Somerset, PA - Round 7 of the Can Am GNCC Series took the JG Off Road / GEICO / Monster Energy Kawasaki team to the rocky trails of Somerset, PA. The ATV’s faced a dry, dusty track, but rain rolled in Saturday evening, giving way to beautiful conditions for the bikes on Sunday. The race weekend for the team turned out to be just as rocky as the track.
Jennifer was the first to hit the Somerset PA course Saturday morning. As the green flag went up her quad misfired which placed her in the back of the pack early. As the girls left the starting area and headed back to the pits we knew she would make up the lost ground she received from the start. As Jen came by us after lap one she had moved her way into the top four. She was able to make the needed passes early which placed her in a good spot for a top 3 finish. Jennifer pitted for a splash of gas in lap two but declined goggles as she headed back out onto the course. As she tried to make a pass on a line of lap traffic she took a muddy line and ruined her goggles, losing visibility. She got them off and continued to push forward but due to the extremely dusty conditions it would be a long last lap as she took the white flag in third place. During the last lap Jen fought hard to maintain a top three finish but would fall to fourth for the day. This finish keeps Jennifer in 4th place in the points race.
Jennifer would like to thank of her sponsors: GEICO, MSR, Lojak Yamaha, MAXXIS, HMF, HiPer Technology, Rekluse, GT Thunder, Spider Grips, Precision, XFR, Cycle Gear, Scott, Flexx, CV4, IMS, ProGraph-X, Triple X Motorsports, PowerMadd, Moto Pro Training, and DP Brakes.
JT Bennett jumped onto the track Sunday morning in the Sportsman class, ready to have some fun on what would be considered his home track. Unfortunately for JT, his day ended early when just a few miles into the first lap he completely lost his rear brakes. He pulled into the pits looking for a quick fix, when it was found that the master cylinder was completely shot. Bennett said the track was beautiful and a ton of fun and was bummed out to not be able to head back out for the remainder of the race.
Whibs, Jarrett, and Watkins were ready to roll and were hungry for some more podiums when the green flag flew. Off to a great start, Paul and Jimmy went around the first turn side by side. As the guys entered the woods and the fabled Mountain Ridge rocks came out to greet them and Whibley came around on the first lap with a comfortable 30+ second lead on the rest of the field. Then on the second lap the problems started… Whibley went down hard on his shoulder, but was able to quickly recover. Once he was back in the chase he ran into some more issues with 2 laps to go - disaster struck again when a small slip in the rock garden resulted in a massive hole smashed into the water pump cover. Paul said he saw all the coolant pour out and could see his chances of a good result evaporating. He nursed the bike back to the pits and after some frantic swapping of parts the crew had him back in the race but down a lot of positions. He didn’t make it far before steam was pouring out of his bike, so he quickly spun the bike around and came back into the pits – It seemed like there was a hole in the radiator somewhere, and what better way to fix that then to pour pepper – yes pepper into the radiator to block the hole. Although disappointed, with a 7th place (10th O/A) finish, Paul was happy to gain some valuable points that allow him to keep a hold of the points lead.
Jarrett battling an illness for the past week was able to stay strong and battle throughout the race. Jimmy took an 8th place – 13th O/A finish for the day. Jimmy is looking forward to feeling better and redeeming himself in Millfield, OH for Round 8. This finish keeps Jimmy in 5th place in the points standings with 6 races to go.
Scotty Watkins got off to a mid-pack start and settled in for the day. With a few rough laps that dropped him down to 6th place at one point, Watkins was able to rally back to a 4th place finish (11th O/A) for the day. Scotty remains in 11th place in the points standings.
The team would like to extend a special thanks to all of their sponsors: GEICO, Monster Energy Kawasaki, Moose, Pirelli, Rekluse, Tsubaki, IMS, Works Connection, EBC Brakes, Silkolene, Renthal, Pro Moto Billet, Enduro Engineer, PowersportGrafx, and Acerbis.
In addition, the guys would like to thank the following sponsors:
Paul Whibley – Leo Vince, Shoei, Smith, G-2, Vortex Ignitions, WER, and CTI
Jimmy Jarrett – FMF, Arai, Motion Pro, Cytomax, Applied, UFO, Twin Air, HR Motorsports, Ohlins USA and BRP
Scotty Watkins - FMF and Shoei
And of course a huge thank you to our fans.
The GNCC series will continue on June 6th and 7th for the Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, OH. The Somerset GNCC will air on the VS network July 11th at 2:00PM (ATV) and July 18th at 2:00PM (Bikes). For a full listing of the TV schedule, visit: http://www.gnccracing.com/pages/gncc-television.
To learn more about JG Off Road Racing, please visit www.GEICOgarage.com.