Union, South Carolina (April 10, 2011) — The Pirelli Big Buck GNCC, round four of the series was a challenging one for the American Honda/ GEICO JG Off Road team of Jimmy Jarrett, Scott Watkins and Ashley Crouch, but the team was still able to walk away with top 10 finishes at the end of the day.
“The team definitely rode strong today,” said team co-owner JT Bennett. “We made a few mistakes here and there but we’re working on minimizing those. We had a chuckle talking about how when you’re getting beat, there’s nothing you can do but go faster. The bikes are working great, we just need to go faster. If only it was that easy, it would work. But the team definitely worked hard today.”
Bennett chose not to race today in order to focus on the business aspect of the team, but in the morning race, Womens rider Ashley Crouch carried on. Crouch got another great start off the line, and battled Hannah Otto for most of the race until Crouch got stuck. She quickly dove back into the race, and began picking off riders, but a last lap crash ended her hopes for another top finish.
“As I was picking up my bike a guy hit me and his bark busters smashed my hand,” Crouch said. “I putted to the finish and ended up 8th with a cut and dislocated finger. It wasn’t such a good weekend but I’m fine now and looking forward to the next round.”
“Her finger was messed up pretty good,” Bennett said. “It was just one of those things. It’s great to see her still riding strong. She’s staying stronger further into the race so that’s a good sign.”
While the morning dawned chilly and overcast, by the start of the 1 PM Pro race, temperatures had started to rise. The early chill kept the conditions near perfect on the 13 mile track, but as Jarrett and Watkins moved to the start line, the temperature was closing in on 80.
Jarrett, who has battled a persistent cold this week rallied for the Pro race, but a rough start put him behind until he was able to move his way to 6th. As the race wore on, however, Jarrett fell back to 9th for the finish.
“His energy was there at the beginning of the race, but with two laps to go, he could feel energy start to slip away,” Bennett said. “But he hung in there. But it’s tough after not getting training and being sick.”
“I was happy just to finish, but I’m still not happy with my results this year,” Jarrett said. “I definitely want to turn things around soon. I need to get back to where I know I should be.”
Watkins, who has been working on his starts, fired off the starting line at first kick in the middle of the pack, and began picking riders off. But Watkins buried his bike early in a four-wheeler rut, putting him back an extra 30 seconds as he tried to recover his bike.
“I needed to recover from trying to get my bike out, but knew I needed to pin it so I wouldn’t be left behind,” he said. “It took me about a lap to get my bearings and get back to what I needed to do.”
Watkins was able to move up to 5th, fending off other riders to secure the place for the finish.
“The track was great,” he said. “I tried to make good decisions out there and I have the best bike setup yet this year. I was really excited to ride the bike since it was working as good as it was. We aren’t as high up there as we want to be, but I felt good and gave it everything I had. I would have loved to have seen how I would have done if I hadn’t lost those 30 seconds right at the beginning.”
Jarrett and Watkins travel next to the Spider Graphix OMA in Ft. Smith, Arkansas April 17, and the whole crew will return for round five of the GNCC series, the Loretta Lynn GNCC in Hurricane Mills, TN on May 1.
Jarrett and Watkins would like to thank team sponsors JG Offroad, GEICO, American Honda, Kenda, Silkolene, EBC, Tsubaki, Ride PG, Rekluse, Moose, Cycra, Arai, FMF, G2, IMS, BRP, Renthal, Works Connection, Factory Connection, Smith Optics, and Sidi.
Watkins would like to thank his additional sponsors Parts Unlimited, and ProMoto Billet.
Jarrett would also like to thank individual sponsors No Toil, CV4, and Outerwears.
Crouch would like to thank sponsors JG Offroad, GEICO, American Honda, Kenda, Silkolene, EBC, Tsubaki, Ride PG, Rekluse, Moose, Cycra, Scott, Tucker Rocky, Ogio, PMP, Spruill Honda, and Factory Connection.
1.Charlie Mullins (KTM)
2.Joshua Strang (SUZ)
3.Kailub Russell (KTM)
4.Cory Buttrick (KTM)
5.Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
6.Paul Whibley (YAM)
7.Nathan Kanney (KTM)
8.Christopher Bach (BET)
9.Jimmy Jarrett (HON)
10.Mike Lafferty (HSB)
1.Steward Baylor (KTM)
2.Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
3.Jason Thomas (HSQ)
4.Andrew DeLong (KTM)
5.Scott Watkins (HON)
6.Brad Bakken (KTM)
7.Morgan Moss (HSQ)
8.Cody Gragg (YAM)
9.Shane Obanion (KTM)
10.Zackery Smith (KTM)
For more information, log on to www.gnccracing.com.
About JG Off Road
JG Off-Road Racing is owned by JT and Gretchen Bennett. JT started out as a privateer rider, working hard to build his racing career and is a former multi-time AWRCS Champion, GNCC Amateur Class Champion and ISDE competitor. After 17 years of racing, the Bennett’s decided to start their own team as a chance to stay involved in racing and give back to the sport. JG Off Road started in 2009 and strives to provide strong results in all aspects of racing. Bennett has built a solid partnership with GEICO Powersports to give the team a winning outlook and a hard to beat attitude.