Chicken and Waffles: 4/12/11

Welcome once again to the weekly rambling of news, info, and other randomness from the offroad racing world. Someday I might make this more interesting, but until then, you’re stuck with reading what I come up with each week. So let’s stop this here fancy introduction majigger and jump right in, you’re about to be served a big plate of Chicken and Waffles.

Wow. What a weekend this past one was. For those who missed out, you did just that.. You missed out. In fact, there’s several of my friends who skipped out on Big Buck. I won’t mention any names but, Rob Mitchell, Rob Beacham, and Katie Norton missed some good shots, then Charkie Huegel and Trevor Connell missed out on a fun track. Those are a few of the folks who missed out on a good time. Oops! Sorry. Well, I guess you are all excused now. I’m sure I’m forgetting a couple of people who might have skipped out as well but just consider yourselves lucky.

In case you missed QuickFill on the GNCC site last week, Rodney Tomblin dropped some of my fun facts about the race in his section. In fact, if you read last week’s edition of Chicken and Waffles, you’d know that I left out the answers to some of those fun facts. The reason was that I was saving those for Ramrod to put in QuickFill, so if you haven’t read it yet, go check it out… http://www.gnccracing.com/articles/2942_quick-fill-13-information-overload

So this year marked the 15th running of the Big Buck GNCC. Talking with a few of the riders after the race, it seems like most everyone really enjoyed the track. I agree. I rode a lap on the Can-Am on Friday and while I didn’t get to ride any of the “bike only” stuff, everything else flowed really awesome and I had a blast. At Steele Creek, Rodney Tomblin mentioned to me that he wanted me to try my hand at doing some announcing. Well, this weekend it happened. Once I arrived Friday afternoon I began getting word that Rodney was pumping me up to a couple of people. He actually even referred to me as “the next Jason Weigandt”. Between all of that, I decided that I absolutely HAD to do it now. So, I made my big debut announcing the morning bike race. I wasn’t nervous at all about people hearing me, in fact, that was the last thing on my mind. I was more worried about knowing what to say, but each time I spoke into the mic, everything just rolled right out with ease. Judging by the feedback I got from some of the people who heard me, I guess I did pretty good. I thought I could’ve done a a little better job but when I remember that was my first time EVER doing any type of announcing, I’ll take it as an accomplishment. The only time I felt really out of my element was when I read the class leaders. That’s where I need a lot of work, so we’ll see how that goes in the future.

As for the racing itself, it was another great race. Charlie Mullins jumped out, grabbed the holeshot and held the lead for a while with KTM teammates Kailub Russell, Russell Bobbitt and Cory Buttrick right behind him. Then of course the other regulars were in the mix. Josh Strang, Paul Whibley, Jimmy Jarrett, Chris Bach and Mike Lafferty were all hanging tight in the top 10 along with Kyle Summers who is filling in for Thad Duvall. Summers held onto the 6th place spot for the first half of the race.

Eventually, Kailub Russell would jump out front and lead the mid-section of the race. Mullins stayed close in second though, and Josh Strang put on a charge to reel in the top three. Eventually Strang would make the pass on Bobbit for the third place spot. Kailub mentioned he had a few crashes, which ended up allowing Mullins to take the lead back. Meanwhile, Strang kept reeling them in as well and ended up taking over  the second place spot.

In the end, Mullins would become the first repeat winner of the 2011 season. Josh Strang took second and Kailub Russell was third. Cory Buttrick ended up with the fourth place spot and Russell Bobbitt put in one of his best GNCC rides ever to take fifth.

In the XC2 class, it was business as usual at the beginning with Steward Baylor, Jesse Robinson and Jason Thomas leading that class. Unfortunately, Robinson dropped out of the race on the second lap. Then bad luck struck Baylor as his knee brace ended up breaking, making for an extremely uncomfortable ride. This allowed Jason Thomas to take the lead for a lap, then Jordan Ashburn would lead the class as well. However, arguably the most impressive feat in the XC2 class was the charge that Baylor put on. He came back from third place to second and 23 seconds behind at the start of the last lap to take the class win. Jordan Ashburn overcame the bad luck that had plagued him earlier in the season to take the second place spot and Jason Thomas ended up with third. Andrew Delong put in another solid ride for fourth and Scotty Watkins rounded out the top five.

Overall it was definitely a great weekend of racing at Big Buck. This event is always one of my personal favorites, and this year it was some of the most fun I’ve had in a while. Huge thanks to landowner Henry Turner, not only for allowing us to come out, but also for welcoming us with open arms. Also thanks to his son Hank for helping me with the Scott Summers part of the bike winners. It was great to meet those guys this weekend, and I can’t wait to come back next year.

Looking ahead to this coming weekend, we’ve got the Rad Dad National Enduro in Westpoint, Tennessee. Last round in Texas saw Charlie Mullins grab his first win of the season, and he’s also going to be fresh off his Big Buck GNCC win, so I could definitely see him being a threat. However, you can’t leave out Russell Bobbitt. He’s still leading the National Enduro points, and he had a good ride at Big Buck as well, so I’d expect those two to be duking it out. You also can’t leave out Nick Fahringer, who finished second in Texas. I’m sure he’ll be a contender as well as his teammate, Mike Lafferty.

The second round of OMA racing will be this weekend in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Russell Bobbitt won the OMA opener, but he’ll be at the National Enduro. This will likely leave it wide open for defending champion Paul Whibley. However, there will surely be challenges from the other OMA regulars to keep him honest. Jimmy Jarrett has been one of the other front runners of the OMA series for several years, but Jordan Ashburn took the third place spot at the OMA opener. This could definitely be an interesting race as well.

On the local side of things this weekend there’s also the NCHSA race at the Pilot Mountain track in Morganton, NC. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of NCHSA racing at Pilot Mountain and promoter Evan Veness will definitely have a great race for everyone to look forward to. Additionally the Mid-East series will be hosting their Harris Bridge race in Woodruff, South Carolina, which isn’t far from Big Buck. SORCS will be racing their “Ironman at Garland Farms” race in Milledgeville, Georgia. VCHSS is racing at the Central Virginia track in Dillwyn (yeah, you guessed it), Virgina while FTR will wrap up their 2010/2011 Hare Scramble series in Chipley, Florida.

So if you’re looking to race this weekend in the southeast, you’ve got tons of options. Once again, no reports on the races up north because.. Yeah, I’ll say it again, none of you guys ever send me any info on any of your races, so come on guys! Tell me what series’ you want to hear about, where I can get the info and I’ll at least mention them. I’ll also add them to the 2011 Offroad Racing Calendar, which, if you haven’t seen yet, is loaded with tons of races. Check it out… https://jaredbolton.com/2010/11/25/2011-off-road-racing-calendar/

For more info on the races this weekend, check out the following links…
http://www.nationalenduro.com
http://www.unitedoffroadracing.com
http://www.nchsa.org
http://www.mideastracing.com
http://www.sorcs.net
http://www.vchss.org
http://www.floridatrailriders.org

That’s all I’ve got for this week. As always, if you have any info you want to see shared in next week’s edition of Chicken and Waffles, or anything you’d like to see added, posted on, reviewed or talked about on the site, just drop me a line at jbolton@offroadjunkies.com

Until next week, help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered…. Oh, sorry Bob Barker.

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