GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #31: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #31: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, August 30, 2018 | 11:45 AM
Thursday, August 30, 2018 | 11:45 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

The summer break is beginning to wind down as we head into Labor Day weekend. The next couple of weeks serve as a final push to prepare for the final rounds of the 2018 GNCC Racing season as we’re now just about two weeks away from kicking things back off with the Black Sky GNCC in New York. If you read last week’s edition of Quick Fill, you’ll already know what’s coming next as I want to repeat a few of those things because it’s good info. 

For starters, this new Black Sky GNCC will be a good one! The terrain is probably more similar to the Tomahawk GNCC opposed to when we were racing at Unadilla, but the size of the property is more comparable to Unadilla. So that means you can expect a slightly shorter racecourse and a little bit tighter parking so please be courteous when parking and be courteous on the track as well. Rob Johnson is the landowner at Black Sky and he’s definitely an off-road fanatic. On top of that, he’s a multi-talented guy and is actually creating the overall trophies himself, so it will be pretty interesting to see what he comes up with. 

The weekend between Black Sky and the new Mason-Dixon GNCC presents a pretty unique opportunity. The 28th annual DC Vet Homecoming will take place at High Point Raceway with GP-style Moto-X Country racing on Saturday and the traditional motocross racing on Sunday. Saturday’s GP course will consist of some of the same sections of racecourse you will be riding for the Mason-Dixon GNCC, so you’ve got a unique chance to have a little teaser of the course. Make a weekend out of it and do some motocross racing on Sunday as well. If you’re not a big motocrosser, no worries! We cut out a couple of the bigger jumps for the Vet Homecoming and it makes for a really fun and woods-rider friendly racetrack. You can get more info HERE

We’ll then roll into what I like to call a “new, old event” with the Mason-Dixon GNCC. The event will be based out of the Mathews Farm property, located across the street from High Point Raceway. Mathews Farm hosted some GNCC events from 2001-2003 but hasn’t seen any sort of racing since. They’ve also added a big chunk of property since we were last there, so the course will start on the Mathews Farm property in Pennsylvania, make its way across the state line into West Virginia, head back into Pennsylvania and head over to the High Point Raceway property, which hasn’t hosted a GNCC since 2002! These are going to be some really, really cool events so make sure you plan everything out to attend all of these and make your fall as eventful as possible. 

In other off-road news, Thad Duvall made his return to racing and came away with the win at last weekend’s Grassman National Enduro in Ohio. Thad is out of the championship hunt in the enduros, but the heat is on between Steward Baylor and Josh Toth. Stu holds the lead right now with just a four-point margin over Toth. These two are both on top of their game in the National Enduro Series, so it’s going to be pretty exciting to see how things play out in these final rounds. 

That’s going to do it for the intro this week. We hope you enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and wish you the best of luck in any racing you may take part in. Enjoy the rest of the Quick Fill goodies. 

Ken paid a visit to our friends from IXCR in Indiana and had a blast!
Ken paid a visit to our friends from IXCR in Indiana and had a blast! Ken Hill

Catching Up With Ken (Ken Hill)

We are just a few weeks away from going back to GNCC Racing! At this point, it sure seems like the break was really short… If you were among the lucky ones who got a break that is! I have to admit, I was missing the action and with the gardens doing absolutely zilch, I took up an invite to head out to Indiana to partake in a weekend of racing action and a few shenanigans at the Beach Farm round of the IXCR series. The IXCR should be a pretty well known series as they are our partners at the Ironman and X Factor GNCC events and many of our racers either run the series or attend several of their events throughout the season. Tim, Michelle and Craig Bowman handle the series, as well as the assorted cast that handles duties during the weekend. I have to say, the effort put into making everything look great or unique really makes the hard work stand out; be it their canopies, trailers and such or their one off trophies that key in on their riders and the event specifically. Jeff Rowland is the main man behind making that happen and he has taken up running cameras to video each event to further garner attention for those on the World Wide Web. 

These folks are all huge GNCC fans and every time I visit I feel like family surrounds me. The racers and families are all familiar faces and quick to thank the GNCC staff for all their hard work, which is always good to hear. Jeff commented about this year’s RacerTV programs and how much better they seem to be. So for those who handle that side of things, take a bow, you are doing an excellent job! Getting to chat with folks about both series is always entertaining and makes for a good time when the stories start flowing, 

The first time I ever heard of the IXCR series was many years ago and I was invited to come check out the action. Unfortunately, I fell sick on the way there and was unable to make that round, only to hit a following round and get a real surprise. I assumed this was just a local series and although Indiana is and always has been an off-road racing hotbed, I was blown away when over 700 riders showed up and that was just Sunday! There are a ton of reasons for these good numbers and one of them is the unique properties these races are held at. I have learned to never underestimate Indiana’s terrain and Craig Bowman knows his way around these venues and includes some seriously cool sections when he can. The racers usually start the buzz about a creek crossing, hill climb or man made obstacles as the social media frenzy gets ramped up heading into the race weekend. That is another area where these folks excel and that is the use of social media to promote and remain in touch with their base of racers and it works. 

I have always felt that off-road racing had its own feeder system to bring in new people and this series a prime example of that. The IXCR really caters to youth racing both ATV and bikes and many of these young faces end up on the line at a GNCC regularly. Luring new riders in and then having them stay in the racing community is paramount to any success we may find in the bigger picture. It is so cool to be chatting with a young rider and have them ask if I know Kailub Russell or Walker Fowler! And they get a chance to meet some of our stars as many pros make it to a few rounds. That really sets the stage for a big racing day with the world’s top talent on the line at what many call their home series and sometimes it is the only chance they get to see a pro all season. So it is a pretty big deal especially for the youth racers. 

The weekend runs as an almost exact copy of the GNCC series so if you’ve done an IXCR and want to try a national event, most of what you did will be the same routine at a GNCC. The class structure and races for the youth are a tad different but the overall procedures are roughly the exact same. This works well for those making the move to a national event. Be it the ones held in Indiana or surrounding states and familiarity keeps things rolling along. 

The extra activities held at most rounds are very entertaining. At this round, they held a Hula contest, Strider bike race and a Scooter race that drew quite a crowd. It is all in good fun and really adds to the day. I think the biggest difference between this and a national is that most of the ATV and UTV racers roll out for home and the bike riders don’t roll in immediately due to being in their home state which allows some breathing room for the staff to have a bit of fun with things. Beyond that, I can tell you that these events are every bit as hard to cover as a national especially the way the youth races are broken up but it is still a ton of fun being out there! 

Well, that’s all from me this week. It felt good having some actual racing info to include this week that wasn’t just gleaned from social media. I want to thank the entire IXCR staff and all of their racers for a great weekend of cross country racing and I look forward to seeing many of you when we head to New York for the Black Sky GNCC! As always, be safe in what you do and may God bless you all! 

Battles for class championships will be in full force in the final four rounds!
Battles for class championships will be in full force in the final four rounds! Ken Hill

Championship Battles Heating Up! (Jared Bolton)

As we head into the final rounds of the season, now is the time to take a look at some of the championships that are on the line in these final rounds. Some folks may already have some titles wrapped up and others may be close. Obviously this all depends on where things fall with the final four rounds and how things will play out with the drops. So, here’s a little disclaimer before diving into this; these discussions do not factor in any drops. Those drops will ultimately have an effect on some of this, but right now we’re just discussing points as they currently sit. This week we’ll take a look at some of the A-class bike classes and we’ll dive into the ATV and UTV side next week. 

Obviously all eyes are on the battle for the National Championship. As things stand right now, Kailub Russell holds a 54-point lead over Thad Duvall. While this is a pretty good lead, things are definitely not over yet. One bit of misfortune from Kaliub could tighten things right back up and we all know that anything is possible in the world of GNCC Racing. Trevor Bollinger sits third place overall with a total of 164-points, which is just 15 points ahead of Steward Baylor in the fourth place spot. Josh Strang rounds out the top five just 13 points behind Baylor. 

In the XC2 class, Ben Kelley and Josh Toth have been engaged in a season-long battle that currently has Kelley sitting in the lead, 13 points ahead of Toth. These guys have been able to amass a pretty good lead over the Coastal Racing teammates of Pascal Rauchenecker and Craig Delong. Pascal sits in third, 80 points out of second while Delong sits fourth, just a mere three points behind Pascal. Austin Lee currently sits fifth place in the XC2 class points but is within striking distance, as he’s just 11 points behind Delong. 

As for the XC3 guys, Jesse Ansley currently leads the way, 16 points ahead of Jason Raines in second. Of course, third place rider Alex Teagarden isn’t very far behind as he’s just 15 points behind Raines and 31 points out of the lead. Cody Barnes sits in the fourth place spot and is only 13 points out of the third place spot. Jason Langenback rounds out the top five XC3 riders. 

Conner Smith currently leads the Open-A class by three points over Bryce Koster while Cope Beckert sits third place, 20 points behind second. Eric Giese holds the fourth place spot, just 13-points behind fourth place while fifth place rider Tyler Soriano is seven points behind fourth. In the 250 A class, Brewer Cawley and Chase Hayes are separated by just ten points while third place rider, Simon Johnson, is just a mere four points behind Hayes. Owen Giese and Jojo Bowden round out the top five, but the end of season drops may help Bowden in a tremendous way as he’s amassed the most wins so far this season. 

As for the 200 A class, its been a tight battle between Ryder Leblond and Joe Marsh. Joe is a multi-time Vet A class champion who decided to take on some of the young guys this season, and he’s been able to show that sometimes experience can beat youth. Leblond leads the way but Marsh is only one point out of the lead. Michael Beeler Jr sits third place and is just six points behind Marsh and seven points out of the lead! Dylan Zimpel and Zachary Davidson currently round out the top five in the 200 A class points. 

Bolton Beroth has put together a consistent season thus far in the 4-Stroke A Lites class as he holds a 26 point lead over Johnny Manera. Brody Johnson actually has the most wins so far and sits third place with Blake Grindstaff and Michael Delosa rounding out the top five. In the Junior A/B 25+ class its Andrew Boggs leading the way with a seven-point lead over Dustin Ulrich. Tyler Bruton is third, just one point behind Ulrich while Jesse Kildow and Nick Mellinger are currently ranked fourth and fifth. 

In the Vet A class, Sam Forrester holds a commanding 44 point lead over two riders currently tied for second, Louis Olian and Andrew Matusek. When drops come into play, Matusek may slide into the lead as he’s been able to amass the most wins of the season but has missed three rounds due to other commitments. Fourth place currently goes to Jared Hoffman who holds a three-point lead over fifth place rider, Bill Zavidny. Then we come to the Senior A class where Shotgun Shawn Remington holds a one point lead over Frank Massina. However, Frank has been able to amass six wins this season and as with other guys, the drops could help him in his championship hunt. Rick Burton holds the third place spot, just ten points behind second while it’s Frank Tussel and Larry Silvia rounding out the top five. 

So as you can see, there are some close battles taking place throughout the A-class ranks. End of season drops will determine a lot of these, but some bad luck in the final rounds could change things drastically as well. Stay tuned, it’s only going to get better from here!