Ballance Takes Third Straight and the Points Lead at Home GNCC
Sparta, KY (May 31, 2008) — Bill Ballance picked the right place, the right time and the right track to nail his third-straight Can-Am Grand National Cross Country win. Not only did the Kentucky rider take the Weekend Warrior Spartan GNCC in front of his home-state fans, but his chief championship rival, Adam McGill, failed to finish due to mechanical problems, allowing Ballance to take the GNCC XC1 Pro points lead for the first time this year.
“Man it feels good to win in front of so many friends and family,” said Ballance. “These were my type of conditions. It was hard and fast and I was able to have fun.”
Ballance topped his fellow Yamaha rider Brandon Sommers and The National Guard/Honda veteran William Yokley to take the win.
Ballance’s day started by grabbing the $100 ITP Holeshot Award, but trouble on the first lap saw the eight-time GNCC Champion fall to the back of the top ten. From there he put on a charge and took the lead halfway through the race, and then held off a strong challenge from Sommers and Yokley on the final lap to take the win.
Team Excell Motorsports Bryan Cook logged another solid run, coming from mid-pack to finish fourth, ahead of ATVRiders.com backed Jarrod McClure.
As for McGill, the West Union, West Virginia rider held the lead early in the race and battled with the lead pack for a podium finish on the last lap. With about three miles to go in the event, trouble set it. “I had a stick jammed in the a-arm and the wheel and everything, so I had to stop and rip it out,” said McGill. “I took off in fourth and hooked up with Brandon Sommers and trained off of him. All of a sudden I heard a squealing noise, and I realized it was the chain coming off of the sprocket. So I slammed it into reverse so the chain would go back on, but I ended up sheering all of the sprocket bolts out. They’re hardened steel bolts. They’ve never done that before.”
McGill now sits second in the points, 14 markers behind Ballance.
GT Thunder Yamaha’s Don Ockerman topped the XC2 Pro-Am class for the sixth time in seven races this season. He also finished an impressive sixth overall. Ockerman also won the $100 Rekluse Clutch Holeshot Award. Second in the class went to Josh Kirkland, with David Crane third.
In the morning race, Yamaha’s Traci Cecco won the ATVRiders.com Morning Race Overall. Once again, Kawasaki KFX700 rider Michael Benson pushed hard and nearly pulled off the win, but ended up second, with Angel Atwell third on her Tom Clark Motorsports Honda.
Complete race-day results are available at this link or by scrolling to GNCCRacing.com.
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 MotoTees. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.