McClure, McGill complete podium
Chris Borich, the five-time defending GNCC champion, secured a record-breaking 69th career win at Saturday’s FMF Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, NC.
Borich’s victory didn’t come without a challenge, as DWT Racing’s Jarrod McClure put in a hard fight to finish only three seconds behind the reigning champ.
N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler grabbed the $250 Twin Air/DeRisi Racing XC1 Holeshot Award and challenged McClure for the lead early on. Fowler soon made a pass for the lead but he got stuck behind a lapped rider and lost several positions.
And that’s when things really began to click for McClure. He capitalized on his early lead and was able to set the pace early on. It didn’t take long for Team Maxxis’ Borich to make his way to the front, though, and from there the duo battled it out for the lead position. McClure threw down some of the fastest lap times of the race, and he even passed the reigning champ on a few different occasions, which made for an exciting battle. In the end, Borich was able to hold off McClure to capture the win at Round 3.
“I wasn’t expecting it but my big thing was to go out there and try to win this race and get a points lead,” says Borich. “I knew it was going to be a tough race, you had to pay attention out there, be smooth and watch the lines. I’m not going to lie, seeing Walker ride to the starting line first really burned me up so I wanted more than anything to get that points lead back in my possession.”
RacingPowersports.com/CST Tires/PirateMX.com’s Adam McGill didn’t get off to a favorable start but he immediately began working his way through the pack. On the final lap, McGill battled with Precision/Maxxis Tires Chris Bithell for the final position on the podium but as the checkered flag flew, Bithell was nowhere to be found. McGill rode in for a second straight podium finish this season.
“You had to put your head down and charge all day,” says McGill. “I reminded myself to stay calm and I came back calm, cool and collected on the last couple laps. I’m really happy to be on the podium two weeks in a row. That hasn’t happened in a while!”
BNR Motorsports/Loctite rider Kevin Yoho led the field heading into the woods on the opening lap, but it was later determined that Yoho fired up his ATV too soon on the start. As a result, Yoho was held for 30 seconds in his pit area. Despite the early penalty, he pushed his way back to a top three position where he set his sights on a podium finish. Unfortunately, Yoho ran into issues on the final lap, ultimately finishing fourth in the XC1 Class and fifth overall for the day.
Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jay Shadron put in a solid top five finish, while Maxxis/FLY Racing/ATV Innovations Landon Wolfe came in sixth, Dave Bayless Motorsports/Dirtworks/DC Cycles Brycen Neal took seventh, DeRisi Racing/Team Woodhead’s Braden Henthorn took eighth, and Waynesburg Yamaha/GT Thunder/GBC Jeff Pickens and Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Johnny Gallagher rounded out the top 10 in XC1.
In the XC2 Pro Am Class, SICC Racing’s Marshal Goings edged out N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Cole Richardson in a head-to-head battle to the very end, topping the points leader by less than one second. While Richardson appeared to have a comfortable lead throughout the race, the SICC Racing duo of Goings and Fred Marley pushed each other to the front of the pack. Eventually, Marley and Goings pressured Richardson for the lead position and the three riders battled it out on the final lap of racing.
In the end it was Goings, the XC2 rookie from Indiana, who captured a big win at Round 3.
Randy Hamilton captured another $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Pro Am Holeshot and ran in the lead pack all afternoon but an unfortunate mechanical issues held the New Jersey native back to a sixth place finish for the day.
SICC Racing’s Todd Demaree captured his second Vet A Class victory of the season, while earning the Top Amateur honors at the Steele Creek GNCC with fourteenth overall for the day.
Conditions during the 10 a.m. race were once again favorable for the 4×4 machines as the top four overall finishers belonged to the 4×4 Pro division. While Can-Am X-Team’s Jordan Phillips led a majority of the nearly one and a half hour race, it was BNR Motorsports/Can-Am’s Robert Smith who prevailed with the overall victory, as well as his first career 4×4 Pro Class win. But it wasn’t without a fight from Can-Am X-Team’s Kevin Trantham, who also led at times, in addition to ATV Parts Plus/Can-Am’s Bryan Buckhannon. Factory Polaris/UXC Racing’s Michael Swift just missed the overall podium with a fourth place finish for the day.
It was once again the #201 Cody Collier who earned the $125 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award after outlasting his Schoolboy A/B competition. Collier was able to capture fifth overall for the day.
The WXC Premier Women’s Class once again presented an exciting battle as multi-time Women’s Class champ Angel “Atwell” Knox captured yet another win this season. The 2013 Women’s Class champ Kylie Ahart grabbed second in the class and Ohio’s Kara Merritt rounded out the top three.
In the Youth division, Florida’s Brandon Frazier made it three-in-a-row in the 90 Open (12-15) Class en route to his third consecutive overall win. West Virginia’s Carter Kerens earned second overall, while Georgia’s Dylan Walraven rounded out the overall podium.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes April 12 and 13 with the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC in Union, SC.