Five straight wins to start the year for Yamaha pilot
The temperatures were not the only thing heating up as the fifth round of the 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, took place Saturday, April 22, at the Moree’s Sportsman’s Preserve in Society Hill, South Carolina. The racing action was nothing short of exciting with heated battles taking place all day long at the second annual CST Tires Camp Coker Bullet GNCC. By the time the 1 p.m. pro took to the start line, the hot and humid day created a true testament of the racer’s fitness levels, but at the end of the grueling two-hour race it was WFR/Yamaha/Maxxis/Fly Racing’s Walker Fowler claiming yet another overall win in the Palmetto State.
As the green flag dropped it was Fowler who jumped out to the early lead and claiming the $250 Wiseco Holeshot Award. ATV Innovations/Solo Pilot’s Westley Wolfe and BNR Motorsports/Maxxis/Pro Graph-X/Precision’s Josh Merritt sat on his rear wheels as they filed through the first turn. Merritt would make the pass on Wolfe as they headed into the woods to begin their quest for the overall victory.
By the two-mile mark Fowler continued to lead the pack, but he had a new rider behind him – CST/Induction Solutions/LSR/HiPer/Spider Graphix’s Adam McGill. Merritt, Wolfe and six-time GNCC champion Chris Borich sat in the top-five.
McGill began charging on the second lap where he cut the gap down to 12 seconds. Coastal Racing’s Brycen Neal made quick work to secure fourth on the second lap. Unfortunately Merritt started slipping back by the end of second lap.
Borich followed the front runners and decided to pit after the conclusion of the second lap. Neal elected to go one more lap before getting a splash of gas, and the added time allowed him to make the pass on Borich for third.
Fowler continued to ride his own race and smoothly work his way around the lapped riders. McGill ran a consistent race and maintained second. As the fifth and final lap wore on Fowler, McGill and Neal stayed evenly spread out. Fowler earned his fifth-straight win of the 2017 season and 31st career overall win. McGill found the checkered flag 30 seconds behind Fowler, and Neal rounded out the overall podium in third.
“I knew this race would require a good start, and I ended up timing it perfect,” said Fowler. “We pushed really hard on that fourth lap and got a gap built up so I just kind of cruised that last lap. It about got me in trouble because I hit the motocross track and realized McGill wasn’t too far behind me. I put myself in a position to win, and I will take number five with a smile on my face.”
McClure just missed the podium in fourth overall and ATV Innovations/Solo Pilot’s Westley Wolfe had a stand-out performance to land his first ever top-five overall finish.
GBC/Canyon Motorsports/Fly Racing’s Landon Wolfe finished sixth overall, and Merritt hung onto eighth. Shockworx Motorsports/Spider Graphics/GBC Tires’ Tucker Wyatt rounded out the top ten overall.
In the XC2 Pro-Am division, Ithaca Recreation/Maxxis/Quad Tech/Storm Peak Crossfit’s Hunter Hart raced his way to his second class win of the season where he gained valuable points in the title chase. Hart also walked away with an additional $100 courtesy of All Balls Racing for the holeshot. GBC/Goldspeed/Custom Axis-backed Matthew Lindle and defending champion Greg Covert rounded out the XC2 Pro-Am class podium.
Coastal Racing’s Drew Landers crossed the finish line 15th overall which earned him top amateur honors. The Tennessee native also took home the College A (16-21) class win.
Once the 1 p.m. pro ATV race concluded, the UTV racers took to the woods of South Carolina where Can-Am/Chaney Racing’s Kyle Chaney returned to his winning ways taking the overall victory. The rest of the podium consisted of Miller Brother’s Racing/Can-Am’s Hunter Miller in second and Polaris’ William Yokley in third.
The 4×4 Pro class controlled the 10 a.m. race. After missing the previous round to compete in the Hunt-the-Wolf race in Romania, Can-Am/DJR/QuadBoss-backed Bryan Buckhannon topped the charts with the overall win. The West Virginia native was followed by BNR’s Robert Smith in second. Team UXC Racing’s Michael Swift held the number three overall spot.
After chasing nine-time women’s champion Traci Pickens, Angel Knox made the pass for the lead and continued to hold onto it for the WXC class win. Pickens and Dillinger’s Celtic Pub’s Katelyn Osburn rounded out the top three.
The Single Seat UTV was dominated by the current points leader TR Wheel Engineering Racing/SuperATV.com’s Collin Truett. Ocean Country Powersports-backed Robert Boynton and John Baughman finished second and third.
Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Layne McCormick took his second overall win of the season in the 8 a.m. youth race. Indiana’s Daulton Keyes followed in second and Wilson Racing’s Tim Sroka rounded out the top three overall.
The 1 p.m. race and the UTV race were broadcast LIVE in their entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network Sunday, June 11 at 3 p.m.
The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes May 6 and 7 with the inaugural X-Factor GNCC in Peru, Indiana.
For more information on the series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCCLIVE.
2017 GNCC XC1 Standings
- Walker Fowler (150)
- Brycen Neal (106)
- Adam McGill (103)
- Jarrod McClure (86)
- Landon Wolfe (73)
- Chris Borich (73)
- Devon Feehan (62)
- Hunter Hart (57)
- Marty Christofferson (48)
- Matthew Lindle (47)