FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GNCC Racing Recognizes Top Racers and Sponsors at 2021 Night of Champions
Over 15 Specialty Awards Presented Over the Weekend
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (December 23, 2021) – As the 2021 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, came to an end in October, the GNCC Night of Champions took place on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11, at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Continuing its record season, over 1,600 racers and family members from all over the country came together to celebrate the significant accomplishments of the top 10 racers in each championship class throughout three different disciplines of racing. As the opening ceremonies got underway on Friday and Saturday evening, statistics came on the screen to share with the GNCC Racing Nation that over 23,780 racers came out in 2021, along with 82,366 spectators watching those racers throughout the season.
Then the Masters of Ceremonies, Rodney Tomblin and Mikey Waynes took to the stage to honor each championship class. In addition, a handful of specialty awards and recognition of series sponsors and supporters took place each night. The best ATV and eMTB racer were honored in front of over 750 people on Friday evening, while over 830 attendees filled the banquet room on Saturday night as the top motorcycle racers were honored in the series. For a full list of 2021 GNCC Champions, click HERE.
On Friday Evening, Walker Fowler celebrated his seventh-straight GNCC National Championship. Fowler was presented his diamond-studded championship ring, which now holds seven diamonds on it. Then on Saturday, Benjamin Kelley was presented the Motorcycle Rider of the Year award, along with his championship ring that holds one diamond representing his first-ever GNCC National Championship.
Yamaha Motor Corp. was awarded the Manufacturers Cup on Friday evening for the ATV discipline, with Donnie Luce, Amateur MX/ATV/Off-Road Coordinator at Yamaha Motor Corp., in attendance to accept the award. On the motorcycle side, KTM North America was awarded the Manufacturers Cup on Saturday with Antti Kallonen, Director of Off-Road Racing, KTM Group North America, present to accept the honors.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC took home the Sponsor of the Year honors for their continued support of off-road racing. In 2021 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC put $249,680 back into the pockets of GNCC Racing families who pre-registered for events throughout the year with the Race Gas Program. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC also continues their support with the Ticket to Ride award given out to two lucky racers at the ATV and Motorcycle banquets each year. This year Jeff Bolte from Clarksburg, WV, Alex Elioff from Valley City, OH and Derek Garcia of Racer Productions were awarded on ATV night with Lane Whitmer from Amity, PA and Carly Lee from Millville, NJ receiving their tickets on bike night. Each winner is awarded a paid trip-for-two to Moab, Utah for a riding expedition with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC staff.
Two awards that were chosen after the banquet were ATV Comeback Rider and Bike Pit Crew. On the ATV side, Ryder Reick has been chosen as the comeback rider after suffering an injury at the Snowshoe GNCC that had him air lifted from the local hospital to Roanoke, Virginia. Reick took the summer break to heal up and come back stronger than ever to win his 90cc (8-12) ATV Championship and take fourth in the 65cc (10-11) bike class. Then, for Pit Crew on the bike side it was awarded to Molly Hallenbeck and her family. Molly’s husband and son, William and Matthew both race in the Bike PM race and you can always see her running around keeping track of them and pitting them at each and every race. Not only does she help then, but you will see her and her family out at every race helping whoever they can.
A full list of 2021 Specialty Award Winners can be found below:
|ATV Night Awards||Bike Night Awards|
|Rider of the Year – Walker Fowler||Rider of the Year – Benjamin Kelley|
|4x4 Pro Rider of the Year – Landon Wolfe||Specialized Amateur Rider of the Year – Joseph Cunningham|
|Specialized Amateur Rider of the Year – Jay Shadron||Specialized Youth Rider of the Year – Cole Forbes|
|Vet Rider of the Year – Jeff Pickens||Vet Rider of the Year – Joe Marsh|
|Specialized Youth Rider of the Year – Brody Lee||Special Achievement – Rachel Gutish; U.S. Women’s World Trophy ISDE Team|
|Pit Crew Award – Jason Stewart & Family/Action Off-Road||Pit Crew Award – Molly Hallenbeck & Family|
|Comeback Rider – Ryder Reick||Comeback Rider – Greg Looney|
|Manufacturers Cup – Yamaha Motor Corp.||Manufacturers Cup – KTM North America|
|State Championship – Pennsylvania||State Championship – Ohio|
|Sponsor of the Year – Rocky Mountain ATV/MC|
|In Memoriam – Josh Kirkland, James Hersberger, Chris Perigo, Evan Timko, John Johnson||In Memoriam – Albert Chuppa Jr., Alyce Coble, Harold “Hap” Martin|
Contingency prizes were given out to the top five finishers in each class, with door prizes and more randomly award to racers throughout the evening. Those prizes included certificates from various series sponsors, Monster Energy skateboards, Monster Energy branded Igloo coolers and more. GNCC series sponsors also stepped up to give out several thousand dollars’ worth of prizes including custom National Champion jackets, National Champion watches, free sets of graphics, ATV and motorcycle tires, umbrellas, duffle bags, goggles, GNCC series sweatshirts and t-shirts, hats, eMTB swag and more. A special thanks goes out to AMSOIL, HBD MotoGrafx, Moose Racing, Thor/Parts Unlimited, CST Tires, Dunlop Tires, GBC Tires, Michelin Tires, Moose Racing, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Rockwell, 100% Goggles, Specialized, FMF Racing, Monster Energy, Wiseco, ARMA, Cometic, MotoTees and RacerX. A very special thanks to Race Awards in Fairmont, West Virginia for each custom award and National Champion medals.
Following the awards, musical entertainment was provided by DJ ELO, as GNCC Racers and their families continued to celebrate on the dance floor. GNCC also provided a Christmas-themed Night of Champions photo backdrop for anyone to get their pictures taken in front of.
If you were unable to attend, simply fill out this form and you should receive your award shortly after you receive the shipping confirmation. The deadline to submit this form for your 2021 GNCC Banquet Award is Wednesday, January 5 at 5 p.m. ET. Upon review we will charge your card according to your location and email your receipt. Click HERE to fill out the form online before January 5.
The 2022 Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, will kick off with the Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina the weekend of February 19 and 20. To see the full 2022 schedule, click HERE.
For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.
About GNCC Racing
The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling two and three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through racetracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks, and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised live on RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.