ATV Champions Crowned at 2004 GNCC ATV Banquet
Morgantown, WV – The Grand National Cross Country Series presented a night of fun at the annual GNCC ATV Banquet, held Saturday night, November 27th at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown, West Virginia. The top-ten riders in every GNCC class earned awards and contingency, while a variety of special awards and prizes were handed out during the event.
Specialty awards included five-time GNCC Champion Bill Ballance snagging Rider of the Year honors for another dominating title defense on his Yamaha. Four-Stroke Tech’s pro rookie Bryan Cook was voted the Most Improved rider for cutting his national number from 12 to 6 and taking his first career overall win. Suzuki’s William Yokley won the Sportmanship Award for his fun-loving spirit at the races.
Four-Stroke Stock racer Tyler Lenig won the Hard Luck Award after his machine caught on fire and literally melted to the ground in West Virginia. The Quad Shop won Good Samaritan honors for helping raise funds for Tyler and getting him a new machine to race. Women’s class racer Erika Jones won the Knucklehead Award after she mistakenly left a competitor behind who had tried to help her. Maxxis won Sponsor of the Year honors, and the coveted Rough and Ready Pit Crew Award went to Hey Joe! Racing, a group of GNCC fans and racers who supply pit support. The Hey Joe! gang works in memory of their friend, Joe Plummer, who passed away in 2003.
GNCC Racing also recognized three racers who won awards at the AMA Sports banquet held in Las Vegas three weeks ago: Stephanie Parton, who won Female Rider of the Year honors, John Gallagher Sr., who won Vet Rider of the Year honors, and Harlen Foley, whose website EXRiders.com won the Best Website award.
The top-five riders in each class collected big piles of contingency products. Class champions received a full set of gear from Moose Racing, new Alpinestars boots and a GNCC enduro jacket and gear bag. Other positions earned Moose gear, GNCC apparel from MotoTees, Scott goggles and grips, and discounts and merchandise from Klotz, FMF, Wiseco and Tire Balls.
Ballance took home the biggest prizes, though. The top five pros were given a pocket full of cash for their strong riding, and Ballance also collected another GNCC Championship ring, this one encrusted with five diamonds representing his five championships. He also grabbed a big silver trophy for his overall championship.
Racer Productions produces all of the GNCC rounds, and they announced the locations for the 2005 GNCC Series. They also announced that the new GNCC Youth ATV Series will race at five rounds next season, with 45-minute races taking place on Saturday mornings.
A variety of special guests were on hand for the event, including ATVA Director Doug Morris, Brian Weber from Moose Racing, Al Pizzino from Wiseco, Jim Pinkston from ITP and Thom Smith from Ohlins. GNCC Senior Announcer John Ayers served as the event emcee.
Once the show wrapped Lakeview opened the doors to Legends Bar and Grill, and a DJ kept the music playing into the night while the racers enjoyed one last good time before the year came to a close.
The 2005 GNCC Series begins February 12th in Gilmer, Texas.
The ATVA-sanctioned Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. One of the most physically demanding sports in the world; the nearly three-hour long cross-country races lead as many as 1400 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC races are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Parts Unlimited, Moose, atv Maxxis, Yamaha, Wiseco, Klotz, FMF, Dunlop and ITP atv parts, and riders compete for over $1.3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Alpinestars, Cometic, Outerwears, Pro Armor, Race Tools, Twin Air, SFB Racing, Thor, Racer X Illustrated, EFM, Motion Pro, Tire Balls, GPR Stabilizer, Moto-Tee’s, Warrior and Laeger’s.
Webring2 - GNCC Champion Bill Ballance earned this GNCC Championship ring, complete with five diamonds to honor his five championships.
Womenspress - The GNCC Womens class. Left to right: Stephanie Parton, Traci Cecco, Angel Atwell, Stefanie Verkade, Erika Jones, Jean Lovely
Propress - The GNCC Pro class. Left to right: William Yokley, Bryan Cook, Chris Borich, Brandon Ballance, Bill Ballance, Matt Smiley, Michael Houston, Chad DuVall