Sparta, KY – This weekend, Am-Pro Yamaha’s Charlie Mullins will test the theory that wins come easy once you’ve notched your first one. After notching his first Can-Am Grand National Cross Country win in dominant fashion at the previous round, the 21-year-old carries the GNCC points lead and serious momentum for the first time in his career. Plus, this race, the Weekend Warrior Spartan GNCC in Sparta, Kentucky isn’t far from his home in Southwestern Ohio.
“It was good to have all of my friends and family there after the first win,” said Mullins. “Hopefully they will all be here to watch this one, too. With the win, I just rode like I do at a local race, I just focused and didn’t make mistakes, didn’t let the pressure get to me.”
Pressure will be applied this weekend by Red Bull KTM’s David Knight. The reigning World Enduro Champion from the Isle of Man has had an up and down debut season in the U.S. highlighted by back-to-back wins in South Carolina and Tennessee, and low-lighted by nagging bike troubles and injuries. He currently sits second in points behind Mullins.
Mullins’ teammate Barry Hawk, the 2003 GNCC Champion, has a win on the season and took second behind Mullins at the previous GNCC event. Moose Racing/Parts Unlimited Honda’s Paul Whibley also has a victory on the season, as does Cycle Hutt Yamaha’s Shane Watts, but unfortunately Watts is expected to skip the race with a thumb injury. Then there’s the FMF Suzuki team, which has come incredibly close to a victory, only to be denied time and time again. Australian’s Glenn Kearney and Josh Strang will be in the hunt, as well as Ohio’s Jimmy Jarrett. Privateer Kawasaki rider Garrett Edmisten is still in the hunt, too, with consistency powering him to third in the GNCC standings.
The new XC2 Pro Lites class has delivered action-packed battles every weekend this season, and Sparta should be no exception. FMF Suzuki’s veteran Rodney Smith is the current points leader, but Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Scott Watkins, Red Bull KTM’s Justin Williamson, Am-Pro Yamaha’s Thad DuVall and KTM/Powersport GrafX’s Dustin Gibson are young guns in the hunt every week.
The weekend begins with ATV racing on Saturday, including the battle for the 2007 GNCC ATV overall pro title between Yamaha’s Bill Ballance and East Coast ATV’s Chris Borich. Bikes race on Sunday, with Youth racing at 8 a.m., a two-hour morning race for beginners at 10 a.m., and the pro classes at 1 pm. To get to the Spartan, follow I-71 to Exit 57. Follow signs two miles to the track.
2007 Can-Am GNCC Overall Series Standings (After 6 of 13 rounds)
1. Charles Mullins (123/1 win)
2. David Knight (119/2 wins)
3. Garrett Edmisten (108)
4. Barry Hawk (98/1 win)
5. Shane Watts (92/1 win)
6. Glenn Kearney (88)
7. Paul Whibley (84/1 win)
8. Jesse Robinson (68)
9. Jimmy Jarrett (65)
10. Josh Strang (61)
About GNCC Racing:
The AMA/ATVA-sanctioned Can-Am 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 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. GNCC Racing airs weekly television shows on Versus (formerly Outdoor Life Network) every Saturday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 4 p.m. beginning on April 14. 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 BRP Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, EK Chain, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, Race Tools, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, and MotoTee’s. Media Sponsors include Racer X Illustrated, ATV Rider, ATV Sport, ATVRiders.com, Quadzone.com, Dirt Rider and ATV Insider. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.