Smith, Raines and Hawk rematch after one-month break

(Press Release from gnccracing.com)

Petersburg, VA – The AMA Grand National Cross Country Series may have taken a one-month break, but the age-old battle between youth and experience never stops. FMF Suzuki’s Rodney Smith, the four-time GNCC Champion, and Am Pro Yamaha’s Jason Raines, the series’ top young pilot, have used the time off to bump up their training. Whoever worked best can emerge the series points leader after this weekends’ Patriot GNCC in Petersburg, Virginia.

After three-straight runner-up finishes behind Smith, Raines broke through to take the previous GNCC win on a rocky track in Pennsylvania. But Smith has an uncanny ability to bounce back, and he will push harder than ever on the rough, sandy Patriot course.
Defending GNCC Champion Barry Hawk lurks just behind the duo. No one needs this win as badly as Hawk, who has dropped from first to third in the standings after a run of bad luck. Hawk is still riding as well as he was last season, and his determination will serve him well in what is sure to be a hot and humid race day.

Smith’s teammates Fred Andrews and Mike Kiedrowski are contenders too, as both are well schooled in the sand and motocross that will be featured in Virginia. In addition, Throttlehead.com Kawasaki veteran Steve Hatch will carry momentum from his recent AMA Enduro success, and KTM’s Shane Watts always flies in sandy conditions.

Five-time GNCC Champion Scott Summers has reached full strength after a collarbone injury, and the additional testing and training time will make him a true contender for the race win.

Over 1000 riders are expected to compete in the event, which includes ATV racing on Saturday and motorcycle racing on Sunday.

In Saturday’s ATV race, four-time GNCC Champion Bill Ballance will face his stiffest challenge yet. All of the top ATV racers have switched to production machines this season, but Ballance got the jump by dialing in his new Yamaha YFZ450 early. But his competitors have used their time off to better their machines and reel the champ back in. Suzuki’s William Yokley and Pennsylvania products Matt Smiley and Chris Borich are ready to win in Virginia.

The race takes place at Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Virginia. The drag-racing facility offers rough, sandy trails and a motocross track, with plenty of great view points for spectators.

Pro races begin at 1 p.m. on both days. Spectator admission is $10 for the entire weekend, and children under seven are free. The track is located on U.S. 1 between Petersburg and Dinwiddie. From the North take I-85 to Exit 63A and go South on U.S. 1 4 miles. From the South take I-85 to exit 53. Go West 1 mile to U.S. 1, then north on U.S. 1 seven miles to the track.


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