This season marked an incredible year of racing in the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. The 13-round series wrapped up last weekend at the Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., where AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley secured his second XC1 Pro class title, while KR4 Performance’s Jason Thomas clinched his first XC2 Pro Lites title on the motorcycle side. While XC1 Pro ATV champion Chris Borich wrapped up his fourth consecutive title earlier in the season, Tireballs-backed Patrick McGuire secured his first XC2 Pro Am championship at the season finale.
But the XC1 and XC2 class champions are just part of the 2012 GNCC Championship roll call. In GNCC, the afternoon race consists of not only Pro and Pro Am classes, but also the “A” and “B” classes – making for a fast-paced afternoon of racing from the first row to the last. On ATV’s, Brycen Neal claimed the competitive College A (16-21) class title by only six points over Landon Wolfe, finishing as the Top Amateur of the afternoon race. Other “A” class champions include Fred Marley in Junior A (22+), Todd Demaree in Vet A (28+) and Senior A (38+) champion Tom Wright.
Other “B” class ATV champions include the College B (16-21) champ Jay Shadron, Junior B (22+) champion Randall Maupin, Travis Hill in the Vet B (30+) class, and Senior B (38+) champion Leroy Shook.
On the bike side, 250 A champion Grant Baylor took Top Amateur honors once again this season by finishing the highest of any amateur racer in the overall point standings. Open A class champion Adam Bonneur contested Baylor and many others for the top amateur position, while Austin Lee took home the 200 A class championship before moving into the 250 A class for the last two rounds. Derrik Allen took the 4 Stroke A Lites division and after securing the class championship and Top Amateur honor, moved into the XC2 class for the final round. Phil Smith won the Vet A (30+) class once again and Josh Scott grabbed the Senior A (40+) title.
In the “B” class category, it was Michael Hall that claimed the Open B championship and Josh Chambers with the Vet B (30+) win, while Brian Villaneueva took the Senior B (40+) class championship. Anthony Stone won the 250 B class early and tried his hand in the 250 A class for the final two rounds, while Craig Delong won the 200 B title and Dalton Cross secured the 4 Stroke B Lites championship.
The GNCC morning races consist of amateurs, senior classes, Women’s classes, and for the ATV’s includes the top 4×4 competitors. On the ATV side, Ohio’s Dave Simmons once again swept the Super Senior (45+) division with a perfect season, while dominating the morning overall podium once again. Nine-Time GNCC champ Traci Cecco claimed the Women’s class title, while Emily Wise took home the Women Amateur (15+) division title. Glenn McConnell took the Masters (50+) class championship, while Joey Margaria took home the Sport (15+) division title. Colton White won the Schoolboy (13-15) A/B class and Kody McClung grabbed the Schoolboy (13-15) Novice win. The 16-19 C class was won by Daryk Pitzer, Brigham Peterson took the 20+ C class, Raymond Edwards topped the 24+ C, while Joseph Blystone took the 30+ C division. Bryan Rausch claimed the 35+ C title and Michael Terango took the 40+ C championship.
In the 4×4 divisions, it was once again Clif Beasley who topped the U2 class and Bryan Buckhannon grabbed the 4×4 Open title over Michael Swift. Kevin Trantham took the 4×4 Lites class championship and it was Forrest Whorton with the 4×4 Senior (40+) title and Tanner Bowles topped the 4×4 Novice division.
XC2 Pro Lites Bike champion Jason Thomas accepting the number one plate for his performance in 2012.
On the bike side, the Senior classes provided heavy competition for class championships. The Super Senior A (45+) title went to Eric Gill, while the Super Senior B (45+) title went to Scott Skinner. Marty Jackson grabbed the Super Senior C (45+) championship. In a tie-breaking finish, it was Randall Riggs who clinched the Masters A (50+) championship over Mark Patterson. The Masters B (50+) class was won by Tim Boryk and the Masters C (50+) title went to Jay Grimes. After a perfect season, Maria Forsberg swept the Women’s class to take yet another championship, while Taylor Dressler won the Women Amateur division. The Golden Masters (58+) title went to Buster Yarbrough, while 4 Stroke C Lites went to Bailey Donell and Mason Pratt took the 250 C (12-19) title. Kody Martin grabbed the 250 C (20+), Mike Downs with the Vet C (30+) title and it was Scott Campbell with the Super Vet C (35+) championship. Joe Sarisky clinched the Open C College (14-21) title, while Scott Hite took the Open C Junior (22+) division and Tommy Fraley Jr grabbed the Senior C (40+) championship. Neil Nethery took the 200 C (16+) and the 200 C Schoolboy (12-15) championship went to Justin Lenard.
The Polaris National Guard/Coastal Drilling/Yokely Racing team, hailing from Tompkinsville, Kentucky, took the top UTV honors by winning the overall championship, as well as the XC1 Modified class title. Team Hendershot Performance claimed the XC2 Limited championship, while Team Pin It Racing took the UTV Novice division. The Single Seat championship went to Benjamin Barkley.
On the ATV side, it was Zachary Jones who clinched the 2012 Youth overall championship, also taking the 90 Open (12-15) class championship. Charlie Welch claimed the 90 Mod (13-15) CVT division, while Austin Hughes grabbed the 90 Limited (11-15) division. Catlyn Bennett won the Girls (8-15) championship, while Carter Kerens took the 90 Open (8-11) title. The 90 Mod (8-12) CVT championship went to Ronnie Molitor and the 90 Limited (8-10) title went to Derek Mitchem. In the 70cc division, it was Hannah Hunter who grabbed the 70 CVT (6-11) title.
The battle for the Youth bike championship was extremely tight; however, it was Cody Ruckle who claimed the title in the end. The Super Mini (14-15) class championship went to Jonathan Johnson, while the (12-13) division title went to Michael Witkowski. Braxton McGee took the 85 (12-15) class title, while Parker Jones took the 85 (7-11) class championship. Jesse Ansley grabbed the 65 (10-11) class title and Brody Johnson took the 65 (7-9) class title. Brittany Hesson claimed the Girls (9-14) class title.
The 2012 GNCC champions will be honored at this year’s GNCC Awards Banquet January 11 and 12 in Morgantown, W. Va. at the Waterfront Place Hotel and Convention Center. The Top 10 ATV/UTV racers in each class will receive awards on Friday, January 11 and the bikes will celebrate on Saturday, January 12. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. each night and advanced reservations are required. Keep an eye out for reservation details as they become available. For more information, please visit the 2012 Awards Banquet Page.
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, 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 1,500 riders through tracks ranging in length from ten to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed and draw talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised and airs every week on NBC Sports Network. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.