Not even the weather can stop Chris Borich. The three-time defending Grand National Cross Country Series champion picked up his sixth straight XC1 Pro ATV win in the sweltering heat of the Wieseco John Penton GNCC at Sunday Creek Raceway. Adam McGill and Walker Fowler battled to the final moments in order to secure podium finishes.
The John Penton historically serves as the final stop before the series takes a break over the summer months, and for good reason as the blistering heat of early July intensified the already grueling two-hour competition. Precision Motorsports/Lonestar Racing/Moto X Perts' Adam McGill was rearing to go in his first full race back from injury, taking the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award and putting himself into the lead-pack right away. Ballance Racing Yamaha's Taylor Kiser took control of the opening lap as he led McGill and Borich through Lap 1-where Kiser and Borich set in for their first pit-while McGill chose to keep his momentum rolling into the second place position.
As a result of the extreme heat, the afternoon race was just under the two-hour mark in an effort to protect racers, and Borich adjusted his strategy accordingly. Rather than the come-from-behind approach Borich typically uses, he laid it all out in the beginning stages, taking over the lead from Kiser on Lap 2. The Maxxis/Yoshimura rider set a pace that only he was able to match as he stretched the lead to over 20 seconds on McGill's second place ride.
Ballance Racing Yamaha's Walker Fowler had high hopes of securing his first XC1 class victory in his home state of Ohio, but after getting a fifth place start he wasn't quite able to catch Borich's torrid pace. Around the halfway point, Fowler put the pass on his teammate Kiser for third and eventually set his sights on McGill for the second spot. Kiser experienced a setback after crashing on Lap 3, but was able to hold on for a fourth place finish. McGill and Fowler battled back and forth on the final lap but McGill held on to secure second place, with Fowler close in tow for third.
Motoworks/Can-Am rider Chris Bithell began the day playing catch up after spending extra time getting a rock out of his chain right off the start. But Bithell quickly made his way into the top five, where he came in less than a second behind Kiser for fifth place in XC1.
JG Offroad/FRE/American Honda's Brian Wolf started off inside the top five but eventually ran into some issues along the way. It began with a series of crashes in the second half of the race, and Wolf eventually pulled off on the second-to-last lap and finished one lap down from the rest of the field.
Bowers/Coastal National Guard/Yokley Racing's Jarrod McClure took a close sixth place behind Bithell, while BNR's Kevin Yoho came in seventh. GBC/Cernics/HMF/Yamaha's Johnny Gallagher took eighth and Craig Bowman and Mark Notman rounded out the top ten.
DeRisi Racing's Braden Henthorn grabbed his second XC2 Pro Am win of the season, beating out points leader and Tireballs-backed rider Pat McGuire for the victory. DeRisi Racing's Eric Hoyland landed the final podium position, while Waynesburg Yamaha's Gabe Phillips came in fourth. Greg's ATV & Cycle's Matt Hanna rounded out the top five in the Pro Am division.
GT Thunder's Dave Simmons continues his perfect season in the Super Senior (45+) with a huge victory in the class, while grabbing yet another morning overall victory at The John Penton. North Carolina's Kevin Trantham put in a solid ride to claim second overall and first place in the 4x4 Lites division, allowing him to maintain the class points lead. U2 points leader Clif Beasley grabbed the final overall podium position, also taking the U2 class-win over BNR's Robert Smith. Smith made his first podium appearance with a season-best third overall in the 4x4 division.
The 8 a.m. Youth race brought a new dynamic to the overall podium as the top three finishers all came from the 90 Open (12-15) class. It was once again South Carolina's Zachary Jones taking home the Youth overall, while also grabbing the 90 Open (12-15) class win over Defending Youth champ Hunter Hart. Hart took second in the class, as well as in the overall podium finish. Ohio's Cody Collier rounded out the top three overall, with a third place finish in the 90 Open (12-15) class as well.
Round 4 of UTV racing followed the afternoon race, providing one of the hottest settings all season long. Coastal/National Guard driver William Yokely set a quick pace early in the race, but unfortunately Yokley ran into radiator issues in Lap 2 that kept the team sidelined for the remainder of the race. Team Can-Am Motoworks then took control of the race, leading all the way to the white flag despite considerable pressure from Team Excavating 3. Things really heated up on the final lap between the duo, and it was Team Excavating 3 who crossed the checkered flag first, with Team Can-Am/Motoworks in hot pursuit. Coastal National Guard rounded out the overall podium with a solid third place performance.
The 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series takes a summer break before getting back underway September 15 and 16 for the Can-Am Unadilla GNCC.
|2012 GNCC XC1 Standings||2012 GNCC XC2 Standings|
|1.||Chris Borich||Suzuki||261||1.||Patrick McGuire||Yamaha||192|
|2.||Taylor Kiser||Yamaha||171||2.||Braden Henthorn||Honda||181|
|3.||Walker Fowler||Yamaha||166||3.||Gabe Phillips||Yamaha||164|
|4.||Chris Bithell||Can-Am||157||4.||Eric Hoyland||Honda||156|
|5.||Adam McGill||Honda||153||5.||Matt Hanna||Yamaha||154|
|6.||Jarrod McClure||Honda||124||6.||Blake Kramer||Yamaha||112|
|7.||Kevin Yoho||Yamaha||120||7.||Michael Lancaster||Honda||102|
|8.||Johnny Gallagher||Yamaha||116||8.||Joshua Merritt||Yamaha||88|
|9.||Brian Wolf||Honda||116||9.||Nathan Wallpe||Honda||88|
|10.||Jeffrey Pickens||Yamaha||107||10.||James Green||Honda||74|