by: Kayla Bolton
Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 12:00 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GNCC Racing Gears Up for Round One This Weekend in South Carolina
The 2023 GNCC Season Kicks Off at Big Buck on Saturday and Sunday
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 16, 2023) – The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) is ready to go this weekend, February 18-19, with the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck event in Union, South Carolina.
On Saturday the Pro ATV racers will take to the course with Phoenix Racing Yamaha’s Brycen Neal leading the way as he earned his first National Championship in 2022. Neal will be sporting the number one plate for the season and is aiming to defend his title with back-to-back championship seasons.
Unfortunately for seven-time National Champion WFR/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler, he will be sidelined for the start of the 2023 season as he has suffered a preseason injury.
Hunter Hart Racing/Ithaca Recreation Sports/Fly Racing’s Hunter Hart who finished third overall in the series last year will be looking to come out swinging and battle for that top spot on the podium. Richardson Racing/Action Off-Road/Kenda’s Cole Richardson and Pierce Performance/GBC/Action Off-Road/Active Waste Solution’s John Glauda Jr. will also be looking to battle at the front of the pack and make a run for the number one position throughout the season.
Action Off-Road/Pro Graphx/Kenda/Pierce Performance’s Jay Shadron & Stewart Boys Racing/GBC/Pierce Performance/Focus X’s Wyatt Wilkin made the move up to XC1 this season after Shadron earned the XC2 Championship and Wilkin finished in the runner up position. This makes Steven Harrell Racing/BNR Motosports/Kenda/HMF’s Steve Harrell and Owens Racing/Osburn Off-Road/Moose Racing/OBOR’s Branden Owens two of the front-runners in XC2 to battle for a coveted win in the class.
In the 4x4 Pro class eyes will be on Ryco Racing/Kenda Tires/KMK Off-Road/Elite Graphics Cody Collier as he earned the National Championship last year, but he will have his work cut out for him as a handful of other 4x4 riders are looking to excel this season. Pro Row 784/GBC/BNR/Victory Golf Carts Brandon Frazier and Stewart Boys Racing/Action Off-Road/DeRisi/HMF’s Haedyn Mickelson are looking to battle up front and make a run at that number one plate for the year.
The WXC Pro Women’s class will be one to keep an eye on as Hurricane Hannah/Fly Racing/OBOR Tires/HMF’s Hannah Hunter looks to defend her third National Championship this season. However, Team Pickens/GBC Tires/Yamaha Racing/Fly Racing’s Traci Pickens and Elioff Racing/BNR Motorsports/GBC/Fly Racing’s Jessica Elioff are looking to put a stop to her winning ways and battle for that top spot this weekend in South Carolina.
Also taking place on Saturday will be Micro ATV and Motorcycle racing, Youth ATV racing and Youth Motorcycle racing. For a full weekend schedule and information on the Big Buck GNCC event, click HERE.
Then on Sunday the Pro Motorcycle racers will head out into the woods to battle for that overall win. Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn will sport the number one plate after earning his first-ever National Championship in 2023. But he will also have a target on his back as a handful of riders are looking to take that spot away.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong finished runner-up last season, but with another season in XC1 under his belt he is aiming to push himself for an overall win at round one. Making a team move back to Yamaha, AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell will also look to put his machine at the front of the pack to start the season out.
FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Benjamin Kelley is returning from injury and is hoping he can pick up where he left off after his injury and stand in the center of the podium at the end of the race on Sunday. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Trevor Bollinger is also returning from injury and is feeling better than ever, and this weekend he will be aiming to battle at the front of the pack.
Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang will also be back to GNCC Racing this weekend after injuries plagued him last season. Strang is looking to return to the front of the group and continue to battle for overall win’s this season.
Other racers making some team moves and looking to come back strong this season after injuries sidelined them for some time in 2022, are Steward Baylor as he’s now on the Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/Tely Energy KTM Racing team, Thad Duvall aboard the Coastal/GASGAS Factory Racing motorcycle, Grant Baylor on Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green. Johnathan Girroir will also race be aboard the FMF/KTM Factory Racing team as a rookie in the XC1 Open Pro class.
In the XC2 250 Pro class Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass will aim to defend his 2022 National Championship, but Coastal/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty will be looking to put a stop to that and battle up front for the overall win. Last season Phoenix Racing Honda’s Ruy Barbosa had a good run and will be ready to go this season to battle for more podium finishes while working towards earning a class win.
After earning the win in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class last season, Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Brody Johnson will make the move up to XC2 250 Pro. This will leave the door open for some fellow XC3 racers to earn the win and a National Championship this season. Spykes KTM/Husqvarna/FXR/Shoei’s Jake Froman will look to be a front runner in the class this season, and newcomer Bells Electric/FXR/FC Suspension’s Toby Cleveland will aim to get another win under his belt after earning his first-ever XC3 race the first time he entered into the class last year.
After close racing all last season in the WXC class, AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer is aiming to defend her National Championship this season. Archer will have Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede hot on her heels as she comes into the season ready to battle for more overall wins in the morning race. Unfortunately, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna/Moose Racing/Surge Off-Road Coaching’s Tayla Jones suffered a preseason crash and will be sidelined for some time.
Heading to the event this weekend in Union, South Carolina? With Wide Open Wifi, you can enjoy fast and reliable internet connectivity throughout the event. Our advanced technology ensures that you can stream live races, share photos and videos, and stay connected with friends and family without any interruptions. Click HERE to purchase WiFi in advance for this year's Big Buck event. Purchase your WiFi before the end of day TODAY and receive a $5 discount.
The 2023 Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized will kick off on February 18-19, 2023, with the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina. To check out the full 2023 GNCC Series schedule, click HERE.
Catch GNCC Pro ATV and Motorcycle Racing free via RacerTV.com all season long. Pro ATV Racing starts Saturday’s at 2pm ET, with the exception of Big Buck, Snowshoe and Ironman events where they will start at 1pm ET. GNCC Pro Motorcycle Racing will begin at 1pm ET on Sunday’s. Later in the year GNCC Racing will premiere on MAVTV with event highlight episodes.
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.
- Facebook: @gnccracing
- Instagram: @gncc_racing
- Twitter: @gnccracing
- YouTube: @racertv
About GNCC Racing
The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized is the world premier cross country racing series. Founded in 1975, the 12-round motorcycle and ATV championship and 9-round eMTB 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 2,700 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.