After the dust and mud settled at the final round of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, Can-Am racers walked away with five class championships.
Team UXC Racing / Can-Am racer Cliff Beasley rode his Can-Am Renegade to a second-place finish in the U2 class and repeated as the class champion. Bryan Buckhannon successfully repeated as the 4×4 Open class champion with his fourth-place run aboard his Can-Am Outlander 800R. Kevin Trantham won the 4×4 Lites class on his Outlander 500, finished third overall on the morning podium and notched his third GNCC championship. Despite suffering his first DNF of the year at the season fiinale, 4×4 Senior (40+) racer Forrest Whorton successfully defended his title on his Can-Am ATV. The final Can-Am champion was Tanner Bowles, who wrapped up the 4×4 Novice class at an earlier round.
“Loretta Lynn’s proved to be a challenging finale for a lot of racers, but we had two Can-Am-mounted riders on the morning overall podium and won a total of five classes in Tennessee. And more importantly, we earned a total of five class championships so, overall, our 2012 campaign is something we can be proud of,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “I was pleased to see Robert Smith and Kevin Trantham on the morning podium and happy to see Cliff Beasley finish strong in his final GNCC race.”
At the slick Loretta’s course in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., Smith, who also competes aboard a Can-Am Renegade, notched his second U2 class victory in the last three rounds and finished second overall on the morning overall podium. Beasley, who retired from GNCC racing after the finale, secured his sixth consecutive GNCC championship with his second-place ride in the U2 class at Loretta’s. From 2007, Beasley has earned an impressive 68 class wins in 78 races while competing on Can-Am ATVs.
“I feel so lucky, 10 years and no real injuries. I knew I just wanted to finish today and have fun and that is what I did,” says Beasley. “Smith was really fast today and it is great to see him get another win. I am blessed and thank all my sponsors and friends that have supported me over the past decade.”
Another Can-Am racer to finish on the morning podium was Trantham, the 4×4 Lites class champion for 2012. He posted double-digit wins for the third straight season and is a three-time 4×4 Lites class champion aboard the Can-Am Outlander 500 4×4, but is already looking ahead to 2013.
“Today was just great, everything worked extremely well. Traction was hard to find today and I was lucky to be able to get another win plus a third overall,” says Trantham. “We are already looking ahead to the 2013 season as we will be switching to the newer model of Can Am. I hope to be just as successful next year and will be carrying a lot of support with me to the new season.”
In the 4×4 Open class, both 2012 champion Bryan Buckhannon and runner-up Michael Swift had issues in Tennessee. Buckhannon recovered to finish fourth and notch his fifth consecutive GNCC championship, while Swift posted a second-place finish and took second at Loretta’s. The winner of the class, Can-Am racer Andrew Langston earned his second win of the year.
Even with Whorton’s misfortune in the 4×4 Senior (40+) division, the class podium was an all Can-Am affair. Terry Whiteside took home the top honor and was joined on the box by Mike Penland and Brent Tindall. Josh Trafelet won the 4×4 Novice class on his Can-Am ATV.
In XC1 Pro class action, Motoworks / Can-Am Pro class racer Chris Bithell had mechanical trouble and lost valuable time in the pits fixing the issue. He ended up 15th and will run the No. 4 plate in 2013 based upon his overall finishes.