The following is a release from GNCC Racing -
The 2004 Grand National Cross Country Series will go out with a bang this weekend, as championship celebrations and a variety of special events will take place at the Klotz Ironman GNCC, the final round of the 14-race season.
Sunday will mark the dramatic conclusion to the chase for the most prestigious title in American off-road racing. FMF Suzuki's 40-year-old superstar Rodney Smith needs one more solid finish to clinch an amazing fifth GNCC title, tying him on the all-time title list with legends Scott Summers and Ed Lojak.
But there is plenty to see and do even before that. Saturday features the biggest ATV race in the series, and on Saturday night, Parts Unlimited hosts a dinner at the conclusion of the races. Following dinner, a band will play live and keep the show rolling until dusk, when the Team Green Minibike National begins under the lights. A special GNCC-style minibike track will test the best in this invitation-only event.
The weekend kicks off with an exclusive Youth ATV race on Saturday morning at 8:30, the first GNCC Youth ATV race in over a decade. Then comes the two-hour morning ATV race, featuring 11-time GNCC National Champion Mike Penland and the fastest Women in the woods, GNCC Champions Stephanie Parton and Traci Cecco.
Pro ATV racers hit the rugged Ironman course at 1 p.m., with five-time GNCC Champ Bill Ballance battling young gun Chris Borich. Borich has taken the last two GNCC wins after torrid last-lap battles with Ballance and Suzuki's William Yokley. All three want to end the season on a high note.
Dinner, the band, and minibike racing follow after the ATV podium celebration.
It leads to the final bike duel of the season on Sunday. Smith is on the verge of a title, as his rival, Am Pro Yamaha's Jason Raines, has to win the race and hope Smith finishes back in the pack. Meanwhile, 2003 GNCC Champ Barry Hawk will have to hand his number-one plate over, but he wants to end his reign on top. Hawk was won the last two rounds and has momentum on his side heading into the finale.
All of the regular players will be there too, including Parts Unlimited/Moose Honda's Scott Summers, FMF Suzuki's "Fast" Freddy Andrews and four-time AMA National Motocross Champion Mike Kiedrowski, Throttlehead.com Kawasaki's Steve Hatch, and KTM's six-time National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty.