GNCC Racing

Powerline Park GNCC Women’s Race Report

Powerline Park GNCC Women’s Race Report

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | 4:10 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | 4:10 PM

Powerline Park GNCC Women’s Race Report
Repeat wins for Sheets and Pickens 

CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (October 24, 2018) – The twelfth round of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship took place on October 13th and 14th at Powerline Park in St. Clairsville, Ohio. It’s well-worn but familiar to longtime series chasers, with several good spectator points to keep the non-riders entertained. The race started at the base of a gradual hill, with the first several corners zig-zagging up the hill before sending the riders into the trees at the top. Often muddy at Powerline, the 2018 race did not disappoint. Rain earlier in the week softened the ground, making it almost tacky, with only a few truly muddy spots. Banks and ruts formed in almost every corner, and the nearly 11-mile course passed by quickly. 

Alicia McCormick grabbed the holeshot Saturday morning.
Alicia McCormick grabbed the holeshot Saturday morning. Ken Hill

There were a couple of mudholes and rutted sections for the AM riders, however, the mudhole jump and the FMF PowerPoint hill climb were both bypassed in the morning race. It was a cool 48 degrees at the start of the morning bike race on Sunday, but for the ATV riders it was downright frigid, with highs in the low 40s. On Saturday, Traci Pickens would persevere through the miserable weather to win her eighth race of the season and take home her ELEVENTH championship in the premier women’s class. Ohio native Becca Sheets took her third win at her hometown race, repeating last round’s performance at the Mason-Dixon.

In the bike WXC race, Alicia McCormick got the holeshot, and was able to hang onto the lead for the first lap and part of the second. Partway through the second lap she encountered a bottleneck, and got stuck while trying to get around it. That was bad enough, but the situation got much worse when a lapped rider hit her and sent her tether flying. Without it, she was dead in the water and unable to start her quad. Kate Osburn and Traci Pickens, who had worked her way up from last place after stalling her machine on the line, both got hung up behind her in the ensuing drama. Sadiee Gorrell, was able to pass all three of them to take the lead, which she held through the remainder of the lap. By the time they reached the same bottleneck where she had initially made the pass, Pickens had caught back up, and was there waiting to strike when Gorrell got stuck in some ruts on a hill a few miles later.

Meanwhile McCormick had been passed by all the other WXC riders. Unable to find her tether, she attempted to use a hair tie with no success. Fortunately for her, another stuck rider located her tether and she took off, charging to make up for lost time. Other riders would not have such luck on their side – on the second lap, Osburn’s ATV began making nasty noises before quitting altogether and on the third lap, Jaida Phillips’ fan drained her battery and she had to be towed out. Pickens and Gorrell held their positions through the remainder of the race, finishing one and two, though separated by several minutes. Not only did Pickens take the win, she also wrapped up the 2018 WXC ATV championship at Powerline Park! About the championship, she said “It feels unbelievable! The competition keeps getting tougher.... and I keep getting older, but I hope this championship inspires women that heart and determination never ages." 

Traci Pickens came through with another win and clinched the WXC ATV championship, her 11th National Championship.
Traci Pickens came through with another win and clinched the WXC ATV championship, her 11th National Championship. Ken Hill

Despite the earlier setbacks, McCormick was able to move her way into third, though she was barely fending off Kara Short in fourth and Shepherd in fifth. Short was actually able to make a pass for the final podium position, and held on to it until her clutch blew apart with only three miles to the finish. Though obviously disappointed, she tells us that “It was just bad luck, and I had a good race other than that.” She has been having some strong rides lately, with a third place at Snowshoe, and being in podium contention at the last two rounds before suffering machine failure. Shepherd was also beginning to have clutch issues, and as a result took it easy the last lap, limping the quad in for a distant fourth behind McCormick, who placed third after a very up-and-down day.

Alexis Keys and Olivia Kerns had a tight battle for the win in the Girls (8-15), with Keys edging out Kern by only two seconds. Gabrielle Lemley took home the final podium position, though she finished a lap down. With her win, Keys has a one-point lead in series points over Morgan Johnson, meaning the championship will come down to the final race at Ironman. Sydney Sams took home her second win in a row in the Women’s class. 

The WXC Bike lineup was short one of its usual members, as Mackenzie Tricker suffered a foot injury while training the week prior (at this time she plans to compete at Ironman), though non-series-regular Rachael Archer and former champ Maria Forsberg both lined up at Powerline Park, making for a reasonable turnout. The start of the race was dramatic, with Becca Sheets nabbing her first holeshot of the season, while Korie Steede crashed mid-corner and narrowly avoided being ran over. By the time Steede picked up and re-started she was a couple rows and two minutes behind. Her day would only go downhill from there, as she managed to get stuck twice and got a black eye when she was hit by a tree branch.

Becca Sheets grabbed the holeshot and the WXC class win.
Becca Sheets grabbed the holeshot and the WXC class win. Ken Hill

Sheets was followed into the woods by current champion Tayla Jones, who made a pass before the lap was over. The two of them raced wheel-to-wheel for a while on the second lap, until Jones got hung up in a bottleneck. Meanwhile Forsberg, Archer, Brooke Cosner and Rachel Gutish made up the second pack, and the four traded positions several times on the first lap. They all came into the scoring zone close together but by the second lap Gutish had pulled a decent lead over Cosner and the others. On lap three Jones got hung up in another bottleneck, allowing Gutish to catch up and briefly take the lead. The two of them swapped positions several times throughout the lap, though Jones was in the lead when the two passed though the Scoring Zone. 

By this point, Sheets had completely checked out from the rest of the riders, holding a minute-and-a-half lead over second place when she checkered flag was waved. When asked about her race, she said “I was really just having a good time! The dirt was prime for the majority of the track and the GNCC crew did a great job navigating us around the really nasty spots.” Though Gutish was still on Jones’ tail toward the end of the race the latter really dropped the hammer in the last mile and finished second – “it was like she just shifted into another gear I don’t have yet” explained Gutish, who took a comfortable third. Heading into the last lap, Archer had gained the upper hand in the battle for fourth, but then got stuck in the muddiest section a few miles later, which gave Cosner the opening she needed to pass for 4th place. She would hold that position until the finish, and Archer was able to take the final top-5 position.

Jocelyn Barnes dominated the Girls (8-15) class, lapping the competition and earning her second-best overall finish of the season! She was joined on the podium by Haley Phillips and Brookelyn Horstman. After wrapping up the Girls (8-15) bike class last round, Prestin Raines decided to compete with the boys in YXC1 Supermini Senior. She placed just inside the top-10, but finished lower in the overall than normally does when starting from row three. Despite the disappointment, at this time it sounds as though she intends to try again at Ironman. In the Women’s class, points leader Annalisa Davis took home her seventh win of the season, and in Women’s C, the battle between Alli Phillips and Alexis Phillips continues, with Alli Phillips winning at Powerline and taking a narrow one-point lead going into the final round. 

Becca Sheets (center), Tayla Jones (left) and Rachel Gutish (right) rounded out the top three at Powerline Park in Sunday's WXC class.
Becca Sheets (center), Tayla Jones (left) and Rachel Gutish (right) rounded out the top three at Powerline Park in Sunday's WXC class. Ken Hill

In the women’s UTV class, Addy Nible extended her winning streak to four races. Sarah Golden placed second and Vickie Fowler rounded out the podium. Meanwhile, Nibble placed 7th and Becky Widdicombe placed 8th in the single-seat UTV race. 

The next round of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series will take place on October 27 and 28 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, with the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC. ATV and UTV racing will take place on Saturday while bike racing will take place 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.

Powerline Park
St. Clairsville, Ohio
Round 12
October 13 and 14

ATV WXC Pro Event Results:

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

ATV WXC National Championship Standings:

  1. Traci Pickens (265)
  2. Katelyn Osburn (277)
  3. Megan Shepherd (166)
  4. Sadiee Gorrell (163)
  5. Kara Short (158)
  6. Jaida Phillips (141)
  7. Alicia McCormick (117)
  8. Angel Knox (62)
  9. Sadie Welch (37)
  10. Morgan Solesbee (14) 

Bike WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Becca Sheets (KTM) Fly / Maxxis / Seat Concepts / KTM
  2. Tayla Jones (HQV) KR4 / Husqvarna
  3. Rachel Gutish (BETA) Beta USA / Braaap Shop / Fly
  4. Brooke Cosner (YAM) Tely Energy 
  5. Rachael Archer (YAM) Paul Whibley Race Team / AmPro Yamaha / Fox
  6. Maria Forsberg (KTM) FMF / RPM / KTM / Maxxis
  7. Shyann Phelps (KTM) Racer’s Edge / Mike Beeler
  8. Shelby Rolen (SUZ) Suzuki RM Army / Iron Pony Motorsports / FMF
  9. Korie Steede (GAS) GasGas / FAR

Bike WXC Pro National Championship Standings:

  1. Tayla Jones (255)
  2. Becca Sheets (228)
  3. Mackenzie Tricker (196)
  4. Rachel Gutish (170)
  5. Brooke Cosner (161)
  6. Shyann Phelps (136)
  7. Korie Steede (132)
  8. Eden Netelkos (127)
  9. Shelby Rolen (118)
  10. Maria Forsberg (40)

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: