GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #8: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #8: This Week in GNCC

Friday, February 22, 2019 | 3:40 PM
Friday, February 22, 2019 | 3:40 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

Wow, this is not really the week we were looking for. We were supposed to be kicking things off in South Carolina at this point, but torrential rainfalls have halted that plan and forced the opening round to the sands of Florida for the Wild Boar GNCC in a couple of weeks. Obviously we never want to postpone an event but I can assure you all, you would’ve been even more upset had the Big Buck event happened. I’ve been coming to Big Buck for a long time and I’ve never seen the kind of standing water that was there Wednesday morning. 

While there’s a hard road into the Big Buck facility, once you got off that road the ground was incredibly saturated in most areas and was even underwater in other areas. It took dozers and a pretty serious effort just to get our rigs back onto the hard road, and we even had to pull our campers with a hitch connected to the front of the dozer (As in completely without a truck!). It’s a bummer not to race, but it would’ve been impossible to get everyone in and out of the facility safely. 

There will be a reschedule date for Big Buck and we’re assessing several different options, so give us a little time to work out what is best and we’ll have the news on that as soon as we come to a final decision. It’s easy to sit back and spitball ideas but there’s a lot of factors that have to go into making a final decision that will work. In the meantime, that means you’ve got a couple more weeks to prepare for the opening round and this time the season opener returns to the state it took place in for many years; Florida. 

The deep sand can be brutal on those who show up unprepared but sand is also a lot of fun to ride in, and sometimes just finishing the Florida round is an accomplishment all in itself, no matter what position you finish. We’ll have a little teaser on the Florida course as soon as possible, but we’re actually currently in Georgia scouting out a few things before heading to Florida. Nothing is set in stone here but if you enjoyed last year’s layout, then you’ll enjoy this one as well because some sections are the same but there’s also quite a few areas that could be hooked together different. Stay tuned because the Georgia round is sure to be a fun one! 

This week’s edition of Quick Fill will be a little on the short side as I’m sitting in the middle of the field in Georgia writing this and Ken is swamped at his home staying on top of everything he does. So, enjoy what we’ve got for you this week and get ready because there will be plenty of stuff to discuss in the coming weeks. Enjoy.

Hopefully the weather starts changing. Everyone has had it with this rain!
Hopefully the weather starts changing. Everyone has had it with this rain! Ken Hill

Catching Up With Ken (Ken Hill)

Well it suddenly appears round one is a no go due to an immense dumping of rain that turned that entire region into a swamp! I love shooting a weekend of mud while getting soaked and trashing the camera gear for images that all look the same! I mean come on; you have to love having your big rig chained to a bulldozer and be pulled into a spot that you have no chance of leaving until you get yanked back out, right? We don’t care about damaging these things, its what we live for and how about that fresh ride? Doesn’t everyone love spinning a few laps on that monster machine you spent all winter building and will spend the next six months paying for only to have to rebuild most of it after the first round? New riding gear, trashed, new shiny graphics, all toast and for what? It is just money folks and we all have so much of it we can just throw it away, in fact we could burn them bills in a barrel just to dry off! 

Ok, so if you couldn’t tell I am totally kidding, but there is nothing we can do when it comes to the weather. I was 3 hours in to my trip through 8 inches of snow and ice and had made it to wet highway when I got the text from the office. So I turned around and headed right back into the snow and ice and never gave it a second thought. One thing I’ve learned is to just roll with things and let the big guy upstairs handle things. It just seems to ease my mental state and somehow it all works out in the end, so try that sometime… or not, I’m good either way. 

That all being said, I should have woken up in South Carolina to knock out a photo shoot at what looked like a killer location and then head off to do another shoot before heading to the track to do even more work. Its what I live for! Instead, I woke up to more farm work, which as stated earlier, works out well for me being home because I wouldn’t want anyone else running a tractor in these slick conditions and the extra days next week should allow me to hopefully get to a doctor to see about tackling this high blood sugar. 

The change in the schedule opens the door for me to roll out before round two and get with riders that literally were not ready for photos until yesterday and even today, so it appears everything will fall into place and I am very grateful. I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist; I am in fact a realist. So keeping a positive outlook keeps me motivated! I do pray you all find some benefit in the extra time and I also have faith in the fact that round one will be rescheduled and not cancelled because that hurts. I have to admit, if they run Big Buck in the early fall we could face heat and dust or even mud but you all are the toughest racers in America so I fully expect you all to handle it! 

That is all from me this week and hopefully the next Quick Fill will have me on the road and getting some content that has some roost involved. As always, please be safe in all you do and may God continue to bless us all. 

Powerline Park produced some great racing in 2018!
Powerline Park produced some great racing in 2018! Ken Hill

Looking Back on 2018 Part 11 (Jared Bolton)

The penultimate round of the 2018 GNCC Racing season would see the series return to Powerline Park in Saint Clairsville, Ohio for the 18th and final time. Due to the park moving in a different direction, and a new pipeline coming across the property, this event would see the end of Powerline Park as part of the GNCC series, but the venue would go out in style with a good crowd of racers and some great racing as well. 

Saturday’s ATV race would see Walker Fowler return to the form that he had grown accustomed to in the early portions of the season. He was hungry to wrap up the title and a great ride at Powerline Park was going to be good enough to do exactly that. Fowler would take the early lead but it would be Jarrod McClure finding his way into the top spot as the pack completed their second lap. Fowler didn’t want to just wrap up the title; he wanted to win the whole thing so he put his head down and made his way back into the lead. 

Previous round winner Cole Richardson would latch onto Fowler’s rear wheels as his would find his way around McClure as well to take over the second place position. When the checkered flag flew it would be Fowler taking the race win and in doing so he would wrap up the 2018 GNCC ATV National Championship. Cole Richardson proved that his win at Mason-Dixon wasn’t just a lucky day as he would secure his third podium of the season with a second place finish and Jarrod McClure would round out the podium in third, just a mere three seconds behind Richardson. 

While these guys duked it out for the podium, a number of other riders were contending for top five finishes. Ohio’s own Kevin Yoho ran a convincing fourth place early while ATV Motocross star Joel Hetrick would hold the fifth place spot on the opening lap. Eventually a number of other guys would put on a charge where Adam McGill would eventually end the day with a fourth place finish and Brycen Neal would round out the top five. 

Sunday’s motorcycle race would see a slightly similar theme where Kailub Russell would be looking to wrap up his sixth GNCC National Championship. However, he would have some extremely stiff competition and after getting stuck on the FMF Powerpoint hill climb on the opening lap, Russell would find himself working through the pack. He wasn’t alone as a huge crash on the start left Thad Duvall dead last heading into the woods, and the eventual outcome of the crash would lead to a broken wrist for Duvall but by the way he rode that day, you would’ve never known it. 

Steward Baylor would lead the opening lap of the race but a hard charging Thad Duvall was on a mission. Duvall would make his way into the lead on lap two and it would turn into yet another battle between him and Kailub Russell. Duvall would hold the lead for three laps before Russell would make his way into the lead, but Duvall would make a pass on the final lap and would hold onto that lead and come away with the race win. Russell would end the day in second and while there’s no doubt a win would’ve been a nice addition as well, the second place was good enough to wrap up the 2019 GNCC National Championship. 

Grant Baylor would work his way from as far back as tenth place on lap one to end the day on the podium in third place. Steward Baylor would put in a solid ride of his own to finish fourth while Josh Strang rounded out the top five overall. In the XC2 class, it was another back and forth battle between Ben Kelley and Josh Toth. The two would swap the lead multiple times throughout the day before Kelley was able to hold on for the win over Toth. Craig Delong rode excellent as well as he would end the day on the podium in third while. Mike Witkowski and Evan Smith also had good rides to round out the top five of the XC2 class. 

With championships wrapped up, the series would head onto Indiana for the season finale Ironman GNCC. This is a great way to cap off the season as it draws a huge number of racers and fans alike and they would all be treated to some great racing. Check back next week as we’ll wrap up our look back on the 2018 season.