McGill, Ballance, Borich Set for Ohio GNCC
Deep field of
ATV contenders hits the Buckeye State
Millfield, Ohio (May 8,
2008) -- Rarely do three different racers
each feel like the man to beat halfway through a
championship season, but that’s the story for
the 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country
Series. Heading into this weekend’s Wiseco John
Penton GNCC in Southern Ohio, FRE KTM’s Adam
McGill, Yamaha’s Bill Ballance and Rockstar/Yoshimura
Suzuki’s Chris Borich each feel like they can
seize control of the GNCC Title.
Ballance and Borich draw confidence from
their past dominance and 1-2 finish at the
previous GNCC at Loretta Lynn’s. Ballance won
the race to put himself back on track, with
Borich a close second. McGill, though, already
owns three wins this year and feels that he
would have triumphed again at Loretta’s if his
engine hadn’t quit on the last lap.
“I feel like I gave it right away,” says McGill.
“I had a line picked out and I knew I could make
the pass (on Ballance), because I had passed him
there before. I just feel bad like I let
everyone down. And you know why I’m bummed?
Millfield is my local track, and I wanted to
come in with a four-race win streak so I could
say it’s the drive for five. It’s my local race
and I’m going to have so many people there. I
Ballance believes McGill will be right in the
title hunt all year, but he doesn’t expect a
runaway. “I think it’s going to be just like it
was with me and Chris, but now we’ll have a
third guy in there with Adam,” says Ballance.
“He’s riding well. After winning eight titles,
it’s not winning that keeps it going anymore,
it’s those battles.”
Borich opened the year with a win but missed the
podium for the next three races. “People were
asking what was wrong, but there is nothing
wrong,” said Borich. “They were just muddy races
and anything can happen. Once we get out on dry
tracks, I think I can start clicking off some
All three stars expect a win this weekend in
Ohio, but a deep field of contenders will
pressure them at every turn. Team Excell
Motorsports Bryan Cook sits second in points
after scoring three podiums this year, and the
North Carolina veteran has finished strong even
when he starts at the back of the pack.
The GT Thunder Yamaha tandemn of rookie Brandon
Sommers and veteran Johnny Gallagher hail from
the area and expect big finishes. Sommers
phenomenal rookie season includes two podium
finishes, while Gallagher expects to be in the
hunt this weekend, especially if it rains, which
is a strong possibility.
McGill’s KTM teammate Taylor Kiser would be
right in the points battle if not for two
moments of bad luck -- a broken chain at one
round and the same electrical troubles that
struck McGill last weekend.
Veteran privateer riders Matt Smiley (Safari
Motorsports) and William Yokley (National Guard)
are also podium players this year, but both
yearn for a win. Also, the new Can-Am DS450
effort looks to rebound, with Chris Bithell and
Chris Jenks (Warnert Racing) and Duane Johnson
and Brent Sturdivant (LTERacing.com) looking for
their first podiums of the season.
The John Penton GNCC features a full weekend of
racing. Saturday's ATV show begins at 8 a.m.
with a one-hour youth race, and continues at 10
a.m. with the morning race. Yamaha's Traci Cecco
and Tom Clark Motorsports' Angel Atwell are
locked in a battle for the Women's Championship
and have won every morning race overall this
season. In addition, the fast guns of the 4x4
and utility divisions will battle at the same
Sunday's bike battle features Red Bull KTM's
David Knight and the best off-road motorcycle
racers in the world.
What: The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country
Series (GNCC), America's Largest Off Road Racing
Series. 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 12 miles in length. With varied terrain
including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and
motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of
both survival and speed.
When: May 10 and 11, 2008
Where: The race takes place at Sunday Creek
Raceway. From Athens: Take Rt. 33 W. 1 mile to
13N (Chauncey Exit). Go 3 miles into Chauncey.
Turn right—staying on Route 13 North. Continue
for 10 miles to Jacksonville. Go right on Sixth
St. for 2 miles, then turn left.
Who: The Can-Am GNCC Series pits the best of the
best in off-road racing against each other. More
than 1,500 amateur racers are expected to
compete on custom-built dirt bikes and
four-wheeled ATVs. Top pro motorcycle riders
include David Knight, Barry Hawk, Jr., Charles
Mullins, Jimmy Jarrett and Shane Watts. ATV pro
riders include Bill Ballance, Chris Borich,
Chris Bithell, Matt Smiley and Adam McGill.
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross
Country series is America’s premier off-road
racing series. The 13-round championship series
is produced exclusively by Racer Productions and
has run since 1973. 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.
With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud,
dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events
are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC
Racing will air weekly television shows on the
Versus network starting August 2. GNCC featured
sponsors include Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose
Racing, 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, HiPer Technology,
Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National
Guard, Powersport Grafx, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire
Balls, Twin Air, Ogio, Rekluse, and MotoTee’s.
For more information log on to