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Can-Am GNCC Racing

Borich Wins Ironman GNCC Thriller in Indiana
Ockerman, Ballance on podium, Cecco wins Women's Title

Chris Borich matched his opening round win by taking the season-finale Klotz Ironman GNCC victory.
Chris Borich matched his opening round win by taking the season-finale Klotz Ironman GNCC victory.

Donnie Ockerman scored second for the second-straight race.
Donnie Ockerman scored second for the second-straight race.

Ballance scored the ITP Holeshot Award, edging Matt Smiley.
Ballance scored the ITP Holeshot Award, edging Matt Smiley.

Traci Cecco grabbed her seventh GNCC Women's Title.
Traci Cecco grabbed her seventh GNCC Women's Title.
Krista Shaw photos
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (October 15, 2008) -- Pennsylvania's Chris Borich clearly has his Rockstar Yoshimura Suzuki LT-R 450 figured out, as he completed a book end of the 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country tour with a victory at the Klotz Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Borich won the series' opener in Florida but struggled at mid season before winning a dramatic duel at the final series' round.

“We were all just battling all day, it was wide open out there,” said Borich. “We've got this Suzuki figured out on the muddy tracks, should be good for 2009.”

GNCC XC2 Champion Don Ockerman finished second for the second-straight race on his GT Thunder Yamaha, an impressive debut in the XC1 pro class. GNCC Champion Bill Ballance rounded out the podium on his Yamaha, edging FRE KTM's Adam McGill by inches.

Ballance grabbed the ITP Holeshot Award and battled with Borich all day. Borich led as the pack took the white flag, but Ballance made a move to get into the lead. By then Ballance had lost his goggles from following Borich through the mud, and he took a bad line through a mud hole, allowing Borich and Ockerman to get past him.

“I thought we had it won, but I couldn't see that well, Chris was really throwing it on me,” said Ballance. “I took a line that I thought looked pretty good, but it turned out to be a terrible line and I almost got stuck.”

Ockerman followed Borich through to take second, which resulted in major cheers from his local Indiana fans. “We tried a different strategy in the pits, we pitted a lap late,” said Ockerman. “It helped us get in front and pull a gap, and we almost pulled it off. Once I had to pit I went back a few spots, but when I got around Ballance, I couldn't believe it. I was so excited, I just held it wide open to the finish.”

Ballance kept battling with McGill, and the two pushed side-by-side through the final whoop section before the finish. Ballance held off McGill by half of a tire length for third. McGill took fourth, while Warnert Racing Can-Am's Chris Bithell completed the top five.

After clinching the 2008 GNCC Bike Championship, David Knight entered the ATV race in the XC1 pro class for fun. Knighter finished the full two hours, claiming 22nd in the class and 49th overall.

With Ockerman out of the XC2 division, Tom Clark Motorsports' Josh Kirkland railed to another win ahead of National Guard's Mark Nottman and Kawasaki rider Dustin Canipe, who also grabbed the Rekluse Holeshot award.

While Ballance and McGill had already wrapped up their titles in the XC1 and XC2 classes, respectively, the Women's Championship remained up for grabs between Yamaha's Traci Cecco and Tom Clark Motorsports' Angel Atwell. Both riders suffered through crashes, bad luck and misfortune throughout the day, at one point even locking their two machines together in a field section. Late in the race, Cecco rallied to get the class win and with it her seventh GNCC Womens Title.

“I was nervous, I admit it,” said Cecco. “I haven't even been able to sleep lately. I got a bad start, I hit a tree on the first lap, and then Angel and I came together in a field, I couldn't believe it, we were locked. She got out ahead of me, but I just told myself to calm down and take my time. I managed to pass her and it was looking good, but then I went over the bars on the last lap. I'm just so relieved right now.”

Bryan Buckhannon led wire to wire to win the ATVRiders.com Morning Race Overall on his ATV Parts Plus/LTERacing.com Can-Am. Scott Kilby finished second and Robert Smith finished third, winning the U2 class.

Josh Merritt won the Youth Race overall and also claimed the 2008 GNCC Youth Championship on his Cobra.

The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series concludes with tomorrow's bike racing at the Ironman.

Results:
Klotz Ironman GNCC
Crawfordsville, IN
October 25, 2008
XC1 Class

1.Chris Borich (Suz)
2.Don Ockerman (Yam)
3.Bill Ballance (Yam)
4.Adam McGill (KTM)
5.Chris Bithell (Can)
6.Brandon Sommers (Yam)
7.Bryan Cook (Hon)
8.Jarrod McClure (Hon)
9.Ryan Lane (Hon)
10.Matt Smiley (Hon)

Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series points:

Ballance 283
Borich 241
McGill 236
Cook 223
Sommers 215

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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