The week leading up to round six of the GNCC series was a hectic one, it seemed like every teacher wanted to give me a time consuming project and my quad was being put on the back burner. By Thursday afternoon I had all of my school work done and was ready to finish my quad up. If it wasn't for my mechanic Ryan Reed I wouldn't have even been close to ready, but Team manager Kevin Johnston and he both understand that school comes ahead of everything. We left Thursday night and made it to the track in six hours. My sister Jodi Stracham and Kevin were ecstatic because the rain was just pouring down. After we got all of the usual routine things done that we do on a Friday before a race, we got settled down for the night. As the night wore on, I was trying to sleep through the rain pounding on the roof; I thought Jodi and Kevin had to be doing the rain dance in their sleep. I was very nervous for the day ahead.
We woke up around seven on Saturday morning to more rain and a sloppy mess. The youth race was about ready to get underway and I knew they had to be miserable while it rained during their start. With my rain coat and boots on, I was ready to walk the start and check out a couple of sections I thought to be difficult. This brand new track was completely drenched and I did not know what I was about to experience. As the morning riders lined up, it would be 4x4 Open on the first row; the Women's class was on row number two, followed by the 4x4 lites and the U2 class. As the 4x4 Open class took off, all of the women down the line knew that it was time, all of the quads cut off. This could be anybody's race; mud is an equalizer and gives everybody a level playing field, so who was going to take this race was up in the air.
Angel Atwell took off with her sixth holeshot of the season. As we went around turn number one our goggles were quickly covered with water and grass. We all stuck together for the first few miles on lap number one. As we caught up to a 4x4 Open rider, Angel Atwell made a line of her own. Jennifer Albright was almost quick to follow when she saw that the rider pulled over for us. With Traci Cecco in the lead I was following Lexie Coulter into the creek section. When we got to the creek section, Lexie's quad died right in front of me. As I went to get around her, Shanna Bradshaw was trying to go around her. Shanna's tire got caught in Lexie's nerf-bar and we were passed by about 4 other Women riders. As we got out of that mess it was becoming very difficult to hold on to our muddy bars through this rocky mess. I had to stop for goggles and paper towels on the every lap. Traci held on to the lead until the third lap when Angel found a way around her. Angel held the lead until her motor blew up, and Traci took back over the lead. It would be Traci Cecco, Jennifer Albright, Kristen Atwell, Myself, and Shanna Bradshaw in the top five of the Women's class by the end of the race. With the win it would be Brian Buckannon. He was followed by Michael Swift and Traci Cecco. I also want to acknowledge a schoolboy rider, Kyle Riley, who was one of the sixty riders to finish on the lead lap.
As the morning riders got cleaned up, the afternoon riders looked at the mess they were. Every straight away looked as if it was a foot deep of soupy mud. These boys knew they were all in for a ride. With the holeshot it would be the number 10 rider of Jarrod McClure, followed by the rest of the pack. On lap one it would be Brent Sturdivant with the lead followed by Johnny Gallagher, Chris Borich, Adam McGill, and Donnie Ockerman. As the pros were making their way around they kept changing positions like no other. Adam McGill then took over the lead for lap two followed by Johnny Gallagher, Donnie Ockerman, Taylor Kiser, and Chris Borich. Brian Wolf from the XC2 Pro class was also in the top 10. On the last lap it was Taylor Kiser, Chris Borich, Brandon Sommers, Brent Sturdivant, and Adam McGill all in the top five. Walker Fowler at one point was said to be in the top ten overall, but he broke a chain on the third lap. With the race coming to a close Taylor Kiser took his second win of the season, followed by Chris Borich, Brandon Sommers, Donnie Ockerman, and Brent Sturdivant. Brian Wolf took his third consecutive XC2 Pro Am win of the season. The next Pro Am rider to come in was Josh Kirkland. Kirkland was followed by Gabe Phillips who's Honda broke two turns before the finish. While spectators came to save Gabe he was passed by Parker Jones. As Gabe tiredly pushed his quad across the finish the transponder went off and Gabe finished fourth in XC 2 Pro Am. Jamie Bithell took his first win of the season in College A also. It was a muddy race and everybody was excited to get cleaned up. I hope everybody has a safe trip, and we will see you in Sommerset, PA.