Cecco with another Overall
day was going to be miserable. With the quad riders being towed
into the parking lot most of the day on Friday, a down pour of
rain came during the night, adding three inches of not needed
rain. Saturday morning, with the rain still dripping, Racer
Productions was only allowing quad riders to enter the gate.
Most of the riders had to use four-wheel drive or be towed to a
parking spot by a dozer or tractor. Many riders were complaining
because they loved the mud. Not a race this season has been
muddy for the Grand National Cross Country Series, but Round
Seven in Sparta, Kentucky, was muddy enough!
the starting line, most of the quads were getting the thick
brown paste all over their four-wheelers. Trail boss, Jeff
Russell, gave the rider's meeting on the starting line. "We
had a ten mile course laid out for you yesterday, but Buren
Hamrick is out there now trying to make it easy enough for the
both of us. If you get stuck, we will be there soon enough to
get you pulled out and back to your pits. Have a great
race." Riders were baffled at Russell's admission of track
conditions. Ten miles and only three laps were the only thing
the three hundred morning race riders were getting at Round
Cecco got off to the holeshot, stealing the thunder
from Stephanie Parton.
lap one, Traci Cecco, Stephanie Parton, and Johnny
Gallagher all within seconds.
On row one, the Women and Super Senior riders were ready as
Ricky Towery called ten seconds. Traci Cecco took the holeshot
with point's rival Stephanie Parton the third quad to enter the
woods. The race was on for the dueling Women's Class and the
only thing to do was to wait to see who held the overall on lap
one. At the end of a nearly twenty-six minute lap, Cecco rounded
the pit area first with just a few seconds ahead of Parton, both
in second and third overall. John Gallagher Sr, from the Super
Senior Class held onto first place, in fourth overall, right on
Parton's rear wheels. Just at a minute later, Angel Atwell came
through for third, holding fifth overall. Brenda Kress was just
five seconds off Atwell in fourth place. On lap two, Cecco
rounded through the pits for a splash of gas and goggles and
took back off with over a two minute lead on Atwell for second.
Cecco took back over the overall position, riding hard with the
white flag out to take another overall win. Sixteen minutes
later, Kress came in for third with Parton never coming around
on lap two.
Reed held onto the overall on lap one, but could he
hold off Travalena and the rest?
her third straight second place for 2004, Atwell is on
her way to moving up in the ponts race.
Stroke Stock heat
On lap one of the Spartan mud fest, Craig Reed aboard a Honda,
held the overall position with a twenty-five minute and a half
minute lap. Forty-six seconds back for second was Billy Good,
Round Six's Overall winner. Over a minute back in third was
Richard Travalena aboard a Polaris with Will Cashion just
seconds back in fourth. On lap two, Good was riding in first
with second overall behind Cecco. Good held a two minute lead
over Reed, with Tyler Lenig working his way into third, twenty
seconds off Reed. Travalena dropped to fourth, over a minute
behind Lenig. Cashion and Michael Newman, both running fourth
and fifth on lap one, never made it back around to complete lap
two. Cashion was off in a hole, stuck, forced to wait for a tow,
which didn't get him back to his pits till after the first lap
of the afternoon race.
Good was riding hard to take another overall away from
lap and still out front, Traci Cecco was almost so
muddy you couldn't tell it was her!
Domination for the Utilities
Mike Penland, ten time Championship holder for the Utility Stock
Class took the early lead off the start and was able to hold
onto first place at the end of lap one with a twenty second lead
over Ken Robey. Over a minute back was Woodie Terrell. On lap
two, the Kawasaki trio was still holding onto first, second, and
third with Penland pulling just over a minute lead for first. In
the Utility Modified Class, Scott Kilby took the holeshot to
hold onto first at the end of the first long lap. Kilby had over
a two minute lead over Dan McConnaughey, both also aboard
Kawasaki's. On lap two, Kilby stretched out his lead by over two
minutes over McConnaughey.
smiles, but without her famous red nail polish. Cecco
never missed a beat in the mud fest at Kentucky.
this much mud on a quad after an hour and a half of
racing, Traci had her work cut out for her when she
All smiles on the podium, Traci Cecco took her second Overall
finish and fourth podium experience for 2004. Cecco was excited
to be up on the podium, as she fumbled with her first Champange
are tracks everywhere. It is picking the right one that is hard.
My plan was to just run a smooth race. I got stuck on the second
lap and was there for a while. I was scared I got passed while
there, but I guess everyone had as much trouble as me today. I
want to thank my husband and the Borich family for bringing me
early to the racetrack. Also my sponsors: Team Safari, Alba
Action, Klotz, Maxxis, Pro Armor, Shoei, DP Brakes, IMS,
Outerwears, Tireballs, HiPer, Custom Axis, Lonestar, Moose,
Smith, The Quadshop, Hardkore, TrailTech, Spider Grips, ATVRage,
ExRiders.com, Twin Air and Pro Clean."
flying everywhere as Row Two, the Pro Am take off.
second overall from the 4 Stroke Stock Class was Billy Good, who
rode in the Open A and Pro Am Class earlier in the season before
Loretta Lynn's. Good is now on the stock Honda 450R, making a
name for himself. In third overall, and his first podium
experience in a few years was Mike Penland aboard the Kawasaki
is the kind of mud perfect for Utility racing. I had so many
problems out there but the quad ran great and I have to thank
the Good Lord for getting me through it and being up here. I
have so many sponsors, but first I need to thank Kawasaki for
having such a great quad, Klotz, Maxxis, O'Neil, tireballs,
Outerwears, Penland Brother's Racing, Hiper Wheels, Carbonman,
and so many more."
overall went to Doug Henke of the Utility Unlimited Class, who
took over the class lead on lap two from Neil Belcher who took
second and fourteenth overall. Fifth overall went to another
Utility rider, Scott Kilby. Sixth overall was John Gallagher Sr,
taking first place in the Super Senior Class. Second in 4 stroke
Stock went to Richard Travalena with Tyler Lenig about twenty
seconds back and Craig Reed just seconds back for ninth overall.
Tenth overall went to Ken Robey, four minutes back from Penland
for second in the Utility Stock Class. Angel Atwell took
eleventh overall and second place in the Women's Class, making
her third second place finish in a row. Harlen Foley, in the 4
Stroke Stock Class took a horrible start, after spinning out in
the second turn off the start. Foley worked his way through the
pack, never giving up on his ExRiders.com Suzuki to take fifth
and twelfth overall. Tyson Helton took the 4 Stroke C 16-24 year
old class win by over three minutes over Michael Howell. 4
Stroke C 16-24 year old class point's leader, Brandon Sommers
was unable to make his first lap due to frying his clutches at
mile marker three.
getting in on the action
The afternoon quad race was put on an hour delay so Racer
Productions crew could pull most of the Morning riders out of
the track. The crew worked during most of the afternoon race
still pulling out the nearly forty morning race riders that
never even made a first lap. With the Pro riders lining up at
two o'clock, the afternoon riders were ready for their ten miles
of sloppy mud. One notorious mud rider is Chad Duvall, would he
be able to break Bill Ballance's win streak today?
On lap one, Shawn Beavers held over ten seconds over second
place Josh Whitehead with Jeffrey Pickens a few seconds back for
third. In fourth, twenty seconds behind Pickens, was Scott
Fleischhauer. The battle for fifth was between Ritchie Brown and
Cory Dunn. On lap two, Beavers was holding onto a three second
lead over Bryan Baker. In third Fleischhauer was just thirty
seconds back with Timothy Lenig Jr in fourth, forty seconds
back. Over two minutes back Eric Davis and Tom Hertz had worked
their way up to battle for fifth place.
On lap one, Mark Fulton held onto a forty-five second lead
aboard his Suzuki over Scot Mills aboard the Yamaha 450. Over a
minute back in third was Chris Conklin. Michael Novak was riding
in fourth place, two minutes back from Conklin. On lap two,
Mills took over the lead and rode hard to try and take a second
4 Stroke B Class win in a row. Second place was Conklin, moving
up from fourth, to just over a minute back. Making the fastest
second lap for the class was Shawn Stewart, moving up from fifth
to third, just over two minutes back, with Fulton dropping to
fourth ten seconds behind Stewart.
Jenks looks on his Number 13 Honda in all smiles about
his first podium experience. Look for Jenks to make
more of these once the first one was out of the way.
Chris Borich had to get towed out of the parking lot -
almost everyone had to get towed out. Racer
Productions crews pulled riders out until Sunday at
three o'clock pm. The bike race was cancelled for
Another rider notorious for his mud riding abilities, seen at
the John Penton event in 2003 as well as in Palatka, FL this
year is Jeff Stoess aboard the ATK. Stoess took over the lead on
lap two and rode to a swift overall finish. In second overall,
Chris Jenks was just forty seconds off from Stoess. On lap two,
Jeremy Rice and Jenks were riding in the overall from the Pro Am
Class, but Jenks was able to hold onto second overall as Rice
fell off pace, getting stuck on the last lap. Taking third
overall was Chad Duvall aboard his Am Pro Yamaha. In fourth
overall was Rice, able to get his Honda back out and running in
the thick, slimy Kentucky mud. Fifth and sixth overall, just
thirty seconds apart were Santo DeRisi and Bryan Cook, both
riders practically neighbors in the small hometown of Casar, NC.
After getting a flat tire by not using tireballs, Bill Ballance
took seventh overall aboard his Troy Yamaha, losing his win
streak. Ballance will not be down long about his upsetting
finish; Ballance bounces back quickly and will be back in the
hunt at Round Eight at Rausch Creek, PA. William Yokley took
eighth overall with Jathan Seale from the Pro Am Class taking
ninth and Greg Trew rounding out the top ten overall.
4 Stroke A
Class rider, Scott Barron took the class win by two minutes,
taking twelfth overall. Bryan Baker managed to take over the
lead in the Open A Class with fifteenth overall. Less than a
minute back was Scott Fleischhauer taking second and nineteenth
overall. Just over five seconds later, Timothy Lenig Jr followed
behind Fleischhauer for third in the Open A. In the 4 Stroke B
Class, Chris Conklin took the class win and sixty-sixth overall.
Four minutes later, Mark Fulton crossed the finish line for
second in the 4 Stroke B Class and seventy-eighth overall.
battles are shaping up now with just over halfway through the
2004 race season. In the Pro Class, only three riders have
finished in the Top Ten overall at all seven races: Bill
Ballance, William Yokley, and Bryan Cook. Look for these three
riders to place well in the overall scores by the end of the
season. Pro riders on the move half way in the season are Chad
Duvall, moving up to third overall now. Pro Am Riders, Jathan
Seale and Chris Jenks are both sitting in the top ten overall,
looking for good overall numbers for 2005.
see everyone in two weeks at Rausch Creek, where maybe the rain
will not be the obstacle of the race event, but the gravel rocks
that make Rausch Creek a challenge!