McClure wins season finale at Ironman GNCC
A year after coming up just short in his chase for the championship, Walker Fowler got it done, winning the 2015 GNCC championship after a fourth place finish at the Ironman GNCC in Crafordsville, Ind.
As the green flag dropped for the finale, CST/PirateMX.com/LSR/DeRisi/Tireblocks/SG-backed Adam McGill wasted no time in making his way to the front and claiming the $250 AMSOIL Holeshot Award. Despite a bad jump off the start, N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Fowler quickly made his way up near McGill as they dropped into the woods. However, when they made their way through scoring for the first lap, Fowler had dropped back to 12th, while McGill was just inside the top five.
Fowler was able to quickly pick up the pace after having a small bobble on the first lap, and rode aggressively as he made his way to fifth by the second lap, and ultimately crossed the finish line in fourth. His finish not only made it his eleventh top five finish of the year, but also gave him enough points to close the deal on the championship.
“By losing the championship last year I learned a lot,” said Fowler. “I had to pick up the pieces and reset. I cannot thank my family enough; they are really the most important thing in helping me get up here. It is an honor to be the champion of this series. This is surreal.”
The 2015 XC2 Pro Am National Champion, N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Cole Richardson wrapped up the championship at Mountain Ridge and made his XC1 Pro debut at the last round, but unfortunately suffered mechanical issues. Richardson got out to an early top five lead and powered himself into the second place position, proving that he has what it takes to contend for the National title in 2016.
JMR/ATVRiders.com’s Jarrod McClure commanded the lead for a majority of the two-hour race, but started to feel pressure from McGill on the third lap. Unfortunately, McGill suffered a mechanical issue, taking him out of the running for the overall win and championship and opening up the door for McClure to ride his own race and take home his second overall win of the season.
“I had a good start and was running up front,” said McGill. “I wrecked in the creek crossing, but made my way back up into the lead. The bike was working great and everything was just clicking until the third lap.”
Bithell Racing/Maxxis/Precision’s Chris Bithell pushed his Suzuki throughout the entire race to maintain the third place position, placing ahead of many of the sport’s best riders and wrapping up the season with a podium finish. Bithell finished the season sixth in points. In the end it would be McClure, Richardson and Bithell to claim the top three spots on the podium.
Maryland native Westley Wolfe made his XC2 Pro Am debut at the Ironman GNCC and he made it a good one, winning the class. JMR/ATVRiders.com’s Randy Hamilton placed second with Dillinger’s Celtic Pub/Hygear Suspension/Moose/GBC’s Marty Christofferson in third.
“After three championships this season, this just tops it off,” said Wolfe. “I can’t thank my family enough for helping me make to the move to XC2.”
There was a large showing for the season finale in all the class divisions, but especially the XC2 Pro Am class. When the green flag waved it was Indiana’s Jake Stonebraker who claimed the $100 XC2 Holeshot award, but had a get off right after the first turn. After recovering, he later ran into issues with lapped riders and then a mechanical issue, ultimately putting him out of the race.
Honda rider Austin Abney took top amateur honors with his class win in College A (16-21) and 21st overall.
In Side-by-Side racing action, the Can-Am/Turn-Key UTV/Fox Shocks Team earned the 2015 XC1 National Championship at the sixth and final round in Indiana. Driver Kyle Chaney clinched the championship with a fourth overall. Team JB Racing / Houser Racing’s Tim Farr finished first, followed by Bill Patterson and Jack’s Excavating’s Mouse Pratt in third.
In the 10 a.m. race, Can-Am’s Bryan Buckhannon capped off a successful year in the 4×4 Pro class by taking home another win and ultimately claiming the 2015 National Championship. Buckhannon maintained a consistent pace throughout the entire season by finishing on the podium at every round. It wasn’t easy for him though as Team UXC Racing/Factory Polaris’ Michael Swift came into this last round only five points behind and put up a hard fight throughout the entire race. Swift ended up taking second place after leading much of the race, and second in the championship as well. Swift’s teammate, Kevin Trantham, walked away with third place in both today’s race and the championship.
The first race to hit the woods of Indiana was the Youth ATV race. Time Sroka jumped out to the early lead, but Ronnie Rusch proved his nickname “Rocket Ronnie” still reigns true as he was the first to the checkers. Pennsylvania’s Tim Sroka and Indiana native Micheal Myers claimed the final two spots on the podium.
In the premier women’s class, Pennsylvania’s Traci Pickens lead the way into the woods, followed closely by Yamaha’s Kylie Ahart. Ahart moved into the lead on the second lap before a bad crash derailed her. Pickens stopped to check and make sure she was okay before getting back on the bike and going on to win the race. Kara Merritt and Katelyn Osburn rounded out the podium.
XC1 Event Results
Jarrod McClure (HON)
Cole Richardson (YAM)
Chris Bithell (SUZ)
Walker Fowler (YAM)
Chris Borich (YAM)
Brycen Neal (YAM)
Brian Wolf (HON)
Landon Wolfe (HON)
Johnny Gallagher (YAM)
Marshal Goings (HON)
Overall National Championship Standings
Walker Fowler (313)
Adam McGill (276)
Jarrod McClure (255)
Chris Borich (220)
Brycen Neal (207)
Cole Richardson (180)
Chris Bithell (164)
Brian Wolf (148)
Jay Shadron (140)
Johnny Gallagher (130)