McGill, Borich complete XC1 podium
Walker Fowler (N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha) picked up his first win of 2014 at the Maxxis General GNCC in Washington, Ga., Round 2 of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series.
The dry track conditions at Round 2 was a welcome change from last weekend’s muddy season opener in Florida. RacingPowersports.com/CST Tires/PirateMX.com’s Adam McGill put himself in a favorable position early on after grabbing the $250 Twin Air/DeRisi Racing XC1 Holeshot and tucked in behind Fowler on the opening lap.
Borich had trouble firing up his machine but even a last place start couldn’t stop the five-time champion from making his way to the front of the pack. Borich caught and passed McGill for the second place position after the halfway point, but the champ soon got caught up in a creek section that eventually cost him some time.
“I was pushing hard and finally passed McGill and I jumped a creek section and the bike stalled and I couldn’t start it,” says Borich. “I had to push it down a hill and a couple of spectators actually helped me, so thanks to them for that.”
Fowler created a gap that wouldn’t be matched by McGill for the remainder of the race, as the Ohio native went on to secure his first overall win of the season. Fowler and Borich hold one victory apiece after two rounds of racing and both riders will head into Round 3 tied for the points lead.
“It feels good right now but I know how much harder I’m going to have to work these next two weeks. When Borich is beating you down you have to go to a strange place in your mind to find some strength to beat him,” says Fowler. “He’s still strong and tough but we’re going to do everything we can to make it exciting for the fans because that’s what keeps us going. If I can keep a smile on my face and win some more races I’m going to be really happy.”
McGill’s second place finish gave the West Virginia native solid points toward the championship after scoring zero championship points at the season opener.
“I knew I couldn’t catch Walker and make up any time since it was so hard to make up time out there but it was a good day,” says McGill. “It was completely a 180 turnaround from last week and I couldn’t ask for much more.”
Borich rounded out the podium with a third place overall finish.
“You have to take the good with the bad and we’ll go home and figure out what the problem is and fix it. I definitely want to be on the podium week in and week out, obviously I want to be in the center but today wasn’t my day.”
Precision/Maxxis Tires Chris Bithell ran just inside the top five all afternoon, but the Pennsylvania native reported having front and rear brake issues throughout the two-hour race. Bithell kept a steady pace, although he wasn’t able to push toward the lead battles. DWT Racing’s Jarrod McClure put in another solid ride to capture fifth overall just behind Bithell.
GT Thunder-backed Brian Wolf earned sixth overall, with Maxxis/FLY Racing/ATV Innovations Landon Wolfe grabbed seventh overall. Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jay Shadron and Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Johnny Gallagher rounded out the top ten.
N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Cole Richardson took his second consecutive victory in the XC2 Pro Am Class, earning ninth overall for the day. Richardson grabbed the early lead with the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Pro Am Holeshot award and the Pennsylvania native never looked back. SICC Racing’s Marshal Goings topped his teammate Fred Marley for the second place position, while Marley rounded out the XC2 podium.
College A Class winner Blake Tornes earned the Top Amateur honors on Saturday with an impressive 24th overall for the day.
In the 10 a.m. race, Can-Am X-Team’s Kevin Trantham led a majority of the two-hour competition while an intense battle brewed behind him with two of the top amateurs in the sport. However, Trantham ran into mechanical issues and dropped out of the race, leaving the overall battle to Schoolboy (13-15) competitors Cody Collier and Westley Wolfe. GT Thunder-backed Dave Simmons interjected himself into the battle but in the end, it was Collier who earned the $125 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award, also topping the Schoolboy (13-15) Class, while Wolfe earned second overall and second in the class.
It was a big day for Can-Am X-Team’s Jordan Phillips as the North Carolina native earned third place overall en route to his first 4×4 Pro victory of the season. Despite a big get-off during the 10 a.m. race, ATV Parts Plus/Can-Am’s Bryan Buckhannon rebounded to secure second place finish in the 4×4 Pro Class, and fourth overall for the day. Factory Polaris/Coldcock Whiskey’s Rick Cecco maintained his consistency from Round 1, landing yet another podium finish in the 4×4 Pro Class and eighth overall for the day.
The WXC Premier Women’s Class saw a second unique winner through two rounds, as Pennsylvania’s Quincy Cunningham emerged victorious on Saturday. Ohio’s Kara Merritt put in another solid second place finish, while WXC rookie Alicia McCormick finished an impressive third place in the class.
In the Youth division, Florida’s Brandon Frazier got off to a blazing start aboard his Cobra machine and never looked back. Frazier captured his second straight Youth Overall victory, as well as the 90 Open (12-15) Class win. Pennsylvania’s Tim Sroka finished second in the 90 Open (12-15), also capturing an impressive second place overall. Third place overall went to South Carolina’s Cameron Abee, who also took third place in the class.
It was the opening round of this year’s six-race Side-by-Side championship, drawing a record number of eighty-six competitors on Saturday. Kentucky’s Big Country Powersports secured a big win in the XC1 Modified Class, topping the overall as well. Ohio’s Team Can-Am/JB Racing Off-Road put in a solid performance to capture second overall for the day, while Team Game On from Indiana secured the third and final podium position.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes March 29 and 30 with the FMF Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, NC.