Henthorn, Fowler fill out XC1 podium
Adam McGill charged through the mud and to the checkers to win the Maxxis General GNCC in Washington, Ga., round two of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series. The win puts McGill into the XC1 Pro points lead for the first time since 2008.
Following a narrow second-place finish at the last round in Florida, CST/Lonestar/DeRisi/Tire Blocks/Spider Graphics-backed McGill came out swinging as he put himself into a favorable position early on. It was Braden Henthorn who captured the $250 AMSOIL XC1 Holeshot Award, but as the opening lap came to a close, Brian Wolf took over out front. McGill made the pass on Wolf just before the first lap was complete and he never looked back.
Meanwhile, the highly anticipated rivalry between six-time GNCC National Champion Chris Borich and two-time runner up Walker Fowler shaped into an interesting dynamic as both riders checked in outside of the top five on the opening lap. Both riders managed to charge into the top five by the halfway point, but it was about that time that Borich (Maxxis/SSi/FLY/Yamaha ) experienced a mechanical issue and was forced into the pit area.
Maxxis/B. Neal Motorsports’ Brycen Neal began the afternoon just outside the top five but the young gun quickly began picking off riders to get to the front. Neal’s crew decided to pit on the second lap, opposite of the rest of the field, but it worked to his advantage as he moved into the second place position just before the halfway mark.
McGill extended his lead to nearly 30 seconds over Neal during the second half of the two-hour race, capturing his first victory of the season in Georgia. After two rounds, McGill holds the reverse number plate colors to indicate that he is the points leader heading into the third round.
“It feels so good to get this win,” says McGill. “After everything I went through last weekend [narrowly missing the center of the podium] I can’t explain how good it feels. The Mafia was out in full force and I’m so happy to carry that points lead into the next round.”
Neal held on to capture a career-best second place finish in Georgia.
“This is my best overall finish ever and it feels awesome!” says Neal. “I just tried to stay focused out there and put in solid laps.”
N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar/MXP’s Walker Fowler put on a hard charge during the final lap, making his way from sixth- to third-place in the final moments.
“It wasn’t really a good day, I don’t like to lose,” says Fowler. “But your bad days are the days that championships are won and this is what I have to do [finish on the podium] to go after that championship.”
Coastal/Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jay Shadron finished an impressive fourth place overall. Shadron was running in a podium position on the final lap but Fowler put on a late-race charge to secure the final podium position.
Bithell Racing/Maxxis/Precision-backed Chris Bithell stayed consistent inside the top five all afternoon, finishing fifth overall for the day.
N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar/MXP’s Cole Richardson extended his lead in the XC2 Pro Am division with a second straight win in the class. Richardson secured his second straight $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot Award but got stuck in a mud hold on the opening lap. The Pennsylvania native worked his way through the pack to finish first in the class and eighth overall for the day.
Dillingers/Hygear’s Marty Christofferson secured yet another second place finish after leading nearly half of the two-hour race. Christofferson holds second place in the championship standings, with JMR Racing/DWT’s Randy Hamilton in the third place position.
Greg Covert took the win in the College A (16-21) class, earning a 12th place overall finish to capture the Top Amateur honors at the opening round.
The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes March 28 and 29 with the FMF Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, NC.
Overall National Championship Standings
1. Adam McGill (55) 2. Walker Fowler (51) 3. Brycen Neal (43) 4. Chris Bithell (32) 5. Jay Shadron (31) 6. Jarrod McClure (29) 7. Cole Richardson (27) 8. Johnny Gallagher (25) 9. Chris Borich (21) 10. Brian Wolf (21)