Powerline Park hosts GNCC this weekend

America’s largest off-road motorcycle and ATV racing series returns to Belmont County for the 12th Annual ITP Powerline Park GNCC. Round 11 of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series takes place this weekend in St. Clairsville. The top athletes in the world will compete toward a National title in their respective class, while several local racers attempt to best the competition in front of their hometown crowd.

“The GNCC series travels to 13 different locations during the season and I’m excited to finally have a race this close to home,” said ATV Pro Kevin Yoho, Hopedale. “Everyone loves a hometown advantage and I’m hoping to use that to get a podium finish this weekend.”

More than 1,500 racers are expected to attend the Powerline Park GNCC and the event will draw several thousand spectators. Racers will compete on highly tuned dirt bikes and four-wheeled ATVs through the rocky woods and will include top international talent, such as U.S. National Champions and World Champions from Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Perhaps the focal point of the weekend lies just out of plain sight for the average spectator. Upon entering the woods at Powerline Park, spectators are in for a treat as racers attempt to power through the well-known “Powerline Mud Hole,” which is comprised of the thickest, slimiest mud in eastern Ohio.

Four-wheeled ATVs will compete throughout the day on Saturday and dirt bikes will race on Sunday. Local riders are invited to race the event as well, as GNCC racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur racer entry fee is $40 and riders can sign up at the track.

Spectator passes run $15 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, the Youth races at 8 a.m., amateurs race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and pros race at 1 p.m. Special to this event, Side-by-Side racing will take place Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., following the ATVs.

The track is located at exit 213 off Ohio I-70. Take Route 331 North just a few yards and make a right onto Hammond Road for approximately 1 mile. Turn left at Lee Road for another .5 miles. Track is on the right.

The track is roughly 15 miles west of Wheeling, W.Va. For more information, visit the series website at www.gnccracing.com.

The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series 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 1,500 riders through tracks ranging in length from ten to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed and draw talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised and airs every week on NBC Sports Network. For more information, please visitwww.gnccracing.com.