutish to take over second position. The two were already well on their way to establishing a solid lead when Gutish finally fell victim to a hidden root.

With only a few miles before the Scoring Zone, Sheets made her move into third. Tricker meanwhile, would crash again, damaging her lever and leaving her without a front brake. She stopped just before the end of the lap to make repairs, allowing Sheets, Gutish and Brooke Cosner of Maryland to pass, dropping Tricker back to fifth, only a few seconds ahead of Steede. 

KR4/Husqvarna's Tayla Jones dominated the field at round two, and came away with the WXC class win.
KR4/Husqvarna's Tayla Jones dominated the field at round two, and came away with the WXC class win. Ken Hill

By this point, Jones had established a commanding lead over the rest of the pack, which would only continue to grow. She took the win and first place overall in the AM race, beating out 336 other racers. As Tayla recounted after the race, “I found a groove pretty quick, and once I moved into the lead, I just rode my own race and tried not to make any mistakes.” Meanwhile, Sheets, while unable to make a dent in Jones’ lead, was able to amass a considerable lead of her own, and the two riders would remain unchallenged throughout the rest of the race. Sheets finished second in class and third overall, remarking, “Honestly, I was riding really well and feeling great on the bike. I just wasn’t able to make up the ground lost early on. The track turned out to be really fun and flowy despite the rough conditions.” On the other hand, Tricker’s race took a serious turn for the worse. Although she had gained ground on the main pack, a risky line choice through the mudhole sank both her race and her bike, giving her a 12th place finish for the event. 

On lap three, Cosner had caught up to Gutish and made a pass for third place before colliding with a lapper, losing a considerable amount of fuel in the crash. Adding insult to injury, when her bike finally ran completely out of gas on the last lap, Cosner lost her footing and dropped it in the same pool of water that took out Tricker. Lucky for her, the hole was within sight of the finish line, and Brooke and her mechanic were able to push the bike through to the finish, holding on to fourth place. Gutish took the last podium spot and fourth place overall, reflecting that “Sometimes you really do have to slow down to go faster. I know sand isn’t my thing, and after going down hard on lap one, I decided to back it down a bit and smooth out. Looks like that decision paid off.” 

Although the top four were settled and held their position by the time the fourth lap began, the battle for 5th place was still hot. Steede, Eden Netelkos of Vermont and Florida’s own hometown rider Kelsey Saltar swapped places throughout the last three laps. Netelkos would encounter problems towards the end of the race, and finish one lap short of the pack. Steede took 5th place, passing Saltar after she suffered a nasty crash.

In the Bike Girls (8-15) class, 13-year old Prestin Raines (YAM) took the win, followed by 15-year old Marina Cancro and 14-year old Jenna Key. Pennsylvania’s Annelisa Davis (KTM) took the win in the Women’s class, while South Carolina’s Alli Phillips (HQV) came out on top in the Women’s C division. 

The Women In Racing Conference took place at Daytona International Speedway. GNCC riders, Becca Sheets and Traci Pickens shared how they got into racing.
The Women In Racing Conference took place at Daytona International Speedway. GNCC riders, Becca Sheets and Traci Pickens shared how they got into racing. Provided

The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes tomorrow and Sunday, March 17 and 18, in Washington, GA with the Maxxis General GNCC, with ATV racing on Saturday and bike racing on Sunday. 

For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at 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.

Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC
Palatka, Florida
Round 2 of 13
March 10 & 11 

ATV WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Alicia McCormick (SUZ) Ye Olde Cycle Barn
  2. Traci Pickens (YAM) GBC / Yamaha / Fly Racing
  3. Katelyn Osburn (HON) Spider Graphix
  4. Megan Shepherd (HON) Stewart Boys Racing
  5. Jaida Phillips (YAM) GBC/Rekluse
  6. Sadiee Gorrell (YAM) Maxxis / Fivesixo Graphics / Custom Axis / Pierce Performance 

ATV WXC National Championship Standings:

  1. Traci Pickens (55)
  2. Alicia McCormick (51)
  3. Katelyn Osburn (46)
  4. Megan Shepherd (36)
  5. Sadiee Gorrell (30)
  6. Jaida Phillips (30) 
  7. Kara Short (16) 

Bike WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Tayla Jones (HQV)  KR4 / Husqvarna
  2. Becca Sheets (KTM)  Fly / Maxxis / Seat Concepts / KTM
  3. Rachel Gutish (BET) Beta USA / Braaap Shop of Mendota
  4. Brooke Cosner (YAM) Tely Energy
  5. Korie Steede (GAS) GasGas / FAR
  6. Kelsey Saltar (KTM) O’Donnell Landscaping
  7. Eden Netelkos (KTM) Garden of Eden Racing
  8. Shyann Phelps (KTM)
  9. Natasha LaChapelle (KTM)
  10. Sheryl Hunter (HQV) 

Bike WXC Pro National Championship Standings:

  1. Tayla Jones (60)
  2. Becca Sheets (50)
  3. Brooke Cosner (36)
  4. Rachel Gutish (33)
  5. Korie Steede (32)
  6. Mackenzie Tricker (30)
  7. Eden Netelkos (29)
  8. Shyann Phelps (26)
  9. Kelsey Saltar (15)
  10. Shelby Rolen (14) 

About GNCC Racing

The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series (“GNCC”) is America's premier off-road racing series, featuring motorcycles, ATVs and Side-by-Sides, for men, women and children of all ages. 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 trails ranging in length from 8 to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed, drawing talent from all over the United States, Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised on NBC Sports and For more information, visit  

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 Not a member? Join the AMA today: