Bunnell, FL ~ The winter rebuilds are finished, the training programs are laid out, and the 2014 GNCC season is under way for team Slightly Bent. Round 1 finds the team in sunny (sort of) Florida at the Mud Muckers off-road riding park located just west of Daytona. Race day conditions were not bad at all considering what kind of weather most of us left behind and believe me, we were more than happy to get away from it for a couple of days. The track layout was typical of most GNCC races by including a mixture of tight woods and open field sections. However, there is one variable that you will only find in Florida, sand!! Even in the worst of weather conditions, a GNCC track will usually hold it’s shape throughout the entire day, but here in the sunshine state, it’s pretty much destroyed after lap 1.
I want to start by welcoming two new riders to the team this year. Legendary quad racer Donnie Pruett started off the season with a 2nd place finish in the new Silver Masters 55+ class on board the #920 Honda 450R. Donnie is no stranger to the GNCC circuit and we hope that our younger riders can learn from his experience. Sitting on the seat of a Suzuki LTR450 and taking home an 8th place finish in the 16-18C class, is Ohio native Daniel Gwinn. While Daniel might not have the racing experience that Donnie has, he does have a drive and determination that you don’t often see in someone his age. That determination coupled with his ability to remain calm and focused is what’s going to send him through the ranks.
Rounding off the morning class is #414 himself, Colton White. If you remember, Colton was in a tight battle for the Sport 15+ championship in 2013 but the points equation just didn’t work out in his favor. Well, if watching him cross the line 1st on his Honda of East Toledo, Mark’s Offroad, and Derisi Racing backed 400EX doesn’t inspire you, then I don’t know what will.
On to the afternoon where we have two riders that made their P.M. race debut. Andrew Donahue lined up with the College B class hoping to make a splash. Unfortunately, splashing through the Florida mud caused a mechanical issue that sent Andrew back into the 13th position but left him with a clear direction in which to move. Cliff Vowell lined up just in front of Andrew with the Vet B class. I have spent the last few years racing in the morning so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. 7th place along with breaking the ice in the afternoon makes for a good day.
The Vet B class also saw a 3rd place finish for the #703 of Dan Webb. Maybe those new front shocks designed and built by GT Thunder also had something to do with his win at the local Mid-East Harescramble series a week ago. While Dan was able to hold on to his radiator fluid, we can’t say the same for Senior A/B rider Rusty Repass. After a very strong start and an early lead, he noticed something was wrong and started to smell coolant. Making the decision to save the quad for Georgia, Rusty was still able to scrape a 7th place for the day. His class is already showing a strong lineup so I’d keep an eye on that one.
That does it for Florida. The Maxxis General is only a couple of days away so don’t go too far. Don’t forget to come by and see us at the all new “Veteran’s Pit Stop”, a collaboration with our friends at Vigilant Vet Racing to help raise awareness of PTSD and give thanks to our military men and women. Keep up with SBR by visiting www.slightlybentracing.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Back to work!!
We would like to thank our team sponsors for helping to make 2014 possible: BRM Offroad Graphics – Discobed – Fly Racing – Honda of East Toledo – Leatt We would also like to thank those companies who have sponsored some of our individual riders: Axis – Combs Powersports – Derisi Racing – Elka – FasstCo/Flexx – Fox – Gaerne – GT Thunder – Hinson – Hiper – HMF – Houser – IMS – ITP – Lonestar – Mark’s Offroad – PowerMadd – Protaper – Quadtech – Streamline Brakes – United Cycle – Waynesburg Yamaha – Wiseco