De Leon Springs, FL – Matt Smiley showed the world that the Polaris Predator 500 can compete, and defeat, any machine in ATV racing by landing on the overall podium at the roughest GNCC of the year: The Orange Crush round of the Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series in Florida. With a strong late-race charge, Smiley came on strong to land on the GNCC podium with third.

“I think we got a lot of people excited by getting this Polaris up on the podium. This may be the first time, but it won’t be the last,” said Smiley. “This course was really rough. My machine handled awesome though, and that really made it easy.”

Smiley got a good start and was able to run with the pack from the start. As is his customary style, Smiley chose to use a wait-and-see approach, keeping an eye on the lead pack and saving his energy for a late-race charge. “I was there just staying in touch with the leaders,” said Smiley. “They pulled on me just a little bit, but I was able to reel some people back in.”

With a lap to go Smiley found defending GNCC Champion Bill Balance in front of him on the track, and he dug down deep to try and catch him. “My crew was telling me I was catching Bill, so I went for it,” said Smiley. “I left it all out there on the track. I didn’t leave anything in the tank.”

Smiley was able to dig deep enough to pass Ballance and finish on the podium – an amazing accomplishment considering it’s only his second race on the Polaris Predator. “I love this new quad,” said Smiley. “It definitely runs!”

In addition to Polaris’ factory effort with Smiley, Polaris also runs a ground-breaking contingency program. The largest GNCC ATV contingency program ever, the potential pay out for GNCC is $250,000 and across all GNCC ATV classes, including the class champion. The maximum per race pay out is $2000 for the pro class. Polaris is currently the only manufacturer offering a contingency program for the new youth circuit. The potential pay out for youth is $10,000 and is available to all three classes, with a maximum per race pay out of $150. Details on both contingency programs will be posted on the GNCC Racing web site as well as the Polaris Industries’ new ATV racing web site – www.polarisperformance.com.

About GNCC
The AMA-sanctioned Suzuki Grand National
Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1400 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Suzuki, Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Klotz, FMF and ITP, and riders compete for over $1.3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Alpinestars, Ohlins, Cometic, Outerwears, Race Tools, Twin Air, SFB Racing, Thor, Racer X Illustrated, Motion Pro, Tire Balls, Moto-Tee’s, Warrior and Laeger’s. For more information log on to gnccracing.com.