Ballance is Eight-Time GNCC Champion
Bill Ballance 8-time GNCC Champion
Crawfordsville, IN - It's all over for 2007,
and the history books must now be re-written.
Bill Ballance is the all-time King of Quads in
the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series.
The Yamaha rider went out and won the
season-finale Kloz Ironman GNCC to make sure the
championship was his, and now he has won the
GNCC crown for the eighth-straight time, an
"It hasn't even hardly sunk in yet," said
Ballance, clearly getting emotional on the
podium. "When I first started this years ago, I
was just hoping to be a top ten rider. To win
eight in a row, I can't even believe it. I'm
just so happy, we weren't even trying to win
this one, we were trying to take it easy and
make sure we didn't have problems with the bike,
and things started happening and we ended up in
Ballance's rival Chris Borich looked like he
could win the Ironman, although Ballance still
would have only needed to finish 12th to win the
crown anyway. Borich took the ITP Holeshot Award
and battled with Ballance most of the day, but
he ran into trouble on the muddy, rugged track
with two laps to go and dropped to fifth.
Ballance then led Matt Smiley and Adam McGill,
and then McGill put on a big charge on the last
lap to pass Smiley and go after Ballance. He
almost pulled it off and passed Ballance in the
final mile, but Ballance managed to stop him and
get the win--and the title, of course.
McGill was second and Smiley third.
It was a banner day altogether for Yamaha, who
not only celebrated Ballance's eighth crown, but
also won the overall in the morning race with
Traci Cecco, who started in the fourth row in
the Women's class but still managed to win the
race--and fitting end to a championship season.
Also, Brandon Sommers won the XC2 title this
year and raced the XC1 class, and nearly made
the podium overall, staying right with the
leaders for most of the race.
Cecco was followed by a pair of happy class
winners in the morning race, as Scott Kilby won
the Open 4x4 class and Mike Benson took U2.
Also, the UTVs had their way with the Ironman
track and it was one of the funnest races the
series had ever seen, with about 30 machines
(and 30 passengers) battling through mud, water,
hills and rocks. It was very fun to
watch--there's a good chance you'll see more of
these races in the future.
But the future, the present and the past belongs
to Ballance. "We got so many fast guys out there
riding these days, and factory support and
everything is coming, everyone is taking it so
seriously now, and spending so much time riding
and training. Things like bike setup are a lot
closer than they used to be."
Close, but once again not quite enough to knock
off the King of Quads.
Over 1550 riders competed at the Klotz Ironman
GNCC throughout the weekend, at an event that
included demo rides from Can-Am, Yamaha and
Polaris, helicopter rides available to fans, and
a full-assortment of 2008 machines on display,
as well as raffles and give aways.
For full results, log on to
www.gnccracing.com. A full race report will
follow this report on Monday morning.
Ballance photo by David Scearce
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, Moose
Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport
Grafx, Race Tools, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls,
Twin Air, and MotoTee’s. Media Sponsors include
Racer X Illustrated, ATV Rider, ATV Sport,
ATVRiders.com, Quadzone.com, Dirt Rider and ATV
Insider. For more information log on to