Crawfordsville, IN – All good things must come to an end. We close out the 2013 GNCC season with a trip to a small Indiana town that plays annual host to a not so small race, The AMSOIL Ironman. Racers from all over the country converged on this beautiful piece of property, most of them dressed in pink, to take part in the series finale and I personally can’t think of a better venue at which to do so. The list of variables at this track seem endless with tight woods, deep creek crossings, steep hill climbs, and a loamy soil that can get ugly real fast if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. However, this year she did cooperate by providing some of best racing weather we’ve seen all season. Perhaps her way of apologizing for Kentucky!
One variable that people may overlook amid all of the last race hype are the emotions that some riders are experiencing at the start line. There are riders who line up to get in one last race, riders who have already clinched their class positions, and then there’s Sport 15+ rider, Colton White. Emotions ran high for Colton as he sat quietly at the holeshot knowing that his class championship would be determined by several different factors, one of which was a win in Indiana, and the rest were out of his hands. Once the green flag dropped, Colton went bar to bar with his classmate for 4 grueling laps keeping within seconds of each other. Unfortunately, by the fourth lap those seconds weren’t in favor of #414, landing him in 2nd place for the day. While Colton may not have walked away with a class championship, he did walk away with an education in XC racing that far outweighs any trophy. This young man has a God given talent for this sport and with the right program there is no telling how far he can take it. All of us at SBR are extremely proud to call him a teammate and will do whatever it takes to help him ensure success.
Moving back a few rows to the 35+C class we find Cliff Vowell. A minor crash in the second turn resulted in a not so favorable holeshot. Once I got back up and dusted off I realized that the rest of the class had gotten a sizable lead and that I had some work to do. Over the river and through the woods if you will, I somehow managed to punch my way back into 14th place for the day. As luck would have it, the 35+C class positions were more or less secured for 2013 and this race was just for fun. Looking back, I think this season has been a learning experience for me as well. 2014 holds an array of new challenges as it will be my first year as a Vet B rider in the afternoon. If you’ll excuse me, the gym is calling my name.
Our sole afternoon rider for the Ironman was Dan Webb in the Vet B class. After a decent holeshot, Dan seemed to be holding his own in 10th place for laps one and two. However, by lap three the class was somehow shaken up. Making a charge and capitalizing on mistakes, Dan was running 7th on lap three and by lap four he had taken the checkered flag in 5th. This race proved to be a game changer for Dan as it has secured a top 5 finish for the year. We’d love to show you the helmet cam footage from this one but apparently the camera decided the first 6 seconds was all it was going to record. It looks like Dan will be taking on the Vet B class again for 2014 which should make for some interesting competition.
It’s time to put the lid Slightly Bent Racings first season of GNCC racing. We really had no idea what to expect when few guys hanging around a pot of chicken and dumplings started talking about forming a team, but I can honestly say that this first season has been a complete success. We want to thank everyone who has shown their support and has provided encouragement along the way. The countdown to 2014 has already begun and ideas are being discussed. In the meantime you can keep tabs on us through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Photos and video can be found on SmugMug and YouTube, and links to everything can be found at www.slightlybentracing.com Thank you all again, cue the theme music, and we’ll see you in 2014!!
Cliff Vowell #294