GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Lane Whitmer

Tuesday Toolbox: Lane Whitmer

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 | 3:20 PM
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 | 3:20 PM

This week’s featured rider was born at the track during a 3 hour GNCC on a Sunday afternoon in between pits stop his father, Doug Whitmer, was running for Barry Hawk. Does it get anymore GNCC Racin’ Nation than that!?!?

Alright, that’s not true, I made that up. But Lane Whitmer was born into a family with a rich background in GNCC. And his dad, Doug was in fact Barry’s mechanic on the two-wheel side of things. At just 16 years old Lane has wrapped up the Open B GNCC Championship and he’s got his eyes set on more!

Whitmer earned 8 straight wins in the 250 B class. Photo: Ken Hill 
Whitmer earned 8 straight wins in the 250 B class. Photo: Ken Hill Lane, thanks for joining me today! First of all, congratulations on wrapping up the 250 B class this last weekend at Snowshoe.

Lane Whitmer: Thanks Mikey, it’s been an incredible season this year. I was excited for the win and more excited to wrap up the championship.

Let’s dive right in. I feel like everyone in your family is associated with racing somehow, but let’s focus on you. When did you get started riding a dirtbike and eventually racing?

When I was three or four, I started riding. My parents have always been around GNCC, dad raced four wheelers awhile ago and my mom raced as well. Dad was also Barry Hawk’s mechanic. So I’ve just always been around the races. I didn’t really race when I was young. I focused on wrestling, playing travel baseball and football as well until I was about 12. Then my brother and I started riding again. We always had bikes, but we really didn’t ride them much. Did my first GNCC in 2017 at the Mountaineer Run and I’ve been doing them ever since.

Fast forward to this season, 2021, 16 years old and you’re in the 250 B class. You’ve already wrapped up the points championship with a win at Snowshoe this past weekend.

It’s been a great year. I got second at round one and I knew I could do better. I knew I was able to win the class. I picked up the win at Florida and I’ve been undefeated in the class since then. Only B Class I haven’t won after round one at GNCC was at a local a few weeks ago. I ended up getting stuck mid-race and dad made me pull out of the race after that. It was Father’s Day too; we weren’t really happy about that. But, it happens, that’s racing.

Photo: Mack Faint
Photo: Mack Faint

Since you’ve wrapped up the 250 B championship what’s the plan for the rest of the season? Close out in the 250 B class or move up?

I plan on running 4-Stroke A Lites for the last 4 rounds of the season. Over summer break I’m going to dip my toes in the water in the A class at locals too. I want to give myself some experience running with those guys. I think coming back to GNCC after the break I think I can get in the top ten with those guys. I’d be really pumped if I could break the top five.

There are some heavy hitters in the 4-Stroke A Lites this year. You’ve raced with some of those guys before in the past few in the youth ranks, right?

Yeah, Palmer was in YXC1 when I was on the 85. Grant and Cooper were in YXC2 a couple years ago, and I did race against Grant last season in YXC1.

You’re without a doubt born to run GNCC’s knowing your family background. But you’ve still got to train. What’s a typically training program look like for you?

For sure! Fortunately I’ve got Kailub Russell as my trainer. Every week we’ve got different things lined up. Everything from riding the road bike, running motos, running and rowing and different gym workouts. It’s a lot, but the payoff is huge.

When you’re not racing or training what do you like to do for fun?

Love hanging out with my friends. Ride the E-Bike around, I do a lot of track maintenance and I love cutting new trails. My brother and I are close in age too, so we do a lot of things together.

Photo: Ken Hill
Photo: Ken Hill

I’ve got a couple siblings myself. It’s nice to know you’ve got someone who always has your back. Who’s faster?

Well, he just tore his ACL at the last Spring Enduro. So I’m faster right now. Once he’s back and healthy… I dunno, I guess we’ll have to see.

You’re 16, got a girlfriend yet?

Nope, I’m focused on racing.

Take your time dude, you’ve got all the time in the world for girls later in life. Enjoy being young and ripping on your dirtbike right now. What’s you favorite memory from racing over the years?

Has to be winning Snowshoe and wrapping up the 250 B championship this past weekend. That was amazing!

How’d you celebrate the win?

Gave it a little rev bomb at the finish. I was with my parents and they were really excited for me. They had to go home for work, but they let me stay with the Patterson’s at Snowshoe.

Lane Whitmer at Snowshoe with a group of friends before the race. Photo: Mack Faint
Lane Whitmer at Snowshoe with a group of friends before the race. Photo: Mack Faint

What’s the goals for you as far as GNCC?

I’d like to secure some more championships and work my way into the XC1 and fight for championships there.

I think you’re moving in the right direction and you seem to have an amazing support group around you to put you on the right path. A few years from now you’ll pull up the old article and think to yourself, “Wow, I did it!” Last thing, who are the sponsors and people you’d like to thank?

Thanks Mikey, this was fun! I couldn’t do it without my mom and dad. They work their tail off every week to make sure my brother and I can do what we love. My sister for always watching while we race and my brother for always helping me push to be faster. Coastal Racing, GASGAS, Bi-Con, Dunlop, Moose Racing, Shoei, Renthal, JDP Suspension, Scott Goggles, John Knowles, Seat Concepts, FMF, TM Designworks, IMS Products, Acerbis, Super B Batteries, Parts Unlimited, HBD MotoGrafx, Motorex, Eline Accessories, G2 Ergonomics, Carl Van Niekerk, Twin Air, Cometic Gasket, Bulletproof Designs, USWE Sports, Hinson Racing, DP Brakes, Geoff Aaron, Barry Hawk and his family, Kailub Russell, the Patterson family, the Kiger family, the Remington family, The Duvall family, my teammates and all my friends for being there for me, cheering me on and helping out every race.