As we left the sunshine and warm weather of Round 1 of the GNCC series in Florida, word spread quickly that the weather in Georgia was treacherous. Round 2 in Washington Georgia would kick off in only five short days and we were already talking of how horribly muddy the track was predicted to be. As the week went on, GBC sponsored riders began calling up GBC Tires Kevin Johnston asking for 22-inch tires for better ground clearance in the mud. But to everyone's surprise upon arrival to the track, those 22 inch tires were just not necessary as the General GNCC track would end up being perfect racing terrain and weather with temperatures eventually reaching the low 80's.
On Saturday morning, we woke up very early in the morning to temps that were a tad chilly. As the youth race got underway, the morning riders made their way back to their pits. By the 9:30 line-up time, the sun was blazing and the day was warming up. Into the first turn it was the number 202 of KTM racer Angel Atwell stealing the hole shot with the number 204 of Kristen Atwell right on her trail. Early in the first lap, we caught the U2 class. I was riding with Lexie Coulter when we both made the pass on Yamaha's Traci Cecco who ended up tagging a tree. We all battled it out throughout the day switching places constantly, but in the end it was Angel Atwell claiming her second win of the season. In the number two spot it was Kristen Atwell, with Traci Cecco taking third.
As the morning riders got cleaned up, the afternoon boys started lining up. A little after 1 P.M., the echo of 10 seconds rang through the Georgia fields, as KTM's Adam McGill grabbed the holeshot. As the racers blasted off the line, Brian Cook somehow experienced a bent rotor putting him at the back of the pack. After blasting out of the woods for the first lap, McGill held tight to his lead with Suzuki's Chris Borich right on his chops and Brandon Ballance in third. As lap two came around, someone came rushing up to Momma Bithell enthusiastically, "Chris is in the lead! He jumped right over top of Borich and McGill in the motorcross section" and for the second, third and fourth lap, it was an all out war between the three.
But in the end Borich took the win followed by the number 6 Yamaha of Taylor Kiser and McGill rounding out the third place. Kiser came into his second place finish from dead last, "I truly was pissed off when I got stuck on that fence in the third turn" said Kiser. Chris Bithells' team miscalculated, he needed to pit for fuel a second time, and they didn't. He ran out of fuel on the last lap. Borich and Bithell both stated, "The track was great and once you made the right decision and picked the right lines, you checked out.
Taking the Pro-Am win was Brian Wolf followed by Josh Kirkland. There were also two other memorable moments today in the College A class as Jamie Bithell finished second in the class and nineteenth overall for the day while Walker Fowler took the class win. Walker had a gnarly crash on the start, leaving him in the very last position and struggling to get going again. Amazingly, Walker rode his heart out to win the class and take seventeenth overall.
When 9 Time GNCC Champion Bill Ballance came in to pit, his mechanic looked him in the eyes knowing that he was experiencing tremendous pain and demanding that he pull off. After the Champs recent surgery, getting three ribs removed and a plate inserted, Bill is still showing us why he is the 9-time GNCC Champion. He has a will to win like no other. With a two week break we will see what North Carolina will bring us. This weekend definitely proved just how unpredictable GNCC racing really is. We will see you in two weeks at the FMF Steele Creek GNCC in North Carolina.