GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #22: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #22: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, July 20, 2023 | 3:20 PM
Thursday, July 20, 2023 | 3:20 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

Another week of the GNCC summer break is in the books and it’s another week where you’re likely either saying “man, I wish we were already racing again” or maybe you’re saying, “I’m glad we’ve still got more summer break left”. As we’ve said the last few weeks some folks are taking advantage of the break and others are still sticking to racing by taking on various other events. As you likely already know, our staff is also responsible for the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s and that is coming up really, really quick. 

In fact, some of the staff is already down at The Ranch getting things ready. Others are heading down today and tomorrow, then a few more early next week as the first wave of racers begin to arrive. By this time next week, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch will be beginning to fill up with all the racers and a lot of the same staff you see at the GNCC events will be full-bore into Loretta’s prep. 

If you ever attend Loretta’s you would see that a lot of the guys running equipment, setting things up, and just generally managing the races and the event itself are all familiar faces to the GNCC Racing Nation. Everyone pitches in and while it’s a bit different than a GNCC event, it still has a very familiar feel when you’re in attendance. If you’ve never been to Loretta’s, it’s definitely worth the trip one day whether you’re there to race or just hang out and watch some racing… I always enjoy stopping along the spectator fence to say hi to some GNCC regulars! 

Speaking of which, there are always a lot of names familiar to the GNCC Racing Nation who race Loretta’s each year and this year is no different as there are quite a few to keep an eye on. Phoenix Racing Honda’s Heath Harrison is back at Loretta’s once again in the Open Pro Sport and Junior 25+ classes, as is XC1 competitor Ben Nelko. Ben suffered a shoulder injury at Camp Coker and while he’s a bit healed, he’s still struggling to hold onto the bike for a long and grueling off-road race and announced that he actually will not be finishing out the season with the Tely Energy/Rocky Mountain ATV/MC folks. He actually has a few photos of himself on a Kawasaki, so it will be interesting to see what he does after Loretta’s. 

The WMX class has a couple familiar faces including Prestin Raines who currently sits fourth place in the GNCC WXC class point standings. Additionally, Shelby Rolen, who has been in the WXC class for a number of full-time seasons, is also a long time Loretta’s competitor and back once again. The same can be said for the Vet 30+ class with a pair of GNCC Vet A champions in the form of Andrew Matusek and Shane O’Banion. Both of these guys not only have GNCC Vet A championships to their credit but they have a number of years of Loretta’s experience as well!

Former Pro Motocrosser Mike Brown has become one of the top vet racers over the last few years. But, after retiring from motocross and Supercross Brownie spent several seasons racing off-road and while he never did a full season of GNCC he made a number of GNCC starts as well. Brownie is back at Loretta’s this year in the Senior 40+ and Masters 50+ classes searching for two more titles. 

Going into the mini bike ranks the son of former GNCC racer winner Ryan Sipes, Jack Sipes, will be in the Micro 3 (7-8) class and another XC1 competitors’ son is making a trip to the ranch as well. Tyler Medaglia, who we typically see in the early season races before the Canadian Motocross season kicks off, has his boy Talon racing the 65 (10-11) Limited class. Then there are a few full-time GNCC youth racing as well! Caleb Wood is leading the GNCC YXC2 class and will be racing the Mini Sr 1 (12-14) and Mini Sr 2 (13-15) classes at Loretta’s this year. YXC1 points leader, Canyon Richards, has a good bit of experience at Loretta’s and is back again this year in the Supermini 1 (12-15) and Supermini 2 (13-16) classes. And, speaking of that Supermini 2 class, GNCC competitor Mason Raynor will be in that class as well. 

So, as you can see, there are a lot of names to keep an eye on throughout the race week at Loretta’s which kicks off with practice on Monday July 31st and runs all the way through Saturday August 5th. And, as always, it will all be broadcast live on with a lot of the same talent you see each week on the GNCC Live shows. Be sure to tune in if you can’t come out in person. 

Outside of that, things are a little on the slow side as everyone settles into that summer break and gets ready for several more weeks off before we return to racing in September. With that said, we’re going to wrap up this week’s edition of Quick Fill right here. This time next week we’ll come to you live from Loretta Lynn’s Ranch with any last minute updates before kicking off the race week there. Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you back here next week for another edition of Quick Fill!