Welcome to Quick Fill.
It’s time to go racing once again and we’re back in South Carolina but this time it’s for the Camp Coker Bullet GNCC in Society Hill. If you’ve never attended this event in the past, you’ve been missing out because this is an incredible piece of property. There are ponds galore, green grass, cabins, lodges, skeet shooting stations (not open for the weekend of course!) and of course, GNCC Racing to boot. Even for those who aren’t in attendance to go out and do some racing of their own, Camp Coker is easily one of the best events of the year.
Now, we’re knee deep in getting this course ready so this weekend’s edition of Quick Fill will be on the really quick side so we can jump right back to work and have this thing ready to roll for the weekend. But, we do have a few reminders and a little low-down on the racecourse for this weekend. First off, don’t forget about the Brown’s RV GNCC Fishing Tournament this Saturday evening, kicking off at 6pm by the motocross track. All the details are on the event page HERE. Also, there will be a Supercross Viewing Party Saturday night starting at 8pm.
As for the track, you’ll be starting on the motocross track once again. It’s actually just under two-miles into the full loop, so you’ll hit a few turns then head off the motocross track and transfer past the two-mile mark and into the woods. The first section of woods will tighten up for a bit before popping into a short open section and into more woods to head to the three-mile mark. From the three to the four you’ll have a bit of a mix with some tight sections before opening up to some faster spots that will allow some good passing opportunities.
At the four things tighten back up a bit before you work your way over to the old Supercross track. If you’re not familiar with that spot, it was actually a practice track not only used by landowner Hammerin’ Hank Moree but also Larry Ward as he lived nearby when he was heavy into the Pro Motocross and Supercross world. It’s not been used in many years, but you can still tell there was a full-blown Supercross track there. This leads you to a short field section before dropping into a long tight section at the five-mile mark. This tighter trail will continue all the way around to the six where you pop into a short field crossing before dropping back into the tight woods all the way to the seven-mile mark.
There’s another short field crossing just by the seven, but after that it’s back into those tight woods for another half-mile or so. You’ll finally come out of the tight, twisty trail and into a faster field section for just a bit that brings you back into the woods again and to the eight-mile mark. At the eight you’re headed through some trail that was clear cut about five years ago, but it’s growing back more and more each year and is now pretty fun, flowy and even a little on the tight side.
This will continue to the nine-mile mark where you’ll drop back into the hardwoods once again with tons of zig-zagging back and forth through pine trees. This is a mix of tight trail with a few open spots before you get to the 10-mile mark. At the 10, you’re headed into a field section that actually turns into some trail inside the field as you’ll work your way through a section of pine trees on the edge of the field. This comes to another short field section before catching more woods to the 11-mile mark. After the 11, you’ll pop out into the pit area and run up to the finish, out of the finish and either through the pro pits or an open section of woods (depending if you’re racing AM or PM of course) before crossing the road into some tighter woods that bring you to the one-mile mark. At the one, you’ll head through another open field and back over to the motocross track to tie in where you started.
Overall, it’s 12 miles on the dot with the pro pits included and, in my opinion, this is one of the most fun layouts we’ve had at Camp Coker. So, if you’re on the fence, get off and get ready. It’s time to go racing. That’s going to do it for this week’s edition of Quick Fill. So, enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you in South Carolina!
Catching Up With Ken (Ken Hill)
Camp Coker, a mysterious round that conjures up memories of fun times and merciless terrain that swallows man and machine. A land that time forgot, a land that consumes the soul of a racer only to spit it out after a two or three-hour race. The soil acts in conjunction with the air and skies that can open up and unleash a torrent of dragon’s tears that add to the misery taking place.
I know; the above is a touch on the far-fetched side but what is it about this location that splits the rank and file so deeply? It’s a love or hate type deal with little to no middle ground and I can’t seem to figure it out! The venue is settled amongst numerous fishing ponds and by the number of fishing poles I see every year, that is a huge positive as well as the amount of actual camping that takes place, not just set up and race then roll out. Most years have the swimming holes packed and it’s a wonder of nature a fish remains after the fishing tourney.
Could it be the terrain itself? I mean it can get soft, be dusty, prime, foul, you name it, typical GNCC stuff. The crew usually lays out a challenging track that spans a huge piece of the property that offers section after section to allow things to get sorted out. Rolling ridges lead to bottoms that for sure are no joke as mud can end your day but that’s no different than so many other rounds. Maybe it’s the vastness of the facility that keeps fans and help circling around the bad spots? With e-bikes, I see hordes of pit crews and help everywhere. See, no one reason or answer as to why this round remains a conundrum for so many.
Well, I will be there because it’s one of my favorites, even though its one that really forces you to work for good images; especially if the weather isn’t cooperative. Heck I took my wife last year and she has threatened me with death if she isn’t included at this round from now on! Seeing the fun while I’m working, well that’s a downer because this is the kind of fun our lives revolve around but seeing the smiles, laughs and good times makes it manageable until the day is done and I get to make my own memories. So even though I love this round I too can see where something unidentifiable or maybe unique to each of us sets this race apart. In any event, the weather is looking good, the racing should be solid, and I am expecting a great turnout.
Now I missed Quick Fill last week quite simply because I was just slammed with work. I was approached at the start of the season by ATVRIDER Magazine about writing an article after each round and I agreed, so I was stoked to have them looking to get back in the mix on the east coast as they have been doing a great job covering the west coast series. Add to that another reach out by another magazine for a last minute article had me scrambling to get everything done which I did however the week flew past and I missed my window to send in my contribution. That being said, this week found me sickly as I battled all week to feel well enough to want to do much of anything, but I woke up feeling better so here we go, head first into round FIVE!
Tiger Run was pretty solid from my view albeit I never did get warm until the very end of Sunday. I have a feeling we will go from this weather to overheat with no real spring. The spring in Union County for me means GNCC and Morel mushrooms and we did manage to find a few even with the lackluster conditions. There wasn’t much of a break in the racing to hunt more but the action was intense as things are super-heated in the XC1 Pro class as Walker Fowler and Brycen Neal carve out this season. Trading wins and swapping positions at each round has fans excited about the season and it’s going to be tough to top if things carry through until we crown a champion. I can’t say that about the bike side as the XC1 Pro class remains gutted by injuries. It’s the Ben Kelley show plain and simple as no other rider has shown they can run with him, especially when the checkered flag comes out. It is a bummer because I would have to think Kelley would like to have a good challenging season to verify his stats amongst the elites that have come before him. I did run into Johnny Girrior back in the woods and it was awesome seeing him there and motoring around on his e-bike. Such a positive guy and an inspiration to so many, it was incredible hearing him lay out his expected timeline to start getting back to work. The last time I spoke with Steward Baylor, he was predicting his return in time to take the championship away from Kelley! That’s a tall order even for Stu but wouldn’t that be a story! I think everyone joins me in wishing them both speedy recoveries and hope they take the time to get healed up properly.
Saturday evening the eMTB’s took to the track for their event and I ended up being at a spot where I got to watch Randy Hawkins work. I am always drawn to those around me, what they say, what they do and how they do it. I guess you could stay I study people and Hawkins is no different. I don’t “know” Randy outside of the racings tats and from working with him pre-season and during the races with the latter being almost 100% through observation. Intense would be a word I used to describe Randy with attention to detail. He might tone it down at home but man he is 110% go during the race. When Archer sent her rear rim and sprocket to the scrap pile, you couldn’t tell by his reaction that her day and race was sunk. In fact, I was in his immediate area when he found out and not one clue there had been a race ending issue. He kept focus and moved on.
On Sunday, I was awaiting the Pro’s when Jordan Ashburn’s dad rolls up, pitboard in hand. We had just a few minutes to chat and he remarked he prayed for Jordan to get more help. I thought about that for a second, my thoughts revolving around money at first however his conversation picked back up and it was clear to see he meant literal help during the race as in pointing out lines and such. I am no expert on the motorcycle side of racing but seeing the swarm of crews around a bad spot is paramount to saving one’s race and with very few to no help the day can fall apart with one bad line choice. He wasn’t complaining; quite the opposite, just a father looking to make things as safe and keep his son heading in the right direction.
So many ask how I am doing, and I am doing ok with no new issues to report. The family and myself gets worried whenever I don’t feel well but this is all part of this thing or so I am told. We want to thank you all for your care and concern! Well, I am going to cut things off here so I can get geared up and headed south! As always, please be safe in all you do and may the good Lord continue to bless us all!