Mechanical issue spoils Wolf's day on last lap
Brian Wolf looked like the man to beat at the 2012 Motosport.com Snowshoe GNCC in West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain, but a mechanical issue on the final lap allowed Chris Borich to secure the victory – his fifth in a row and seven in eight races this season in the XC1 Pro ATV class.
Wolf (JG Offroad/FRE/American Honda’s) put himself into the lead at the beginning of the two-hour race and by the end of Lap 1 had stretched the lead to nearly one-minute over Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Walker Fowler and Maxxis/Yoshimura’s Chris Borich. Fowler ran into some issues midway through the race, pushing the young gun outside the top five for quite some time.
“At one point I think I was all the way back to sixth and I guess I figured that was as good as I could do today, but before I knew it I had caught up with [Chris] Bithell and Borich,” says Fowler. “The mud holes were getting wider and deeper so it was getting a little more difficult to maneuver around, but the fans were awesome today in helping all of us get through!”
As Fowler dropped back, his Ballance Racing Yamaha teammate Taylor Kiser pushed his way into the lead-battle with Borich and Wolf. But it didn’t take long for Bithell (Motoworks/Can-Am) to make his way around Kiser for the third spot, despite some mechanical issues he was experiencing along the way.
“Halfway through the second lap the link bolt came out of my stabilizer and I lost it,” says Bithell. “I thought the day was over but something sparked in me with the fans cheering like crazy and I honestly rode the rest of the race purely on adrenaline.”
Bowers/Coastal National Guard/Yokley Racing’s Jarrod McClure moved his way into the fourth place position and then engaged Fowler in a battle for the final podium position. McClure laid the pressure on the final lap, but after getting caught up in the treacherous Snowshoe terrain, he wasn’t able to secure a pass on Fowler for the podium spot. Meanwhile, Kiser lost a few positions as he got hung up on a rocky section on the final lap.
Borich inherited the lead from Wolf on the final lap of racing and the duo battled it out for the lead spot until Wolf snapped his chain near the three-mile marker and wasn’t able to finish. Bithell then made his way into the second place spot, finishing only 30 seconds behind Borich for his best result of the season.
“It was one of the toughest roughest tracks we’ve been to this year but it was an awesome time,” says Borich. “I was having a ball and the screaming, cheering fans made a huge difference helping us out of the mud hole.”
Fowler secured the third place position, followed by McClure in fourth and Taylor Kiser rounded out the top five. Fowler’s third place moved him into the third spot in series points, just behind Kiser who sits in second.
Precision Motorsports/Lonestar Racing/Moto X Perts’ Adam McGill sustained a previous shoulder injury, but he made one lap around the course to salvage class points at Snowshoe. BNR’s Kevin Yoho put in another solid sixth place finish, putting him in a four-way-tie for seventh place in the series with Jarrod McClure, Johnny Gallagher and Jeff Pickens. DeRisi Racing’s Bryan Cook finished seventh, while GBC/Cernics/HMF/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher came in eighth just ahead of Mark Notman in ninth and Josh Whitehead rounded out the top ten.
Waynesburg Yamaha’s Gabe Phillips secured his fourth win of the season after spending the afternoon battling with points leader and Tireballs-backed rider Pat McGuire for the win. Phillips made his way around McGuire in the final stages of the race, but it’s McGuire who holds the XC2 points lead after eight rounds of racing. Greg’s ATV & Cycle’s Matt Hanna took home the third place position, just behind McGuire.
The brutal rocks, mud and slippery roots of snowshoe offered the ultimate showcase for the 4×4 machines. The Can-Am backed duo of Andrew Langston and Jordan Phillips made the most of the opportunity by grabbing the top two overall positions, marking each of their first podium appearances of the season. GT Thunder backed Dave Simmons persevered through the tough conditions to finish third overall for the day.
Can-Am X-Team’s Bryan Buckhannon and UXC Racing’s Michael Swift battled all morning for not only the 4×4 Open class win, but the duo also ran in the overall lead for a majority of the race. Buckhannon got caught up on the final lap and Swift also ran into some issues, keeping both riders off the overall podium.
South Carolina’s Zachary Jones took home the Youth overall, in addition to the 90 Open (12-15) class win. Kentucky’s Kalab Hagan came in about two minutes behind Jones to secure second place in both the (12-15) division and the overall podium. Third place overall went to Indiana’s Drew Moore, who also took the 90 Open (8-10) class win.
Round 9 of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Millfield, Ohio July 7-8 for the Wiseco John Penton GNCC.
|2012 GNCC XC1 Standings||2012 GNCC XC2 Standings|
|1.||Chris Borich||Suzuki||231||1.||Patrick McGuire||Yamaha||156|
|2.||Taylor Kiser||Yamaha||153||2.||Gabe Phillips||Yamaha||156|
|3.||Walker Fowler||Yamaha||145||3.||Braden Henthorn||Honda||155|
|4.||Chris Bithell||Can-Am||141||4.||Matt Hanna||Yamaha||145|
|5.||Adam McGill||Honda||128||5.||Eric Hoyland||Honda||135|
|6.||Jarrod McClure||Honda||109||6.||Michael Lancaster||Honda||100|
|7.||Brian Wolf||Honda||106||7.||Blake Kramer||Yamaha||99|
|8.||Kevin Yoho||Yamaha||106||8.||Joshua Merritt||Yamaha||89|
|9.||Johnny Gallagher||Yamaha||103||9.||Nathan Wallpe||Honda||90|
|10.||Jeffrey Pickens||Yamaha||99||10.||James Green||Honda||66|