Chris Borich made a thrilling, last-lap pass on Brian Wolf to take an exciting, come-from-behind victory at the ITP Powerline Park GNCC, round 12 of the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
The win marked the seventh time this year the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider has graced the top step of the podium and it increased his already hefty lead in the series standings to a massive 36 points over Adam McGill with two rounds remaining on the schedule.
Dustin Canipe got the ball rolling by grabbing the holeshot at the start of the two-hour race, and by doing so, the Honda rider claimed the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award. It wasn't long, however, before Wolf put his GT Thunder-backed Honda into the lead, eventually stretching his advantage to 40 seconds by the end of the opening lap.
And while Wolf ran solo out front, McGill and his Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am teammate Chris Bithell battled Borich for second - all three riders taking a turn at the runner-up spot. However, like he has done so many times before, Borich put on a last lap charge which saw him pull within striking distance of Wolf. And with less than two miles to go in the race, the defending series champ passed Wolf when the Ohio rider took a bad line out of a creek.
At the finish, Borich took the checkers two lengths in front of Wolf, with McGill coming in for third, another 10 seconds back.
“It feels good to get back on top of the podium,” says Borich. “Brian set a good pace there at the beginning and he checked out on us. I was getting pit boards and he had 40-plus seconds on us, so I knew it was going to be a long day. I battled with Bithell and McGill for a while and I finally got comfortable with the track and started pickin' 'em off one at a time. We ended up catching up with Brian and it was a good battle right to the end.”
Fourth went to Ballance Racing Yamaha's Taylor Kiser, while Honda-mounted Jarrod McClure finished fifth. Donnie Ockerman put his JET Suspension Honda into sixth at the end of the race, ahead of Yamaha riders Jeffrey Pickens and Kevin Yoho. Bithell and Canipe rounded out the top 10.
In the XC2 class, Walker Fowler now sits two wins away from his goal of an undefeated season after claiming his 11th straight win of the season, as the Ballance Racing Yamaha rider turned in another impressive ride.
Greg's ATV & Cycle Yamaha's Gabe Phillips took his second runner-up finish in a row and seventh of the year, overcoming a first-turn crash to do so.
Third went to Aarol Bright, claiming his second podium of the year, while Eric Hoyland maintained his third overall status in the XC2 series standings with a fourth place finish.
Honda riders Nathan Thomas and James Green finished fifth and sixth, with Greg's ATV & Cycle Yamaha rider's Patrick McGuire claiming seventh ahead of Yamaha rider Matt Hanna. Honda riders Nathan Wallpe and Josh Whitehead rounded out the top 10. Meanwhile, Honda rider Michael Lancaster finished 11th after grabbing the $100Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the race.
Braden Henthorn was once again the top finishing "non-Pro" rider, winning the College A (16-21) class on his Honda with a 14th overall finish.
In the A.M. race, Dave Simmons (CAN) won the $100 GT Thunder Amateur Overall and topped the Masters (50+) class as well. Second overall went to 4x4 Open winner Zachary Zakowski (CAN), while third overall went to Schoolboy (13-15) A/B winner Brycen Neal, giving the young rider his first overall podium of the year.
Yamaha's Traci Cecco won the Women's division, beating Angel Atwell (Hon) and Kristen Atwell (Hon). Meanwhile, the Sportsman A class was won by Chris Wanstead (Hon), with Wesley Fruits (Hon) second, and Chris Conklin (CAN) third.
In the Youth race, Cody Collier claimed the overall win on his Yamaha, his fourth time to do so this year. Collier also topped the 90 Open (12-15) division in the process. Second overall and first in the 90 Mod (12-15) went to Zachary Jones (APX), with Josh Simmons (PIT) taking third overall and second in the 90 Open (12-15) class.
UTV classes thrilled the crowd at the ITP Powerline, with the Polaris National Guard team (POL) taking the overall win after a great battle with runner-up finishers Team Hendershot (POL) and third place finishers ATR Performance (POL).
The 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Crawfordsville, Ind. for the Amsoil Ironman GNCC on October 22 & 23.
|GNCC XC1 Standings||GNCC XC2 Standings|
|1.||Chris Borich||Suzuki||276 (7 wins)||1.||Walker Fowler||Yamaha||330 (11 wins)|
|2.||Adam McGill||Can-Am||240 (2 wins)||2.||Gabe Phillips||Yamaha||226|
|3.||Chris Bithell||Can-Am||217||3.||Eric Hoyland||Honda||184|
|4.||Taylor Kiser||Yamaha||213||4.||Patrick McGuire||Yamaha||170|
|5.||Brian Wolf||Honda||194 (2 wins)||5.||Aarol Bright||KTM||170|
|6.||Bryan Cook||KTM||157||6.||Matt Hanna||Yamaha||145|
|7.||Jarrod McClure||Honda||154||7.||Blake Kramer||Suzuki||117|
|8.||Donald Ockerman||Honda||151||8.||Michael Lancaster||Honda||117|
|9.||Kevin Yoho||Yamaha||139||9.||Nathan Wallpe||Honda||105|
|10.||Jeffrey Pickens||Yamaha||122||10.||Dustin Canipe||Honda||98|