Fourth straight win for five-time series champ
After two grueling hours of battle in the hot and humid woods, Chris Borich captured his fourth consecutive win of the season at the Parts Unlimited Loretta Lynn’s GNCC in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
With 15 riders lined up in the XC1 Pro class, it was RacingPowersports.com/CST Tires/PirateMX.com’s Adam McGill who shot out to the first turn, capturing the $250 Twin Air/DeRisi Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. McGill led the opening lap, while heavy hitters such as Borich and Precision/Maxxis Tires Chris Bithell followed close behind.
Bithell eventually made the pass on McGill to take over the lead around the halfway point and Borich followed suit, taking over the second place position on the same lap. However, McGill didn’t let the Suzuki duo get away easily as he applied the pressure for the remainder of the race.
N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler didn’t join the lead pack until the second half of the race as a bad start held him nearly outside the top ten on the opening lap. Fowler slowly made his way into a top five position but the Ohio native really turned up the intensity on the final two laps, where he made up a substantial amount of time on the leaders.
Borich put his almost-patented pass on Bithell to take over the lead on the final lap. Bithell then surrendered his second place position, as McGill moved past in hot pursuit of Borich’s lead.
Meanwhile, Fowler was charging hard towards the leading duo. On the final lap Fowler caught up to Bithell and quickly made the pass for third place, where he then set his sights on McGill and Borich ahead. Fowler caught the rear wheel of McGill in the final moments of the race and the two battled wheel-to-wheel all the way through the checkers, finishing less than one second behind McGill for third place.
“I feel like I worked way too hard out there to finish third place,” says Fowler. “But at the end of the day, I’m happy to have finished on the podium and get some points today.”
The intense battle for second place came through the finish line only nine seconds behind Borich, who secured his fifth win of the season on Saturday. Borich’s victory gave the five-time champion a total of four career wins at the Loretta Lynn’s GNCC and extended his current winning streak to four-in-a-row for 2014.
McGill’s second place finish allowed the West Virginia native to surpass Bithell for third place in the championship standings as the series nears the halfway mark.
Although he led a majority of the two-hour race, Bithell finished the day in fourth overall. He later commented that he felt a little fatigued on the final lap. DWT Racing’s Jarrod McClure put forth a solid performance, capturing fifth overall for the day. McClure now sits in fifth place in the championship standings.
Dave Bayless Motorsports/Dirtworks/DC Cycles Brycen Neal earned sixth place overall, just ahead of Maxxis/FLY Racing/ATV Innovations Landon Wolfe. GT Thunder-backed Brian Wolf finished eighth overall, while XC2 Pro Am front-runners Cole Richardson and Marshal Goings rounded out the top ten overall for the day.
The XC2 Pro Am battle was once again a two-way challenge between SICC Racing’s Marshal Goings and N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Cole Richardson. Goings led the early portion of the two-hour race but in the end, it was Richardson who claimed the victory.
Both Richardson and Goings enjoy three race wins apiece through the first six rounds but Goings holds the points lead heading into Round 7 in two weeks.
New York’s Marty Christofferson started off the afternoon on a good note by capturing the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Pro Am Holeshot, before falling back to about sixth place. Christofferson made moves through the pack, though, where he eventually put himself in a favorable position to capture a season-best third place finish in the XC2 Pro Am class.
In the 10 a.m. amateur race, it was once again the #201 of Cody Collier who topped the entire field of competition to earn the $125 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award. Collier also took the win in the highly competitive Schoolboy A/B class, just ahead of New York’s Hunter Hart. Hart not only secured a season-best second place finish in the class, but the rookie also his first appearance atop the overall podium with third place for the day.
ATV Parts Plus/Can-Am Bryan Buckhannon had a stellar day of racing as the West Virginia native finished second overall in the 10 a.m. race-between Collier and Hart-while also securing his first win of the season in the highly competitive 4×4 Pro class.
The second place battle in the 4×4 Pro class came down to the final turns of the two-hour race, where BNR Motorsports/Loctite/Can-Am’s Robert Smith edged out Factory Polaris/UXC Racing’s Michael Swift for second place in the class. Swift finished a season-best third place, which marked his first appearance on the 4×4 podium this season.
Texas native Lexie Coulter made it two-in-a-row in the premier WXC class, where she topped 2013 Women’s Champion Kylie Ahart for the win. Pennsylvania’s Alicia McCormick rounded out the WXC podium with a third place finish in her first season of WXC competition.
In the Youth division, it was a 125 Sr. (12-15) class sweep for the first time all season, as the top three finishers all made their overall podium debut at Round 6. Pennsylvania’s Ronnie Rusch captured his first ever overall victory, followed by Mississippi’s Jordan Digby in second. Kentucky’s Rhett Cox finished third in the 125 Sr. class, as well as third overall for the day.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes May 24 and 25 with the Mountaineer Run GNCC in Masontown, WV.