Brian Wolf got his first-ever premier-class win at the inaugural running of the Indy 100 GNCC, round six of the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series in Gosport, Ind.
The XC1 rookie put his GT Thunder-backed Honda ahead of Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Chris Borich and Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am's Adam McGill at the end of the four-lap race, taking the checkered flag in a virtual downpour as a driving rainstorm moved overhead at the three-lap mark, turning the red Indiana farmland into slime.
“It's unbelievable,” says Wolf. “I couldn't believe things panned out like they did. I was just hoping to get on the box but I ended up in the middle of it.”
Jeffrey Pickens grabbed the holeshot to start the race and the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award that goes along with it. Meanwhile, Wolf was fourth behind Honda-mounted Jarrod McClure, McGill and Ballance Racing Yamaha's Bill Ballance when the lead pack hit the woods for the first time.
“I snuck by Ballance in one of the fields,” says Wolf. “I sat behind McGill for about a half a lap and then he made a little mistake on a hill climb. Then I sat behind McClure for two laps and he made a mistake and I got around him. I never looked back after that.”
Borich, the series points leader, was behind the lead group after the start and he his work cut out for him when the rains came.
“I was sitting back in fifth or sixth after the start, just taking my time, but it was pretty hard to pass out there,” says Borich. “Every time I would get to the front I would get hung up or hit a little bottleneck and drop back.”
Borich finally worked his way into second just before the final lap, but by that time Wolf had built too much of a lead to for Borich to overcome in one lap. At the finish, Wolf took the win with 28 seconds to spare over the defending champ.
Rounding out the podium was McGill, who maintains second in the series points standings with the finish.
“This track went from being really good to really bad in a heartbeat, it was gnarly,” says McGill. “We pitted early and that worked out for us. When the rain came, I thought, ‘you've got to me kidding me.’ Mile-marker six was really bad and I thanks to all the folks who helped me out down there. It was crazy.”
Taylor Kiser finished the mud-fest in fourth, moving the Ballance Racing Yamaha rider into a two-way tie with Chris Bithell for third overall in the series points. Meanwhile, local Honda rider Ryan Lane turned in a fantastic ride to finish fifth.
Donnie Ockerman put his JET Suspension Honda into sixth at the finish, beating out Ballance and FRE Racing KTM's Bryan Cook, while GT Thunder rider Kevin Yoho and Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am rider Chris Bithell rounded out the top 10.
In the XC2 class, Walker Fowler extended his win streak to five, as the Ballance Racing Yamaha rider turned in another impressive ride after grabbing the $100Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the race. The only flaw in Fowler's race was when he got some barbed wire caught up in his bike. But he was soon on his way again, finishing the race with two minutes and forty seconds to spare over Greg's ATV & Cycle Yamaha rider's Patrick McGuire. The finish was McGuire's best of the year and it bumped him from sixth to fourth in the XC2 standings.
Another Greg's ATV & Cycle Yamaha rider, Gabe Phillips, finished third, edging out Honda-mounted Parker Jones for the spot.
Fifth through seventh positions went to Aarol Bright (KTM), Dustin Canipe (Hon), and Matt Pierce (Yam). Meanwhile, Honda rider Eric Hoyland finished ninth ahead of KTM riders Joshua Beavers and Richie Brown.
Kolton Burd was the top finishing "non-Pro" rider, winning the College A (16-21) class with a 21st overall finish.
In the A.M. race, Michael Swift (CAN) won the $100 GT Thunder Amateur Overall and topped the 4x4 Open class as well. Clifton Beasley (CAN) was second overall and first U2 rider, while Traci Cecco (Yam) won the Women's division with a third overall finish.
Daryl Rath (POL) and Josh Day (CAN) rounded out the 4x4 Open podium. Meanwhile, Scott Day (CAN) and Jordan Phillips (CAN) were second and third respectively in the U2 division.
Travis Mader (Yam) topped John Rowling (Suz) and Justin Finley (Hon) to win the Sportsman A class.
Hunter Hart (Cob) got back on the winning track after finishing second at the Big Buck, taking the overall victory in the Youth race. Hart also won the 90 Open (8-11) division.
Second overall and first in the 90 Modified (12-15) went to Charlie Welch (DRR), with Alyssa Oplinger (Yam) taking third overall and winning the Girls (8-15) class.
The 90 Limited (11-15) class was won by Thomas Owen (APX), with Tyler Weltich (APX) and Brendan Golding (KYM) finishing second and third.
The UTVs took to a muddy track after the afternoon race, with Team NC Powersports (CAN) taking the overall victory, in addition to the win in the Open Modified class. Team Costal/National Guard (POL) finished second overall and second in Open Modified, with Team Hendershot (POL) finishing third in both the overall and Open Modified divisions.
The Open Limited class saw a Can-Am sweep of the podium with Team Travalena finishing first ahead of Team Held and ATV Parts Plus Stafford Racing.
John Trackside won the Single Seat class, beating fellow Honda riders Guy Trackside and Michael Doolittle.
In the Lites race, Team Faith (Yam) beat Team RMS Racing (Kaw).
The 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Patton, Pennsylvania for the Rock Run GNCC on May 28-29.
|GNCC XC1 Standings||GNCC XC2 Standings|
|1.||Chris Borich||Suzuki||131 (3 wins)||1.||Walker Fowler||Yamaha||150 (5 wins)|
|2.||Adam McGill||Can-Am||115 (1 win)||2.||Gabe Phillips||Yamaha||101|
|3.||Chris Bithell||Can-Am||100||3.||Eric HOyland||Honda||89|
|4.||Taylor Kiser||Yamaha||100||4.||Patrick McGuire||Yamaha||84|
|5.||Bryan Wolf||Honda||75 (1 win)||5.||Parker Jones||Honda||84|
|6.||Bryan Cook||KTM||72||6.||Aarol Bright||KTM||82|
|7.||Jarrod McClure||Honda||72||7.||Dustin Canipe||Honda||74|
|8.||Donald Ockerman||Honda||68||8.||Richie Brown||KTM||64|
|9.||Kevin Yoho||Yamaha||61||9.||Nathan Wallpe||Honda||57|
|10.||Jeffrey Pickens||Yamaha||51||10.||Matt Hanna||Yamaha||55|