At this point on our list, we’ve seen quite a few off-road riders, proving that some guys can go as fast over jumps and whoops as they can through trees. Five-time GNCC champion Scott Summers is one of those guys. Summers, the AMA Hall of Famer who won all of his championships on a Honda XR600, preferred four-stroke power in the woods long before companies started making a four-stroke race bike. competitive. XRs were considered trail bikes, and you could even get a license plate and ride it to work. Nobody thought the 290-pound XRs were competitive when it came to GNCC racing, but Summers proved them wrong.
Apparently, Summers could even ride one on a motocross track! We confirmed that when Summers lined up at the ranch in 1987 (250/Open Pro/Am, Open A) and 1990 (Open A), he did so on his beloved XR600. Headlamp, hand guards and all! His best result was 15e in the general classification in 1987 in the Open A class. Fifteenth in the general classification of the class A at Loretta, it is incredible, but to do it on a “grocery getter” makes the achievement even more impressive.
Summers was a trendsetter and in 1990 he wasn’t the only one to line up on an XR600, read Robert Pastrana’s time at the ranch here.
We reached out to Fred Bramblett, Summers’ longtime mechanic and agent. Bramblett told us:
“I was helping Scott during the week as a mechanic. Naturally, one of the things I was handling was getting Scott’s bike to the start line. My limited big-event motorcycling knowledge was demonstrated when I unknowingly stepped on the dirt in front of the door with one foot while brushing loose dirt from Scott’s door-choice rut. [working on the dirt in front of the gate is illegal]. Some of the others on the starting line started complaining to anyone and everyone who was listening. If I remember correctly, it was Bill West on the starting line that year. Bill started chewing my ass off! I explained to him that Jesus Christ couldn’t get a good start on the XR 600 compared to the 500 2-stroke. I told him that even if I used a skid steer to prepare Scott’s line at the first turn, he wouldn’t have any advantage. Later I met Big Dave [Coombs]and he had heard the story before and was laughing and giving me a hard time.
We don’t know if Summers just liked to abuse his body by riding the old XR on a motocross track or if he used the race to practice more on the course, because the GNCC series also stops at the ranch . Little track is shared between the two events, but in 1987 Summers won the Class A four-stroke at the Loretta Lynn GNCC and in 1990 he also won the overall race. Still, 1990 was the year Summers won his first GNCC championship. So to go out and run a completely different form of racing, just for fun, in the middle of a championship season deserves a lot of respect.
See the 1987 Scott Summers and 1990 Loretta Lynn results here.