Four wins in five races for five-time defending champ
Chris Borich just keeps finding ways to win. After two hours of hard racing with the top cross country riders in the sport, Borich emerged with the win at the Dunlop Limestone 100, Round 5 of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series.
Precision/Maxxis Tires Chris Bithell got off to a fast start and grabbed the lead on the opening lap. Bithell was followed closely by N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler and RacingPowersports.com/CST Tires/PirateMX.com’s Adam McGill early on.
While Borich didn’t get off to the best start, the five-time champion applied the pressure on Bithell, Fowler and McGill throughout the first half of the four-lap race. As the two lap-card fell, Borich made his charge towards the front where he first passed McGill for third. From there, it was an all-out battle between Bithell, Fowler, and Borich.
Bithell controlled the pace out front for most of the afternoon, leading the first three of four laps.
“It was a blast from the beginning,” says Bithell. “Normally nobody likes to lead early on but I figured just go with it. You can’t always let people back by and eat their dust all day. I figured I would go ride my own race and that’s what I did.”
However, Fowler and Borich finally put themselves in a position to take over the lead on the final lap. It was Borich who first made his move to the front, while Fowler and Bithell went back and forth for the second place position. Fowler passed Bithell to take over second, where he set his sights on Borich for the lead spot. The Ohio native made a valiant charge on the final lap, catching the rear tire of Borich as the duo battled it out until the very end.
Fowler charged hard in the final moments, finishing less than one second behind Borich for the second place position.
“There were just so many lines out there and we were all banging wheels, bouncing off lappers and each other,” says Fowler. “It was fun a day. I would love to win but leaving the race healthy and having fun makes the day a whole lot better.”
Borich’s Limestone 100 victory marks his fourth win of the 2014 season, where he currently enjoys a three-race winning streak after five rounds of racing.
“It was a tough one, I honestly thought it was going to be a long day because I made a mistake in the creek section early on but we were able to put the hammer down and catch up to those guys,” says Borich. “We had a four-way battle going for a long time and I just tried to do my best and get myself in the right position at the right time.”
McGill ran with the front-runners all afternoon until a crash mid-way through the race sent the West Virginia native back one position. While battling for a top spot, McGill and Borich made contact, sending McGill to the ground. McGill recovered, though, and pushed his way back to finish fourth overall for the day.
GT Thunder-backed Brian Wolf picked his way through the pack from a tenth place start on the opening lap to finish a season-best fifth overall. Dave Bayless Motorsports/Dirtworks/DC Cycles Brycen Neal finished sixth, which is also a season-best for the XC1 Pro class rookie. DeRisi Racing/Team Woodhead’s Braden Henthorn came in seventh, while GT Thunder/Maxxis/Howser Racing’s Josh Merritt came in eighth. Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Johnny Gallagher took ninth and BNR Motorsports/Loctite’s Kevin Yoho rounded out the top ten in the XC1 class.
In the XC2 Pro Am Class, SICC Racing’s Marshal Goings captured his third consecutive victory in his home state of Indiana. Although he didn’t get the best start, Goings muscled through the pack to take over the lead from Indiana’s Kevin Cunningham on Lap 3. Cunningham led the first two laps, where he eventually battled with N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Cole Richardson for the second place position. Richardson got around Cunningham to secure second place for the day, while the Indiana boy Cunningham rounded out the XC2 Pro Am podium in his first GNCC appearance of the season.
Pennsylvania’s Cameron Bruce earned his first Top Amateur Award of the season, capturing eighteenth overall for the day and first place in the College A class.
The #201 of Cody Collier once again captured the $125 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award, topping the 10 a.m. division, as well as the Schoolboy A/B class.
Can-Am X-Team’s Kevin Trantham took second overall for the day, en route to his second victory of the season in the 4×4 Pro class. Factory Polaris/Coldcock Whiskey’s Rick Cecco made his first appearance of the season on the 10 a.m. overall podium, claiming third place for the day. Cecco’s stellar performance also earned him second place in the premier 4×4 Pro class.
BNR Motorsports/Loctite/Can-Am’s Robert Smith earned a third place finish in the 4×4 Pro class, finishing fourth overall for the day. After five rounds, Trantham leads the 4×4 Pro class championship with two wins behind him so far.
Texas’ Lexie Coulter made her first GNCC appearance of 2014 at Round 5, capturing the WXC class win over reigning champion Kylie Ahart. Former Women’s Class champion Angel Knox rounded out the top three in the WXC class.
In the Youth division, Florida’s Brandon Frazier captured his fifth consecutive overall win at the Limestone 100. Frazier experienced mechanical issues towards the end of the race, where West Virginia’s Carter Kerens capitalized and moved into the lead. However, it was an unfortunate break for Kerens as he broke down within the last mile and pushed his ATV through the finish, taking second overall for the day. South Carolina’s Cameron Abee made a return to the Youth overall podium at the fifth round, claiming third overall for the day.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes May 10 and 11 with the Parts Unlimited Loretta Lynn’s GNCC.