Overcast skies created perfect race conditions for the fifth annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC, which served as the eleventh round of the 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship. Marvin’s Mountain Top in Masontown, West Virginia was buzzing with excitement as N-Fab/Maxxis/AmPro Yamaha/Lonestar/MXP’s Walker Fowler took home his sixth overall win of the season in a dominant fashion.

Mountaineer Run GNCC XC1 Podium

Podium: (2) Cole Richardson, (1) Walker Fowler, (3) Jarrod McClure (Photo by Ken Hill)

Maxxis/Fly Racing/HMF/Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Suzuki’s Chris Borich jumped out to the early lead grabbing the $250 Wiseco Holeshot Award, but Borich quickly found company with Show Hauler/Canyon Motorsports/GBC’s Landon Wolfe. While the two lead the way into the woods, it would not take long for Fowler to secure the lead position.

With Fowler’s eyes set on a clear track, Fast Traxx/Wolf Racing’s Brain Wolf was focused on keeping the defending champion at bay. As they checked through timing and scoring for the first time it was Fowler, Wolf and Coastal Racing/MSR/Maxxis-backed Brycen Neal. Neal made quick work around Wolfe on the second lap. Wolf continued put up a charge, but CST/LSR/Induction Solutions/DeRisi/SG/Tire Blocks’ Adam McGill was also able to slide by Wolf on the second lap.

Brycen Neal Mountaineer Run GNCC

Brycen Neal was riding in a podium position until facing a mechanical issue. (Photo by Ken Hill)

Neal was beginning to close the gap on Fowler once the race reached its halfway point, but still had almost a minute to make up. Meanwhile, N-Fab/Maxxis/AmPro Yamaha/Lonestar/MXP’s Cole Richardson was busy pushing his way up through the ranks. After an unfavorable start, Richardson held a podium position once the two-lap card came out.

“I got off to a ninth place start and was immediately caught up in the dust,” said Richardson. “I fell back a little bit, and then realized it was go time. Jarrod and myself hooked up and just kept pushing each other to get around McGill and then try to close the gap on Fowler, and I ended up here on the podium.”

Cole Richardson Mountaineer Run GNCC

Cole Richardson scored a much needed podium finish today with second overall. (Photo by Ken Hill)

The ever-changing track conditions provided an opportunity for certain riders to show off their vast skillset. McClure was able to quickly adapt to the track, while keeping Richardson in view. “The dust definitely made it interesting today,” said McClure. “We just had to ride hard and smart because the track was constantly changing and the rocks were getting more exposed. It just kept everyone on their toes.”

With only two laps remaining misfortune struck Neal ultimately taking him out of the race. Fowler continued his charge while Richardson and McClure settled into second and third. Placements stayed much the same as the white flag came out and then the checkered. Fowler, Richardson and McClure made up the overall podium once the two-hour race was complete.

“I’ve learned from the best to become a smooth and consistent rider, and now I’m finally putting it to use,” said Fowler. “I don’t ride in the rocks much and I always forget just how tough this race is. I honestly think if it would rain here that this race would be just as tough as the Snowshoe GNCC.”

After a rough opening lap, Pierce Performance’s Cody Collier stayed focused to earn his second XC2 Pro-Am win of the season. JMR/ATVriders.com/DWT’s Randy Hamilton used his $100 All Balls Racing Holeshot to his advantage to finish on the podium in second, and ITP/Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Walsh Racecraft’s rounded out the XC2 Pro-Am podium. Wes Kinsley and Kenny Shick followed in fourth and fifth.

Mountaineer Run GNCC XC2 Podium

XC2 Pro-Am Podium: (2) Randy Hamilton, (1) Cody Collier, (3) Westley Wolfe. (Photo by Ken Hill)

Devon Feehan took home top amateur honors with his eighth place overall finish and College A (16-21) class win. Tanner Walker and Steven Covert followed in second and third on the amateur overall podium in the 1 p.m. Pro race.

The 10 a.m. overall podium consisted of the Can-Am/DWT/Houser Racing/Elka Suspension/HMF’s Cody Miller who claimed the overall and 4×4 Pro class win. Schoolboy Sr. (14-17) competitors, Pierce Performance/Maxxis/Waynesburg Yamaha/FLY Racing’s John Glauda Jr. and Yamaha rider Ronnie Rusch rounded out the overall podium in second and third. Glauda also earned the $125 GT Thunder Overall Amateur Award with his impressive overall finish. Cunningham Racing/Can-Am/Spider Graphix/Gold Speed’s Kevin Cunningham and Can-Am/QuadBoss-backed Bryan Buckhannon filled the rest of the 4×4 Pro podium.

Yamaha/Maxxis/Fly Racing’s Traci Pickens took home her sixth WXC victory of the season, while Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Maxxis/Fox Shocks-backed Alicia McCormick claimed second. This finish was good enough to vault Alicia to the top of the points championship where she was bestowed the 2016 WXC National Championship. Pennsylvania native Angel Knox was awarded the bronze medal.

Mountaineer Run GNCC WXC Podium

Alicia McCormick wrapped up the WXC championship with her second place finish. (Photo by Ken Hill)

The ATV Youth overall win was down to the wire with Mikey Nickels coming out on top by a mere second. Colton Stoneking followed in second, and Dylan Walraven grabbed the third place position.

The 1 p.m. ATV Pro race was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page.

The 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series continues next weekend, October 1 and 2, with the Polaris Ace Powerline Park GNCC in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084.

GNCC XC1 National Championship Standings

  1. Walker Fowler (301)
  2. Adam McGill (250)
  3. Chris Borich (223)
  4. Brycen Neal (197)
  5. Cole Richardson (169)
  6. Jarrod McClure (166)
  7. Landon Wolfe (134)
  8. Greg Covert (112)
  9. Josh Merritt (107)
  10. Marty Christofferson (100)

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