UNION COUNTY — America’s largest off-road motorcycle and ATV racing series returns to Union County next weekend, March 4 and 5, for the 21st Annual Big Buck GNCC, to be held in Union, South Carolina at the popular Big Buck Farm. For the first time ever, this event serves as the opening round of the 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship.
With a unique mix of hill climbs, rocks and creek crossings the Big Buck GNCC is a classic cross-country track. In fact, America’s premier off-road racing series has been traveling to Union County since 1997, making it one of the oldest continuous stops on the circuit. Other than the hill climbs and rocks, the rest of the 10-mile course consists of tight single-track that forces racers to put their most advanced skill level to test.
Over 1,600 racers are expected to compete in the Big Buck GNCC, and this event will draw several thousand spectators from the surrounding community, as well as all over the U.S., ultimately bringing an estimated $1.3 million in revenue to Union County and neighboring areas. Riders will compete on highly tuned dirt bikes and four-wheeled ATVs, and the race will include top talent, such as U.S. National Champions and World Champions from Europe and Australia.
This event also offers a great opportunity for local racers to showcase their talents in front of their hometown crowd. On Sunday, brothers Grant and Steward Baylor Jr. will compete in the highly competitive XC1 Pro class, the featured class of the 1 p.m. Pro motorcycle race. After finding success in his pre-season events, Steward Baylor Jr. heads into next weekend with confidence that he has what it takes to earn a spot on the podium. Steward’s brother, Grant, will be competing with a brand-new team and hopes that his new machine can provide the results he has been searching for. Hailing from Belton, a mere hour from Union, the Baylor brothers are familiar with the terrain featured at the Big Buck GNCC and will look to use their home turf advantage to battle for the first win of the season.
Local racers expected to compete next Saturday on ATVs will be: Cameron Abee (Schoolboy Sr. 14-17), Jaron Dawkins (Schoolboy Sr. 14-17), Kelton Harbin (16-18 C), David Miles (Sport) and Justin Turner (125 Sr. 12-15).
Also expected to compete next weekend on motorcycles will be Tim Kallianen (Senior C 40+), Austin Sentell (200 C Schoolboy 12-15), Caroline Hopper (WXC), Brian Sherboneau (Vet C 30+), Jojo Mattison (85 7-11), siblings Chad (250 C Schoolboy 12-16) and Kendall LaFollette (WXC), Brewer Cawley (250 A), father Vance (Super Senior A 45+) and son Evan Earl (250 A), brothers Trale (Super Mini Sr. 14-15) and Cade Henderson (65 10-11), Chris Venditti (250 A) and Brody Johnson (Super Mini 14-15).
Four-wheeled ATVs will compete throughout the day on Saturday, March 4. Youth ATV racing begins at 8 a.m., followed by amateurs, 4×4 Pro and Women at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and pros race at 1 p.m. Following Saturday’s afternoon race will be 50cc Micro racing taking place at 4:30 p.m.
On Sunday, March 5, the motorcycles will take to the woods of South Carolina following the same race schedule of youth racing action starting the day off at 8 a.m., women and amateur riders at 10 a.m. and the pros and top amateurs will start at 1 p.m.
The event is co-sanctioned with SETRA, a series that produces local racing events in the Southeast, and will ultimately bring out a full slate of local racers. All local riders are invited and encouraged to compete in the event, as GNCC Racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is only $40 if racers pre-register, and $50 if they sign up at the event. To learn more about GNCC Racing, refer to the GNCC 101 webpage.
Spectator passes run $20 for adults and $10 for children (6-11), and kids five and under are free for the full weekend (Saturday through Sunday), with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
To get to the track from I-26 take exit 44. After getting off the interstate, follow Highway 49 North for seven miles and follow the GNCC arrow signs to the track entrance.
The 1 p.m. pro races will be broadcast LIVE on the Internet via Racer TV on www.racertv.com both days. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the event, GNCC organizers, along with top professional bike and ATV athletes, will present an anti-bullying school program titled “On-Track.” This program will take place Friday, March 3, at Union Day Christian School and Hawthorne Christian Academy. Racers will discuss bullying prevention awareness, team building and how to properly use safety equipment while riding a motorcycle or ATV. Along with the program each student receives free admission to the race good for both Saturday and Sunday. For more information on GNCC Racing, visit the official series website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.
About GNCC Racing
The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised weekly on NBC Sports and RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
This story courtesy of GNCC Racing.