Knight Breaks Down, Hawk Moves Up at GEICO Mountain Ridge GNCC


Somerset, PA – David Knight’s luck ran out with the water in his radiator, as mechanical troubles cost the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series points leader a victory at the GEICO Mountain Ridge GNCC in Pennsylvania and opened the door for his championship rival Barry Hawk to win the race overall and make up huge points on his Am-Pro Yamaha. Powersports GrafX/KTM rider Dustin Gibson won the XC2 Lites clss

“I just thought it’s a long day and there’s a lot of rocks out there, anything can happen,” said Hawk, who spent the day trying to shave off the one-minute lead Knight had built on the field. “I just tried not to ride over my head. I kept telling myself I gotta’ go faster, but then whenever I would do that, I would make mistakes. I just needed to put it on cruise control and I was hoping that I would be able to catch him or he would have a problem and that’s exactly what happened.”

Red Bull KTM’s Knight started in dead last but soon worked his way into the lead. But his bike started spewing coolant as the white flag came out, and the countdown began to see how long his machine could hold on. “It started slowing down on me, so I backed it off a bit and I was still pulling away,” said Knight. “I just had to make it in, so I started going really, really slow and I still had problems. I stopped a few times to put water in it, but it just came right out so that was a waste of time. Finally it just stopped. I know my speed is good, I know I’m the best rider out there, I just can’t believe the stupid luck I’m having.”

“People were yelling at me, ‘you’re catching Knight,’ ‘Knight’s got bike problems,’ and I never saw him the whole time!” said Hawk. “I kept trying to smell him, look for him and I never saw him. One lap there about halfway through, I kept getting the pit board that I was catching Knight, I was faster. That was a really good lap, I made no mistakes, and then the next lap, I thought I needed to do the same thing, but I didn’t do it and I made a bunch of little mistakes, fell in the rock garden, and it went back to where he had a minute lead on me. But I knew it was a long day and anything could happen.”

Hawk led FMF Suzuki’s Jimmy Jarrett and Kawasaki/Walpole Trucking privateer Garrett Edmisten to the podium.

“Yeah, I can’t believe I’m up here,” said Jarrett, who has threepodiums in the last four races. “Me and rocks don’t mix and I was dreading this race all summer, but it feels good to be up here.”

Edmisten put in an impressive last-lap charge to get to third. “I I was really amazed at myself on the first lap and I thought, this might be a good day,’” said Edmisten. “Every lap I probably crashed like three or four times. I think it was the third lap out there in the rock garden, I just got stuck and the bike stalled and I just sat there, I was breathing so hard, I probably sat there for thirty, forty seconds. I was just disgusted and I finally took off, and then I kept on charging and here I am.”

Fourth went to FMF Suzuki’s Josh Strang, while fifth went to XC Pro Lites winner Dustin Gibson. “The first two laps I was back, just fighting arm pump then it all started to come together and I started riding smooth and charged all the way to the finish,” said the Tennessee-based Gibson. “If I get the holeshot, I blow it. I’m not a good starter anyway.  I don’t mind being the underdog. Earlier we were talking about starts and I said I’m going to loop it out and do a front flip and just come up from the back because I seem to do better that way.”

Red Bull KTM’s Justin Williamson had taken the Holeshot and looked ready to ride away to victory, but eventually Gibson got to him and they battled. “I don’t know, it was just something in me that told me I was going to do well today,” said Williamson. “I got into the gnarly, rocky sections—I went and walked it this morning and I knew what I was going to have to expect, but it was a lot worse than what I expected it to be and I kind of tensed up a little bit through those sections. The last lap I really just held on and had a few problems, but the laps before that had some good battles with Dustin. We banged some bars, but that’s racing.”

Third went to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/FAR Kawasaki’s Scott Watkins, who finished in eighth overall. “There was one section that was pretty tough but there was a lot of fun woods sections that weren’t totally rocky, and I thought those were pretty cool, but it was like a war zone out there in that half mile they had laid out in the woods for us,” said Watkins. “I’d like to be a little farther down the line, but I’ll take third and I’m happy to be here. I needed it.”

FMF Suzuki’s Glenn Kearney had a rough day in the rocks after claming the Racer X Holeshot Award, and he finished seventh. Jerod Stoner finished ninth overall, and Watkins teammate Josh Weisenfels was tenth.

Am-Pro Yamaha’s Charlie Mullins couldn’t take advantage of Knight’s misfortune due to chain problems that knocked him out of the race, and similar issues dropped his teammate Jason Raines deep into the pack. XC2 Lites series leader Rodney Smith failed to finish while nursing a leg injury.

The Can-Am GNCC Series moves to upstate New York for its next round, the Can-Am Unadilla GNCC at Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, NY on September 15 and 16.

GEICO Mountain Ridge GNCC
Somerset, PA
September 2, 2007

Top Twenty Overall

1      Barry Hawk, Jr     Smithfield, PA     YAM  02:48:17
2      Jimmy Jarrett      Beloit, OH          SUZ   02:52:52
3      Garrett Edmisten Vero Beach, FL    KAW  02:53:24
4      Joshua Strang     Australia,           SUZ   02:53:41
5      Dustin Gibson     Cmbrlnd Frnce, TN       KTM  02:53:43
6      Justin Williamson        Sanford, FL         KTM  02:54:16
7      Glenn Kearney    Australia,           SUZ   02:55:04
8      Scott Watkins     Leetonia, OH      KAW  02:55:17
9      Jerod Stoner       Lewisberry, PA    KTM  02:56:50
10     Josh Weisenfels  Fort Smith, AR    YAM  02:58:24
11     Paul Whibley      New Zealand,     HON  03:00:07
12     Joseph Scherer    Renfrew, PA        YAM  03:00:09
13     Jesse Robinson   Connellys Spg, NC       KAW 03:00:17
14     Robbie Jenks      New Straitsville, OH    KTM  03:02:10
15     Cory Buttrick       Logan, OH          KTM  03:06:44
16     Christopher Bach Crown Point, IN   KTM  03:07:01
17     Kailub Russell     Kingston, OH      KTM  03:08:03
18     Brian Lawson      Adams, MA         YAM  03:09:14
19     JT Bennett         Allison Park, PA   YAM  03:09:16
20     Jordan Ashburn   Cookeville, TN    KTM  03:09:56

2007 Can-Am GNCC Series Standings (After 9 of 13 rounds)


1. David Knight 179/4 wins
2. Barry Hawk, Jr 175/2 wins
3. Charlie Mullins 153/1 win
4. Garrett Edmisten 144
5. Glenn Kearney 130
6. Jimmy Jarrett 129
7. Paul Whibley 108/1 win
8. Joshua Strang 103
9. Jesse Robinson 98
10. Shane Watts 92

XC2 Pro Lites

  1. Rodney Smith (156/3 wins)
  2. Justin Williamson (153/1 win)
  3. Scotty Watkins (146/1 win)
  4. Dustin Gibson (135/1 win)
  5. Josh Weisenfels (131)
  6. Thad DuVall (122/1 win)
  7. John Barber (117)
  8. Brian Lawson (92)
  9. John Bennett (79)

10. PA Allen (71)

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,,, Dirt Rider and ATV Insider. For more information log on to