Welcome to Quick Fill.
Hopefully you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends and ate plenty of delicious food along the way. We sort of missed the mark on last week’s edition but seeing how it was Thanksgiving I’m sure everyone can forgive us this one time! I was actually fortunate enough to entertain my brothers, niece and nephew for the weekend and cook my very first Thanksgiving dinner. Turns out, my cooking isn’t that terrible and we actually had a great time with friends and family here in Morgantown, which was very nice. We also had the ATVMX Amateur Awards Ceremony at the Waterfront Place Hotel over the weekend, honoring the Top 10 in each amateur class. Needless to say, we had another great weekend at the Waterfront and we’re getting even more excited to head back the second week in January for the GNCC banquet. By the way, we’re finalizing the banquet registration page this week and hopefully we will have a live link by early next week.Ã
But for now, the interesting topic revolves around silly season. I’m sure racers don’t favor this time of year a whole lot, but it definitely makes for an exciting storyline for media-type folks like myself. In fact, Josh Strang and Jimmy Jarrett dropped by the RP office this morning as they were passing through town on some 2013 business. It’s sort of been a tough road for Strang since he won the championship in 2010 but it sounds like there’s a good chance he’ll be back racing GNCC next year and quite possibly on a different color than we’re used to seeing him on. I’m sure we’ll have more info on that when it becomes available.
Another racer who has been hard at work putting together deals for 2013 is Chris Bach. Bach started last season with Factory Beta and the two split ways after Round 4 (if I remember correctly) and since then he’s been on the YZF 450, which it sounds like he’ll be back on blue next season too. I have to commend this guy because in a time where there’s obviously not an abundance of inside-the-industry support, CB has been all over the internet, social media and picking up the telephone to work deals for next season. I was talking to Chris today and he brought up an interesting point. Racers have gotten so used to being handed things that they expect nothing less than what they’ve had in the past. When in reality, it may be necessary to take a couple steps back in order to go a few forward in terms of sponsors and relationships. Like anything in life, racers have got to put themselves out there in order to gain anything in return. Which means going above and beyond the norm and most likely stepping way outside their comfort zones in order to make something work. My best advice to any of the racers who call/email asking if we know of anyone looking to help out, think outside the box! Or in this case, outside the pits. Make yourselves resourceful and think of ways you can benefit a company through racing and promoting their product or services. As GNCC elevates their promotional programs, don’t be afraid to get ahold of us and ask to be a part of our media opportunities and really take advantage of what the series is already doing. It’s going to take effort on everybody’s end in order to elevate our sport and get the message to potential fans and sponsors that what we’re doing is pretty awesome. That being said, utilize your resources and be a part of the solution in living out your dreams. Let someone else be a part of the problem.
On a lighter note, there are a few guys out there who won’t be changing much from 2012. Rory Mead mentioned that he’s just getting back into the swing of things after taking a little bit of time to recover from the season. It sounds like Rory will be returning with the WMR/KTM crew next season, which seemed like an okay fit for him this year after finishing third in his first full-season of GNCC. Obviously Mullins and Russell are signed back with Factory FMF/KTM, while we don’t really know what’ s happening with Buttrick at this point. Unfortunately Buttrick reinjured himself not too long ago and we haven’t gotten word on next season just yet. Baylor will be a part of the KTM program on the front row from what I understand as well. Thad DuVall picked up some additional support from Honda after a great year finishing fourth behind Mead. I don’t think Thad has solidified any additional sponsors besides his main gig of Shenandoah Honda from last year, but we do know he’ll be back on red in 2013.
I’ve heard lots of commotion on the ATV side, but nothing that has been set in stone from what I understand. It’s hard to say which way everyone is going to go, but it sounds like it could be interesting. But I’ll leave it at that for now..
In case you missed it last week, National Numbers were posted online and you can check them out HERE. So if you earned a number in 2012 and want to run it next season you’ll need to go on the website and confirm your number. Please don’t email or call the office, as there is a special form online that makes the process so much easier. Also, if you want to run something different than your earned number, you will still need to request your number on the same form. Youth guys, if you earned a Youth number but are moving into the AM or PM, you can request a 3-digit number at this time but don’t put anything in stone until you hear back from Dan with a confirmation. You can find the 2013 Number Confirmation/Request form HERE.
I think that’s going to do it for now. I’ll pass things along to Mr. Bolton below.
Well another week has come and gone, and now we're finding ourselves in the full-blown holiday season.Ã Ã However, we're only a week out from Thanksgiving and byÃ now everyone has probably seen some sort of Christmas decoration out somewhere, doesn’t it seem like those come out earlier and earlier every year? Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoyed it because it’s going to be time to work that winter weight off before you know it and get ready to head to Florida! However, I'm sure it was well worth it.
For weeks we’ve discussed the championship battles up front in the XC1 and XC2 classes along with some of the other top riders and battles. There was no shortage of this to talk about this season as we saw some of the closest points battles ever, and they stretched across the field from class to class. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro rider or an amateur rider, racing is still racing and when there’s a points battle on the line, it makes good racing in whatever class you’re in.
One of the points battles that ended up getting a little overlooked was actually for the 5thÃ place spot in the XC2 class between Brad Bakken and AJ Stewart. Brad is no stranger to the podium but he had some slight struggles in 2012 while AJ put in some solid rides to hang in the points battle for the top 5. Brad and AJ actually ended up in a tie but since Brad landed on the podium at Steele Creek, he took the advantage and the 5thÃ place spot. Interesting to note that Brad snagged that podium at Steele Creek, which was also where we saw him take his first XC2 podium in 2011. It makes you wonder, could Steele Creek be the track that Brad Bakken could snag an XC2 class win?
If you look back through the amateur classes, there was some great racing there in 2012. The Open-A class was one of the most heavily contested classes and there were actually seven different race winners in that class, and they didn’t have a repeat winner until the sixth round at The Limestone 100. Adam Bonneur would end up with the class championship but the rest of the contenders kept him honest in 2012. Justin Sode took 2ndÃ place in class points, which landed him a ride with Beta for 2013 to race their new 250 2-stroke in the XC2 class. Hunter Williams ended up third place in points after logging 2 wins in 2012, one of which coming at the season opener in Florida. Hunter may have come as a little bit of a surprise to some of the guys as he’s generally regarded as an “enduro guy”Ã but he showed that he can adjust to the GNCC’s quite well and finished out the season strong.
Then there’s also the 4 Stroke A Lites class, which saw five different winners this season. However, there was one rider that stood out among the rest and that was Derrik Allen, who would end up taking the class championship. Derrik missed the first round in Florida but made up for it by snagging 7 wins on the season and finishing no worse than 4th. Bobby Kinsley took one win in 2012 but managed to stay consistent enough to end the season with a second place points finish ahead of Luke Chilman, who got his first win of the season at the last race of the season at Loretta Lynn’s.
Those are just two of the numerous classes that had truly great racing in 2012. As you go down the line the story can be the same in just about any class, and of course there’s those who had even tighter racing. We’ve got a whole winter to talk about those so I’ll save them for the coming weeks.
Last week I paid a visit to our friends at Powersport Grafx and it was actually the first time I’ve been to their new building since they moved in. I got a sneak peek of it last summer when they were still working on but the final result was actually even cooler than what I imagined it would be. It’s definitely a start of the art facility and they do more than graphics as they have the shop, Genuine Dirt Racer, on site and to top it off, they’re also the US representative for WP Suspension. So that means it’s a place where you can get your graphics done, get some motor work (or well, just about anything done for your bike!) and get your suspension serviced at the same time. It’s pretty impressive as there’s definitely some cutting edge technology going on there. They have a real passion for this sport and have been a GNCC sponsor for quite a number of years. Check them out atÃ www.ridepg.com
One little piece of shameless self-promotion before I go, it's official as of yesterday that I'll be putting on a GP event at Zoo City MX in Asheboro, North Carolina on December 30th. If anyone wants to head south for some riding over New Years it will provide some good seat time. To top it off the Zoo City Motocross track will be open December 31st and January 1st for riding and some New Years fun with games, prizes, food and more. I'm planning on making the racecourse as much fun as I possibly can pack into it. Since it's a GP format, the course will only be around 3 miles or so and will utilize a good chunk of woods along with some motocross, grass track and endurocross-type section. More info and a flyer will be available soon and if you're interested in getting the info as soon as it's available just stay tuned to www.jaredbolton.com or just drop me an email at [email protected] and I'll get you the info when it becomes available. And IÃ apologizeÃ to our 4-wheeled friends but it's a bike only event as there's just not enough daylight to squeeze everyone in.
Now that I've tooted my own horn a little (beep beep) it's time for me to bid farewell until next time. Bolt-On out!
And here’s @HotRodney22:
This Thanksgiving marks the first time I’ve been at home during that Holiday for for the first time in several years. And as bad as this is to say, it was the first time I got to spend Thanksgiving with my son who is now 5 years old and I think my daughter who just turned 13 was probably only 4 or 5 the last time I was home for this special time. The reason is not because I turned sour and am changing my ways, it is because for the past several years I have spent the week at the annual Winter Olympics motocross race in Florida working. Ã Not this year! This year I stayed home to get my grub on and take a few moments to be thankful for all in my life and do what normal people do on Thanksgiving. Eat till I fall asleep, watch football, argue with my siblings I haven't really seen in a long time, eat some more and then eat turkey for a week in about every combination that can be dreamed up.
I have so many things to be thankful for from professional to personal. I am not saying that I have not had my share of struggles and obstacles to overcome, but I have overcome or at least am overcoming most of them.
Professionally, I am thankful for all the many people that I have become acquainted with over the years. The opportunity to witness individuals get knocked down to pick themselves back up. The looks of joy in the faces of so many racers, families and fans when a rider does well. And probably most of all this year professionally I am thankful the most competitive, most exciting and most interesting season of racing in the 20 seasons of race announcing I have done.Ã
I am thankful to be able to do what I have done for two solid decades. Not many people have walked or will ever walk the path that I have walked in this career. I can honestly say that no one should ever have to either. I ask myself more and more all the time "why? andÃ "is it worth it?".Ã
I have to say that in my opinion that every genre of motorcycle and ATV racing that I have been involved with put forth its best season to date. Everything from GNCC to ATV Motocross to Loretta Lynn's Amateur National to the Pro Motocross NationalsÃ offered the most intense and exciting racing I have witnessed collectively in my career. Like I asked so many times at the end of the races this season, "How are we going to top that?" and really, how are we going to top that?
Ã How do we top that? No one can really say if the racingÃ will ever be like this again. What if it isn't? Will it be as fulfilling to watch? It is a question like all that time will tell. I am an optimist so I am thinking this may just be the beginning of an era in our industry that is setting the stage for only bigger and better things to occur.
Personally I am thankful for so many things that I could never be able to list them. Obviously family is first. As rough as my schedule is on the home life traveling and announcing races, my family is the thing I most appreciate and comes above everything in my life. I thank God everyday and for some reason this year, I am more thankful than ever. I guess it could be the obstacles that life throw at us or it could be that for the first time in a long time I have slowed down just enough to smell a flower and it smells good.
Second on the personal list would be that I am thankful for my job, which has afforded me so many wonderful memories over the years. Some memories come easy while others not so easy but the memories are many.
I know you may be wondering where all the news is this week or why I haven't looked into the championship breakdown. The truth is that I really have plenty to talk about with some things coming to light over the course of the week but for some reason nothing seemed to flow in that direction. That just gives me a firm affirmation that my decision this year to stay home with my family for Thanksgiving was the right one. The extra money would no doubt be nice, but the no amount of money could ever compare to the blessing of being with your family and for the first time watch your son break the "Thanksgiving Wishbone".
Thank you to all the individuals along the way and all the Racin' Nations for making my 20 years of announcing so special and "Wishing" you all a blessed Thanksgiving. (editor’s note: some of this was written last week).
Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.