On The Fast-Trak 3-28-00

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ATVScene.com is HERE! ATV Scene is THE place for ATV racing on the Internet. And ATV Scene is the new online home for the much talked about On The Fast-Trak column (formerly found on the ATV Connection.com. The new and improved column will continue to deliver timely ATV racing news and pro results.

On The Fast-Trak is not the only thing on ATVScene.com. Be sure to check out Sean Sermini’s Serm Says column for a behind-the-scenes look at quad racing. Serm is Nac’s Racing’s race team coordinator, a pro ATV racer and arguably the world’s most prolific ATV Freestyler.

Our Ask Cindy feature is a sure hit. Cindy has been one of the Buckeye National trophy girls in each year of the GNC event. She’s not only a beautiful blond bombshell, she’s got a passion for ATV racing. Here’s your chance to ask her whatever’s on your mind.

We had a long, three-year stint on the ATV Connection (www.atvconnection.com) but it was time for a change. So here we are happy and fancy free. If you are into the recreation, hunting or the utility side of the great sport of ATVing then the ATV Connection is the place to be. But if racing and sport riding is your passion, then pull up a chair — we welcome you to the “scene”.

Stay tuned, stop back often and most of all ENJOY because:
The Party’s ON!

GNCC Opener
Round 1 – March 6, 2000 — Kirton Ranch — Okeechobee, FL
The Grand National Cross Country series kicked off its 2000 season in sunny central Florida during BikeWeek. The familiar #1 of Barry Hawk was missing on the starting line, but 24 hungry ATV Pros were on hand—all hoping to claim the prestigious GNCC #1 plate. 7-time GNCC champ Barry Hawk has parked his Laeger/LRD ATV to concentrate full-time on the dirtbike events for Team Yamaha. After two hard-fought hours of intense woods racing, Bill Balance took the checkers in his debut ride for Team Maxxis ATV. Balance is back on his familiar LoneStar chassis 250R for 2000 and William Yokley is now aboard Team Kawasaki’s KX250 prototype quad.

1. Bill Balance (Maxxis/LoneStar)
2. Chad Duvall (Duncan/Roll)
3. William Yokley (Team Green Kawasaki)
4. Matt Smiley (Duncan/Roll)
5. James Wahl (Laeger)
6. Curtis Crump (Great Outdoors Yamaha)
7. Greg Goad (Maxxis/LoneStar)
8. Justin Brown (Laeger)
9. Mike Krachun (Laeger)
10. Bradley Page (Roll Design)

GNCC Round 2 – March 11, 2000 — Paradise Park — Macon, GA
Round 2 of the GNCC series took the racers to ATV racing legend Donny Banks’ facility. As the racers gathered for the dead engine start dark skies loomed overhead. AND round 1 winner Bill Balance was missing! Well… Balance was in the pits, but not racing. Bill had gotten in a car accident on the way to the event and would be sitting this round out. The downpour started just as the race began, leaving the competitors to battle in a 2-hour mudfest. Long-time GNCC veteran Steve Holbert emerged the muddy victor with Team Kawasaki’s William Yokley in second.

1. Steve Holbert (Honda)
2. William Yokley (Team Green Kawasaki)
3. Curtis Crump (Great Outdoors Yamaha)
4. Andris Lagzdins (Honda)
5. Kim Kuhnle (Yamaha)
6. Bryan Baker (Great Outdoors Yamaha)
7. Justin Brown (Leaguer)
8. Santo Derisi (Derisi/Roll)
9. Jared Huffman (Roll)
10. Rob Hertz (Laeger)

GNCC Round 3 — March 24, 200 – Big Buck – Cross Anchor, SC
After sitting out round 2 due to a car accident, Balance is BACK! Looks like Bill was to be the early favorite to be Hawk’s successor. And Jeff Seggott deserves a shout-out for campaigning BOTH the GNC and GNCC series.

1. Bill Balance (Maxxis/LoneStar)
2. Matt Smiley (Duncan/Roll)
3. Jeff Seegott (Trinity/LoneStar)
4. William Yokley (Team Green Kawasaki)
5. Justin Brown (Laeger)
6. Rob Hertz (Laeger)
7. Curtis Crump (Great Outdoors Yamaha)
8. Bradley Page (Roll)
9. Santo Derisi (Derisi/Roll)
10. Bryan Hulsey (Honda)

Doug Eichner goes GNCCing
Duncan Racing/Roll Design’s Doug Eichner competed in round 1 and 2 of the GNCC series. Eichner, a long-time motocrosser and recent desert hotshot didn’t fare so well in his woods debut, failing to break into the top ten. Eichner’s been a busy man, competing in the U.S. Off-Road Stadium series and the Best In The Desert endurance events.

More GNCC Stuff
Can’t get enough GNCC? Well, surf on over to the official GNCC website for complete results for all classes, schedule information and the complete GNCC rulebook. Check it out at http://www.racerxill.com/gncc/

Do you attend most of the GNCCs? Are you good with a camera? Can you write OK? Then you might be just what our new magazine is needing – a GNCC contributor. We’re looking for a behind-the-scenes GNCC correspondent to help give the XC series the coverage it diserves. We love the GNCC as much as the rest of you, but our schedule just doesn’t allow for us to be at many of the events. Shoot us e-mail jpellan@atvscene.com if you’re up to doing something about the lack of coverage the GNCCs receive.

GNC Opener
Round 1 — March 18, 2000 — Echeconnee Off-Road Park — Macon, GA
Donny Banks, an ex-ATV racing star, and Mark Barnett, a retired pro dirtbiker, have shifted their racing efforts to promoting duties. They recently teamed up to promote round one of the AMA Maxxis Tire ATV National Series at their newest creation – Paradise Off-Road Park, where the event was originally supposed to be held. Heavy rains all week gave the name paradise a new twist. Banks and Barnett had a wild backup plan in the works that proved positive. For the first time in AMA GNC history, a national event was relocated with no time to notify spectators and participants.

Racers hooked up their trailers, trudged out of the sticky mud and staked out their pitting claim at the nearby sand track of Echeconnee. “I think we made the right decision, Paradise would have been a sloppy mess all weekend. It’s all red clay material there and it really holds the water, while Echeconne is entirely made of sand – we’ll be watering at that track,” said Banks on the relocating choice.

The Echeconne (pronounced etch-a-cony) track, also maintained by Banks and Barnett, turned out to be a great track. It’s hillside location made it perfect for spectators to follow the action, while it’s layout kept the racers happy. Being a sand track, it got rough, real rough! Banks and Barnett used to dominate in their respected sport at rough motocross tracks throughout the country. After seeing where they used to practice—at this very track–it’s no wonder why they were so good at going fast in the rough stuff.

In pro class action, moto #1 was off and Keith Little (Sparks/Nac’s/Roll) rocketed to the front. (You know, there just might be something to those new ITP Holeshots made just for motocross). Good tires weren’t enough for Little, he was promptly gunned down by the hard charging, Travis Spader (Duncan Racing/Roll Design). Spader missed practice because he was taking final exams at Seton Hall University, where he’s studying to be a physical therapist. The extra practice time on the track didn’t matter one bit, Spader left the pack and cruised to an easy moto #1 win. “What’s so rough about that?” said Spader, barely winded after dominating the moto. “Digger” Doug Gust, sporting a shiny blue and white #1 plate on his brand new Team Nac’s/TC Racing ride kept pace in second and Tim Farr, debuting the new potent Yamaha powered thumper in the GNCs held down the three spot. Coming from way back in the pack, as in 18 and 19 spots, was the Legacy ATV teammates of Jeremiah “the kid” Jones and “not so gentle when your coming from last place” Ben Jackson. The duo locked together in turn one. From there on they were nothing but on the gas. Get this, JJ passed all the way up to third! And Benny motored hard, hot on his teammate’s tracks — he put his sights on Farr but couldn’t catch him in time for the checkers.

Moto #2 lined up at the gate while a light rain fell. The gate dropped and the field sprinted to the first turn leaving a wake of sandy roost behind with Gust leading the way. Tucking behind Gust was Jackson, Farr, Little and Spader. Benny displayed one hell of a ride. This new Legacy ATV team, (JJ and Banny) is something to see! Jackson passed Gust and showed he had been training hard for this year by checking-out and winning moto two and the three spot in the overall for the weekend.

Spader made his way to the four position behind Farr and Shane Hitt (Sparks). Spader was hauling, but it took too long for him to get around Farr and Hitt for him to catch Gust for the overall. With a 2-2 score, our ’99 champ went home owning round one.

1. Doug Gust (TC/Nac’s) 2-2
2. Travis Spader (Duncan/Roll) 1-3
3. Ben Jackson (Legacy ATV/TC) 5-1
4. Shane Hitt (Sparks) 6-4
5. Tim Farr (Baldwin/Jerry Ferrell Yamaha/White Bros.) 4-6
6. Joe Byrd (East Coast ATV) 7-5
7. Keith Little (Nac’s/Sparks/Roll) 8-7
8. Justin Gandy (Hollywood/Sparks) 9-10
9. Jeff Seegott (Trinity/LoneStar) 12-8
10. Johnny Hale (CGR) 11-11

In Pro-Am action, Kory Ellis flew in from sunny So Cal and spanked the competition in both motos of the pro thumpers even though he lost his tail pipe both times out. You could hear the motor struggle and cough but somehow Kory managed to pull away from the Ohio’s Jason Luburgh and David Diver. Margate Florida’s Matt Stahlin took both motos and the overall in the Open Pro/Am class on his big bad Banshee followed by New York’s Michael Kamalsky and Georgia’s own Norris Quinn. In the 250 Pro/Am Justin Gandy took home the honors. McKinleyville, California’s Tavis Cain turned some heads just as his back home buddy Dana Creech did in the 250 A class. Tavis used the whole moto to slowly work his way through the pack and earn himself runner up position in the overall. Third spot went to Jason Luburgh. Luburgh was on the gas all weekend and will be a major threat in both the 250 and thumper Pro/Am classes.

Full amateur class results surf over to the AMA’s website at www.ama-cycle.org

Making The Scene
Doug Gust
Digger Doug looked smooth and cool as the other side of the pillow. He almost looks slow, but I think that’s because he’s so damn smooth you don’t realize he’s going mach 5 on a 4-wheeler.
He snapped a Dura-Blue axle on a scary triple that only a few riders were attempting but avoided crashing.

Tim Farr
This new quad of Tim’s is something else! Keep dreaming, it will cost you over $20,000 for something similar to his, and it still won’t be as cool. He says it’s unlike any four-stroke he’s ever ridden. Usually you can get a little lazy on a thumper and still go fast, (no constant clutching and shifting, no sudden yanks of hard hitting power like a 2-stroker), but not Farr’s missile. He says it’s more like riding a tricked out CR 500. He’s sore in places that he’s never been sore before from trying to hang on when it hooks up. Now imagine trying to hold on to it with a broken hand! He spent several days prior to the event in the sunny southern weather practicing for round one. On the last day of his practice sessions he missed a double jump and broke a bone in his throttle hand. By the second moto in Georgia he was using his forefinger to gas the big thumper.
How did you do that? And are you OK to race round two? “I just ignored the pain and held on the best I could. I don’t have too much strength in it and just holding on was tough. I basically ignored the pain and rode as hard as I could. I guess I’m happy with a top five, considering, but it’s just a little frustrating knowing that I could have done better had I been healthy. The doctor says I probably should have some pins in it to hold it in place to heal. I’ll be OK and ready for London with or without pins in my hand”.

Shane Hitt
‘Shane Dog’ looked impressive in Macon. The TT specialist is supposed to be a slug on a rough track — what gives dog? “It’s pretty simple – I’ve been riding my butt off lately”. Everyone packed up and hit the highway while he stayed at the Echeconnee track for a few extra days of practice. Looks like he’s go that number one plate on his mind again.

Joe Byrd
‘Byrd-man’ looked strong in the rough stuff. New news for him is his all-new sponsorships. Man, he switches teams a lot, huh? He’s now with East Coast ATV and FTZ is supplying go fast stuff on his motors for the TT events. Joe has tried out his new FTZ motor and said it’s the fastest thing he’s ever ridden in an ATV frame. FTZ seems to be getting serious about quads again. In the last few years they’ve been busy with their Micro Sprint program and not very involved in ATV racing. It has been a few years since we’ve seen the name FTZ in the scene. Other than 250 A class Aaron Reisig who won the ’99 Orrville and Ashtabula rounds with an FTZ motor. Remember “wild man” Mark Lee was a top contender in the 250 Pro Class with FTZ-supplied power. Mark won several Nationals including those at Boyd, Texas, Deerfield, Ohio and Geneva, New York. Jackie Meadows also used an FTZ motor to win races on his Kawasaki Mojave in the eighties. Welcome back John Fitzpatrick and FTZ! And good luck with Joe.

Jeremiah Jones
The kid, (well he’s 20 years old, but likeable as a kid), can flat out fly! The first moto he charged from second to last to third! Mind you, those 15 guys he blew by are top-notch, highly skilled, and the best in the world! Unfortunately, in the second mote JJ got a foot caught under his nerf-bar and later had to pull off when he could no longer feel his leg. He’s OK and will be ready for round two action at London, KY. He’s going to win his first pro class national very soon. Tim Farr has said he’s the most talented up-and-coming rider that he’s ever seen! In Georgia he had people scratching their heads in disbelief.

Jeremy Schell
Not much racing news to talk about here – pretty sure he crashed in both motos. He is riding for the powerhouse Trinity Racing team though. I was impressed–the first crash looked too ugly to get up. Not only did he get up, but he put his race face on and charged to a tenth place finish. The shenanigans of ‘The Hick’ might be toned down in the near future, he’s getting married! Can you believe it? He met Mark Erhardt’s sister while at Glamis, CA, fell in love and they’re getting hitched. ‘The Hick’s’ sister, ‘Hickette’, is also marrying an ATV person. She’s currently living with ex-250 A fast guy, Chad Livingston, and the two plan to marry this year.

Dana Creech
Remember the name, you’ll be seeing plenty of it. He’s a senior in high school from Eureka, CA. With an almost last to first place charge in moto two of the ’99 Loretta’s 250 A class, he ended up winning the overall in his first GNC ever! This year he’s got full-backing from Nac’s/FMF (among others) and he’s gunning for a 250 A championship. “Who’s this Dana dude – man does he fly!” – that was the talk of the pits. He dusted the 250 A class in moto one with a 30-second lead! The second moto was worse yet for the competition. He stopped, we had lunch together, talked about the weather, looked at a few girls, and then he was off to finish the moto with yet another dominating win. He even busted out some wicked heel clickers over a triple that his A class peers only doubled. Look for an interview with Dana in the next edition of ‘On the Fast-Trak’.

Other GNC Round 1 Notables
Royal Publishing has put together a nifty event program. It’s packed full of ATV racing news including top 15 pro rider profiles, race reports, picture galleries of pros and amateurs alike, point standings, blank results pages for figuring out points races, an autograph page and more. Best of all is that the event program/magazine will be full of new and fresh material for all 12 rounds of the GNCs. And even better is that ATV Scene’s own JP is doing the editorial.

Wes Miller of Huevos fame was on hand and shooting new stuff for his upcoming videos. He’s also got a freestyle series in the works. It’s a tentative four-event series that will start at the Danville TT April 8th and possible end in Las Vegas later this year. We’ll keep you up to date as soon as more details are worked out.

AMA growing strong, but no AATVA just yet.
The AMA has just reached a new milestone: As of late February, 250,000 people have become official members of the AMA. This 9-percent increase from the same time last year is the highest membership in the AMA’s 76-year history. More and more riders are recognizing the need to protect their right to ride. We are indeed the voice of motorcycling and atving within the government. Newest ATV-related news with the AMA is the unanimous agreement of the need for our own sanctioning body – the AATVA (American All Terrain Vehicle Association). Heavy hitters within the AMA are planning to open the doors on the AATVA soon. First agenda is figuring out a plan of catering to racers and non-racers alike, and doing it correctly right from the start. Look to ATV Scene for the newest info on their progress of getting this badly needed organization underway. To get a full picture of everything the AMA does, call (800) AMA-JOIN or
visit the Association’s website at http://www.AMADirectlink.com

An interview with Ben Jackson
ATV Scene: What were you up to in the off-season?
BJ: I Worked in the family auto body shop, lifted weights, and rode a few Victory Sports Indoors.

ATV Scene: What’s new for the 2000 season? Who’s this “Jerky” mechanic of yours and how’s he going to help you win a National Championship?
BJ: Everything is new for 2000! I am riding for Legacy ATV and I have quite a few new sponsors this year. Things seem to be going great and my mechanic, Scott Generke, (I call him Jerky), has been getting all my stuff ready for a much anticipated season. I bought him for a dollar and a pair of old socks! Actually, Scott is the engineering team leader for Autolite spark plugs and has been working on some new stuff for the small engine motorsports industry. I have been testing some of the stuff so far and it seems to be working out pretty well. I think the biggest thing that we are going to be able to do is focus on training, practicing, working on my starts, and taking each race one at a time. He’s been pushing me to train and focus on the season that’s for sure. He keeps telling me that communication is the key to a successful season, so I am really hoping that we can work on developing a great relationship and earn the trust of each other. I am confident that we can put all the necessary ingredients together in order to possibly earn the championship.
I’ve kept him real busy so far too (smiling), I just grenaded a tranny on my practice quad, so he’s in their right now up to his ears in a shattered motor.

ATV Scene: What about your dad? He’s always been your right hand man.
BJ: My dad will still be part of the crew, he’ll just yell at Scott now. In all fairness, my dad has helped me forever and he decided that it was time to back off and let someone else do the wrenching. I would just like to say thanks to him for all the help and guidance he has given me through the years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him and the rest of my family.

ATV Scene: Are you racing in more than one class? Or are you concentrating on winning the elite Pro Class National Championship?
BJ: I’m only going to be running the Pro Class this season, that way I can focus on the Pro Championship.

ATV Scene: What’s a typical day for Ben Jackson?
BJ: Going to work around 8:00am at the body shop. After work it’s either weight training or practicing afterwards. In the wintertime, I just like to hangout and play my Sony Playstation.

ATV Scene: How did it feel to get a top three in round one?
BJ: I was totally stoked! In moto #1 I was sitting still locked up with Jeremiah in turn one with the rest of the field long gone. To be able to pass all the way to fifth and then win moto #2 was fantastic. I didn’t think I would end up third for the weekend while unhooking myself from Jeremiah. Maybe that was an indication of how this season is going to go for me – hope so.

Legends 2000 Race Update
If you haven’t heard yet, yours truly, Fast-Trak Promotions and Fischer Cycle will be promoting the first ever ATV Legends race at the Pine Lake TT National July 29th. What better place and time than the year 2000 at the oldest ATV racetrack in the world to play tribute to our roots of ATV racing? Things are going great with the event. We’ve got big names like Jimmy White, Hart, Wright, Sparks, Sundahl and many more already committed! We’re turning the party center at Pine Lake into a mini ‘Hall of ATV Fame’. We’ll have displays of your favorite ATV racing legends, videos, T-shirts and stuff for them to autograph. As for the actual race, they’ll borrow current pro racer’s quads for a 20 lap main event that will bring back memories that should never ever die. We’ll line them up on the starting gate by way of a timed lap on their introduction. This legends reunion/race will be a once in a lifetime event that should dare not be missed. If you have even the slightest memory of the days of yesterday in ATV racing, you need to be at the Pine Lake event July 29-30. And if you are a newbie to the sport make the trip to Ohio and get a look at how it all started.

Looking to buy or sell ATV parts or whole quads?
Here’s a great way to save some money on that stock or aftermarket product your needing.
Surf on over to the ATV Connection.com, they have an awesome Free Classifieds (for sale and wanted) section. It’s good listings from all over the country for used ATVs and parts/accessories. Just click on the Forums link on their main page.

World’s largest poker run
Last year over 5,000 entries lined up for this event. Just so you get an idea of just how many ATVs that is, there were 419 entries at the recent round #1 of the GNC’s in Macon. This years poker run experts are saying there will be closer to 7,000 ATVers! This is a yearly happening that is unmatched. Factory (OEMs) expo exhibitors and their big semi-haulers will be on hand as they were last year. The list includes; Kawasaki, Polaris, Artic Cat, Bombardier, Suzuki, Yamaha and Street Track & Trail. You might want to check it out April 1 in Cochranton, PA. For more info contact Steve Carroll at (814) 425-2284 or e-mail him at carro@toolcity.net

Quotes of the week
“I’d crash my mom to take my first win” – Mike Skinner of the Lowe’s NASCAR team when asked about a confrontation with Dale Earnhardt at the Cracker Barrel 500

“Finally gotcha some… now you feel you have to marry her for it, huh?” – Shane Hitt on Jeremy’s wedding plans.

GOT STICKEYS?
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