2016 GBC Heartland Challenge
ATV Endurance Racing
August 20, 2016
GBC Heartland Challenge
Pro 4x4 ATV Race Report
Carlisle, IA (8/26/2016) - Michael
Swift won his seventh GBC Heartland Challenge 10
Hour Pro 4X4 ATV race. Riding for Team UXC with
co-riders Kevin Trantham and Bryan Hulsey, Swift
took the lead late in the race on a Polaris when
Team Cecco Racing had a belt problem on its Can-Am.
The Cecco team, with riders Cody Miller, Bryan Buckhannon
and Rick Cecco, finished second, followed by the
Team JW Builders Can-Am of Jason Watt, Daniel Prindle
and Haedyn Mickelson.
Team UXC Racing's Michael
Swift Takes 7th Pro 4x4 ATV Win
Heartland Challenge 4x4 Pro ATV Class Podium
(left to right)
Team Cecco (2nd), Team UXC (1st), Team JW
With rain the night before and into the morning,
the 10 Hour ATV race start was delayed by one
hour, which caused the race to be slightly shortened
to just under nine-and-a-half hours.
4x4 Team, #35 Jason Watt, grabbed the holeshot
in the LeMans Style start of the GBC Heartland
Challenge with a total of 68 total teams
While the rain may have shortened the racing,
it resulted in one of the best tracks in the nine-year
history of the event. The track comprised the
typical cross country course, along with small
motocross section, and the GBC Tires Challenge
section. The short-cut section featured piles
of broken concrete, telephone poles, tires and
dirt mounds and challenged everyone who took it.
The UXC squad had handlebar problems early in
the event and had to go to another quad. That
early mechanical issue put them back a little
over seven minutes. But the team kept charging
and when the Cecco Team fell back, they pounced
and held on for the victory.
Racing's Team Leader, Michael Swift, lead
the charge for the team on the Polaris Scrambler
“We had a good, evenly matched team,” explained
Swift. “It was back and forth all day, but it
was close. We were down for a while. We had our
problem and then they had theirs. We had a good
day, and I’m excited and proud. On the start,
we knew the Challenge section was going to be
tough. I got stuck a couple of times, but after
it got settled down, it was fine if you didn’t
have traffic. I did the last hour and did some
fast trail riding to try to save the machine.
I backed down and it worked out for us in the
Michael Swift finished the race for the team.
Despite their opponent’s late mechanical woes,
he said the team had to react quickly the Cecco’s
team pit strategy,
Swift started the race & finished it
for the team to claim his 7th GBC Heartland
“We had to strategize a little because Cody Miller’s
teams did a great job on pit strategy,” said Swift.
“So we had to change some of the things we were
doing to stay competitive.”
Kevin Trantham didn’t panic early on. Instead,
he focused on staying consistent, a strategy that
UXC Racing's Kevin Trantham
“When you get behind, you get to worrying a little,
but we kept our heads down, kept charging, and
the other teams had some issues,” said Trantham.
“So it worked in our favor this year. We had a
good run with a great team and an awesome bike.
This was really like a 10-hour GNCC race. We were
just hammer down the whole time.”
Bryan Hulsey was the newest member of the team.
He actually prepared for the race by competing
on the team bike at local Iowa races, as well
as the Snowshoe GNCC.
Hulsey joined the UXC Racing Team at the
“I’m really thankful that Kevin and Michael asked
me to do this with them,” said Hulsey. “They’re
incredible riders and there was no way I could
equal their times. Luckily, when I got on the
bike, I didn’t lose too much time. I raced the
bike locally here and I raced it at Snowshoe.
It helped a lot to know how the machine handles.
It’s an incredible machine; it goes so much faster
than I thought it would.”