Welcome to Quick Fill.
It’s time to go racing once again! We’re getting geared up for this weekend’s Burr Oak GNCC at Sunday Creek Raceway, and it’s shaping up to be a pretty nice weekend. Yes, it looks as if things will start out a little on the sloppy side as there’s been a fair amount of on and off rain this week. However, we still have our fingers crossed for some sun on Friday and good temperatures on Saturday that will ultimately help make things better as the weekend rolls on. Honestly, it’s a bit wet in the woods but once you dig down a little bit there is some dry dirt to be found in places. The only downside is, the ground at this facility is so hard that it’s pretty difficult to dig down, it’s more just spinning on top. Regardless, we’re hopeful things will just continue to improve as the weekend wears on.
Since we’re so busy getting this thing ready, we’ll zip through this week’s Quick Fill but I promise we’ll try our hardest to have a good, full, back on track edition of Quick Fill for you next week. I’ll give you the lowdown on the track, Ken Hill has a few words and we’ll send you on your way. But before we get too deep into this one, just a little heads up that you should be sure to pay attention during the riders meeting this weekend. Tim Cotter will be discussing some changes to the weekend schedule for this year’s Ironman GNCC, and we’ll have the full details posted for that soon. Before then, Tim did have a few words for you on this weekend’s event, so if you haven’t viewed that video yet check it out HERE.
As far as the track goes this weekend, we’ve managed to change things up a bit to make it different from The John Penton GNCC that ran on the property earlier this year. The start has been moved to one of the fields towards the back of the parking area. It’s not quite all the way in the very back field like it was a number of years ago (2008 and earlier) but you’ll find it tucked back in that general direction. When you start, you’ll start just near the one-mile mark and head into some twisty woods that are a bit on the tighter side. This section zig-zags through some various up and downhill areas and brings you to the two-mile mark, which is just inside the woods to the right of the starting line.
From there, you’ll work your way through a mix of mostly woods with a few short field crossings before you come to the three-mile mark. This brings you up on the hill above the main parking area that used to be the motocross track, and that’s where you’ll head into the pro pits. Once you make your way around the pits, you’re actually crossing the road just behind the ATV pro pits and near the mulch pile. The track has crossed in this spot before, but it’s been many, many years, so it will be a cool change. This brings you around a field section, into a short piece of woods and back into the field once again to the four-mile mark.
Once you pass the four, you’re heading through a few more field turns before dropping into another woods section where you’ll almost constantly be going up or downhill for a bit. This brings you up the fence line to the usual road crossing and you’ll cross back over the road once again and into a faster woods section to the five-mile mark. Things slow back down a bit again at the five, and the PM races will split off into the section that runs next to the neighbors’ house and up along the gravel road. This is a fun, flowing up and down section that brings you to the six-mile mark to tie back into the AM course.
Once you pass the six, you’ll continue through some open woods, but it’s a bit of low-lying area so chances are this section will be slick and wet all weekend long. If you’re familiar with this course, you run this section every year so you know you’ll make it through fine. About 3/4ths of a mile past that six-mile marker sign, the PM bikes will split off and head over to The John Penton Section. Our buddy Jeff Hupp is back again and has been working on that Penton Section since we left after The John Penton! This time he’s made it mostly woods, basically all single track and it has a couple of steep up and downhill sections as well. It does have one field section that will give you a little break, but then you’re right back into the technical woods once again. It adds on almost five miles of trail for the PM bikes, so expect a long loop this weekend!
When the PM bikes tie back in, or the other races just continue along the main trail, you’ll run through some older open trail to the seven-mile mark. At the seven, you break off that used trail and get onto a section that cuts back and forth through some trail that hasn’t been used in a while. This ties back into that main trail before heading over to the eight mile mark, which drops you towards some tighter and more twisty trail for a bit. The section from the eight to the nine has a couple of nice hills with multiple ways up, or down, and some slightly slower trail before you hit the nine-mile mark.
After the nine, you’ll work your way through more up and downhill areas all the way to the ten-mile mark. This section gets a little more open and faster before you pass the ten. After the ten, you’re headed up the FMF Powerpoint Hill Climb, then down the other side and headed to the finish. Out of the finish you’ll drop down into the Monster Mile section that goes downhill and across the big split rock creek, then down through the rocks and back out of the creek section into the main trail. From there, it’s a bit of open trail back to the one-mile mark and you’ll tie back in where you started.
We’re looking at about 11 miles for the PM ATVs and nearly 16 miles for the PM bikes with the Penton Section added in. The AM ATVs will miss a couple of short sections to keep the mileage somewhere close to ten miles, and the AM bikes will be just a tick under that 11 mile range. Yes, it’s been slick and wet but like I said, we’ve got our fingers crossed that things just get better as the weekend wears on. That’s all I’ve got! Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you at Burr Oak!
Catching Up With Ken (Ken Hill)
It is indeed time to go back to GNCC Racing after one wild event at The Mountaineer. I was sick as a dog most of last week, I believe due to some bad chow on the way home from The Mountaineer. In any event, I had a good time at that race and it appeared many of you did as well. This facility is being claimed by the racers as just has hard as Snowshoe, which is understandable. It is a different kind of hard for sure, with slick hidden rocks causing some major obstacles that remain unseen during races right up until they become unearthed, then kapow, you are in the dirt.
The youth and morning ATV racers probably had the easiest go of it as every other race took a beating. There were areas that turned gnarly that I heard about but just couldn’t get to for some images. That place is huge and even the track crew is sometimes challenged as to where a section is or more importantly how to get to it safely. Just when you thought you were alone in the bush, out popped a crew member or spectator some of whom had been out there since the first race of the day.
Saturday was very long as we stacked up the races and crowned Charlie Mullins as the eMTB champion. I had orders to get pitshots from the events taking place on the other side of the bridge, so I missed most of the race but made it back in time for the finish and podium which was cool to see. The event and concert planned for the weekend was a hit and a miss in some ways, but you don’t build a house from the roof down. I made several runs over there to take images and I was disappointed every time as there weren’t many people in attendance. The vendors were eager to chat and all offered up suggestions for next year etc which was very positive and I told them to be proactive in making things work as we all need this to grow into something way beyond what we have now and I think it will. The highlight of that side of the event was seeing Lonestar in concert even though I could only stay for a few songs, people really enjoyed it as many of you made your way over the bridge to catch the fun.
So now we face one of the few remaining rounds in the 2021 season, the Burr Oak. This is a venue that saw some huge changes to the center of the property as the motocross track was removed and new parking laid out where the moto track used to be. Everyone seemed to like it even though as spectators, we don’t get to see the racers as much as we did with the motocross section but the changes work. Everything in these final rounds on the PM bike side are of utmost importance due to the points gap between Ben Kelley and Steward Baylor being razor thin. This always makes for intense racing for the fans and insane pressure for the racers. This fight could come down to the final round so be sure to be out there and cheer them on! With the eMTB races completed for the season, Saturday evening should be a little bit more laid back at least until the Stacyc races and I will be there taking pictures and cheering on my grandson who will be trying to compete in his first ever race! We have had a tough time telling him he cannot race his Yamaha PW50 in that race but he keeps telling us its faster than his Stacyc haha!
This year seems to be going two ways at once for me, on one hand its dragging as I continue to wait on news about my transplant and try to keep doing the right things so I make it to the transplant. On the other hand, its flying by as we only have three rounds left, my gardens are almost done and deer season begins Saturday. Usually my thoughts drift towards hunting season and by the time we hit Ironman I’m no more good as I just want to be in the woods! This season is going to be rough and I know it’s so I am preparing mentally. I am unable to draw my bow nor can I cock my crossbow. I can only hunt one stand as I can’t do a 20 foot climb and I will need help getting a deer out if I happen across one. My wife says she will fill the freezers which helps but doesn’t help my mental state! I reckon I just have to listen to Chuck Lemaster and let Jesus do the masterminding and tag along to see where he takes me.
Speaking of Jesus, we all need to continue to pray for Ben Parsons who went down hard last weekend and is in the hospital. Such a great kid and the entire family I’m sure could use the thoughts and prayers. If he is still there next week I will try and sneak in to see him as we will be in the same location. As always, please be safe in all you do and may the good Lord continue to bless us all. See you at Burr Oak