North Carolina wins seals second-straight GNCC Title
Yadkinville, NC – Juha Salminen’s mission in the U.S. is nearly complete, as the 10-Time World Enduro Champion from Finland clinched his second-straight Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Championship by winning the Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC in Yadkinville, NC.
Juha needed to win the lock up the title, and at first it looked like that would be tough, as Am Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk and FMF/Suzuki’s Glenn Kearney put a major challenge to him for the first four laps. But with an hour left, Salminen turned up the heat.
I found another gear,” said Salminen. “It wasn’t a plan, I didn’t have one before the race. I just wanted to see what would happen. The second lap I tried to pull away from Barry but I fell down and he was back on to me. Then we got through lappers and I was able to pull away.”
“I was able to charge hard and get up to those guys.,” said Kearney. “But I think Juha turned it up. He just has that little bit extra.”
“I was happy right there just following him and maybe see if he would make a few mistakes,” said Hawk. “The first couple laps is when he made them, and I knew I needed to stay there. But I didn’t.”
“I knew Barry was there and Glenn,” said Juha. “I knew I would have to stop for gas one more time. So I had to get the gap up to maybe 20 seconds so the guys couldn’t catch me. So I found another gear. I added 35 seconds in one lap so you can count how fast I go.”
“It was perfect conditions today,” said the runner-up, Kearney. “Even though I was second, with the way the races were going here lately, to finish second behind Juha feels like a win. It was a great track, it was tight and it was still flowing.”
A tremendous battle raged for the positions behind the leaders. At the finish KTM’s Shane Watts busted through for fourth on the 2007 KTM 250 XC-F, his best finish of the season and the best finish ever in a GNCC for a 250 four-stroke. Watts rode so hard that he practically collapsed at the finish.
Fifth went to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki veteran Fred Andrews.
North Carolina was not kind to Am Pro Yamaha’s Charlie Mullins. He crashed in the second turn and got up nearly last. He mounted a major charge to catch Andrews and Watts, but then a stick ripped the fuel line from his petcock and ended his day.
“I’m so frustrated right now,” said Mullins. “I caught up to those guys, and I was going a little faster than them, but the trail was so tight that I couldn’t pass them.”
The Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC was taped for an airing on the Versus Network (formerly the Outdoor Life Network). Races air every Saturday and Wednesday at 3 pm EST.
The Suzuki GNCC Series continues in two weeks at historic Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, NY with the Unadilla GNCC.
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, woods, 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, ITP and Tire Balls, and riders compete for over $3 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. For more information log on to www.GNCCRacing.com.
Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series - Round 10
Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC
September 10, 2006
Bike Top Twenty Overall
1. Juha Salminen Finland, KTM 02:39:13
2. Glenn Kearney Australia, . SUZ 02:40:20
3. Barry Hawk, Jr Smithfield, PA YAM 02:40:39
4. Shane Watts Australia, KTM 02:41:27
5. Fred Andrews Salem, OH KAW 02:41:37
6. Robbie Jenks New Straitsville, OH KTM 02:41:39
7. Paul Whibley New Zealand, HON 02:42:33
8. Jesse Robinson Connellys Spg, NC KAW 02:43:06
9. Scott Watkins Leetonia, OH KAW 02:43:22
10. Travis Green Vinton, OH KAW 02:43:35
11. Garrett Edmisten Vero Beach, FL KAW 02:43:42
12. Cole Calkins East Sparta, OH YAM 02:44:39
13. Justin Williamson Sanford, FL YAM 02:45:14
14. Stephen Edmondson Callaway, VA KTM 02:47:40
15. Thaddeus Duvall Williamstown, WVYAM 02:48:53
16. Nathan Kanney High Falls, NY YAM 02:49:10
17. Joshua Strang Australia, SUZ 02:50:54
18. Bryan Henson Landrum, SC KTM 02:50:59
19. Justin Monsrud McDonough, GA KAW 02:51:48
20. P A Allen Charlotte, TN KAW 02:52:07
Suzuki GNCC Points Standings (After 10 of 13 rounds)
1. Juha Salminen (290/8 wins)
2. Barry Hawk (199/2 wins)
3. Glenn Kearney (160)
4. Charles Mullins (151)
5. Paul Whibley (132)
6. Jimmy Jarrett (107)
6. Fred Andrews (107)
8. Robbie Jenks (98)
9. Shane Watts (97)
10. Mike Lafferty (90)