GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #36: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #36: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 8:00 AM
Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 8:00 AM

Welcome to Quick Fill.

It’s time to go racing once again, and boy is it time for a big one! This weekend, it’s time for Ironman. This is the biggest and most popular race of the entire season, and with good reason. The track is fun, when Mother Nature cooperates, it can potentially be really beautiful in Crawfordsville, Indiana this time of year, and of course there are a lot of people from all over that come out to Ironman. It seems like just about the entire town shows up to watch, and a lot of them also join in on the racing fun. On top of that, a ton of industry professionals make their way out as well. So, in short, it’s a really, really big deal!

First, we do have a few housekeeping notes for the Ironman. First, if you’re racing on Saturday make note that just like last year, the Micro course, start and finish are all located across the street. The youth and micro races will all start at their normal times, but since the Micro course is completely separate we’re also bumping the AM and PM ATV race start times up 30 minutes to make sure we don’t run out of daylight. We did this last year and it worked out pretty well, so here’s to hoping it goes well again.

Next, we do have the FREE GNCC eMTB race on Saturday afternoon. This does not pay points to the regular Specialized Turbo GNCC eMTB National Championship as their series wrapped up at the previous round, but instead this is a bonus event that is just for fun for anyone wanting to try eMTB racing for the first time, or just because they enjoy racing it! It will also take place across the street on the Micro course.

As usual, the Ironman is our annual “pink race” for breast cancer awareness. This is always really popular each year and it’s really cool to see all the pink attire, graphics and more. For more information on the pink race, as well as info on some of the live entertainment we’re going to have this weekend weekend, check out the press release HERE. Also, our own Mikey Waynes and his Bottleneck Live co-host David Quillen will be hosting a Mullet Competition! Everyone couldn’t help but notice that the mullet hairdo has made a huge comeback, and the guys got together and thought it would be fun to see who has the best mullets out there. They’ll be live on the stage at 6:30 PM Friday evening with their competition. Check out their Facebook post HERE for all the details.

Our friends at NECXC will be hosting another pit bike and pit ATV race on Friday afternoon at 4PM. It will be a $25 per person entry fee, you must be 16 years or older and can register at the finish line Friday afternoon. They had a pretty cool pit ATV race at Mason-Dixon, so they added pit bikes as well. This is sure to be a good time! Trick or Treating and Halloween Costume Contest are back on Saturday evening, plus the mechanical bull on both Friday and Saturday evenings. Check out the event page HERE for all those details and more.

Now let’s talk about the track. It’s shaping up to be awesome! We did get a fair bit of rain Tuesday night but the ground just soaked it right up and throughout the day Thursday there was a good bit of really epic dirt to be found just underneath the top layer of dirt. They are calling for some showers on Friday as well, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that they only have the exact same effect as Tuesday night’s rain. Once it’s time to go racing, you’ll start just around the three-mile mark. You’ll head over into the woods and work through some really cool trails before popping out in a little field section and head over to some faster woods to the five mile mark.

This means you’re skipping the big field section and Pro Pits off the start. Once you pass the five, the PM races will head up Ironman Hill, cross the road and hit a little cornfield section before dropping back into the woods and working your way through some winding trails to the six-mile mark. After the six, you’ll run through some tighter sections with some ups and downs before picking up another field section that will drop you into the woods at the seven-mile mark. 

Here's what the Ironman looks like from above!
Here's what the Ironman looks like from above!

This section has a long downhill in it that you’ll have to work your way back up into another field section. This one is a bit shorter and you’ll head into another tight section of woods through a little valley before heading over to the eight-mile mark. At the eight, the trail gets a little faster while you’re working your way up and down the side of a hill for a bit and then finally tightens up again. The AM and PM bikes will split off and head through a really fun bike-only section to the nine-mile mark. At the nine, the AM bikes will make a left while the PM bikes will run an additional short section we call The Ultimate Warrior Section.

It drops down in a little valley and works its way back up through some really tight single track before popping into a short field section and into more single track before tying back into the main loop. It’s not overly difficult and the name is actually in honor of the old professional wrestler, The Ultimate Warrior, who was actually from Crawfordsville. After that, you’ll run the edge of a cornfield before dropping into the woods, down a little ravine and working through another tight section and into another big, rocky ravine. This will take you over to the ten-mile mark and across the two-way in the motocross pro pit area.

That takes you to the other side of the property with a mix of some trail and fun, flowing field sections before heading to another woods section with yet another bike-only section. This bike-only will take you by the 11-mile mark and tie back into the ATV course. From there, you’re working between a few woods sections and field sections to the 12-mile mark before heading back into the pit area. You’ll skirt the edge of the pits a bit and head back to the motocross pro-pits two-way once again and pass the 13-mile mark. From there, you pick up the motocross track, through the finish and head back down to the woods yet again. 

When you pick up this section of woods, you’ll head up a cool hillclimb and run through some medium-speed trail to the one-mile mark where you’ll drop in and out of another ravine for a bit. This brings you across the creek and through and slower and twisty section to the two-mile mark. Just past the two, you’ll drop into a valley and work your way up the other side before dropping into a flat bottom section along the creek and head over to Twin Hills. You’ll head up Twin Hills and through some faster trails to the three-mile mark to tie back in where you started. 

Overall, this is looking to be one of the coolest Ironman layouts we’ve had in a long time with a 13.5 mile course for the PM bikes, with the other courses just a little shorter. We’re running a lot of the sections that everyone loves, but they’re pieced together a lot different than we’ve done in quite some time. 

There’s still a lot of work to do, so we’ll wrap up this edition of Quick Fill here. Good luck to everyone this weekend and we’ll see you at the Ironman!

Pink festivities will be in full swing this weekend at the Yamaha Racing Ironman GNCC. Photo: Ken Hill
Pink festivities will be in full swing this weekend at the Yamaha Racing Ironman GNCC. Photo: Ken Hill

Keeping up with Ken Hill: 

Woohoo, it is IRONMAN time! I don’t believe there is another round that captures the raw power of GNCC racing than this round! Yes, it is usually the final round and that alone brings a ton of good attitudes and happiness that puts a special close on a season, and this year will be no exception even though it is not the final round. I think my first visit to this now legendary venue was in 2003 and it just seems to get bigger every year. Now the weather can play into how big of a fan base turns out but even at its worst its huge! It took me several years to figure the place out because there are several places along the track that have become the hot spots, Ironman Hill, Twin Hills and a few smaller but no fewer exciting places to catch the action. 

In the past few seasons we have seen big changes to Ironman hill as fence barriers try and contain the carnage by keeping fans away from a red zone and it’s been working for the most part. As with any race, head on a swivel is incredibly important and parents, do your job and have your kids close at hand! This track is not a place to let them run off and do their own thing! Not that it’s any more dangerous than before, but the amount of folks on the track with their face in their phone means more chances of badness finding you so pay attention please.

The racing is just part of the festivities as things get cranked up Friday afternoon with a pit bike and ATV race, a best mullet contest and more! Vendors are usually numerous and busy as the crowd’s shuffle about. It’s just a different vibe at Ironman that I wish we could spread to every round but that is what makes this race so fun! The Shaver family has done loads of improvements over the years, so parking is usually good albeit tight after everyone gets in there. Throw in some rain and it gets comical really fast! Boots are a must, if you want to hike through the bottom to catch the riders in multiple locations you will probably cross the main creek that flows through the property so be prepared! And it can get downright cold so bring extra warm clothes!

I could spend all day writing about this race but alas I am rolling out to start the trek to one of the best places on earth to be this weekend, IRONMAN! As always be safe in all you do, and may the good Lord continue to bless us all! #yagoin