Only one more week until we get to go GNCC Racing again! It seems like it’s been forever since the John Penton GNCC and I know that I can’t be the only one that’s chomping at the bit to get back out there. After our road trip last weekend to catch the Indianapolis Endurocross and Kenda Tennessee Knockout extreme race, I’ve really got the itch to get back at it. Rob and Bolt-on both touch on those races later on, so I won’t get too far into it, but it was definitely an epic road trip with just the three men (no Krista Shaw) of digitaloffroad.com and gave me a chance to go back to my roots as a photographer and leave the video stuff up to Rob and Jared.
If you read yesterday’s QuickFill on the GNCC site you would’ve noticed my report on the TKO. If you haven’t, go ahead and check it out here then come back: http://www.gnccracing.com/articles/3486_quick-fill-33-september-is-here
I was pretty impressed at how our GNCC guys like Paul Whibley, Jordan Ashburn, Rory Mead, and Scotty Watkins hung in there with some of the best extreme riders in the world. Our guys aren’t used to all the crazy rock climbing and log hopping like the Endurocross guys, but Jordan qualified 5th overall for the main and Whibley was running in the top-3 in the main event before derailing a chain and ending up 5th behind Rory Mead. Those are seriously solid finishes against a stacked field and I’m definitely impressed.
It was nice to catch up with a lot of old faces at the races and it was very cool running into a bunch of hardcore Digital Off-road fans at the TKO race. We all put a lot of hard work into the site and to realize that there’s some people out there that aren’t our families that are really into what we do kind of makes it all worthwhile.
To all of you out there that told me how much you liked my “In the Trees” shirt at the TKO, just a friendly reminder that they’re still for sale in our Online Store! We already sold out of XL shirts but have mediums, larges, and XXL left. We’ve also got all sizes still available in the Barkbuster design.
After logging a ton of miles last weekend I’m going to spend one last weekend at home with the fiancée before we get back to the racing and TV show producing grind. If you guys and gals decide to hit up a race this weekend be safe and have fun. See ya next week at Dilla!
Thanks Hoop. We miss a week with the Off-Road 411 and it feels like it’s been forever since the last edition. Last week we had a pretty good excuse for missing out on the latest off-road on-goings as we were headed north for round 3 of the Endurocross series in Indianapolis, Indiana. The trip had been talked about for a while as we thought we could hit the EX round and then work our way down to Tennessee for the inaugural Tennessee Knockout race. It was a great trip but I think some of us thought the distance between the two races was shorter than it was. Even with having to be in Indiana it was a great weekend hanging out with the guys and we got some awesome content to share with you guys and gals.
We also posted the edit I put together of the footage Bolt-On and I shot at the Indy race. You can check that out here.
Stay tuned next week for the edit of the TKO race. I haven’t started it yet but it should have some pretty cool stuff in there.
After a few weeks off from being at the races it was fun to catch up with some GNCC series regulars up at the Endurocross. Chris Bach opted to sit out this year’s event possibly due to his injury at the same event last year. Or maybe he scratched that itch and didn’t feel the need to try again. 4 Stroke A Lites rider Derrik Allen was racing and he put in a solid effort in the semi but had a few bobbles, one of which completely broke off his rear brake pedal. He made some quick repairs in time to get to the LCQ but didn’t make the night show. XC2 rider Steven Squire’s mechanic/man-friend David Quillen was also planning on racing but decided after practice that he had done enough. Maybe he was worried about trashing Squire’s bike that he’d end up having to fix?
Whatever your opinions are of the Endurocross series you can’t deny that it’s getting more and more popular every year. I had the pleasure of attending the Indy EX last year and though it looked to have a decent attendance I don’t recall much press being there. Definitely not the case this year with many of the publications being represented: Adam Booth from Dirt Bike, Drew Ruiz and Chris Denison from Dirt Rider, Shan Moore, Kinney Jones, and the list goes on. There shouldn’t be any shortage of EX coverage this year. Thanks X-Games?
Aside from the racing going on in Tennessee and Indiana, Round 9 of the National Enduro series took place in Chandlersville, OH. Nick Fahringer continued his winning ways at the series by taking his third straight win and putting himself 12 points out of the series lead. Unfortunately we learned from Husaberg’s press release that Nick suffered a torn ACL while practicing a couple of week prior to the race. In order for him to be race ready for next season he will need to skip the last round of the series. Hopefully we’ll see him aboard that Husaberg 2 stroke again next year. If so, I think he’ll be right back where he left off.
Another rider enjoying some success at the enduros and aboard a two stroke was Yamaha’s Thad DuVall. He finished the day 2nd behind Nick for one of his best finishes of the year. With Thad on the smoker and his teammate Paul Whibley racing one at the TKO it raised the question of whether or not Yamaha is getting behind the 2 stroke again. It was only last year where we heard stories about F.A.R. not getting any support from Yamaha because they wanted to race the two stroke. But maybe the success other brands are seeing and the increasing public demand for 2 strokes has Yamaha re-evaluating their plans for the Yzinger. Let’s hope so!
That’s it for me! Happy Labor Day!
Thanks Hoop! Well, after missing out on posting an Off-Road 411 last week, there’s actually a ton of info to talk about. The past few weeks have been packed full of action for us here at Digi. Between the Ride Day 2 weeks ago and the Indy/Tennessee trip last weekend, we’ve definitely been up to some off-road awesomeness here lately.
As I mentioned, our first ever ride day happened two weeks ago, and it was great! If you were in the area, then you definitely missed out. The track was in awesome shape other than a bit of dust. The trails were rough in some spots but still a total blast. The Escargot course was a huge hit. When the heavy practice session was going on, it was awesome to see like 5-10 guys at a time ripping it up. When the timed runs began, it was Kailub Russell who laid down the fastest time with Glenn Drum and Trevor Connell rounding out the top three.
While the Escargot was everyone’s favorite event to ride, the pitbike race at the end of the day was undoubtedly the most interesting to watch. A lot of people left before the pitbike race started, which is kind of a shame because the opening laps of the race were amazing. I lent my pitbike to Kailub for the race, and he absolutely killed it. However, Dustin Tharp stayed on Kailub’s rear wheel for a little while. Dustin is a former motocross racer who made the switch to bicycles, but jumped back on Trevor Connell’s DRZ125 and rejoined the racing world for a day. He had about a 45cc advantage over KR, but that didn’t stop Kailub from ultimately pulling away. The excitement came somewhere around the halfway point when a dog ran across the top of the finish line jump, right as Dustin was jumping it. He cleared the dog by inches, and the dog ran on unscathed. In the end, Kailub took the win over Dustin Tharp in second and local guy Josh Montgomery in third.
Overall, the ride day was a smashing success and we raised a good chunk of coin for the Rider Down Foundation as well. I know Hoop and Rob had a great time riding as well. Unfortunately my ankle kept me from doing any serious riding, but I did manage to cruise around on the XR80 and do sign up, flag, time, score, award the winners, and everything else for the Escargot and Pitbike events. To view full results, which have been updated with Escargot course times, just follow this link. http://jaredbolton.com/2011/08/20/digitaloffroad-com-ride-day-event-results/
Fast forward to last Friday and we were on the road to Indy for round 3 of the Endurocross season. Taddy Blazusiak once again put in a killer ride to take the win over Mike Brown and Cody Webb. It never ceases to amaze me how incredible those guys on such gnarly terrain. They make it seem as if they’re just simply riding right over everything with no problem… Then occasionally they do make a mistake here or there, which is the great thing about Endurocross, you never know what might happen.
After the Endurocross we headed south to Tennessee for the first ever Kenda Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro. That name is a mouthful, right? Anyway, this was another incredible event. While the course wasn’t like Erzberg where just simply making it through the obstacles gave you a huge advantage, the track was still one of the gnarliest courses I’ve ever seen. The way it was laid out made it cool because it was “doable” enough that the guys could still actually race each other, while also being challenged by some seriously gnarly terrain.
It was a tough day for Taddy who first went the wrong way on his hot lap, but was given a second chance (which ticked several other riders off, but that’s a different story). However, he would later get knocked out in the first “long course” round when he crashed and knocked his airboot off (yes, pun intended). Mike Brown would end up taking the win in the 10 lap “short course” final.
While all of the extreme action was going on in Tennessee, the National Enduro was taking place in Ohio, where Nick Fahringer took yet another win! Nick has been looking awesome since making the switch to the two-stroke and while he’ll be sitting out the final round with ACL surgery, I definitely think he’ll be a challenge for the title next year. You also can’t forget about Thad Duvall! He rode a borrowed YZ250, which was one of Barry Hawk’s 2008 race bikes, and took second place. However, Nick only held a one second lead over Thad in the end.
Coming up this weekend is the SETRA Little Brown Jug Enduro in Whitmire, SC, so it’s pretty close to Big Buck. This will mark the 55th annual running of this event, making it one of the oldest enduro events in the country. I’m headed down to the race, so it should be a pretty good time. This event also usually draws a pretty good turnout of both Amateur and Pro riders, so we’ll see who all shows up.
Then next weekend we FINALLY go back to GNCC racing! I can’t wait for Unadilla myself. Not only because I’m a straight up GNCC addict but also because I’m actually racing. Robin Johnson from New York is hooking me up with a KTM look-a-like RM125 to ride in Sportsman B during the Morning race. So if you’re at Unadilla and see a guy going pretty slow on a black and orange bike (probably going to stick a #38 on it), then make sure to cheer me on. I’m pumped because I haven’t actually raced a GNCC since Georgia last year where I crashed my brains out on the first lap. Hopefully I don’t repeat that, but I imagine I’ll be finishing somewhere around the 25th-30th-place mark.
Well, that’s it for me this week. Everyone make sure to find a race or ride this weekend. Unadilla is just around the corner. Until next week, Bolt-On out.