Early crash knocks Fowler out of contention
(Press Release) The Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, celebrated 20 years at the iconic Big Buck Farm today, April 16. After a jam-packed day of racing action at the VP Racing Farms Big Buck GNCC it was CST/LSR/Induction Solutions/DeRisi/SG/Tire Blocks’ Adam McGill who came out and top and took home to coveted overall win after a comeback performance.
As soon as the green flag dropped the XC1 Pro class was set for battle as they charged into the South Carolina woods. McGill and N-Fab/Maxxis/AmPro Yamaha/Lonestar/MXP’s Walker Fowler looked to be the top two holeshot contenders until they met each other and made contact that ultimately took Fowler out and allowed for Maxxis/Fly Racing/HMF/Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Suzuki-backed Chris Borich to grab the $250 Wiseco Holeshot Award.
Borich would continue to lead the rest of the pack through timing and scoring on the first lap, but Coastal Racing/MSR/Maxxis-backed Brycen Neal was pushing hard right on his back wheels along with Precision/Axis/Maxxis’ Jay Shadron who was positioned in third.
Once Neal was able to make the move on Borich, the six-time GNCC champion began to fade back through the pack, while Neal was able to capitalize and quickly pull a 15-second lead. During a pit stop on lap two, Borich jumped off his quad to make some quick adjustments, explaining why he had fell back so quickly.
After narrowly escaping the first turn crash, McGill was busy working his way up through the pack. By the second lap the West Virginia native found himself sitting in a podium position, but was hungry for more.
JMR/ATVriders.com/DWT’s Jarrod McClure was following in McGill’s footsteps where he moved from sixth place on the first lap to right behind McGill on the third lap.
As the white flag came out Neal was still sitting comfortably in first, but McGill was putting in one last charge for the win. With just a handful of turns remaining in the grueling two-hour race, McGill had shaved off 30 seconds on Neal and had his eyes set on taking gold.
When Neal and McGill emerged from the last wood’s section it was the number 521 leading the way. McGill would claim the coveted overall win with Neal crossing just one second behind him in second. McClure saw the checkered flag just seven seconds after the top two. The finish was good enough to land McClure his first podium of the season.
“I’m normally always a little behind at the first few races because I’m not able to ride during the winter,” said McClure. “Just to be able to rebound here today and get on the podium is exactly what I wanted to do and it feels great.”
“Even though I came up short on the win I’m still really excited to have four straight podiums,” said Neal. “I’m the only person to have finished on the podium at every round now, and the whole team is working well together to make this happen.”
N-Fab/Maxxis/AmPro Yamaha/Lonestar/MXP’s Cole Richardson not only had the fastest lap of the race, but also his best finish of the season with a fourth overall. After dealing with illness at the first couple of rounds, Richardson has reset himself and looks to be well on the road to a podium finish at the next round.
Meanwhile, Fowler would recover from a dead last start to finish fifth overall. The defending champion leaves South Carolina with a 14-point lead over Brycen Neal who sits in second. After an all-star effort, Fowler proves that this season is anything but over and he is willing to do whatever needs to be done to earn the 2016 AMA National Championship.
After adjusting his shocks during his pit stop, Borich would rebound to finish sixth. Shadron would once again face an issue taking him out of a podium position where he crossed the finish line seventh overall. Show Hauler/Canyon Motorsports/GBC’s Landon Wolfe and BNR/Moose Racing/Maxxis-backed Josh Merritt followed in eighth and ninth.
In the XC2 Pro-Am division, JMR/ATVriders.com/DWT’s Randy Hamilton jumped out to the early lead earning himself the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot. Hamilton would end up finishing seventh in his class, while ITP/Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Walsh’s Westley Wolfe would take home his first win of the season. Wolfe was followed by BNR Motorsports/GBC/Moose Racing’s Kevin Yoho in second and Dillinger’s Celtic Pub & Eatery/GBC Motorsports/Moose Racing’s Marty Christofferson rounded out the podium in third.
“I’ve struggled earlier this season and it feels great to finally get my first win,” said Wolfe. “This is what I’ve been waiting for and I’m proud to get in the middle of the box for all my sponsors and supporters.”
New York native and Ithaca Recreation Sports/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/Quad Tech/Stormpeak Crossfit’s Hunter Hart took home the amateur overall honors finishing 15th overall and taking the College A (16-21) class win.
After adjusted time the 10 a.m. overall podium was a mix of three classes with Schoolboy Sr. (14-17) competitor John Glauda Jr. taking home the top amateur award along with the $125 GT Thunder check. Glauda was followed by Vee Rubber Tires/Duncan Racing/Maxima Oils-backed Bryan Hulsey in second and Cunningham Racing/Can-Am/Spider Graphix/Gold Speed’s Kevin Cunningham in third.
Along with finishing third overall, Cunningham also took the class win in the 4×4 Pro class. Team UXC Racing teammates Kevin Trantham and Michael Swift rounded out the class podium.
In the WMX division it was Pennsavlania’s Traci Pickens in first, followed by Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Maxxis/Fox Shocks’ Alicia McCormick in second and Houser Racing/Root River Racing/Motowoz’s Megan Shepherd in third.
After a two round hiatus, UTV racing action returned. The Single Seat UTV race podium consisted of Racer Tech/Polaris/Big Country Powersport’s Sam Yokely, New Jersey’s Robert Boynton, and Polaris/Racer Tech/Keffer Mazda’s Jesi Stracham.
Ending the day was the one-hour long UTV race. Facing some of the toughest track conditions all day it would be Can-Am/Chaney Racing/CT Race Worx/Maxxis/Fox Shocks’s Kyle Chaney taking the overall win followed by Texas native Cody Miller in second and G Force Suspension-backed Jamie McCoy in third.
Pennsylvania’s Tim Sroka took home the first overall win of the day in the 8 a.m. youth ATV race. After struggling the first couple of races, Sroka looks to have turned his season around. The Super Mini (12-15) racer was followed by Mikey Nickels and Haden Nicholson.
The 1 p.m. race and the UTV race were broadcast LIVE in their entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived videos online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online.
The 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes April 30 and May 1 with the inaugural CST Tires Camp Coker Bullet GNCC in Union, South Carolina.
For more information on the series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCCLIVE.