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Yokley Racing

The Steele Creek GNCC Race Report
Morganton, North Carolina, March 29, 2008

It's good to be back on the podium!
It's good to be back on the podium!

William Yokley was on the podium today finishing 3rd Overall under cold and wet conditions in the North Carolina Mountains. There were 296 total entries with 23 XC1 Pro Riders. Team Rider Mark Notman finished 30th Overall and 11th in the 39 rider XC2 Pro Am Class.

Summary

We had a 3 week break between the last race in GA, which gave us some time to recover and do some additional fine tuning on my bike. We got everything freshened up, and were able to work on a few things with the suspension. I felt like I had some good settings that would work well at Steele Creek.

We arrived at the track on Friday afternoon to warm temperatures and a forecast of a chance of showers. I met SGT Adam Coffey, the Recruiting Officer who was overseeing the National Guard Display, and he reviewed the plans for the weekend. They had their cool spider tent and a Humvee at the display. Polaris provided a brand new Sportsman ATV for the National Guard to use at the races to ride around and meet potential recruits; thank you very much Polaris!

I woke up early Sat. morning to heavy thunderstorms and cold temps; at least I didn't have to worry about dust today! It rained hard all morning and eased up some before our race. We prepared for lots of mud and water, because we always run in and out of Steele Creek several times per lap; it's great for the spectators but not so much fun for the riders. It took the GNCC workers a while to clear all the wounded machines out of the creeks and mud holes from the morning race, but the conditions were not too bad under the circumstances.

The flag dropped and my National Guard Honda fired quickly; I found myself in 3rd behind McGill and Ballance going into the mountain trails. The first lap was mainly trying to set a good pace and get used to the conditions, and not get stuck in the many mud bogs, steep hills, and deep ruts. On lap 2, I got in a battle with Matt Smiley and Bill Ballance where we went back and forth, knocking me back to 4th place. On lap 3, I had the fastest lap time of all the competitors, and moved up to 2nd. On the 4th and final lap, my bike started stalling out and I had to restart it several times. I also lost time in some bottlenecks behind lapped riders, but I finished 3rd for the day, which was my best result so far this year. It was nice getting back up on the podium!

Team Rider Mark Notman had a decent day in the very competitive XC2 Pro-Am class. He got a great start in the top 5, but got slammed from behind in the first corner knocking him out of the top 20. There were many traffic jams on lap1, and he came through in 22nd out of 39 in his class. He put his head down and worked his way up to 10th going into the final lap. He was getting through the problem areas well until the very end. About 40 yards from the finish line was a creek crossing that was getting extremely difficult with huge ruts as well as deep mud, and was a real hazard especially when riders got stuck and blocked the trail. Mark got behind a rider that blocked him causing him to get buried in the mud. It took him several minutes to get out, but he did finish in 11th in class. Mark is 4th in points through the first 3 races, and is working hard to get on the podium.

The next race is in Union, SC in 2 weeks. I have a lot of work ahead of me, not only do we have to completely go through my race bike, but we have to race prep the Polaris RZR that I'm going to race in the side by side races there. Polaris has provided me with the opportunity to have some fun and promote their machines. It should be interesting; I'll talk to you soon!

Yokley Racing Team Sponsors are: The Army National Guard, Rocky Mountain ATV, Polaris Industries, ITP Tires, Elka Suspension, Roll Design, HMF Exhaust Systems, IMS/Roll, Tire Balls, Andrews Cycle, Douglas Wheel Technology, Baldwin Motorsports, CGR, O'Neal Clothing, Panolin Lubricants, IMS, Hinson, 317 Graphics, Intense Fabrication & Design, Tsubaki Chains, Hardkor, Shoei Helmets, Axcaliber Axles, Streamline and Powermadd.


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