Morgantown, WV – Ultra-popular motorsports superstar Travis Pastrana has announced that he will race the Orange Crush GNCC in De Leon Springs, Florida on March 7. Pastrana will race the Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series opener as part of his Daytona Bike Week “trifecta.”
“I’m doing the GNCC, the Daytona flat track and the Supercross during bike week,” said Pastrana. “I’m really excited about it. I’ve always wanted to race that GNCC. I think I can ride three hours; I’m in pretty good shape right now. I have two rally car races between then, so I should be able to stay in one piece until I get to Daytona!”
The GNCC pro race takes place at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7. The Daytona Flat Track takes place on Thursday, March 9 and the Daytona Supercross by Honda is Friday, March 10.
Team 199/Red Bull/Cernic’s Suzuki Team Manager Ron Meredith is busy putting bikes together for the week, including an RM-Z450 flat track bike for the dirt track, an RM250 for the GNCC and an RM-Z450 for the supercross. Meredith also says that eight-time AMA National Champion Rick Johnson is planning on racing the Orange Crush in the +40 A Class.
“Some days I definitely feel like I’m trying to be the ring master of the circus,” says Meredith. “Travis has always wanted to run that GNCC. I expect he will do well. We all know that Travis can ride sand whoops like no body else. We’re piecing together the parts we need to build a real GNCC weapon for him. I’m looking at a brand-new trailer because we don’t have the room for all of his toys he’ll need this week!”
Pastrana, 22, is one of the most popular motorcycle competitors ever, with wins in AMA Supercross and Motocross as well as piles of freestyle gold medals from the X Games. He has garnered some off-road experience, too, recently competing in and finishing the Baja 1000 along with Johnson.
Pastrana and Johnson join a long list of top racers from other disciplines who have raced the Florida GNCC. Motocrossers like Larry Ward and Ryan Hughes have raced the event, and last year, four-time AMA National Champion Doug Henry won the race in an amazing effort. Henry defeated GNCC Champion Juha Salminen by just three seconds and then collapsed, later saying, “This was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life!”
Henry is back on a bike after an injury last year in AMA Supermoto, and he may also end up racing the GNCC. Hughes is also considering racing it again now that he is a member of the FMF/Suzuki factory off-road team. The event is quickly shaping up as an all-time classic.
The Orange Crush GNCC in De Leon Springs, Florida, takes place just 20 minutes from Daytona Beach, right in the heart of Daytona Bike Week on Tuesday, March 7. Pro racing begins at 1 p.m. Take I-95 to State Road 40 West. Go 14 1/2 miles to Lake Winnona Road on left and follow signs for two miles. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.
The AMA-sanctioned Suzuki Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. 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 1800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, trees, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Klotz, FMF and ITP, and riders compete for over $2.8 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Acerbis, Alpinestars, Cometic, Outerwears, Twin Air, Polisport Plastics, Thor, Motion Pro, Hyper Wheels, Elka Suspension, MotoTee’s, Weekend Warrior, Owens Motorsports, Tom’s Marina Polaris, EK Chain and Laeger’s. Media Sponsors include Dirt Rider Magazine, ATV Sport Magazine, www.ATVRiders.com and Racer X Illustrated.