On the bike side, new GNCC Champion Josh Strang collected the most awards, not only a number-one plate, trophy, medallion and diamond-encrusted GNCC Championship ring, but also the Sportsmanship Award for helping his competitors during tough times. The 22-year-old Australian also collected the Rider of the Year Award.
“I think everyone has the dream of becoming a champion one day, it’s just amazing to me that I was able to do it,” said Strang.
Perhaps the biggest ovation went to eight-time GNCC Champion Barry Hawk, who announced his retirement, and was then presented with the GNCC Lifetime Achievement Award. A special tribute video in his honor brought the crowd to its feet.
Open A Champion Jordan Ashburn collected Amateur Rider of the Year honors, and Layne Michael won the Youth Rider of the Year Award. XC1 Rookie Chris Bach won Most Improved. Al Chuppa, who had a heart attack after the GNCC opener in Florida but later returned to race later in the season, won the Bad Ass Award. Cody Gerhard and his family won the Good Samaritan Award for putting together a variety of fundraisers throughout the year.
Team Pinncale Performance, a family pit crew from Maryland, won the Rough and Ready Pit Crew Award. Dave “Hollywood” Cripe, mechanic for XC2 Champion Kailub Russell, won the Sport Ambassador Award.
West Virginia won the State Championship trophy after producing five GNCC Championships. MotorcycleUSA.com won Sponsor of the Year for backing the $50,000 Snowshoe GNCC purse, and the popular new website offroadjunkies.com took the Award of Media excellence.
The GNCC series also presented tear drop awards in memoriam of racing family members who passed during the year, including Richard Clarke, Jessica Lojak and Eyvind Boyesen.
The 2011 Can-Am Series kicks off on March 5-8 with the Westgate River Ranch GNCC.