GNCC Racing Nation

Meghan Hardiman, Journalist

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There is a National Series that started in a small West Virginia Town of Davis. A motorcycle race promoter Dave Coombs in the mid-1970s found a perfect spot to hold a motorcycle race. That will test the how long the riders and machines will last and that makes it one the most toughest events ever. Dave liked where the location was because it was nearby Blackwater Falls and the track would be 100 miles long. So Dave called it the Blackwater 100. Later on the Blackwater soon became a legendary race and was deemed to be “America’s Toughest Race.” Dave’s company, Racer Productions, grew and with the help of his wife Rita. They began to hold more 100-mile-long events. Then the series became known as the Wiseco 100 Miler Series, and now it is called Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC). In 1982, they added the three wheels All- Terrain Vehicles then later on four wheelers became popular. The 100- miles lasted about 5 hours so they decided to make the ATVs 2 hours and the bikes 3 hours. GNCC first stars of racing where born. Eddie Lojak took control of the first bike title by dominating the field for 1980-1984, again in 1986 and 1989. Lojak has a total of nine titles and that is a record that stands to this day for the bikes. As for the ATV’s Ted Trey and Tom Tokay where emerging as the first ATV stars. By the 1990s GNCC Racing was known nationwide. In 1993 the town of Davis shut down there doors on the event. Pennsylvania’s very own Barry Hawk became a superstar of the sport. Hawk had a total of seven straight GNCC ATV Championships from 1993 through 1999. Coombs poured his heart, sweat and life to this sport. Coombs did everything from laying out the track to riders meeting, keeping an eye on the pit and parking, and going out there to race a few laps also. Sadly in 1998 the creator of GNCC Dave Coombs passed away but his family still continued to run the series after he passed. Coombs son-in-law Jeff Russell “JR” is an Americas Motorcycle Association National Enduro Champion in 1991. A few years later Russell began working next to Coombs to help create the track and now he is called the GNCC Trail Boss. Now the series has gotten an increase in racers so now they have at 8:oo am all the way to 4:00 pm. When you have more racers that mean more championships and titles to be earn. In 2017 the total amount of racers, families and specters at every weekend is about 200 thousand people from Friday to Sunday.

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GNCC Racing Nation