GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #23: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #23: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, June 14, 2018 | 4:00 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2018 | 4:00 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

With the Tomahawk GNCC in the books, there is now only one round that stands between summer break and us. This seems a bit hard to believe because it seems like it was just yesterday that we were kicking off the 2018 season and now only five rounds remain for the entire season. There’s no doubt that it has been one of the most exciting seasons in the history of GNCC Racing and if the next five rounds are anything like the first eight, then we’re in for a real treat. 

We now begin to look ahead to the toughest race of the season with next weekend’s Snowshoe GNCC. Since it’s inception in 2007, this has been one of the most popular but most difficult events on the current GNCC schedule as it pays tribute to the original GNCC event, the Blackwater 100. The infamous Howard’s Hole at Snowshoe bears many similarities to the Blackwater 100’s Route 93 River Crossing and the “it town” grand prix style start at Snowshoe is exactly like it was done at Blackwater. 

Be sure to check back next week for the low-down on this year’s Snowshoe course. The track WILL be going down to the Silver Creek area, so expect a long lap similar to last year’s course but don’t expect as many of the fast road sections as what ended up in last year’s bike course. Instead, we hope to have some good, technical woods trail that everyone should enjoy.

We’re busy with the High Point Pro Motocross National this week, so we’re actually going to keep this week’s edition of Quick Fill a little on the short side. So be sure to check back next week for all info leading up to Snowshoe. Until then, enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you at Snowshoe! 

Tomahawk was full of action!
Tomahawk was full of action! Ken Hill

Catching Up With Ken (Ken Hill)

Well another round is in the history books as we say goodbye to the Dunlop Tomahawk. We dodged the storms, had fair weather and all in all it was a decent weekend for the majority. I know that dust wasn’t on my favorite list but we have all seen worse and how about those chilly temperatures Saturday morning?! I warned you to be ready for anything! It sure seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves and for the majority, that is what this is all about; spending time with good friends and family and usually that’s all that counts. Now the top tier racers, well they get in a zone and do what they do and they put on another epic race on both days. 

Saturday’s races were pretty solid and I watched every one of them, well I kind of have to although I could probably close my eyes and try to take pictures. The youth racing was great again and Layne McCormick is like watching a mini pro out there. Not that the other racers do not deserve credit, they surely do. However, when you see one of these kids like Layne, you know he has the skill set to be the next Walker Fowler. I know first hand, my son raced and we had to read and listen to the Walker Fowler show after each event but he fully deserved it and even as competitors, we knew he was going all the way and he has done just that. No regrets, no jealousy, just respect for a rider who had everything he needed to march to the top.

You can pick a few racers that have done the same thing, there is just something about them that tells the world I am coming and you can’t stop me! Layne may be that rider or he could choose a different career path as many others do. It will be interesting to watch his career play out though and I wish him the best of luck as I do to all our racers each round! Now go to the other end of the spectrum as I was walking around taking starting line pictures and came across a young lady who stated she was really nervous. I told her a list of things that could go wrong and they are all part of racing. She smiled and seemed to let a few butterflies loose. I kept an eye on her during the race and she was all smiles under her helmet. For many, just competing is enough and winning is not even considered but this life will sure suck you in and if her fun factor has anything to do with her coming back, I am pretty sure she is already 100% sucked in for life! 

The 10 am race seemed to have everyone including myself watching that 4x4 Pro class to see if anyone could unseat Kevin Cunningham and his winning streak. When the checkers came out, indeed Landon Wolfe had secured his first win of 2018 with Cunningham skirting in behind him for second. While we were waiting for the podium celebrations to begin I chatted with Kevin and he stated after fueling his quad developed an issue and Landon raced by him for the lead and by the time the issue went away there wasn’t much he could do but take second and watch the race end with a new winner. No complaints, no anger, just an issue that he couldn’t control and always the upbeat winner we have all come to know. Snowshoe should be interesting between these two as that place can destroy your ride quickly and you know they will be pushing way past 100% so stay tuned for this one, it should be a great battle! 

By the time the afternoon race was on the line it was getting pretty warm. The sun was in and out and being out front was going to be paramount to stay ahead of the dust in the field sections before lapped traffic came into play. Walker Fowler charged off the line taking the holeshot and was off to do what he does. However this time, Chris Borich had him by the tail and wasn’t letting go. Borich looked like he did years ago, on the gas, taking control and in position to rip a win away at the end of the race. His plan worked right up until he tangled with a lapper allowing Fowler clean air and an unchallenged sprint to another win. Fowler was stoked as he has faced adversity this season and fending off such a challenger as Chris Borich is a feat that only a handful of people in the world can claim.

Borich was good with second but you could tell he has something left in the tank and Fowler should be bringing his A game and then some to every round. One slip, one wrong move and Borich is going to the center of the box! Joining them on the podium was Brycen Neal who had a day’s work ahead of him. His quad failed to fire putting him at the end of the pack off the start and he spent the next 2 hours working his way to the front. One more lap and we could have seen Brycen going after Borich, who was going after Fowler and my head is spinning! If you think the pro class is not heated then you may want to clean your glasses, its getting cranked back up and Snowshoe they may set the mountain on fire! 

As if Saturday’s action wasn’t good enough we ushered in Sunday with a bit more temperate weather. The stage was set for another great day of racing and that is exactly what we got. Payton Whipkey handled his business in the youth race and Mackenzie Tricker seemed to have found something she had been missing and tromped her way to another win in the WXC class. Both races were solid, good competition and well worth watching. Attention turned to the 1pm race and all eyes were on Kailub Russell, who has been doing what he does and looks to be on his way to another championship if he can fend off the charges being made by Thad Duvall. Duvall has opted out of the ISDE this year to be at home for the birth of his first child and that should give him a bit of extra time to train and keep his head in the game for the second half of the season. 

If we based this round on past rounds of the season, those two are who we would be talking about but Trevor Bollinger came out swinging for the fences at Tomahawk and it is his name garnering the attention! Bollinger settled in behind Russell and that was that. He was riding so clean and smooth that any mistake by Kailub and Bollinger would have been all over him. It was a real duel and had the fans cheering non-stop. Russell charged in for the win with Trevor only a bike length or two behind him. The momentum heading to Snowshoe should be epic for so many that it could go down as one of the best races ever so if you can get there do it and if not, tune in to RacerTv for the action! 

That is about all from me this week, I am rucking up and heading to Illinois for another round of ATV Motocross action at Walnut MX. One more round until we get a break and I know everyone will be wanting to lock down the first half of the season with a good showing so get things tuned up and ready for one heck of race to look forward to! As always, be safe in all you do and may God bless you all! 

Fantic e-MTB Racing Returns at Snowshoe! (Jared Bolton)

Don’t forget that the second round of Fantic e-MTB racing will take place next weekend at Snowshoe! This turned out to be a lot of fun at The John Penton and with some amazing mountain bike trails at Snowshoe, this round promises to be even more exciting. Make sure you bring your e-MTB and sign up because it’s a blast and anyone who sat out the first round really missed something special.

It also looks as if our friends from JNCC in Japan have been trying their hand at e-MTB racing as well. Check out this video our buddy Erek Kudla from the AMA sent us on behalf of his friend, Anson Maloney.

Don’t Forget About Golf at Snowshoe!

One more reminder on Snowshoe; don’t forget to sign up for the US ISDE Trophy Team Golf Tournament! You can get all the details HERE.