Borich Wins Maxxis General GNCC
Kiser, McGill finish on podium

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chris Borich bested the field to win the Maxxis General GNCC, round two of the 2009 Can-Am GNCC Series in Washington, Ga. on March 7.

Borich’s win comes just a week after finishing second in the season-opening River Ranch GNCC. Yamaha’s Taylor Kiser, who took the checkered flag last week, finished second, while FRE KTM’s Adam McGill was third for a second straight week.

“It was a really fun race, we were just battling all day,” says Borich. “It was good to ride with Chris (Bithell) and those guys, it seemed like we were just on a trail ride together. It’s good to ride with people you know won’t take you out.”

Read more
Wimmer Wins Motocross Opener
Suzuki pilot tops field at Glen Helen

Defending champion and Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Dustin Wimmer started off the season in style by winning the opening round of the 2009 ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship presented by Parts Unlimited.

After coming up short in the first moto, Wimmer rebounded by grabbing the holeshot and the win in the second moto to secure the top spot on the podium.

“It’s always easy getting out front first. You don’t have to work as hard,” Wimmer said after the second moto. “However, it is never easy on a rough and sandy track like Glen Helen Raceway. I came up on two wheels in the second or third lap and thought I was going to lose it. But defending my championship like this; it feels great.”

The first moto was an exciting way to open the 2009 season. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Creamer grabbed the holeshot and was followed by a pack of Honda’s including rookie Nick DeNoble, Josh Upperman and Joe Byrd. Wimmer was fifth after the start and took about half the race to reach and pass Byrd to move into second. Wimmer then began to stalk Creamer late in the moto and actually took the lead on a few occasions. Creamer, however, changed his lines and held his ground to win the first moto of the year.

Read more
Kiser Earns First Win in GNCC Opener
Borich, McGill finish on the podium

Taylor Kiser started the 2009 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series in style by earning his first career victory at the season-opening River Ranch GNCC in Lake Wales, Fla. on March 1.

Kiser, who is racing on a Yamaha YFZ450, finished the 2008 season ranked sixth in the final standings while with KTM but had never before finished on top of the podium. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Borich and FRE KTM’s Adam McGill finished second and third.

“This is like a dream to win it in front of all of these people,” said Kiser in front of his home state. “I saw Chris and Adam setting a good pace out front, and I wasn’t sure if I should go with them, because this course gets so rough and I knew it would be a long day. So I just played it smart and it paid off.”

Read more
Matlock, Goodman, Spaeth and Miller Win Baja 1000
American Honda team rides TRX700XX to victory

Release – On Nov. 21, 2008 the American Honda / Precision Concepts ATV team of Wayne Matlock, Harold Goodman, Marc Spaeth and Wes Miller took the Overall ATV win at the 41st annual Baja 1000 race with a time of 14:47:25 (42.69 mph).

The team headed into the Baja 1000 with Overall wins at both the San Felipe 250 and Baja 500 and was looking for another big win on the new Honda TRX700XX and a chance at the SCORE ATV Championship.

Race Report

Race morning Wayne Matlock was the seventh ATV off the line and he would ride the 700XX to race mile 120 where Harold Goodman would take over. Off the start, Matlock fought thick dust on most of his morning ride but was able to move up and hand the quad to Goodman in second place on adjusted time.

Read more
Borich Wins Klotz Ironman GNCC
Suzuki rider finishes second in standings

Chris Borich finished the 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series the same way he started it – with a win.

Borich rode his Rockstar Yoshimura Suzuki LT-R 450 to victory at the Klotz Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Ind. on Oct. 25. He also won the series opener in Florida, but struggled somewhat in the middle of the season.

“We were all just battling all day, it was wide open out there,” says Borich. “We’ve got this Suzuki figured out on the muddy tracks, should be good for 2009.”

GNCC XC2 Champion Don Ockerman finished second for the second-straight race on his GT Thunder Yamaha, an impressive debut in the XC1 pro class. GNCC Champion Bill Ballance rounded out the podium on his Yamaha, edging FRE KTM’s Adam McGill by inches.

Read more
Ballance Clinches Ninth GNCC Championship
Yamaha pilot wins fourth race of season in Ohio

Bill Ballance dominated Saturday’s ITP Power Line GNCC at Power Line Park and, in the process, clinched his ninth GNCC ATV Championship.

Ballance took the lead early in the two-hour event en route to the checkered flag. The event was the 12th round of the 13-race Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series (GNCC).

“I got a good start, was able to get into the lead and ride away,” says Ballance. “I’m just now healed up from my injuries and it felt good to just ride without pain. My crew and all the fans were telling me where I was and I just tried to ride smooth and have fun.”

Ballance’s race was largely uneventful as he assumed the early lead and quickly established a large gap between himself and newly crowned XC2 champion Don Ockerman, who was competing in his first ever XC1 race and surprised everyone, including himself.

Read more
Eichner Rides Outlaw to Victory
Polaris rider tops ITP QuadCross field

On a blistering hot day in Surprise, Ariz., Polaris’ Doug Eichner managed to keep his cool.

The temperatures at Arizona’s Speedworld were more than 100 degrees during the day which made for grueling practice sessions. The main events, however, were held under the beautiful night sky.

Eichner won both motos on his way to the Open Pro Class victory in Round 7 of the ITP QuadCross Series on Sept. 20 aboard his Polaris Outlaw 525 S.

Eichner equipped his Outlaw with enhanced power and exhaust from Yoshimura R&D of America Inc., Lonestar Racing’s A-arms, axle, steering stem and hubs, Maxxis tires, FOX Racing Shox suspension, and the one-of-a-kind GPR stabilizer.

Read more
McGill Holds Off Ballance for GNCC Win
First victory since April for KTM rider

KTM’s Adam McGill came back strong from the summer break, winning Round 10 of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series on Sept. 13.

It was a return to form for McGill, who won three of the first four races this season before finishing outside of the top 15 in three of his previous five starts. The win is extra sweet as the Snowshoe, W.Va. track isn’t far from where he lives.

“It was a phenomenal thing to run up front and to get a win at home,” says McGill. “We had some bad luck the whole way, but the team always stayed behind me. They kept their heads down and worked hard.”

Read more
Wimmer Edges Wienen in Charity Race
More than $12,000 raised for 88 Live to Ride organization

For the last six years, ATV enthusiasts gather at Mapleshade MX in Sugar Grove, Pa. to race in memory of Matt Bartosek, the talented up and coming pro who died in early 2003.

The 88 Live to Ride organization, headed by Matt’s mother Debi Bartosek, once again put on a successful weekend of racing and raising money for ATV racing safety programs. Romney Suzuki Cycles of Romney, WV, donated a Suzuki QuadRacer R450 for a top raffle prize. The quad was signed by the entire Rockstar/MSR/ Pro Taper/Yoshimura/Suzuki team. Proceeds went to the 88 Live to Ride Foundation and the Mobile Medical Unit.

The fans that turned out in support of this year’s event were treated to some real world-class racing. Recently crowned ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA National Motocross Champion Dustin Wimmer and his Suzuki teammate Chad Wienen showed up for the Sept. 7 race, along with other national pro riders.

Read more
Wienen Wins ATV Open
Suzuki rider ends season on a tear

Chad Wienen continued his impressive late-season run as he dominated the ATV Open Championship race on Saturday, Aug. 30 at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa.

With the victory Wienen earned $5,000 and a special AMA No. 1 Plate. Second place went to Wienen’s Suzuki teammate Dustin Wimmer, while Honda’s Josh Upperman claimed third.

“This is the icing on the cake,” says Wienen. “I’m speechless. I’ve never won a championship before so this is a good start for me.”

The Team Rockstar/MSR/Suzuki/Yoshimura/Pro Taper rider was hampered by shoulder injuries for much of the 2008 ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA National Motocross Championship, but he came on strong as the season came to a close, picking up a win and a second-place finish in his previous two events.

Read more
Wienen Wins AMA Season Finale
Suzuki rider tops field at Loretta Lynn Ranch

Though much of the 2008 season has been filled with injuries, bad luck and disappointment for Chad Wienen, he certainly finished on a high note.

The Rockstar/ MSR/Suzuki/Yoshimura/Pro Taper rider captured the overall Pro ATV victory at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. in the season finale for the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA National Championship presented by Parts Unlimited on August 11.

“I’ve really been working hard to get back to winning speed,” says Wienen who fought multiple injuries this season. “I was just concentrating on the overall win out there. I’m the defending race winner here, so I was looking forward to the race. It feels great to get the monkey off my back and win again. I’d really like to thank my team for giving me such a great quad, because it was the reason I was able to win.”

Read more
Wimmer Clinches 2008 AMA Championship
Byrd claims Third Base in ITP Grand Slam

Dustin Wimmer clinched his first AMA Championship after finishing fourth in the first of two motos in Round 10 of the 2008 Moose Racing/ITP Tires AMA/ATV National Championship at Red Bud Raceway in Buchanon, Mich. July 27.

“My Suzuki team members deserve most of the credit,” says Wimmer. “My bike has been just perfect all year, and that’s how you win championships.”

Wimmer entered the weekend needing at least a fourth-place finish in the first moto to clinch the championship. Not needing to go for the win, Wimmer rode a conservative race to finish in fourth.

Read more
Frenchman Warnia Wins ITP QuadCross Event
Suzuki rider holds off Doug Eichner

Jeremie Warnia, a Suzuki Pro ATV racer from France, made the trip across the pond for the fifth round of the ITP QuadCross Series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif.

It was Warnia’s first time at Glen Helen and it proved to be a successful visit. He had a 2-1 victory, which was enough to clinch the overall from Polaris rider Doug Eichner.

Warnia won the race on a nearly stock Suzuki QuadRacer R450, while much of the field were running highly modified quads. Warnia’s vehicle had only minor aftermarket modifications, including Yoshimura exhaust, Fox shocks and JB A-Arms.

Read more
Yokley and Notman Win GNCC UTV Race
Yokley and Notman win GNCC UTV race

William Yokley and co-pilot, Mark Notman rode their Polaris Ranger RZR to victory in a Can-Am GNCC Series UTV race in Somerset, Pa. on July 5.

The UTV race was run immediately after the two-hour Pro ATV race that both Yokley and Notman competed in.

Despite having to run back-to-back races, Yokley and his Army National Guard teammate got off to a quick start and led the 42-vehicle field for the first four laps of the ten-lap race.

Yokley says he and Notman got into some trouble when they came upon a lapper and he took what he calls a ‘questionable line’ through some trees to get around.

“We nailed some trees that threw us on our side,” says Yokley. “I had the RZR pinned in forward and reverse, and we finally got back on four wheels and under way.”

Read more
Borich Picks up Second Win of Season
Suzuki rider tops field in Pennsylvania

Suzuki’s Chris Borich picked up his second win of the season with a come-from-behind victory in Round 9 of the Can-Am GNCC Series in Somerset, Pa. on July 6.

After a mid-pack start, Borich started his move through the field of pro racers. He was in seventh place after the first lap worked his way into the lead one lap later – a lead he would never relinquish.

“The race went pretty good,” says Borich. “We had a mid-pack start but got to the lead on the second lap and just held onto it from there.”

The win is the first for Borich since he took top spot four months ago in the first GNCC race of the season. The win moves him up to fifth in the standings with 158 points. He is now 33 points behind Yamaha’s Bill Ballance and just two points out of second place.

Read more
Cook Wins Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC
Ballance finishes second, increases lead in standings

Bryan Cook didn’t let his home state fans down when he grabbed the win at the Elka Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC in Yadkinville, NC on June 21.

The privateer Team Excell Motorsports Honda rider been running strong all year, but this was the first time he was able to pick up a victory, outlasting Yamaha’s Bill Ballance and’s Jarrod McClure.

“Man it feels so good,” says Cook. “I heard the fans cheering all day, every time you came around a corner there were people cheering.

“You know, it gives you some motivation over the winter when everyone is talking about everyone else, and they’re not talking about you. I wanted to get back up there and get my name back out there. Today I had a good start, and then Branden (Sommers), something must have happened and his engine just quit. I got lucky and I was able to get around. After that, I just kept my head down. I got a little fatigued but not too bad, and I held on.”

Read more
Matlock, Spaeth and Miller Win Baja 500
First win for new Honda TRX700XX

Wayne Matlock, Mark Spaeth and Wes Miller rode the new Honda TRX700XX to a very exciting victory in the Baja 500 on June 1, a 500-mile race that begins and ends in Ensenada, Mexico.

Matlock and his team completed the race in 10 hours, 10 minutes and 40 seconds, edging out the team of Javier Robles, Adolfo Arellano and Cesar Lopez on their Honda TRX450R by just 21 seconds. Danny Prather, Mike Cafro, Chad Prull and Levi Marana, also on a TRX700XX, finished eight minutes and 35 seconds behind the leaders in third place.

Though they did pick up the victory, the race was not without its challenges for Matlock, Spaeth and Miller.

“At one point I handed the bike over to Mark Spaeth and the (Robles/Arellano/Lopez) team was just mere seconds behind us,” Matlock tells “Mark was pushing really hard and came into a turn. There were some rain ruts that were about two to three feet deep and one of the tires got stuck into the rain rut and it hooked a hard right and hit a bush and flipped the quad over.

“He landed in a ditch upside down and he was pinned underneath the quad. It took him a while to get out from underneath the quad. He had to break a fencepost off an old barbwire fence and pry the quad out of the ditch. “

Read more
Wimmer Claims Fourth Victory of Season
Can-Am riders win both motos

Suzuki’s Dustin Wimmer dealt his fellow competitors another blow by winning his fourth race of the season in the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA National Motocross Championship in New Berlin, NY on June 8.

Wimmer finished second in both motos to secure the victory. Team Epic’s Jeremy Lawson was second, while Honda’s Joe Byrd was third.

Race day saw muddy conditions at Unadilla MX and Wimmer says an intelligent strategy helped him in the end.

“In the mud, you really have to finesse the bike so it doesn’t slip out on you,” says Wimmer. “I did what I had to do to stay behind John (Natalie) in the second moto and, since I didn’t need to pass him for the win, I just stayed consistent and rode smart.”

Read more
Ballance Wins Third Straight Race
Yamaha rider takes points Can-Am GNCC points lead

Anybody still worrying about Bill Ballance’s poor start on the 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series can probably stop. Ballance rode his Yamaha YFZ450 to his third consecutive win on June 1 in Sparta, Ky.

KTM’s Adam McGill, who was leading the XC1 Pro points chase heading into the Sparta race, had mechanical problems and failed to finish. Ballance now holds a 14-point lead over McGill.

“Man it feels good to win in front of so many friends and family,” says Ballance. “These were my type of conditions. It was hard and fast and I was able to have fun.”

Fellow Yamaha rider Brandon Sommers finished second to Ballance, while The National Guard/Honda rider William Yokley crossed the finish line in third for his second podium of the season.

Read more
Byrd Soars to Second Win
Honda rider climbing up National Motocross Championship standings

Two-time defending champion Joe Byrd looks to be back in top form after picking up his second victory of the year in Round 6 of the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA National Motocross Championship Series, May 25 in Mount Morris, Pa.

Highpoint Raceway hosted this Showcase Event, which also featured the opening round of the ITP Tires Grand Slam.

Series leader and factory Suzuki rider Dustin Wimmer looked like the man to beat this weekend after winning the first moto. Team Epic’s Jeremy Lawson rode his Can-Am DS450 to second place, while Byrd finished third on his Honda TRX450R.

The second moto, however, was all Byrd. He got out of the gate quickly, picked up the holeshot award and held off the field for the victory.

Read more
Wimmer Dominates in the Rain
Bad weather canÃ
Read more
Ballance Edges McGill in Ohio
Yamaha rider wins second straight Can-Am GNCC race

After an uncharacteristically rough start to the season, Yamaha’s Bill Ballance is back on track, picking up his second straight win on the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series at the Wiseco John Penton GNCC on May 10.

Plenty of rain the night before the race left the Millfied, Ohio track muddy and tough on the riders.

“It was a one of those days where you had to be smart and smooth,” says Ballance. “Sometimes you didn’t even want to be the guy up front, just because you knew people were going to be getting stuck, but at the same time, you didn’t want to be getting roosted.”

Ballance was fighting for top spot with KTM’s Adam McGill and Taylor Kiser and fellow Yamaha rider Brandon Sommers throughout the race and the foursome built up a big lead over the rest of the field. Ballance took control of the lead about halfway through the race and built up a bit of a gap. McGill made a late charge on the final lap, but ended up finishing four seconds behind the eight-time defending GNCC champion. With the win Ballance now trails McGill by just 12 points in the standings.

Read more
WPSA ATV Tour Cancelled
PowerSports Entertainment suspends corporate operations

In a move that will no doubt surprise a lot of ATV racers and race fans, PowerSports Entertainment Inc. has announced that it has suspended corporate operations and as a result the WPSA 2008 PowerSports ATV Tour race schedule is now cancelled.

“All of us here at the WPSA regret that we have no choice but to suspend operations and cancel the ATV tour at this time,” says Rick Murphy, CEO of PowerSports Entertainment Inc. “We have been working diligently for many months to fundamentally improve our business model and acquire financing that would allow us to move forward, but we were not able to consummate the contemplated transactions and we foresee no significant increases in sponsorship or event revenue that would gap the projected deficits.” talked to PowersSports Entertainment president Scot O’Malley in February and he was excited about the ATV series expanding its footprint this year. The series opener was supposed to happen in Alvord, Tex., but that race was postponed in April.

Read more
Byrd is Back in Winner's Circle
Rides Honda to two moto victories in Virginia

Two-time and defending champion Joe Byrd swept both motos to win the ATV National at Birch Creek Motorsports on April 27.

The victory was the first of the season for Honda’s Byrd in the fourth round of the 2008 ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA Pro Championshp. This is the first time a Suzuki quad didn’t finish the weekend on top of the podium.

In the first moto, Byrd traded the lead once with Suzuki’s Dustin Wimmer before taking the checkered flag. Wimmer crossed the finish line in second, followed by East Coast ATV’s Jason Dunkelberger.

“In the first moto, I rode steady and didn’t take any chances,” says Wimmer. “It’s a narrow track and hard to pass cleanly on.”

Read more
Ballance Breaks Through in Tennessee
Eight-time champ earns first Can-Am GNCC win of season

It took a little longer than expected, but Yamaha’s Bill Ballance finally picked up his first win of the year in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series on April 27.

Ballance, the eight-time defending GNCC champion, won one of the closest battles in recent memory to claim the Acerbis Loretta Lynn’s GNCC over Rockstar/Yoshimura/Suzuki’s Chris Borich and Team Excell Motorsports’ Bryan Cook in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

“Right now it’s not even about the championship,” says Ballance. “I just need to start getting wins and then we can focus on the championship. It was a great battle today and I’m glad to come out on top of it.”

Incredibly, seven riders entered the final lap separated by just eight seconds. FRE KTM’s Adam McGill, who was riding a three-race winning streak, fought with Ballance on the last lap. The pair passed each other over and over while Borich began a steady charge from the back after getting stuck on a hill. Unfortunately, McGill ran into an electrical problem and his XC 450 quit on him. McGill’s KTM teammate Taylor Kiser, who was also among the leaders, ran into the same problem.

Read more
McGill Wins Third Straight in Can-Am GNCC
KTM rider continues impressive run

KTM’s Adam McGill is starting to run away from the field in the 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series.

McGill rallied from a bad start at the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina to earn his third straight victory on April 12.

McGill won the previous two GNCCs by grabbing the holeshot and staying ahead of the all his competitors. He had to take a different approach this time around.

“I rounded the first turn in 18th,” says McGill. “I just put my head down and started to pass people.”

It had been raining hard for most of race day, but it stopped shortly before the beginning of the main event. Still, the 12-mile loop was left wet and muddy and made for some challenging riding conditions.

Read more
Wimmer Sweeps Motos to Stay Perfect
Suzuki rider leads the way at AMA/ATVA ATV Championship Series

Dustin Wimmer continued his perfect season when he swept both AMA Pro ATV motos during the FMF Spring National at Millcreek Raceway on March 30 in Pell City, Ala.

Wimmer also swept both motos in the season-opening event three weeks ago as he has dominated the early part of the 2008 ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA ATV Championship Series.

After winning the first moto, the Team MSR/Suzuki/Yoshimura/Pro Taper rider started in fifth in the second moto. He quickly crawled through the field, taking the lead from Can-Am’s John Natalie on lap eight.

“This is great,” says Wimmer. “This has just been a dream weekend. We were fast all weekend and my hat’s off to Team Suzuki for all of its efforts.”

Read more
McGill Wins Round 3 of Can-Am GNCC
KTM rider earns second straight victory

After giving KTM its first ever victory in Round 2 of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series, Adam McGill made it two in a row when he won the FMF Steele Creek GNCC on March 29.

McGill pulled the holeshot in the Round 3 event in Morganton, NC and never looked back in his wire-to-wire win.

“I am so happy to be on top of the podium for the second week straight,” says McGill. “This is where I’ve known I could be for a long time, but I couldn’t have made it happen if it wasn’t for the help of my team and a great bike. My KTM is running perfect and almost makes my job seem easy.”

By the end of the first lap McGill had already pulled 20 second ahead of the field, led by Yamaha’s Bill Ballance.

Read more
Eichner Cruises to WORCS Win
Polaris rider picks up first Pro ATV win of season

After failing to reach the Pro ATV podium in the first two rounds of the 2008 WORCS Series, racing legend Doug Eichner picked up a big win in Round 3.

Eichner finished more than two minutes ahead of the field on his Polaris Outlaw 525 S in Lake Havasu, Ariz. on March 23. He finished the 14-lap race in one hour, 36 minutes and 43 seconds.

With a fantastic start, Eichner grabbed the holeshot, flew around the first corner and cruised to victory against the field of 24. The win was Eichner’s second of the weekend. He also took the checkered flag in Pro Production, which he used to test his machine for Sunday’s main event.

“I’m thrilled to have put the Outlaw back on top of the Pro podium at WORCS,” says Eichner. “But it is the team effort and personal contributions of each team member, sponsor support and Polaris Engineering team that is the most commendable part of the weekend. And, I can’t thank WORCS enough for putting on a top-notch national competition.”

Read more
Borich Wins GNCC Opener
Suzuki rider tames tough Florida track

Despite the fact that he’s riding a new machine and on a new team, Chris Borich looked as comfortable as ever in winning The Triton, the first round of the 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series at the Kempfer Ranch in Melbourne, Fla. on March 2.

This was Borich’s first race as a member of Rockstar/Yoshimura Suzuki team. He rode his Suzuki QuadRacer R450 to a commanding victory, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of Honda’s Bryan Cook. Eight-time GNCC champion Bill Ballance crossed the finish line in third.

“I came down here a few months ago to get ready, and I tried and tried to break this thing and I couldn’t,” says Borich of his new quad. “The track was much rougher than in the past. Palmetto roots everywhere, heat, holes, trees, it was a tough one.”

Read more
A Ballancing Act
Yamaha racer Bill Ballance ready to fight for ninth straight GNCC title

With the memory of his record-setting eighth straight Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series title still fresh, Bill Ballance is ready to fight for No. 9.

“We’re pretty confident again this year,” Ballance told “We’ve been doing a lot of riding and I feel physically ready to go and ready for the season to get started.”

Ballance broke Barry Hawk’s record of seven straight titles aboard his Yamaha YFZ450 in 2007, winning six times and reaching the podium in every race. In fact, dating back to 2006, Ballance has been on the podium for 20 straight races.

Racing four wheelers since he was just seven, the now 31-year-old Ballance has 13 years of professional racing experience under his belt. The Smith’s Grove, Ky. Native has even designed his own track, Ballance Moto X in Oakland, Ky. He’s seen and experienced just about everything in the ATV industry and is thrilled with how the sport has grown in the last few years.

“It’s incredible how the sport is growing and the attention that we’re getting now in the media coverage and TV,” says Ballance. “We want to have five different factories out there supporting race teams this year in the Pro class. That’s just incredible from the way it’s been just five, six years ago.”

When he started racing professionally in 1994, major manufacturers such as Can-Am and Arctic Cat still hadn’t build their first ATVs. Now Can-Am is the title sponsor of the GNCC and a key competitor on the track.

“The market’s growing, the racing is getting bigger all the time,” says Ballance. “A lot more people are coming out. We’re having 1,700, 1,800 participants at a race and it’s just growing crazy right now. It’s good to be a part of it and good to be where I’m at right now.”

Where Ballace is at right now is the head of the pack as far as GNCC racing goes. As he prepares to defend his title, he’ll be doing it on basically the same quad used in 2007, but there are a couple of key changes, including the wheels.

“We’ve done the deal with Hyper Wheels and made that change,” says Ballance. “I’ve been running Douglas for a long time. I feel pretty comfortable in them. I like them a little bit better than what I had last year and I think that’s going to help us out some.”

Ballance has also worked with Ohlins on the suspension and says some changes have been made with the shocks.

“That’s really made a big improvement in the performance of the quad as far as handling,” says Ballance.

Seeing as he’s already got eight titles in the trophy case and a wife and two young daughters at home, some would think he may be getting ready to call it a career. Ballance, however, isn’t really thinking about that.

“I’m just taking it one year at a time right now,” says Ballance. “I’m still enjoying what I do. Still want to get out there and win and the desire to still get out there and go fast and compete is still inside, so I’ll just keep going with it.

“We’ll just have to expand the trophy case I guess.”

Related Reading:

Can-Am returns for GNCC
It’s All About Ballance

Read more
Frederick Rallies for WORCS Win
Can-Am rider overcomes mechanical problem to go from worst to first

Josh Frederick put on a performance for the ages in the second round of the 2008 WORCS Series in Mesquite, Nev. on Feb. 24.

A mechanical problem with his Motoworks/Can-Am DS 450 forced Frederick to pit on the first lap of the Pro class event, dropping him to last place. The Round 1 champion would have his work cut out form him to fight his way through the pack.

Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson, meanwhile, took the hole shot and was starting to put together a little space on the field after the first lap. Robbie Mitchell, Levi Marana and five-time champion Doug Eichner were chasing the leader.

Read more
Can-Am Returns for GNCC
Title sponsor renews 2008; series kicks off March 1 in Florida

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) Can-Am will return as title sponsor for the 2008 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series. Can-Am made its debut as GNCC title sponsor in 2007.

“Can-Am really helped take the GNCC Series up a notch last year,” says GNCC Trail Boss Jeff Russell. “They supported us on the track and off, providing great machines and equipment for our staff and building a variety of fun promotions for our fans, like demo rides. They also help fund our GNCC TV program on Versus. We’re really thankful for everything they have done to aid in the Series’ growth.”

Can-Am was eager to rejoin the GNCC Series.

“GNCC racing brings not only racers together in the spirit of competition, but friends and families together as well,” says Bernard Guy, ATV marketing director at BRP. “We are in the business of fun, and see the GNCC Series as a way to give back to those who embrace the lifestyle of off-road recreation.”

Can-Am will outfit the entire GNCC track crew with Outlander ATVs to assist in course design, maintenance and patrol. Free riding demos will be hosted by Can-Am at several events throughout the season.

“Our customers, just like GNCC faithful, are enthusiasts and we enjoy the opportunity to support this gathering,” says Guy.

The 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series kicks off with the Triton in Melbourne, Fla. on March 1 to 4.

Produced by Racer Productions, the 13-round Can-Am GNCC Series has been run since 1973. Races last nearly three hours and field as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to 12 miles in length.

GNCC Racing will air weekly television shows on the Versus network starting Aug. 2.

Related Reading:
GNCC Series opts for new scoring system
Can-Am dominates 4X4

Read more
QuadRacer Wins Endurance Test
Hussaini more than two hours ahead of field

A Suzuki QuadRacer LT-R450 took the checkered flag in a grueling race in the United Arab Emirates from Oct. 25 to Nov. 2.

Sebastian Hussaini piloted his QuadRacer to victory in the 17th running of the UAE Desert Challenge. The event was the final round of the FIM Cross Country World Championship series.

Racing over a six-day period, it took Hussaini 20 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds to complete the 2,210 kilometer (1,373 mile) race that saw riders traverse everything from mountainous terrain to a seemingly endless stretch of sand dunes.

Hussaini’s winning QuadRacer was equipped with a stock engine and stock suspension. The key modifications dealt with fuel capacity, as an extra large main fuel tank and saddle tanks were fitted to the bike because much of the race took place over vast stretches of isolated desert.

Read more
Matlock, Prull Tops in the Desert
Pair wins Best in the Desert Pro championship

After a rough start, Wayne Matlock and Chad Prull defended their title and won the Quad Pro championship in the Best in the Desert (BITD) Racing Association.

Riding a Honda TRX 450R, Matlock and Prull had to overcome some bad luck in the first race to pull out the win over David Scott and Jeremy Hunt by just 15 points.

“Our first race, the Parker 250, Chad was on the bike and actually got a hole in the radiator from a rock,” Matlock told “We had to patch that on the track and the patch came off the radiator. We ended up getting seventh in that race, so that set us back pretty far in the points right out of the gate”

The season-ending Henderson’s Terrible 400, which took place on Dec. 1, marked the end of the line for the Matlock/Prull partnership.

Read more
Ellis Wins ITP QuadCross
Veteran rider to retire from racing circuit

Kory Ellis has ended his racing career on a high note, winning the ITP QuadCross title.

Ellis, who is the ATV product manager and test rider for Yoshimura Research and Development of America, Chino, Calif., finished on top of the standings after the 11-round series. The circuit plays host to the top riders from California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada and Arizona.

“This series is different than the WPSA or GNC,” says Ellis. “Those are true national race series that are based in the eastern and central US. They draw the best of the best, but the ITP QuadCross is definitely the best of the west.”

Riding a Yoshimura-tuned Suzuki LT-450 QuadRacer, Ellis defeated riders such as Dustin Wimmer and Josh Creamer on his way to five first-place finishes and the ITP QuadCross crown.

Read more
Can-Am Dominates 4X4
Outlanders win three classes on GNCC circuit

When it came to 4X4 racing on the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) circuit in 2007, the Can-Am X-Team set the standard.

Can-Am X-Team riders dominated the classes, topping the points standings in 4X4 Open, 4X4 Limited and 4X4 Lites.

“Amazing success is just about the best way to describe it,” says BRP’s ATV marketing director Bernard Guy. “Every year we set out to win championships and this year it all came together. From the racers to the mechanics to the team owners, everyone involved in the racing program was committed to winning.”

Can-Am X-Team racer Rick Cecco fought off fellow Can-Am rider Bryan Buckhannon to win the 4X4 Open class aboard his Outlander 800 HO.

Read more
It's All About Ballance
Eighth straight win nets champ an all-time record

Eight and counting.

Bill Ballance re-wrote the history books of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series with his eighth straight championship, an all-time record.

Ballance rode his Yamaha to victory in the season-ending Ironman in Crawfordsville, Ind. on Oct. 27, 2007 to secure the championship.

“It hasn’t even hardly sunk in yet,” says Ballance. “When I first started this years ago, I was just hoping to be a top ten rider. To win eight in a row, I can’t even believe it.”

Ballance only needed to finish 12th in the finale to win his eighth GNCC crown.
“I’m just so happy, we weren’t even trying to win this one, we were trying to take it easy and make sure we didn’t have problems with the bike, and things started happening and we ended up in the lead,” says Ballance.

Read more
Wienen, Bithell Finish WPSA Season With Wins
SuperQuad racers go out with strong finishes

Chad Wienen and Chris Bithell finished off their seasons in style, winning the pro events at the Grand Championship National WPSA PowerSports ATV Tour in Boswell, Pa. in mid-September.

Wienen took the checkered flag in the SuperQuad Pro 450, but John Natalie, Jr. finished second and secured the season championship.

Natalie grabbed the lead at the beginning of the 14-lap race and appeared to be on his way to a victory. Wienen, however, got within striking distance later in the race and took over the lead on the final lap. The win was Wienen’s fifth of the season, which is the most of any rider on the WPSA Tour.

“I started pretty deep,” says Wienen. “This is why I put in all of those hours of training and it really paid off. I couldn’t thank everyone enough. We’re getting ready for next season. We’re going to win the championship in 2008.”

The season championship was the first for Natalie, who won four races and had seven podium finishes in 2007.

“We never gave up this season,” says Natalie. “We worked hard as a team. We kept plugging away at it, took the points lead a couple races ago and never looked back.”

Suzuki won its second straight manufacturers’ championship, thanks to six wins in the 10-event season. Suzuki riders finished second, third and fourth in the points standings.

In the QuadTerrain Challenge, Bithell led all 10 laps for his first win of the season. Daryl Rath and Chris Borich joined him on the podium. Fifth-place finisher Jesse West, however, did enough to clinch the season championship.

“I’m about ready to pass out,” says Bithell, who also competed the day before in a cross-country race 400 miles away. “I raced all day yesterday, and then had to go home. I was running on almost no sleep, so it feels really good to win.”

West won just a single race this season, but five podium finishes kept him on the top of the standings.
“This season has been unbelievable,” says West. “I have never worked so hard for something in my life and it feels great. This is just an amazing thing to accomplish.”
With eight wins in 10 races, Can-Am earned its second-straight manufacturers’ championship.

Read more