Maxxis/Yoshimura’s Chris Borich used one of his patented last-lap passes to secure the victory at Sunday’s Parts Unlimited Loretta Lynn's GNCC finale. Borich fought his way by Ballance Racing Yamaha's Taylor Kiser to take over the lead and lock in his tenth win of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country season in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
It was Bowers/Coastal National Guard/Yokley Racing's Jarrod McClure who secured the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award and jumped out to the early lead on the historic Loretta Lynn's motocross track. McClure was followed by a whole slew of top runners, including JG Offroad/FRE/American Honda's Brian Wolf who led the pack on Lap 1. However, it didn't take for the lead position to change once again as Walker Fowler put his Ballance Racing Yamaha machine out front next.
Motoworks/Can-Am's Chris Bithell experienced mechanical issues on the first lap that removed him from the lead battle early on. Bithell's pit crew tried their best to salvage the day but unfortunately weren't able to get back on the course.
Precision Motorsports/Lonestar Racing/Moto X Perts' Adam McGill took his turn leading the pack on Lap 3 and the top 6 frontrunners continued to battle wheel-to-wheel through the rough and choppy woods. Borich uncharacteristically dropped back a few positions after experiencing a big crash that left him tumbling end-over-end on his machine. The four-time champ was able to recover, though, and continued to charge to the front of the pack.
"I had some issues with my throttle cable after my crash and I actually stopped in the pits to make some adjustments but we weren't sure if it was going to make it to the end," says Borich.
Meanwhile, Kiser was able to take over the lead but McGill was all over his back wheels, with Fowler and the gang close behind. After a brief stop in the pits, Borich was on his way to the front once again. By Lap 4, Borich had put himself in between Kiser and McGill and the trio began to pull away from Fowler at first, but after securing his first win of the season last round, Fowler wasn't going to let a podium finish slip away that easily.
As the leaders headed into the final moments of the two-hour race, it was Kiser who commanded the lead with Borich, McGill and Fowler on deck. The final leg of the course consisted of high-speed grass track and the famed motocross track. Kiser fumbled in the grass track section, allowing Borich to sweep by and take over the lead, ultimately giving Borich his 10th win of the season. Kiser came through right behind Borich and Fowler was able to get around McGill for the final podium position.
After getting off to an impressive start, McClure kept a consistent pace all afternoon as he battled with the lead pack for a majority of the race. McClure's fifth place finish was enough to secure him the National Number 5 for 2013.
BNR's Kevin Yoho put in another solid ride, taking home sixth place for the day and securing number 7 for the year. DeRisi Racing's Eric Hoyland grabbed a seventh place finish in only his second race in the premiere XC1 class, while GBC/Cernics/HMF/Yamaha's Johnny Gallagher took eighth. Gallagher's eighth place locks him in as the only XC1 rider to complete all 13 rounds inside the Top 10; however, Yoho was close to achieving this as well with only one finish being outside the Top 10.
The day began in line for Tireballs-backed Patrick McGuire as he grabbed the $100 Motosport.com Holeshot Award and began to gap the rest of the XC2 Pro Am field early on. Coming into the final round, only six points separated DeRisi Racing's Braden Henthorn and McGuire in the championship chase so fans watched in anticipation hoping for a showdown between the championship contenders. Unfortunately, Henthorn experienced a first-lap mechanical issue that ended his hopes of bringing home the title.
Maryland's Landon Wolfe served notice that he is one to watch for the future by taking the win in his first-ever XC2 race, moving up from the College A division for the finale. Wolfe started off the day mid-pack and steadily moved his way up, eventually taking over the lead from McGuire on Lap 4.
Greg's ATV & Cycle's Matt Hanna battled with Wolfe the final two laps and came up just a few seconds short at the finish. Hanna took home the second place spot, which was enough to secure third in the season standings. Rounding out the podium was Ohio's Josh Merritt in third place, matching his season-best finish from Powerline Park.
McGuire came through the checkers in fifth, which was more than enough to clinch the XC2 Pro Am title.
"Once dad told me Braden [Henthorn] was out of the race, I just tried to ride smart and not tear up the bike," says McGuire.
Indiana's Marshal Goings earned his first-ever Top Amateur Award with 15th overall for the day. Moving up from the morning race at Round 11, Goings also earned his first College A class win, ahead of Jay Shadron and the rest of the stacked field of young riders.
In the morning race, GT Thunder's Dave Simmons put an exclamation point on an already-impressive season by earning his ninth overall win in thirteen rounds. U2 class-winner Rob Smith secured his first-ever trip to the overall morning podium, finishing second behind Simmons on adjusted time. It was 4x4 Lites winner Kevin Trantham who rounded out the overall podium with third place.
The 4x4 overall podium was a Can-Am sweep with Smith and Trantham, respectively first and second and then Clif Beasley, who landed third in the final race of his storied career. Beasley was also presented with his #1 plate for the 2012 U2 championship.
After announcing her retirement at the previous round, nine-time Women's Class champion Traci Cecco added another win to the record books before officially stepping away from full-time competition.
It was the usual suspects of Hunter Hart and Zach Jones battling for the Youth overall, with Hart (COB) ultimately coming out on top. Jones (APX) was able to grab second place overall, as well as the Youth overall championship. Matthew Owen (APX) made his first trip to the podium this season with a third place overall.
|2012 GNCC XC1 Standings||2012 GNCC XC2 Standings|
|1.||Chris Borich||Suzuki||346||1.||Patrick McGuire||Yamaha||277|
|2.||Walker Fowler||Yamaha||267||2.||Braden Henthorn||Honda||267|
|3.||Taylor Kiser||Yamaha||245||3.||Matt Hanna||Yamaha||229|
|4.||Adam McGill||Honda||218||4.||Eric Hoyland||Honda||193|
|5.||Chris Bithel||Can-Am||213||5.||Gabe Phillips||Yamaha||174|
|6.||Jarrod McClure||Honda||204||6.||Michael Lancaster||Honda||169|
|7.||Kevin Yoho||Yamaha||178||7.||Joshua Merritt||Yamaha||160|
|8.||Johnny Gallagher||Yamaha||170||8.||Blake Kramer||Yamaha||159|
|9.||Brian Wolf||Honda||163||9.||Nathan Wallpe||Honda||145|
|10.||Jeffrey Pickens||Yamaha||154||10.||Jonathan Fugate||Honda||119|