The John Penton GNCC Race Report
Millfield, Ohio, May 10, 2008
William Yokley finished 5th Overall today in
Ohio in very muddy conditions. There were
265 total entries with 22 XC1 Pro Riders.
Team Rider Mark Notman finished 20th Overall and
2nd in the 34 rider XC2 Pro Am Class.
We headed to Ohio on Friday and arrived to
find heavy rain and chilly temps.
Millfield is near Athens Ohio, which is a cool
little college town and a scenic part of the
state. This track is a blast to ride under
normal conditions, but it never seems to be that
way; it’s either extreme mud or dust. We
prepared for a mud race which seems to be
happening pretty regularly this season.
The rains stopped and the sun came out on
race day and I thought that the conditions would
be better by the afternoon race, but the track
never did improve and was super muddy. We
have been racing GNCCs at Millfield for many
years, and the thick Ohio clay sticks to you and
your machine adding huge amounts of weight.
The course has fast trails, tight woods
sections, and runs a portion of the Sunday Creek
Motocross Track which is always a lot of fun.
The starter dropped the flag and I got a
decent start going into the woods in 6th place,
and made my way to 4th fairly quickly.
Taylor Kiser and I both wanted the same line and
I was going too fast to back out; I came out on
the short end of the stick when my front end
clipped a tree. I was only down for a
brief moment, but I dropped back to 9th place.
I ruined my goggles while trying to make up
time, and had to pit for a fresh pair dropping
me back to mid pack. My bike had so much
mud on it that it felt and handled like a
concrete mixer with flat tires!
I told myself to calm down and concentrate
because the easiest thing to do when this stuff
happens is to get overly excited and screw up
even more, and besides, everybody is in the same
boat with me. Once I calmed down and got
into a rhythm, things started picking up for me.
The track was pretty tough with lapped traffic
being worse than normal, creating many
bottlenecks. This actually worked to my
advantage, as I just slowed down and tried to
pick the best lines, as well as having some luck
for a change. There were so many things
which happened today that by the finish, I had
no idea where I placed; I just know there were
bikes all over everywhere, some running and some
not. I rolled into the pits and everyone
seemed excited; I was wondering why they were so
happy, and then they told me I finished in 5th
which was a nice surprise. I was pleased
because like I said, I really didn’t know where
I was with all the mayhem.
My teammate Mark Notman had a great day and
made it on the podium with a 2nd place finish in
the Pro Am class. His day started with
decent start in 12th place, and worked his way
up to 8th at the end of lap 1. Even
stalling his bike a couple of times, he was able
to work his way up to 6th on lap 3 and to 3rd on
lap 5. The mud and ruts were getting worse
but he rode smart and used his head dealing with
the many bottlenecks. Two miles from the
finish on lap 6, there was a huge traffic jam
with bikes everywhere; he passed for 2nd place
and a spot on the podium!
It was a good day for the National Guard
Team. Now we go home and start cleaning
all this Ohio clay off of everything and get
ready for Sparta KY in three weeks. Sparta
is considered a home track for me and I’m
looking forward to racing there. The
National Guard is planning to have some neat
exhibits and interesting things there for the
fans. See you there!
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,