GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #3: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #3: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 3:20 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 3:20 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

37 days to go! We’re just 37 days away from kicking off the 2019 GNCC Racing season and boy are we excited. We’ve been talking to some of our industry partners this week getting things prepared for the season and there’s no doubt it’s going to be a good one. Obviously any new season is well welcomed after what seems like a long and endless off-season but the new season always comes and getting back to racing is a very special occasion that deserves celebration. That time is nearing and we’ll be hitting crunch time very soon! 

There has already been a ton of pre-season prep going on here at our offices and that will continue all the way up until the day before Big Buck. I’ve been working with our Graphic Designer, Heather; on this year’s event stickers and these are really cool! For those who don’t realize this, whatever stickers the Pro Motocross series uses one year, we use for GNCC the next year. Last year, the folks at Racer X took various vintage t-shirt designs and made them into the Pro Motocross stickers for the year. 

What is really cool is that Rita has saved the t-shirt pellans from every GNCC event over the years. The pellan is essentially what they use to test print before doing the real thing. I went through hundreds of these and picked out 13 ATVs and 13 bikes to use for this year’s stickers. I don’t want to ruin any surprises but let’s just say that the newest image on these will be from 2005 and most are from the mid to late 90s. I’m pretty excited to see how they turn out! 

Other than that, things are a little bit on the quiet side. We did post the tentative 2019 Rules and Classes last week and got a good bit of feedback. We’ve gotten some feedback and will have a few small tweaks when the finalized ones are posted. It does take a little time to go through everything so please bear with us and we’ll have the finalized Rules and Classes posted soon. 

That’s going to do it for the intro this week. Enjoy your weekend and keep counting the days down until we see you in South Carolina!  

We've all had races where we've dug deep and put our heads down just to make it to the finish...
We've all had races where we've dug deep and put our heads down just to make it to the finish... Ken Hill

Catching Up With Ken (Ken Hill)

You know, we have a lot in common and I mean all of us. We all love racing, competition and the atmosphere we find at the races. Or even at home as many of us have a shop where we find friends gathering to work and wrench or just hang out before or after a good ride. I haven’t raced in a long time and building something to race has gone away as my kids are now men and neck deep in raising their families or starting careers. My lifestyle has changed here at home over the years as I bend and sway each season with schedules of events having me run all over giving chase to you folks. It is pretty easy to figure me out. Starting late winter I make a run or two south to get what we need for pre-season content then its off to the first few rounds, both GNCC and ATVMX. I’ve got my gear in order and my truck in order just like you have your gear ready and what not. 

After the first rush of races we all fall into a pattern of travel, work, race, repeat and somewhere in all of that have a “normal” life. That normal part means different things to different people and I think it falls into place basically separating those who want it from those who start out wanting it. But for whatever reason that segment starts to lag behind, not only in their results at the track but in other areas of their life. We all know this is a hard deal for those who make every round and find the podium week after week and it gets harder for those that struggle as they start getting beat up mentally by not having the success a new season seems to bring to ones mental state. 

No, I am not saying we are crazy; I am just saying that if you start allowing one portion of your life slide or partially slide, the rest seems to take a hit as well. For me, I see it just like my gardens. I start out every winter planning, working on beds, making compost and dying for spring so I can get out there and make things grow. All starts out as planned but at some point I find a few more weeds than I would like and dismiss them because I need to conquer the next challenge life has thrown at me. Before long, I walk out and weeds and all my work overwhelm me and planning seems so overwhelmed by failure and it is my fault. 

Now the majority of you are just like me. You work tirelessly and hard regardless of where the struggle bus takes you. We aren’t scared of sore muscles and a beaten up mental game that at an earlier point seemed unbreakable. So I dig deep, pull the weeds and usually everything comes out ok in the end and life rolls on. You may skip a round to get things regrouped and charge back with much more vigor than before but that is up to you. Every year I see people bail and start selling off equipment and such because they are “done”. Let’s face it; you didn’t get into this for fame and fortune and saying the hell with it and running away from the challenges racing brings shows you have allowed yourself to be defeated. Not by a competitor but from within and that is unacceptable. 

If that happens because you can’t afford things, that’s fine. If you can’t get off work, no worries. But don’t just quit because that door happens to be wide open because that’s the easy way out! Of course you may say quitting is cheaper than other choices and it is, I understand that. However, time after time I witness folks having a yard sale and 3 months later buying up another ride to build and race! See, there is something inside us that compels us to compete and for many you just cannot quit. In fact, it lives in all of us and you have to tame that animal on your terms and it applies to your life in general and how you handle your business public and private. 

I have seen many of you pull off after the race with skin hanging from your hands as blisters gave way to bloody flesh. I have seen riders eyes so infested with dust and dirt that they literally couldn’t see. Broken bones or injuries that would keep most sane people at home or in the hospital, yet the next round those bones or stitches take a back seat to being on the line. Seeing how tough you all are is a very humbling thing and never to be overlooked. Knowing what you all go through physically and mentally pushes me to work harder, give more and keep pushing. It is a very inspirational thing for me but I do believe there are so many others that feel the same way. Maybe its your mechanic, your dad, mom or just a fan who watches the punishment you take to live your dream and you may not see it that way but trust me, they do. So as we head ever closer to the opening round I just wanted to bring a bit of attention to aside of things most may not even consider if they don’t race or only follow what they find online. I am going to do my best to capture much of this and I know it is going to be tough to do even though you “see’ it everywhere. 

That’s all from me. I am off to walk my gardens, which are covered in snow at the moment and see if I can’t scare or intimidate those sleeping weeds into submission! They will not beat me! As always, be safe in all you do and may God bless you all! 

Jarrod McClure came through with the X-Factor win after a shocking last lap upset pass.
Jarrod McClure came through with the X-Factor win after a shocking last lap upset pass. Ken Hill

Looking Back on 2018 Part Six (Jared Bolton)

For just the second time in history, GNCC Racing would make its way to the X-Factor Whitetails Ranch in Peru, Indiana for round six of the 2018 season. This event was a new addition to the 2017 schedule and was met with one of the muddiest events in the history of GNCC Racing. Fortunately enough, the 2018 version of the X-Factor GNCC would be much different as conditions gave way to dry ground and even a nice amount of moisture in the dirt in some places. 

The X-Factor ATV race would start out normal enough with Walker Fowler jumping out front early. However, he would have some serious challenge throughout the day as the top four riders would be separated by less than 10 seconds through the entire race. Fowler would come through the finish line leading, all the way up until the final stages of the final lap. It would be at that moment that we would see the most dramatic finish of the 2018 season. 

With just a few turns to go, Fowler would begin experiencing fuel issues. Since the top four riders had remained so close together through the entire race, when this happened it would be a mad scramble to get around Fowler and take the win. While limping his machine to the finish, Fowler would be passed by Jarrod McClure who was able to take the win. Chris Borich would end the day in second while Brycen Neal took his fourth podium of the season in third. Fowler hung on for fourth place while Adam McGill ended the day in fifth after working his way up from ninth place on the opening lap. 

This unexpected turn of events began to make some realize that Fowler is human. He’s not a robotic winning machine. This motivation would make a number of riders rise to the challenge and begin a search for wins of their own. However, a true champion face to face with his darkest hour will do whatever it takes to rise above. A true champion fights and fights, then fights some more. The type of defeat Fowler experienced served just as much motivation to him as it does to his competitors. When this type of motivation is placed in the mind of a racer such as Fowler, his fellow racers should expect even stiffer competition than his most successful days. 

Sunday’s motorcycle race would be less dramatic than the ATV event, but it would still see yet another incredible close battle to the finish. This would be the point in the season where many folks began to wonder how many races we could see this type of close battle down to the wire. It’s tough to sit back and realize you’re watching history in the making but there’s no doubt that many years down the road, the GNCC faithful will sit back and reflect on how intense the battles between Kailub Russell and Thad Duvall were. 

X-Fact would be yet another one of those tight battles. It would actually be Steward Baylor leading the early laps of the race, but on lap three, Kailub would make his way into the lead with Thad hot on his heels. On the fourth lap, Grant Baylor would put on a charge and work his into the second place spot as he looked to contend for a race win of his own. Eventually Duvall would find his way back around Grant and into the second place spot, staying within just a couple of seconds of Kailub through the final stages of the race. 

Once again, Kailub would hold onto the lead and take the race win with Thad ending the day just a mere six seconds behind. Grant Baylor would hang onto the third place spot to land his first podium of the season while Steward Baylor and Trevor Bollinger would round out the top five. Meanwhile, the boys in the XC2 class would see a tight race of their own. Josh Toth would begin to run away with the lead but would be challenged later in the race by Ben Kelley. Toth would hang on for the race win with Kelley in second while Craig Delong rounded out the podium in third. 

With six rounds complete in the 2018 season, things were continuing to stay interesting. The racers at the front of the pack continued to show that they want to hold onto their top spots, while a number of hungry challengers continued to give their best shot at toppling them. Check back next week as we head to Ohio for round seven at The John Penton GNCC.