Ballance Back Into First Place at Acerbis
Loretta Lynn's GNCC
Sommers, McGill on podium
Number one Ballance takes first.
McGill is consistently making it to the
Sommers made it to the podium for the
first time this season.
A huge crowd gathered to watch Ballance,
Sommers and McGill celebrate.
Kirkland, Wolf and Hoyland are a
familiar trio on the podium.
Hurricane Mills, TN (April 18, 2009) -
Defending GNCC Champion Bill Ballance rocketed
back to the first place position today during
the Acerbis Loretta Lynn GNCC, round five of the
Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series in
Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
"I'm getting better and stronger," the
Yamaha-backed Ballance said. "Oh man, it puts me
back in the hunt."
Ballance, winner of the last nine GNCC
Titles, started the year with two-straight Did
Not Finish (DNF) scores as he struggled to
recover from having three ribs surgically
removed from his side.
Ballance's teammate Brandon Sommers came in
second, making it on the podium for the first
time this season. FRE KTM's Adam McGill kept his
consistent season going by claiming another
podium with third. The hard charging pack
battled on the Loretta Lynn Ranch GNCC course,
which featured hills, hills and more hills.
XCBOB.com's Tyler Lenig started the race off
fast, nabbing his first $250 MotorcycleUSA.com
holeshot award and leading the pace through lap
one. Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Chris Borich ended
lap one in 10th place, but by the end of the
second lap, he had worked his way up into first
and was battling wheel-to-wheel for the lead
with Ballance and McGill. Yamaha's Taylor Kiser,
Houser Racing's Bryan Cook and Sommers were
close behind until lap three when Borich
suddenly went off the map after breaking his
"We had the lead with two laps to go, I
climbed the hill and heard something clunking
and my chain broke off," Borich said. "There's
nothing I can do. It was a brand new chain. It
just wasn't my day. The Suzuki worked awesome,
it was just a shame we broke a chain. "
McGill was able to take the lead with
Ballance, Cook and Sommers behind him. The four
traded in and out of the lead until Ballance and
Sommers pulled ahead when McGill pitted at the
beginning of the fourth lap.
"I just couldn't pull away from them," McGill
said. "If Bill isn't at 100 percent now, then I
don't know what we're in for!"
Ballance took the lead on the fourth lap and
charged to the finish, even though he was
beginning to fatigue, and his gas tank was
"I gritted my teeth and started pushing as
hard as I could until the finish line," he said.
Sommers second-place finish was impressive,
as he recovered from a bad start. His bike
didn't fire and he lost a bumper in a first-turn
"I'm pretty pumped to get on the podium again
so I just played it safe," Sommers said. "I was
up here last year, but this means way more than
any of the other ones."
Cook came in fourth followed by Kiser in
fifth. Honda's Duane Johnson came in sixth and
National Guard Polaris rider William Yokley came
in seventh followed by Yamaha's Donnie Ockerman
in eighth. Jeffrey Pickens and Brent Sturdivant
rounded out the top 10.
In the XC2 race, the podium saw a familiar
trio as Brian Wolfe took another first place
finish, followed by Josh Kirkland in second and
Eric Hoyland in third.
Wolfe fired first, grabbing the $100 Rekluse
holeshot award. At the end of the first lap,
Corbin Knox took the lead, followed by Wolf,
Kirkland and Hoyland. Wolfe, Kirkland and
Hoyland were able to pick up the pace and get
past Knox. The trio stayed tight together and
led the way through the rest of the race.
"We're striving for a win but it's a long
season to go," Wolf said. "I can't wait for the
"It was just a blast out there," Hoyland
said. "I can't wait to get out there riding with
Eric and Kirkland again.
The afternoon race Top Amateur award went to
In the AM race, Super Senior 50+ rider Glen
Pritchard took first overall and the $100 GT
Thunder ATV Amateur Award, followed by Mike
Hanson in second.
Pritchard has only been racing for five
years. "It feels pretty good to get up here on
the podium," Pritchard said. "I tried to push as
hard as I could push."
"Just because you're old doesn't mean you
can't be up here," Hanson said.
In third place came Yamaha's Traci Cecco,
taking her first Women's Class win of the year.
Following her in the women's class was Lexie
Coulter in second and Angel Atwell in third.
"It's an awesome feeling," Cecco said. "I've
been waiting for this. It was a very important
race for me."
The 2009 Can-Am GNCC series heads to
Lafayette, Tennessee for the Weekend Warrior
Titan on May 2-3.
1.Bill Ballance (YAM)
2. Brandon Sommers (YAM)
3. Adam McGill (KTM)
4. Bryan Cook (Houser)
5. Taylor Kiser (YAM)
6. Duane Johnson (HON)
7. William Yokley (POL)
8. Donnie Ockerman (YAM)
9. Jeffrey Pickens (YAM)
10. Brent Sturdivant (CAN)
1.Brian Wolf (YAM)
2. Josh Kirkland (KTM)
3. Eric Hoyland (HON)
4. Parker Jones (HON)
5. Kevin Yoho (POL)
6. Dustin Canipe (KAW)
7. Gabe Phillips (HON)
8. Scottie Rich (KAW)
9. Jeremy Rice (POL)
10. Rob Hertz (HON)
1.Adam McGill (113)
2.Taylor Kiser (105/1 win)
3. Chris Borich 102/ 2 wins)
4. Bryan Cook (86/1 win)
5. Bill Ballance (82/1 win)
6. Brandon Sommers (76)
7. Duane Johnson (65)
8. Donald Ockerman (64)
9. Johnny Gallagher (57)
10. Jarrod McClure (55)
About GNCC Racing
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series
is America's premier off-road racing series.
Founded in 1973, the 13-round championship is
produced exclusively by Racer Productions.
Cross-country racing is one of the most
physically demanding sports in the world. The
grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as
1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length
from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain,
including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and
motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of
both survival and speed. Riders compete for more
than $3 million in prize money, which draws
talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia
and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised and
airs every Saturday and Thursday on the Versus
Network. For more information, please visit
About Racer Productions
A West Virginia-based motorcycle and ATV event
production company, Racer Productions has been a
leader in the off-road racing industry for more
than 30 years. It's repertoire of events
includes the 13-round Can-Am Grand National
Cross Country Series, held since 1973; The
Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National in
Mount Morris, Pa., held since 1977; The ATV Dirt
Days at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills,
Tenn., held since 1985; The U.S. World Motocross
Gran Prix at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa.
in 1987; The Monster Energy/Kawasaki Steel City
National, held since 1988; The ATV Stampede
National Motocross at High Point Raceway, held
since 1994; The AMA Pro ATV Open at Steel City
in 2007; as well as numerous other amateur
motocross events. In addition, Racer Productions
staffs the prestigious Air Nautiques/AMA
Amateur National Motocross Championship at
Loretta Lynn's Ranch, held since 1982. For more
information, please visit