Crawfordsville, IN - After eight months and 13 rounds of racing it will all come down to this weekend. A new XC1 Bike Champion will be decided at the Klotz Ironman GNCC, the final round of the 2009 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, on October 24-25 in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
The torrid battle for the XC1 bike championship will finally come to a close as GEICO/JG Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki's Paul Whibley and FMF Makita Suzuki's Josh Strang face off for the final time. The two have been engaged in a back-and-forth fight for the point lead all season long, but Whibley has held the top spot since Strang crashed into a deer at the Snowshoe GNCC in June. Whibley followed that with two solid wins at Unadilla and Yadkinville. Despite Strang's overwhelming win at the previous race in Ohio, Whibley has a 23-point lead heading into the finale and would essentially have to DNF, with Strang taking the win, to lose the championship.
But at the final round of the series anything could still happen. Several riders are still gunning for their first wins of the season, and with factory rides for next season still not secured, everyone will be motivated. Contenders include Strang's teammate Charlie Mullins, Whibley's teammate Jimmy Jarrett, and Shock Doctor KTM's Nate Kanney, who won the Ironman race in dominant fashion last year. Kanney just returned from the ISDE in Portugal, and along with teammate and ISDE "Top American" Kurt Caselli will be motivated to keep pushing forward. Husqvarna's Glenn Kearney is returning from a good week at the ISDE, as well. And the Am-Pro FMF Yamaha team, star crossed all season, still holds out hope that Thad DuVall or Barry Hawk can deliver its first win of the season.
ISDE participants Kanney, Caselli, Cory Buttrick and Amanda Mastin will be interviewed on Track Smack Live on Saturday night at 6 p.m. You can listen to the interview live by clicking here, or by going to www.gnccracing.com and clicking on the Track Smack Live link.
A variety of other class championships are on the line at the Ironman, a track most riders call their favorite of the season. ATVs race on Saturday and bikes race on Sunday.
The track is located an hour Northwest of Indianapolis, south of Crawfordsville off Route 47. You'll find it, just stay on 47 South and look for signs. Full weekend ticket prices are $15 and children five and under get in free.
About GNCC Racing
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1973, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles, competing for more than $3 million in prizes. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
About Racer Productions
A West Virginia-based motorcycle and ATV event production company, Racer Productions has been a leader in the off-road racing industry for more than 30 years. It's repertoire of facilities and events includes the 13-round Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, since 1973; professional and amateur national events at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, since 1977; and professional and amateur ATV events at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. For more information, please visit www.racerproductions.com.