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Ironman GNCC starts Friday

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Local residents can expect to see GNCC Ironman racers and fans traveling through the city to the Ironman Raceway campgrounds as early as Thursday morning. The 24th annual AMSOIL Ironman GNCC event kicks off Friday and will continue through Sunday.

The event is one of the most popular GNCC races of the 13-race series. Participants will travel from across the globe to Crawfordsville to test their skills on the grounds of the raceway as they race through the fields and woods on the Tom Shaver property.

“We are excited to be ending our season again in Crawfordsville,” GNCC Ironman race director Tim Cotter said. “Crawfordsville is a GNCC town and they welcome us with open arms. We are anticipating some big crowds again and we know we have some exciting racing and other events planned.”

Ironman attendance is expected to be over 10,000 during the two days of racing. Last year more than 2,000 athletes participated on ATVs and dirt bikes. Both professional racers and amateurs compete during the weekend. Every year the event attracts many local racers who compete in local cross country racing leagues. There are local racers who travel all over the United States to participate in the amateur classes of the AMSOIL GNCC racing series.

Besides the cross country racing by ATVs and dirt bikes, there is a new race this year. The first-ever E-Mountain Bike GNCC National Championship will take place with world-class athletes beginning at 5 p.m Saturday.

Two dirt bike icons will race in a demonstration. Former World Champion Trampis Parker and AMA Hall-of-Famer Terry Cunningham will race on vintage dirt bikes.

“If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you know these two icons of motorcycle racing,” Cotter said. “The two men are coming from Texas to put on a show for our fans.”

The pro ATV race is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and the pro dirt bike race is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

As with every national race that comes to the raceway, local residents can expect increased traffic with more people in town. Grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and gas stations will be busier than normal.

Montgomery County Visitors and Convention Bureau executive director Heather Shirk said the national race is a good way to bring visitors to the area and the race is a boost to many local businesses.

“We love showcasing our community to all the visitors who come to Ironman especially now during our beautiful fall season,” Shirk said. “Every race at Ironman Raceway brings more money into our community. We really owe the Tom Shaver family a big thank you for all they do.”

For a full schedule of events go to gnccracing.com.

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