Fowler, Wolf complete XC1 podium
The 2015 AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC proved to be a race Jarrod McClure will never forget, as he scrapped his way to the first overall victory of his career on Saturday during the ninth round of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series at Showshoe Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia.
McClure (JMR/ATVRiders.com) controlled the lead in the early portions of the race before championship points leader CST/PirateMX.com/LSR/DeRisi/Tireblocks/SG’s Adam McGill worked his way into the lead on lap three. As the white flag flew on the last lap, Fasttrax/Wolf Racing-backed Brian Wolf worked his way into the lead on adjusted time with McGill and N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Walker Fowler out front with the physical lead.
With just one mile to go, McGill found himself stuck in the thick, deep mud of the infamous “Howard’s Hole.” McClure capitalized on the mistake and worked his way into the lead. Fowler challenged him in the final corners, but McClure was able to hold on to come away with the victory.
“It all really came down to Howards Hole, that’s where I got around Adam and Walker in the same spot,” says McClure. “Adam (McGill) hit a tree trying to take the line I took which enabled me to get around him and Walker (Fowler).”
Fowler came away with second place overall, while McGill fell back to eighth place, which tightened up the championship points gap as the series heads into summer break. McGill‘s point lead has now dropped to just nine points, which should result in exciting racing when the series resumes on September 15th with the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC.
Brian Wolf worked his way through the pack to claim his best finish of the season with third place overall. Wolf has always excelled in the rough Snowshoe terrain as he claimed two overall wins from the XC2 Pro Am class in 2009 and 2010. Coastal/Waynesburg Yamaha-backed Jay Shadron also worked his way through the ultra-competitive XC1 class ranks to come away with fourth place overall ahead of Maxxis/B. Neal Motorsports’s Brycen Neal, who rounded out the top five.
Bithell Racing/Maxxis/Precision’s Chris Bithell started the race on the second row and worked his way up to fourth on the first lap. However, when the rain began to fall and conditions worsened, Bithell fell back as far as eighth place before a last lap charge for sixth place overall. Team Maxxis’ Chris Borich finished seventh overall for the day, while McGill took eighth. West Virginia native Brent Sturdivant came in ninth, and BNR/GBC’s Kevin Yoho rounded out the top 10 in the XC1 class.
The rough, rocky and muddy terrain creates a unique challenge for riders and machines alike and as rain fell on the late portions of the race, the course became and even bigger challenge. This was an even more fitting tribute to the original GNCC event, the Blackwater 100, which began 40 years ago just around 30 miles from Snowshoe.
In the XC2 Pro Am division, it was N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Cole Richardson who earned the win, along with eighth overall. Richardson led the race from start to finish, topping his fellow competitors, JMR/ATVRiders.com’s Randy Hamilton and RYCO Racing’s Cody Collier.
“The track was actually really nice to start off at the beginning and it started to downpour, and it just ended up becoming a river through the woods,” says Richardson. “It just started sucking in water and had to pay conservative we made it to the finish which was a plus, my quad wasn’t too happy but we made it.”
Honda’s Martin Christofferson finished fourth in XC2 Pro Am and 18th overall, followed by Yamaha’s Thomas Koontz Jr in fifth.
Westley Wolfe captured the American Kargo Top Amateur award with another College A (16-21) class win, and a 14th overall.
In the 4×4 Pro class, Team UXC Racing’s Kevin Trantham emerged victorious after battling through the rough Snowshoe conditions, capturing his fourth win of the season. Can-Am rider Robert Smith earned his fourth podium finish of the season with a second place in 4×4 Pro. West Virginia’s own Bryan Buckhannon rounded out the top three of the 4×4 Pros with a third overall.
Ronnie Rusch continued his dominance in the ATV Youth Super Mini (12-15) class with his ninth win of the season. Rusch remains undefeated this season and holds a 17-point lead ahead of Tim Sroka, who finished second overall. Ohio’s Joey Ocel rounded out the top three overall in the ATV Youth race.
The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes September 19 with the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC in New Berlin, NY.
Snowshoe GNCC XC1 Results Jarrod McClure (HON) Walker Fowler (YAM) Brian Wolf (HON) Jay Shadron (YAM) Brycen Neal (YAM) Chris Bithell (SUZ) Chris Borich (YAM) Cole Richardson (YAM) Adam McGill (HON) Brent Sturdivant (HON)
2015 XC1 National Championship Standings Adam McGill (214) Walker Fowler (205) Jarrod McClure (167) Brycen Neal (142) Chris Borich (140) Chris Bithell (129) Cole Richardson (120) Brian Wolf (110) Jay Shadron (102) Johnny Gallagher (88)