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Can-Am GNCC Racing

Bill Ballance Dominates ITP Power Line Park GNCC, Clinches Ninth Championship
Ockerman, Borich, second and third

Bill Ballance shares the podium with second-place finisher Don Ockerman (left) and third-place finisher Chris Borich (right). (Jason Hooper Photo)
Bill Ballance shares the podium with second-place finisher Don Ockerman (left) and third-place finisher Chris Borich (right).

Bill Ballance
Bill Ballance

Bill Ballance takes on Power Line's tough woods section. (Jason Hooper photo)
Bill Ballance takes on Power Line's tough woods section.

Traci Cecco
Traci Cecco
ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OHIO (October 11, 2008)  -- Bill Ballance dominated Saturday's ITP Power Line GNCC at Power Line Park and, in the process, he clinched his ninth GNCC ATV Championship. The Smiths Grove, Kentucky resident took the lead early in the two-hour event and was never headed en route to the checkered flag. The event was the penultimate round of the 13-race Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series (GNCC).

“I got a good start, was able to get into the lead and ride away,” said Ballance, who sustained rib injuries earlier in the season. “I’m just now healed up from my injuries and it felt good to just ride without pain. My crew and all the fans were telling me where I was and I just tried to ride smooth and have fun.”

Ballance’s race was largely uneventful as he assumed the early lead and quickly established a large gap between himself and newly crowned XC2 champion Don Ockerman, who was competing in his first ever XC1 race and surprised everyone, including himself.

“I never even dreamed about racing in the Pro class when I got into this sport,” said Ockerman. “Now, I’m up here on the podium and I can’t believe it. I got a great start and was leading it for a while. I just went for it. Then, I made a mistake and Bill got by me so I tried to settle in and stay up there.”

While Ballance and Ockerman put their Yamahas out front the best racing of the afternoon took place between Suzuki’s Chris Borich and KTM’s Adam McGill. McGill had trouble early, but charged through the pack to challenge Borich throughout the last lap. The two were wheel to
wheel at the checkered flag with Borich getting the nod for the final podium spot.

“I had a decent start and just started picking guys off one at a time,” said Borich. “I was pretty comfortable in third until I crashed on the last lap. My goggles were dirty, I hit a big mud hole and went down. When I got up I saw McGill coming and knew I had to get going again quick.”

Meanwhile, the day belonged to Ballance. His ninth title is his fourth consecutive, which further cements
his status as the all-time king of GNCC ATV racing. Ballance held his daughter and his shiny new 2008 Can Am GNCC No. 1 plate very proudly on the podium.

GT Thunder Yamaha’s Brandon Sommers took the ITP Holeshot Award for the second week in a row in the XC1 Class and raced to an 11th-place finish.

In the XC2 Pro-Am Class, Honda mounted Mark Notman took the Rekluse Holeshot Award, and rode well to a runner-up finish.

Yamaha’s Traci Cecco earned the ATVRiders.com Morning Race Overall Victory, and also won the Women’s class over Angel Atwell and Lexie Coulter. Cecco was racing without rear brakes for most of the race. Both Cecco and Atwell experienced crashes on their way to the win and runner-up finishes.

Josh Merritt won the Youth ATV Race ahead of Jerry Welch and Mathew Harris.

Racing continues tomorrow with the motorcycle portion of the event. Full ATV results are posted at www.gnccracing.com

Results:
ITP Power Line Park GNCC
St. Clairsville, Ohio
October 11, 2008

Overall

1.     Bill Ballance, Smiths Grove, KY (Yam)
2.     Donald Ockerman, Marshall, IL (Yam)
3.     Chris Borich, Sunbury PA (Suz)
4.     Adam McGill, West Union, WV (KTM)
5.     Ryan Lane, Bicknell, IN (Hon)
6.     Chris Bithell, Irwin, PA (Can)
7.     Bryan Cook, Casar, NC (Hon)
8.     Jarrod McClure, Kaska, PA (Hon)
9.     Brandon Ballance, Oakland, KY (Yam)
10.  Chris Jenks, Washington, WV (Can)

XC1 Points Standings (After 12 of 13 rounds)

1.     Bill Ballance 262
2.     Adam McGill 218
3.     Chris Borich 212
4.     Bryan Cook 209
5.     Brandon Sommers 200
6.     Taylor Kiser 170
7.     William Yokley 160
8.     Jarrod McClure 159
9.     Ryan Lane 152
10.  Matthew Smiley152

XC2 Point Standings

1.     Don Ockerman  278
2.     Mark Nottman 199
3.     Josh Kirkland 189

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 www.gnccracing.com.


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