Welcome to Quick Fill.
Well, that’s a wrap on the 2022 GNCC Racing season. In some ways it seems like we just kicked off the year and now it’s already in the books, but at the same time it also feels like the season opening Big Buck event was years ago! Regardless of how you feel, you may still be digging dust out of your crevices from Ironman as this year’s season finale was just plain dry and dusty. Which, for a lot of folks may have been a welcomed relief after last year’s mud race that was really more of a standing water race on Sunday.
This year’s Ironman was the driest one in a dozen years, literally. The last time we saw conditions that dry at Ironman was 2010, and before that was probably around 1997 or so. Using this logic, it likely means we’ll have another dry, dusty and silty Ironman coming up around 2034, so heads up there. While those dry conditions aren’t for everyone, you really can’t knock it too much because it did allow for a really fun track layout and the 10AM bikes FINALLY got to hit Ironman Hill once again for the first time in many years.
We also were finally able to crown an ATV National Champion, and a first timer at that in the form of Brycen Neal. Now, a few weeks ago I talked about some of the historical possibilities this would mean for Brycen and to look back even further, the last time the defending ATV champion lost the title and finished second place that season was 1993 when Barry Hawk claimed his first title and defending champ Bob Sloan ended the season second.
This is also where the reign of consecutive ATV champions begins with Barry taking his seven from 1993-1999, Bill Ballance claiming nine from 2000-2008, Chris Borich with six from 2009-2014, and Walker with his seven from 2015-2021. So, now the big question is will Brycen follow in the footsteps of these guys and begin clicking off multiple titles for the next few years? Or can Walker change up that history and become the first ATV champ to lose and title and regain it since Bob Sloan won his first in 1989, then lost a pair of titles to Chuck Dellulo before winning again in 1992. Regardless of what happens either way, or if someone else is able to jump in and play spoiler to both of these guys, it really looks as if the next few years could be really exciting for the ATV side!
Things could prove to be exciting on the bike side as well. This year saw quite a few guys out with injuries, but next year we will hopefully be back to a full field with guys like Ben Kelley, Steward Baylor, Josh Strang, Thad Duvall, and Trevor Bollinger back in the mix for the full season as well as Johnny Girroir moving into the XC1 ranks full-time and defending champ Jordan Ashburn plus guys who ended this season on a high note like Craig Delong and Ricky Russell. With all of these guys all going head-to-head, the bike side of things really shows a lot of promise for an exciting 2023 season as well.
There also sounds like there will be some big shakeups regarding whose riding what and for whom. While there haven’t been any announcements yet considering the season just ended, we’ve heard some rumors regarding quite a few guys such as Steward Baylor, Ricky Russell, Josh Toth, Thad Duvall, Liam Draper and Johnny Girroir. Obviously, we can’t say anything until we hear something official, but the rumor mill has been abuzz about these guys. Oh, and we also heard something over the weekend about a former motocrosser as well.
We’ve also been getting questions regarding next year’s schedule and I can tell you we’re working on it. At the very least we hope to have some dates set in stone soon, and the locations will fall in place as well. Now, I say this fairly often but if you have a location you think might be suitable for a GNCC event, please drop me at line at [email protected] with some details. Generally, we look for somewhere around 500+ acres, with about 75-100 acres for parking. So if you have somewhere or know of somewhere that would work, just send me the details and we’d be glad to look into it.
The thing to remember about the GNCC schedule is that not only are we building a schedule for the GNCC events, but we also have to work around a lot of other events that we’re involved with. With Pro Motocross, Loretta Lynn’s, Loretta Lynn Qualifiers, ATV Motocross, and other events plus scheduling around major holidays there’s a lot of factors at play in making the GNCC schedule, so it’s not always as easy as just picking a few dates to go racing.
Next up for the GNCC Racing Nation will be the banquets, which will take place December 9th for the ATVs and eMTBs, and December 10th for the bikes. Once again, we’re back at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place, which is always a really nice venue for the banquet. To qualify for the banquet, you must have raced nine events with six of those being in the same class. We’ll have our tentative top ten points posted soon, which will show those who met those year end qualifications. Keep in mind that the points you go and look at on the results page right not are not always 100% accurate as they do not take into account the dropped races for those who receive them. So, keep an eye out for that post with the top ten and that will show you exactly where you finished with the drops counted.
Also, you must register for the banquet. This isn’t a “show up, eat, and get your award” type of get together. We have to give a count of attendees, so they know how much food and how many seats they need to have ready, and of course there is a fee to attend as well. So, make sure you take care of all of this before the banquets get here. You can get all the info on the Banquet Event Page HERE.
Everyone sort of refers to the banquet as a “14th round” as it really is sort of like another weekend of GNCC Racing, just without the racing part. It’s pretty cool to get together, see everyone in a little more formal setting, and recognize everyone’s accomplishments throughout the season. So, if you’ve never attended the banquet before or have just skipped out the last few years, then don’t hesitate to sign up and attend because it’s always a good time.
We’ve got a long off-season to talk about all sorts of other happenings, so we’ll end this week’s edition of Quick Fill here. In the coming weeks we’ll take a look at how some of the various championship battles shaped up throughout the season, plus hopefully have tons of stuff to talk about in preparation for next season. Until then, enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you back here next week!