America’s largest off-road series returns to Belmont Co. Saturday

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – America’s largest off-road motorcycle and ATV racing series returns to Belmont County Saturday and Sunday for the 18th annual Powerline Park GNCC. This event serves as round 12 of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship.

Powerline Park continues to be a favorite stop for fans and racers alike, mainly due to its challenging tight wood sections and rocky terrain. Other than the wooded sections, the course fits the normal GNCC description including obstacles such as the famous Powerline Park mud hole jump, elevation changes and wide-open grass track that will make this stop a must-see on the circuit.

More than 1,600 racers are expected to compete in the Powerline Park GNCC and the event will draw several thousand spectators from the surrounding community, as well as all over the U.S., ultimately bringing an estimated $3 million in revenue to Belmont County and surrounding 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, Australia and New Zealand.

This event also offers a great opportunity for local racers to showcase their talents in front of their local friends and family. Three-time and current defending XC1 National Champion, Walker Fowler hails from Rogers, Ohio, a mere hour drive north of St. Clairsville. Fowler is currently first in the point standings, and he is hoping to earn his fourth consecutive national championship. Fowler will also take part in the afternoon UTV racing as he looking to pull off his first win of the season in the UXC1 Pro Turbo class.

Other XC1 Pro riders hailing from Ohio include Brycen Neal, who currently sits third in the championship standings, Josh Merritt, Johnny Gallagher, Cody Collier and Kevin Yoho.

Saturday at 4 p.m. the UTV action kicks off as Ohio native Kyle Chaney challenges for his third-straight UXC1 Pro Turbo win of the season. Chaney currently holds the number three position after a rough start to the season in Florida.

On Sunday during the 10 a.m. race, Becca Sheets will look to earn her third win of the season in the WXC class. Sheets is currently second in the WXC championship standings and will look to hold onto her class position as the GNCC season comes down to the last two rounds. XC1 Open Pro’s Cory Buttrick comes from Logan, Ohio, and next weekend he will be aiming for a top five finish in front of his home state crowd. Hailing from Londonderry, Ohio, is FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am competitor Ryan Slopko. Next weekend, Ryan will be looking to earn a top five finish in front of his family and friends.

Other local racers expected to compete Saturday on ATVs will be Andrea Rodgers (Girls 8-15), Andrew Banovsky (College A 16-21), Colton Buck (Schoolboy Sr. 14-17), Ken Robey (4×4 A), Jeremy Gushard (Vet A 30+), Walter Schumacher (Sport 15+), Joey Ocel (Schoolboy Sr 14-17), Doug Robey (4×4 Pro), Evan Timko (Junior B 22+) and Cody Stewart (Junior B 22+).

Additionally, competing Saturday in the UTV and Side-by-Side division are Matthew Ashton (UXC2 Pro), Dulton Schmidt (UXC3 Pro-Am), Kyle Chaney (UXC1 Pro Turbo), Jeremy Wallis (UXC3 Pro-Am), Scottie Lawrence (UXC3 Pro-Am), Hunter Thompson (UXC3 Pro-Am), Austin Seelig (UXC2 Pro), Cohl Secoy (UXC1 Pro Turbo) and Vickie Fowler (Women)

Youth ATV racing begins at 8 a.m., with Single Seat UTV racing at 9 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 Side-by-Side racing taking place at 4.

On Sunday, the motorcycles will take to the woods of Ohio following the same race schedule of youth racing action starting the day off at 8 a.m., women and amateur riders race at 10 a.m. and the pros and top amateurs will start at 1 p.m.

This weekend is co-sanctioned with WEXCR, a series that produces local racing events in southern Ohio and West Virginia, and will ultimately bring out a full slate of local racers. 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 $50 if racers pre-enter or sign up at the track. 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.

The 1 p.m. pro races will be broadcast LIVE on the Internet via RacerTV on both days. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. EST.

To get to the track from Ohio I-70 take exit 213 onto Route 331 North and follow Route 331 North for a couple of miles and then make a right onto Hammond Road for approximately one mile.

Take a left at Lee Road for another half of a mile, and the track entrance will be on the right.