Bill Ballance - 8 Time GNCC Pro ATV Champion
you think that some of these younger riders
are faster but they just lack the experience
to consistently pick the right lines?
I think a lot of that is true. I think a lot
of the new riders get into a panic mode when
they get a bad start and they try to make
it happen all on the first lap and wind up
making more mistakes that ends up costing
them in the long run.
2002, Bill Ballance grabs the Holeshot
at the Ironman and battled with long
time rival William Yokley to the finish
2003, Bill Ballance headed to the line
for the last time on his 250R at the
Ironman with Barry Hawk by his side.
has the competition changed from when you
won your first championship until now with
winning your eighth championship?
It’s hard to come up with the words
to even describe it…the competition
level is just insane! You’ve got McGill,
Bithell, Borich, Jenks and Yokley that are
every bit as fast on the track as I feel I
am. It gets pretty crazy at times. When I
first started racing there were only one or
two guys you really had to worry about, but
now you really do need to get a good start
because if any of those guys get out in front
of you, you have to really play your cards
right to even hope to catch up to them before
the end of the race.
big thing is that now there is money on the
line and there is a lot of big support from
the factories in the sport. What do you think
Ballance and his Mechanic Elliot Skagss
I think it’s very good for the sport.
It’s making the competition levels higher.
There are riders that are able to make a career
out of it now and they are able to train all
the time, which is something that wasn’t
the case when I first started racing. There
is also a lot more on the line, which makes
everyone try harder and do everything in their
power to cross the finish line first.
important was it for you to win the final
round of the season when you really didn’t
have to, to secure the championship?
Before the race started it really wasn’t
that important at all. I had it in my mind
that I needed to play it smart. I went out
to the starting line thinking that all I wanted
to do was get a good start. Once I got out
there, I was relaxed and just riding, and
before I knew it, I was in front and things
were just clicking and everything went smooth.
It was more of a learning experience for me
because it wasn’t so intense and I was
more relaxed and just going with it.
8th Championship was the most difficult
for Bill Ballance as Chris Borich challenged
him the entire season, and the pair
each won six races, but two bad races
for Borich provided Ballance some breathing
room heading into the final round of
the season, but once again the "Killer
B's" were battling for the lead
for several laps
and Chris Borich were wheel to wheel for three
laps. How was it battling back and forth with
It was a lot of fun. I always enjoy racing
with Chris. We’ve had our controversies
but anytime you are able to get out here and
race with someone like him it’s great.
all the controversy that surrounded the last
race in Ohio when Chris followed the spectators
and took that other line and got in front
of you, did any of that concern you going
into this last race?
No, not really. There were a few people that
tried to fill me on everything that was being
said about that incident, but I tried to stay
away from it. What’s done is done, I
just wanted to move on to this race like nothing
ever happened and leave all the trash talking
the incident did happen, and you came through
the checkered flag, did you even know that
Chris was in front of you?
No, I thought that maybe he got hung up back
with some lappers or had bike problems because
there were a few times that he was pretty
close to me and towards the end we got into
some of the dusty fields and it was hard to
ride close to each other. I remember I looked
back and didn’t see him and when I came
across the finish line I was surprised to
see him sitting there with his helmet already
off. I was wondering what had happened.
Unlike many forms of off-road racing,
GNCC Spectators are a allowed to assist
racers during the race, and there participation
has salvaged many racers from some nasty
situations, but unfortunately, there
participation has also provided negative
consequences by pointing racers in the
wrong direction or into bottomless mud
pits, which have ruined the day of many
racers as well
you had spectators try to direct you while
you’re racing and if so, how does that
affect you when you’re out there?
I’ve had it happen to me and it’s
really gotten to be a big issue. This year
I really noticed it a lot more. I think it’s
something that is really going to have to
be looked at with Racer Productions. There
have been times when you come to a corner
and there are spectators standing in the faster
line, and you don’t want to hit them
so you go around, and as soon as you get around
them, they get out of the way and let the
guy they are routing for take the line.
exciting has it been for you this year being
in such a close points battle with Chris Borich
for a good part of the season?
It’s been really exciting and really
nerve racking! It just goes to show much Chris
has stepped it up this year and gotten better
as a rider.