Can-Am Race Report: John Penton GNCC
Can-Am UTV and ATV raced to five class victories this past weekend at the John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio.
Team Travalena took the checkers in the XC2 UTV class in its Can-Am Commander 1000 X, while Motoworks / Can-Am Commander pilot Kyle Chaney picked up a second-place finish in the XC1 UTV class. Meanwhile, Can-Am 4×4 ATV racers Bryan Buchannon (4×4 Open), Clifton Beasley (U2), Kevin Trantham (4×4 Lites) and Forest Whorton (4×4 Senior) all earned class wins in Round 9 of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series.
“All of our riders and teams fought hard and overcame the excessive heat in Ohio. Motoworks / Can-Am Commander 1000 X driver Kyle Chaney led most of the XC1 UTV race. Unfortunately, a lapped racer caused Chaney to crash on the final lap. Thankfully, he recovered to finish a very close second and reach the class podium,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “Team Travalena also had great ride, winning the XC2 UTV class. I was proud of the way all our guys raced in the brutally humid conditions, especially our Can-Am 4×4 racers, who earned four class overalls.”
In side-by-side racing action, pilot Kyle Chaney put his Motoworks-backed Can-Am Commander in the top five at the start of the XC1 UTV class race. By the second lap, he grabbed the lead and held it until the final loop. While overtaking a lapped vehicle, Chaney lost control of his vehicle and lost the lead. The team recovered quickly and ended up with a hard-fought second-place finish. In the UTV XC2 class, Team Travelena worked its way up from a top five start and took the class win by over 30 seconds. The team’s impressive charge in its Commander 1000 X also allowed them to finish in ninth overall for the day.
In the XC1 Pro class, Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 racer Chris Bithell made a great come-from-behind ride to claim a top five finish. A roosted rock thrown by another ATV at the start of the XC1 class, derailed the chain on Bithell’s ATV and put him 40-seconds behind the race leaders. However, by lap two, Bithell had moved into fourth place. He ended the day in fifth place.
Defending 4×4 Open class champion and current points leader Bryan Buckhannon and Michael Swift again had a fantastic duel aboard their Can-Am Outlander 800R ATVs. Buckhannon came off the starting line in third, while Swift got hung up with another racer. However, by the midpoint of the lap two, Swift had caught Buckhannon and the two diced for the lead for the next couple laps. Buckhannon eventually found some breathing room and notched his seventh overall of the year, while Swift took second.
“I had a good race but the heat got to me after it was all over, so I am just really glad everything went well,” says Buckhannon, who also competed in the UTV racing in Ohio. “I’m going to be doing a few local races over the break and doing some fine tuning on my Commander, so when we come back I can hopefully be on the podium.”
Kevin Trantham led the 4×4 Lites class from start to finish aboard his 2012 Outlander 500, winning by more than 13 minutes. He also finished second overall for the morning race. UXC Racing / Can-Am Renegade racer Cliff Beasley got back to his winning ways in the U2 class after missing the podium at the previous round. Beasley finished with a time of 01:40:08, putting him in third overall for the morning classes. Defending 4×4 Senior class champion, Forrest Whorton notched another win aboard his Outlander 800R. After losing his ignition key on the starting line and starting more than three minutes behind the rest of his class, Whorton put in an incredible ride on his way to victory.
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