The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series has lost one of its most loyal family members. Aurora, Ohio’s John Gallagher Sr. passed away tragically on Monday in a work-related accident. He was 63-years-old.

No one in the 35-year history of GNCC Racing has competed in more GNCC events than Gallagher, and probably no one has won more, either. Gallagher competed and won on both ATVs and bikes for a large portion of his career. Most recently, he won the 2008 Super Senior (50+) ATV Championship and finished third in the class in 2009. The entire GNCC Racing family mourns the passing of Gallagher, and the racing community is urged to keep John Sr., his wife Maryellen, and children John Jr. and Brooke in their thoughts and prayers.

Photo courtesy Amy McConnell/XCountry PhotosPhoto courtesy Amy McConnell/XCountry Photos

Gallagher’s racing days date back to the origins of the GNCC Series, and he often cited series founder Dave Coombs Sr. as a close friend. Gallagher’s loyalty to the series and frequent championships resulted in a factory ride with Polaris beginning in 2006, where he delivered more Super Senior Titles and also helped manage the manufacturer’s racing program.

In 2004, Gallagher collected the ATVA Vet-Senior Rider of the Year award at the AMA Sports Banquet in Las Vegas. Gallagher also introduced his son John Jr. into racing at a young age. Johnny Gallagher Jr. won a GNCC Youth Championship and now competes in the premiere XC1 pro division for Yamaha, finishing tenth in the 2009 rankings.

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