Florence, SC - The JG Off Road / GEICO Powersports team was split in two by the EnduroCross and GNCC series this weekend. The GNCC gang headed north to the Unadilla Valley for round number 10, where newly crowned (2 time) 2009 OMA Champion, Paul Whibley will set out with hopes to extend his 14 point lead. Jimmy Jarrett will be racing once again this weekend, freshly back from a wrist injury sustained earlier this summer, and Scott Watkins looks for another XC2 win. Jennifer Albright raced this morning, and ran into some unfortunate bad luck and faced some mechanical issues, forcing her to DNF. Stay posted for Jennifer’s take on the first race back after the summer break.
The EnduroCross boys lead the way to an exciting evening in Florence, SC for the 3rd round of the GEICO EnduroCross series. With all three riders in the evening show, the team got the break they’ve been looking for and saw their fair share of podiums. Leading the way for the team, the Rodgers brothers shot out of the gate for the Open Amateur Main Event, grabbing a double hole shot. They kept the momentum going throughout the race, taking a 1 – 2 finish with Eric on top of the podium.
Qualifying heats for the Expert Main Event were soon to follow. Eric took a 3rd place finish in his heat, placing him one position out of qualifying and sending him onto the Semi-finals, where he took a first place finish, placing him into the Expert Main Event. Ryan took a 5th place finish, also having to go onto the Semi’s where he placed 2nd. Unfortunately, only the top rider in the semi’s went on to the Main, so Ryan was forced to move on in the Last Chance Qualifier. Wally had a few mechanical issues during his qualifier, taking a DNF but finished a strong 2nd place in the Semi’s. He also went on to the LCQ.
Ryan and Eric were both qualified to run the Dash for Cash. During the LCQ, Ryan busted up his water pump cover and had to pull a quick fix in the pits with just minutes between the semi heat and the Dash for Cash, making it to the line right before the gates dropped. Eric got off to a strong start and held the lead until the last lap. Being pushed for most of the race by older brother Ryan, Eric smashed his rear break caliper leaving him to finish the lap and race with locked up rear brakes. Ryan took the win and the $500, but Eric was still able to hold on to a second place finish and also take home some cash.
Now it was Eric’s turn to make a quick fix – he had about 3 minutes to make it back to the pits after the Dash for Cash, change his rear brake caliper, and get back to the line in time for the Main Event. With the quick work of his pit crew – his dad Keith and team manager JT Bennett, Eric was back to the track in record time. Eric put in a great ride, but took an 11th place finish. Taddy Blazuiak once again took top honors, followed by Geoff Aaron and Cory Graffunder.
Ryan and Eric headed out right after the race to head to and ECEA race in NJ – going for the Ironman. Good luck guys.
The team would like to extend a special thanks to all of their sponsors: GEICO, Lojaks Yamaha, B&B Yamaha, MSR, Pirelli, Rekluse, Tsubaki, IMS, Works Connection, EBC Brakes, Silkolene, Renthal, Pro Moto Billet, Enduro Engineer, PowersportGrafx, and Acerbis.
And of course a huge thank you to our fans.
The EnduroCross series will continue on October 3 for in Columbus, OH..
The GNCC team will conclude the weekend racing, Sunday at 1 pm. Keep an eye out for their take on the race later in the week.