Am-Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk won a tough GNCC yesterday in the rain
and mud of The Wisp Ski Resort in Deep Creek, Maryland. Hawk outlasted
series points leader Juha Salminen for his second overall win of the
season, as well as his second Wisp GNCC win in a row. We caught up with
him right after he got out of the pond he jumped in to celebrate his
Racer X: Can you talk about your second Wisp GNCC win in a row?
|Barry Hawk on his way to his second win at the Wisp |
Barry Hawk: The race didn't start out too good for me. I guess I
had an okay start, but I rode at little too conservative for the first
couple of miles. I just kept going backwards, it seemed. I was trying
to conserve my gloves and not get them wet, but I ruined my goggles.
Guys kept passing me and passing me. I decided since my goggles were
shot, that I just threw them off, and that's when I floored it.
All those guys that passed me, I ended up picking
them off. I think I caught Charlie Mullins when he crashed or
something. He was looking at his brakes. I caught Juha and we went back
and forth a few times. It was so muddy, I don’t think people knew we
were flip-flopping. When I finally passed him for good, it was at the
top of the ski slope. He drifted out in a corner and I went for the
inside. He got a lot of my roost, and he didn’t stop for goggles that
lap. I think it really hurt him not stopping for goggles. That was the
lap I ended up pulling a minute gap or whatever. I just tried to floor
it all the way to the finish.
So that was the turning point in the race?
Yeah, that was the turning point. Whenever I saw him not stop for
goggles, well, on mine, I've raced so many times, I know when I pull
the string when I'm getting low on film [on the roll-offs]. I could
tell I was low because I had thought about going and not stopping. I
knew that about a mile in, I would be out of film if I didn’t stop. I
stopped, and then I caught up to him real quick. I think that was
basically the turning point. I'm sure he got quite a bit of roost off
of me, and I think that ruined his goggles. He couldn't key off me
because he had to stay out of my roost. Maybe that's not what happened,
but from that point on, I never saw him again.
How’s it feel to win this race—one that many consider to be the centerpiece of the series—two years in a row?
It certainly feels real good. I'm real happy. Coming in, I knew
there would be a lot of people here, a lot of family and a lot of
friends. Whenever it started raining, I thought, You know what? These
guys are not going to be looking forward to it. It made me want to win
that much more. When I woke up at 7 this morning and heard the
raindrops, I got a big smile on my face. It was good. I just wanted to
win here really bad. I guess it’s my home track, and there are a lot of
friends and family here. It feels really good.
What's different between last year’s win and this one?
|Barry navigates a parkig-lot section at the Wisp |
Last year’s was still probably like my all-time favorite win. I
think I just had so much going on in my life, with my wife—she ended up
having my son a week before this race. She wasn’t due, and she was
actually a month early with him. She had some problems with him, so I
was Mr. Mom. I brought my daughter here and spent time with her on
Friday and Saturday. On Sunday my wife came up and I didn’t worry about
the racing part of it—I just got suited up and raced. I said this in
the interview last year, on that last lap, my body was just tingling, I
felt so good to get a win. It was really emotional. Well, this one
ranks up there, too. A close second.
What was the deal with jumping in the pond after the race?
I was just talking to my friend Shawn Remington before the race—he
won Vet B and I help him out with some stuff. I was looking at him and
said, “Hey, if we win, let's go jump in the pond.” And he said, “I'll
do it if you do it.” He didn’t want to back out and I didn’t want to
back out, so I said, “Okay, let’s go do it.” I'm always calm and
reserved and don’t get too out of control, but wins like this don’t
come around too often. I decided to have a lot of fun and jump in with
What did you think of John Dowd racing here?
John was one of the guys that passed me. That's almost when
something happened and I was like Okay, I need to pick it up here,
because nothing against him—I don’t want him to take in the wrong
way—but when he passed me, I thought, It’s rocky, it’s raining, it’s
muddy, and John Dowd shouldn’t be passing me in these conditions—he’s a
motocrosser! I mean, he's a great rider but it usually doesn’t cross
over for guys in these kinds of conditions. When he passed me it was
like that put a fire in me. I thought, John Dowd is passing me. I have
to get going here. I followed him for about a mile and he ended up
making a little mistake and just hit a rock. He didn’t go down—he just
went sideways and I went around him and didn't see him again after
that. How did he finish?
He finished fourth.
|Barry takes a swim after a long, muddy day |
That’s awesome. That’s good that the motocrossers aren't afraid to
come and race. I'd like to see more of them do it ... as long as they
stay behind me [laughs].
What are you going to do for the break over the next two months?
Nothing different than I've been doing. Maybe when I get some
2007s, I'll start working with that stuff. I'll race some local stuff
and stay in shape. We have two and a half months off I guess, but it’s
not like we can sit around and do nothing. We have to stay in shape and
keep fired up, keep motivated. I'll just do the same thing we've been
Since you've won two races this year, does this means results will change?
I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far into it. After I won Ohio,
I beat Juha but a lot of people said, “Well, he got stuck” or, “He went
the wrong way.” But that was the first lap and he ended up catching
back up and leading, so that doesn’t really go into effect. A win is a
win. This one is a little sweeter because he wasn’t stuck when I passed
him this time. I just flat-out passed him and pulled away from him. He
probably was riding smart today—he could have hung it out a little
more, but he has such a big points lead, why take a chance? That was
smart on his part maybe to not push. If I would have been in his shoes,
I would have said, “Hey, go right ahead.”
Were there noticeable differences in the course this year?
Last year it was more mixed up. You're on a fire road for a little
bit, then in the rocky stuff for a little bit. This year it was a long
three or four miles of tight, rocky stuff, then three or four miles of
fast, open stuff. That’s good that they keep it different and not the
So did your bike work well today?
Yes, my mechanic [Doug Whitmer] did an excellent job. I was a
little mad at him when I pulled in to the second lap because the bike
was running really rich. Usually it’s the other way and I'm telling him
to calm down! Today when I pulled in the second lap, I said, “You have
to do something with the bike—it's running too rich.” I thought the
choke was stuck on or something. He said, “Calm down, Juha just pulled
out, Mullins has brake problems, [Nathan] Kanney is right here with
you, everything will be all right.…” I took off, and from that point on
everything was good. He kept me in check.
Congratulations on the win, Barry.
Thanks, it was wet but fun.
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