Can-Am Racers Find Success at Mountain Ridge GNCC

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney

Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 ATV Pro racers Adam McGill and Chris Bithell finished second and third in the Pro class this past weekend at the Mountain Ridge GNCC in Somerset, Pa. In the Can-Am GNCC morning session, UXC Racing / Can-Am X-Team racer Michael Swift won the morning overall and the highly competitive 4×4 Open class aboard his Can-Am Outlander 800R X xc.

“McGill was close to earning his third win of the year, but he had a minor miscue on the final lap and had to settle for second in the Pro class. He gained some valuable ground on the Pro class points leader and that’s always good. To have both McGill and Bithell on the podium together, again, was great for team Warnert Racing / Can-Am,” says Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “We continue to excel in the morning session, winning four classes and earning 10 of the top 20 morning finishing positions, highlighted by Michael Swift, who won both the a.m. overall and the 4×4 Open class.”

McGill, who led for much of the race, regained the lead on final lap as he passed another two miles before the finish line. However, in a slippery rock section, McGill said his handguard caught on a tree and swung him sideways. By the time he recovered, he had lost the lead. He finished less than two seconds behind the winner. McGill, with his second-place overall finish, now trails the Pro class points leader by 27 points with three rounds remaining in 2011. Bithell, who earned his second straight afternoon podium, ran inside the top five all day, but worked his way into third place on the final lap. He is currently in third place in the Pro class points race, 14 points behind McGill.

“In the first lap, there were about five of us that were really close and seemed like they were just kind of playing around so I went out there and took control and set the pace,” says McGill. “I was able to make up some valuable points, but I really want to win so I am going to go out there and give it everything I’ve got for the last three rounds.”

Led by Swift’s 4×4 Open class dominance, Can-Am racers earned the morning overall, swept the GNCC Utility and GNCC morning podiums, won four classes and notched a total of 12 class podium finishes. Swift has now won five 4×4 Open class races this year and leads fellow Can-Am X-Team Outlander 800R X xc racer Bryan Buckhannon by four points. Buckhannon and Zakowski Motorsports / Can-Am X-Team racer Zac Zakowski joined Swift on the morning podiums.

“It was a really rough track, but I like the rough technical stuff and that’s where I do well,” says Swift. “The quad held up great even in all the rocks. I was a little worried because it was so rough, but the Can-Am came through.”

Clifton Beasley recorded his 29th consecutive 4×4 class victory and 23rd straight U2 class victory aboard the Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc with his win in Pennsylvania. In fact, the Can-Am X-Team racer has won five 4×4 class titles in a row. He was joined on the U2 podium by fellow Can-Am-mounted racers, Robert Smith and Scott Day.

Warnert Racing / Can-Am racer Lexie Coulter earned her second straight podium trip in the Women’s class, finishing third at Mountain Ridge aboard her DS 450. Coulter, who missed two rounds due to an injury, is currently 11 points out of third place.

Forrest Whorton kept up his winning ways in the 4×4 Super Senior (45+) class, beating two other Can-Am ATV pilots in David Jessee and MPR / Can-Am X-Team racer Mike Penland. Whorton has won nine of 10 races in 2011 and has a 15-point lead heading into round 11.

Another utility racer, 4×4 Novice competitor and Can-Am rider Joshua Trafelet, of Tomah, Wis., earned his fourth win of 2011. He is the class points leader heading into the Power Line Park GNCC, Oct. 8 in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including,,,,, and many more.

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