The Loretta Lynn’s GNCC historically is not your end of the year event, but after a rain out last year in May, they had to schedule a double header that everyone agreed was a great weekend. Though this year did not have the excitement we were looking for, it was still a great way to end a very interesting season. I now have a feeling that Loretta Lynn’s will be staple end of the year event for the GNCC Series.
Driving into the Dude Ranch this morning it was a brisk 47 degrees and as I entered the Loretta Lynn’s Announcers Tower I realized that this shit was real. I was going to announce the webcast and I had to keep it together enough in hopes somebody asks me to do it again.
To keep this short, we did not get the head to head racing that we thought we were going to see today. Kailub Russell came in today with a one point lead over Paul Whibley in the XC1 class and Steward Baylor Jr. had a one point lead over Jason Thomas in the XC2 class. This hasn’t happened in GNCC history where both Championships came down the last round and the four competitors involved are not one to sit back on their laurels. Everyone wanted, and expected, an amazing showcase of dirt bike mastery.
What we got was a fairly straight forward cross country race with very little drama. Whibley got his 13th holeshot of the season and ran away with the XC1 Championship from there. Russell was left in the first turn removing his bike from the pretzel that was formed in an altercation with Daniel Milner. Thomas had a fairly average start while Baylor barely made the flag drop of the XC2 start. Turns out that Baylor broke his collarbone on Thursday and was receiving medical attention to try and compete for the XC2 Championship.
Russell tried to work his way to the front quickly, but seemed to pump up after the first lap. Baylor was way back in the XC2 pack and had to work hard to move up. Whibley rode a great race, getting out front quickly and staying there. Thomas had moments where he was pushing DeLong for the XC2 win, but DeLong got the win today, placing a exclamation point on a stellar year.
By no means am I trying to down play the work of Paul Whibley and Jason Thomas. Both of these athletes rode great races today and finished off an amazing year of hard fought battles. We also can’t forget about all the other racers out there today who were winning their classes, finishing their first race or just trying out a new sport. I can’t thank every one enough for the opportunity I was given to experience this weekend and have the ability to express that to you during the webcast. I hope this can happen in the future and that we can have many more post race discussions.
Always enjoy a Pint Full of Awesome!