New Berlin, NY (September 20, 2012) – The American Honda/JG Off Road team saw a weekend of successes- both big and small- at this weekend’s Can-Am Unadilla GNCC in New Berlin, NY. While all riders brought home personal successes from the weekend, Native New Yorker Nate Kanney’s third place finish capped off the weekend in podium-style.
“It really was a great weekend for the JG Off Road team on a lot of levels,” said team co-owner JT Bennett. “The team really put in a lot of hard work over the summer break and we knew we were going to come into the second half of the season fighting. Nate had a really nice ride today and it was great to see him on the podium.”
“It was great to see Scott [Grills] running up front like we know he can,” Bennett continued. “We know he can run up there and he really put in a great performance. As always, it’s good to see Jimmy in the top 10 and to see Brian take home the holeshot. It was a nice way to start off the second half of the season.”
JG Off Road/FRE/American Honda’s Brian Wolf started off the weekend on the right foot taking home the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award and led the race the first lap and a half. But arm pump would settle in for Wolf and he would be shuffled back into 7th before making a late charge into 5th for the day.
“I pulled the holeshot, then I led the first lap and a half and I just got pumped up really bad,” Wolf said. “I never get arm pump and I did this weekend. I’ve been riding and training but I haven’t pushed myself that fast since the John Penton. I pumped up really bad and I couldn’t hold on. I was excited for this race and everything. My hand’s healed now and I’m ready the next few rounds.”
On Sunday, the bikes would also take on the famed Unadilla track, with woods and motocross sections that the JG Off Road crew favored. Historically, Kanney has favored the Unadilla course, not only because it’s his home state but it suits his style of riding. The same went for Grills as both would go on to have strong rides in their respective classes.
In XC1, Kanney’s race wouldn’t begin until the second lap after a tricky river section and dust that would cause him to miss a turn and take him from the top three riders to outside of the top 5.
“I just put my head down and went as hard as I could the entire race,” Kanney said. “I don’t remember as many details because I just rode as hard as I could every moment of the race until the finish line. The last lap I was trying to hold off Kailub Russell. I remember getting passed by him and getting him back by the finish line. I just steadily crept up and the hard charge paid off one rider at a time.”
Kanney’s hard charge would give him his first GNCC podium appearance of the year in third. The race was especially important for the rider as it was in front of a home crowd.
“It’s my home race and a lot of family and friends were there that are really supportive of me. I wanted to do well for myself and all of them. Of course I really enjoy that course, too. I really put a lot of heart into what I was doing. Thanks to everyone for being supportive this year. I want to give a big congrats to Thad as well on his win. I’m looking forward to the next race.”
Jarrett would also make a strong recovery after a less than desirable beginning after he kicked early on the start. He made up his dead last start and caught his way up to the lead group, but the mud bog would give him problems not long after making up time.
“I got all turned around in the mud bog,” Jarrett said. “I rode the middle of the race in la la land but once Jason Thomas and Andrew DeLong caught me it got me going again. I spent the last part of the race riding with them and was actually able to pick off a couple XC1 guys in the process. All in all it was an OK day. I ended up 8th but I wasn’t an hour behind the leader like I have been most of the year. I’m actually looking forward to the last three because they will probably be the last three GNCCs I compete in as a pro.”
Grills started his race mid-pack behind FAR Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong. Grills set his pace with DeLong, until DeLong began to pull away. From there, it was a battle between Grills and the gnarly mudholes on the track.
“We all ended up by the mudhole on the second lap and I got through it and then I had no idea where everyone else went,” Grills said. I was riding my own race, and I was going fast enough that I got out front. But by the fifth lap I got stuck and when I got out I was sitting in fourth place behind Morgan Moss. We went to the mudhole again that following lap and he got through but I didn’t make it through. I was there for about 10 minutes. I didn’t get out fast enough and that was pretty much the end of the day.”
“I had a heck of a race for a little while,” Grills said. “I was still so happy. I got to have the race I was waiting for and that I wanted to have all year. I got my head in the right place. That was the race I needed to give me the confidence to have the speed I need to run with those guys.”