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Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series

GNCC Racing

Ballance Looks to Continue Can-Am GNCC Win Streak Heading to North Carolina GNCC
Borich right behind in points

Bill Ballance
Bill Ballance

Morganton, NC – With two wins in the first two rounds of racing, Team Yamaha’s Bill Ballance is already working on his eighth-straight Can-Am Grand National Cross Country ATV Title. But East Coast ATV’s Chris Borich is looking be the streak breaker at this weekend’s FMF Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, North Carolina.

The popular Borich, 24, of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, won last year’s Steele Creek race in a classic battle over Ballance. The duo hooked up and traded the lead countless times throughout the day, before Borich finally blasted past in the final straightaway and charged to a dramatic win. “I’m very happy with this one,” said Borich last year. “I didn’t think I’d be able to catch him. I really had to dig down at the end.”

“It’s a lot of fun to get out there and battle for one, but I’m not one for losing,” said Ballance, who hails from Oakland, Kentucky. “I don’t like that one bit. It gets a little fire burning and we’ll just try to come back and be that much tougher next race.”

The duo went on to battle for the Can-AM GNCC Championship throughout the year, until Ballance wrapped up his seventh GNCC #1 plate in October. With two wins in a row to start the ’07 campaign, Ballance, 30, looks stronger than ever.

The rest of the GNCC pack needs Steele Creek to rebound after tough races to start the 2007 tour in Florida and Georgia. LTERacing.com’s Chris Bithell had a podium (top three finish) at round two in Georgia and podiumed last year in North Carolina. The teenaged talent from Pennsylvania has been edging closer to Ballance and Borich, and hopes to someday be considered the third GNCC “Killer B.”

Bithell is in his sophomore year in the pro class. Fellow sophomores Adam McGill and Duane Johnson have struggled early in 2007 and will look to rebound at Steele Creek.

Along with Ballance, Yamaha backs two former GNCC race winners, Michael Houston and BJ Ballance, Bill’s brother. BJ Ballance has looked very fast early in the races this season, and with more staying power he could win another. Houston, a North Carolina native, is especially adept in races near his home.

Veteran contender William Yokley has looked fast on his new Monster Energy Kawasaki KFX450, but bad starts and mistakes have kept him off of the podium. There are other veterans still in the mix, including East Coast ATV’s Matt Smiley, who is making a comeback this year, and factory Polaris rider Bryan Baker. Team Excell Motorsports Bryan Cook is also a former GNCC winner who is hoping to find that old magic again.

A gang of rookie pros have added even more depth to the XC1 Pro GNCC class. At the top of that group is Alva, Florida’s Taylor Kiser has shown speed and consistency this year with third and fourth place finishes. The XC2 Pro Am class, for young pros, has also packed plenty of speed, with GT Thunder’s Brandon Sommers winning both rounds this season and finishing in the top ten overall both times.

Pro-level racing begins at 1 p.m on Saturday March 24. The weekend also includes Youth ATV racing at 8 a.m. Saturday, and a 10 a.m. race featuring superstars in the Women and 4x4 divisions.

The show continues Sunday with the fastest dirt bike woods racers in the world, with Youth racing at 8 a.m., a 10 a.m morning race for beginners, and a 1 p.m. race for pros.

For more information, check out www.gnccracing.com.

About GNCC Racing:
The AMA/ATVA-sanctioned Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. GNCC Racing airs weekly television shows on Versus (formerly Outdoor Life Network) every Saturday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 4 p.m. beginning on April 14. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include BRP Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, EK Chain, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Motion Pro, Moose Utility Division, Powersport Grafx, Pro Clean, Race Tools, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, Weekend Warrior, and MotoTee’s. Media Sponsors include Racer X Illustrated, ATV Rider, ATV Sport, ATVRiders.com, Dirt Rider and ATV Insider. For more information log on to www.GNCCRacing.com.

Photo by Matt Ware


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