Ballance Builds GNCC Comeback for Home Race in
Warrior Spartan GNCC race will draw thousands
Sparta, KY (May 29, 2008)
-- Once again Yamaha’s Bill Ballance found
himself up against the ropes in the Can-Am Grand
National Cross Country Series, and once again
the eight-time GNCC Champion stepped up to the
challenge. With two-straight GNCC wins, Ballance
finds himself just nine points out of the
series’ points lead heading into his home-state
race this weekend.
“It’s Kentucky, my home race,” says Ballance,
a native of Oakland. “You know I’m going to be
out for a win there.”
FRE KTM’s Adam McGill would love nothing more
than to defeat Ballance here. Last year,
competing as a privateer Honda rider, McGill led
most of the race and appeared headed to his
first career overall victory, until Ballance
passed him in the next-to-last corner to steal a
victory. McGill is a different rider this year,
though. He won three-straight races earlier this
season on his new KTM, and holds the series’
lead. The West Virginia rider needs to stop
Ballance’s momentum this weekend, though, in
order to maintain his points lead.
The rest of the GNCC XC1 Pro field looks at
Kentucky as a last chance to establish title
hopes. The seventh round of the tour means the
series passes through the halfway mark with this
event. Rockstar/Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Borich
finds himself a disappointing fourth in points
with just one victory this season. In contrast,
last year he carried a four-race win streak into
the Kentucky race. Borich has shown speed, but
small mistakes seem to thwart him each weekend.
On the opposite end, Team Excell Motorsports’
Bryan Cook racked up consistent finishes to hold
third in series’ points.
The rest of the field features a mix of
persistent veterans and eager newcomers.
Veterans Matt Smiley (XCBob.com) and William
Yokley (The National Guard) look as strong as
ever, but young talents like Taylor Kiser (FRE
KTM) and Brandon Sommers (GT Thunder Yamaha)
have turned heads with strong podium finishes
this year. Can-Am’s trio of talented riders,
Chris Bithell and Chris Jenks (Warnert Racing
Can-Am) and Brent Sturdivant (Team LTERacing.com
Can-Am) hope to rebound this weekend after tough
luck at the last few races. Privateer racers
like Ryan Lane and Jarrod McClure are looking
for first-ever podiums this weekend and could
get it with the right breaks.
The XC2 Pro-Am class features a battle between
the next generation of GNCC talent, with GT
Thunder Yamaha’s Don Ockerman leading the
The GNCC morning race features top talent in the
Women’s and Utility GNCC Classes. Defending
Women’s Champion Traci Cecco (Team Yamaha) is
locked in a battle with Tom Clark Motorsports’
Angel Atwell for a championship. Stefanie
Verkade ( Montgomeryville Cycle Center) won the
last race, with riders like Lexie Coulter
(Can-Am) and Stephanie Parton (Yamaha of Troy)
also in the hunt.
In the 4x4 Classes, Michael Swift, Cliff Beasley
and Bryan Buckhannon lead their classes on Can-Ams.
The race, held just past the Kentucky Motor
Speedway off of Exit 57 on I-71, is expected to
draw nearly 1,500 competitors and several
thousand spectators. Riders will race on a
custom-built track including jumps, mud, hills,
rocks and trails.
Spectator passes are $15 for the full weekend,
with pro pit access and pro autographs at no
additional charge. ATVs race on Saturday and
bikes race on Sunday. Youth riders race at 8
a.m., beginner riders race at 10 a.m., and the
top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m. For
more information, check out the official series
or call 304-284-0084.
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 31 and June 1, 2008. Four-wheeled ATVs
race on Saturday. Motorcycles race on Sunday.
Where: Follow I-71 to Exit 57. Follow signs two
miles to the track.
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.
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