Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 racer Adam McGill finished third in the XC1 Pro class at the Powerline Park Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) race held over the weekend in St. Clairsville, Ohio. In the morning session, Can-Am X-team racers Zac Zakowski, Forrest Whorton and Kevin Trantham each won their respective classes aboard Can-Am Outlander ATVs.
“McGill rode well and was actually in contention for the win a couple of times before eventually finishing third overall. I’m happy to see him on the XC1 podium again and earn a top three overall finish,” says Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “Our Can-Am X-Team racers continue to excel on their Outlander ATVs. It was great to see Zac ride so well today and earn his first win this season in the 4×4 Open class. It was also nice to see Zac’s teammate Kevin Trantham get back to his winning ways in the 4×4 Lites. I’m also really happy for Forrest Whorton as today he clinched the 4×4 Super Senior 45+ championship aboard his Can-Am.”
McGill held the early lead in the XC1 class. Just before lap two, he dropped one spot after having difficulty in one of the track’s muddy sections. However, on lap three, McGill put in the fastest lap of the day in the Pro class and was less than a second behind the leader. He then lost time on the next lap and fell to third. That’s where he stayed until the finish line. It was the third straight XC1 podium finish for McGill.
“I was leading for a while and I felt really good out there,” says McGill. “It was rough out there and I didn’t finish how I wanted to, but I still made it on the podium.”
Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 teammate Chris Bithell rode in the top five in the XC1 Pro class for most of the day prior to the final lap. In fact, he was in third place on lap three. After falling to fourth, he picked up the pace in pursuit of the leaders. However, a large stick impaled his ATV’s radiator on the final lap and slowed his charge. He ended up ninth on the day.
Zakowski, who rides a Zakowski Motorsports / Can-Am X-Team Outlander, matched his season’s best finish with second overall on the morning podium. The 4×4 Open class win was the first for him in 2011 and the first since winning a 4×4 Open event at round four of last year. He is currently in fourth place in the class point standings.
“We have been working hard all season and it finally paid off for us. I have to thank Can-Am and all of our sponsors who have helped us make this happen,” says Zakowski.
Current 4×4 Open class points leader and X-Team racer Michael Swift (UXC Racing) finished second on his Can-Am Outlander 800R X xc. Can-Am X-Team member and tough 4×4 Open class competitor Bryan Buckhannon got stuck in a mud hole on the opening lap while avoiding spectators and had to play catch up all day. He ended up in fourth place despite battling the mud hole for more than five minutes on lap one and still holds second place in the chase for the class championship with only two rounds remaining.
Trantham rebounded from a disappointing finish at the last round and put in a dominating effort aboard his Can-Am X-Team Outlander 500 XT to convincingly win the 4×4 Lites class. He led from start to finish and won the class by more than eight minutes. He has nine victories this year.
Super Senior (45+) class Can-Am X-Team racer Whorton claimed his 10th win of the season beating MPR / Can-Am X-Team racer Mike Penland to the finish. Whorton, who led from start to finish at the Powerline GNCC, wrapped up the class championship for 2011.
Unfortunately, 2011 U2 class champion Clifton Beasley saw his unprecedented 29-race win streak end in Ohio. A mechanical issue on the final lap forced Beasley to ride slower than his normal race pace. Amazingly, he still held the lead on his Renegade 800R X xc until the final ¼-mile of the race, where he was passed by two other Can-Am riders. He finished third to keep his class podium streak alive at 24. Can-Am racer Robert Smith of Beaver, Pa., took advantage of Beasley’s troubles to post his first class win of the season.