Practice day is complete at the Parts Unlimited Triton GNCC, the opening round of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Championship. Riders were suprised at the amount of tree roots and palmetto branches on the trail, which will make for much more technical conditions than the traditional pin it through the whoops Florida terrain. That's good news for the off-road set, and not so good for the visitors. Travis Pastrana said he did more supermans today bashing over those roots than he does during a typical freestyle run. But he's here and he's having fun and he wants to challenge David Knight and win--but he knows he'd stand a better chance if the track had all whoops and fewer roots.
Knight is saddled up on the #1 Red Bull KTM and looks strong, as does his new teammate Nathan Kanney. Also don't count out Florida's own Garrett Edmisten, who absolutely flies in this terrain. Am-Pro Yamaha has a solid trio with Barry Hawk, Jason Raines and Thad DuVall, and FMF Suzuki put Charlie Mullins on the track today and he looked comfortable on his new machine. And of course the ultimate wild card is Shane Watts, who is here looking to create last year's magic (he won the race here in Florida).
Also, Monday night featured the first ever Moose Racing Mechanic's Challenge, which starred rider and mechanic teams. A rider had to race down a straight away and put his bike on a stand, then his mechanic had to dis-mount and mount a rear tire, and then the rider raced to the finish. Jason Raines and his father Darryl took the win ahead of his teammate Barry Hawk and mechanic Doug Whitmer. The Raines gang pocketed $600 for their efforts, all raised through donations from fans.
Should be a good one tomorrow, although rain is in the forecast. Check out www.gnccracing.com for photos and info on the race, which runs Tuesday March 4. Knight, Pastrana and the boys will race for three hours starting at 1 p.m.
Racing takes place on Tuesday,