Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 Pro racer Adam McGill stood tall on the all-pink GNCC cancer awareness podium after finishing third in the Pro XC1 class despite gruelling conditions at the Ironman GNCC course in Crawfordsville, Ind. Can-Am X-Team members Clifton Beasley, Forrest Whorton and Zac Zakowski each won their respective class in morning action.
“McGill and Bithell really battled out there today and I was proud of the effort they put forth on their Can-Am DS 450 ATVs. Adam notched his fourth consecutive XC1 podium and led three laps of the race. Chris put in an inspiring ride, coming from dead last at the start of the race to finish fourth,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “Can-Am X-Team racers Cliff Beasley and Zac Zakowski each made a powerful statement with their class victories in Indiana.”
Coming into the Ironman GNCC, McGill held second place in the XC1 point standings and needed to win at the final two rounds of the series for a shot at the championship. After leading the first three laps, it looked as if McGill would keep the hopes for a 2011 title alive, but lapped traffic slowed his pace on lap four and he dropped to fourth place. He then picked up the pace to reclaim the third-place position. He moved to within striking distance of first and second place at the end of the race, but had to settle for third.
“I got a good start and was leading for the first couple of laps,” says McGill. “I fell back, but was able to retake the lead. Then I fell back again and finished in third. I had a good time out there anyway and it was a good race, so I’m pretty happy with the podium finish.”
Warnet Racing / Can-Am teammate Chris Bithell got off to slow start in Indiana when his machine failed to start. After restarting the ATV, Bithell quickly went to work and moved from last place to 10th after one lap. By the second lap, Bithell had moved into fourth place and was challenging for third place. During the final laps, Bithell and his teammate McGill actually swapped positions before McGill surged ahead for the final podium position. Bithell notched his ninth top four finish of the season and is currently fourth in the XC1 point standings. He is three points behind third place with only one race remaining.
In the morning U2 class, Can-Am X-Team racer Cliff Beasley was back in the winner’s circle after winning by more than six minutes on his Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc. He finished fifth overall and second on the morning 4×4 podium. Can-Am X-Team racer Forrest Whorton continued his 4×4 Super Senior 45+ class domination as he led from start to finish and won by more than 13 minutes. Whorton has won 11 out of 12 races this season.
Zac Zakowski (Zakowski Motorsports / Can-Am X-Team) earned his second straight 4×4 Open class win. He was in third place going into the woods on the first lap, but took the lead when the two riders in front of him had trouble on a hill climb. Zakowski ended the day nearly three minutes ahead of his competition. He also earned the top stair on the morning 4×4 podium with his second place overall finish.
“It felt really good to get back-to-back wins and I hope I can win again at Loretta’s,” says Zakowski, who is currently third in the 4×4 Open class point standings.
Can-Am X-Team racer Bryan Buckhannon overcame a hill climb crash to finish second behind Zakowski. Buckhannon now trails fellow Can-Am X-Team racer and 4×4 Open class points leader Michael Swift, who took eighth in Indiana, by just two points going into the final race. Buckhannon also piloted his Team ATV Parts Plus Commander 1000 to its second class win of the season in the Open Limited UTV class and took fifth overall for the day. In the UTV Open Limited class championship final points, Can-Am Commander teams swept the top three positions, with Team Travalena taking the title, Team Held finishing second and Team ATV Parts Plus earning third.
In the UTV Open Modified class, Zakowski Motorsports was the top Can-Am Commander with a fourth-place finish. The Warnet Racing / Can-Am / Foremost team took a hard-earned fifth place after battling back from a crash after being hit from behind at the start of the race. The Warnert Commander, piloted by Jerime Dudding, also wrapped up fourth place overall on the season. Can-Am Commander vehicles made up five out the top 10 positions (out of 44 entries) in the class.
The Can-Am GNCC racing series held its Second Annual Pink Race to support cancer awareness with many teams and racers running pink graphics, number plates and riding gear. Some riders even went the extra mile to make special appearances at local the school. On Friday, McGill and a few other top racers visited the fifth and sixth graders at New Market Elementary School to make special “pink buttons” that gave the children free admission to the Ironman GNCC race.
“I had the opportunity to go out to one of the elementary schools in the area and talk to the kids about racing and cancer awareness. I do this kind of thing around home, but have never had the opportunity to go out of state. A lot of the kids actually showed up to the races the next day so it was really cool,” says McGill.