The XC1 Pro ATV class has produced only two different winners in the first seven rounds of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country season, despite some of the most highly contested lead battles in recent history.
Reigning champion Chris Borich and runner-up Walker Fowler have dominated the center of the podium up to this point, but there’s a stacked field of pro riders waiting to secure a win in the remaining six rounds.
This weekend, June 15 and 16, the series heads to Masontown, W. Va. for the second running of the Parts Unlimited Mountaineer Run GNCC. Lonestar/Precision/ITP’s Adam McGill matched his best finish of the season with second place last round, giving the West Virginia native momentum heading into his home state this weekend. McGill experienced mechanical issues at the last year’s Mountaineer Run GNCC, so there’s no doubt that McGill is looking for redemption this time around.
McGill’s second place finish at Round 7 came behind 4-Time GNCC champ Chris Borich, who currently holds six victories and the points lead halfway through the season. Borich has proven his dominance in the pro class as the Pennsylvania native guns for his 66th career win this weekend. However, the rough and rocky West Virginia terrain promises to add yet another element of difficulty to the already grueling two-hour battle.
AmPro Yamaha’s Fowler is the only other rider to take a win in 2013. The young gun has finished consistently inside the top five at every round except for one, giving him second overall in the championship standings. Not far behind in the standings is Reliable Tool Supply/Maxxis rider Chris Bithell, who has led several laps but hasn’t secured a win this season. Bithell has showcased one of his most consistent and successful seasons thus far and the Pennsylvania native looks to secure his first win of the season this weekend.
The battle continues between BNR’s Kevin Yoho, Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jeff Pickens and Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Johnny Gallagher for the fifth place position. Yoho holds a six-point advantage over Pickens, while Gallagher sits only five points behind in seventh place overall. Rookie Braden Henthorn is close behind Gallagher in the point standings aboard his Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing Honda, while JB Offroad/Can-Am’s Jarrod McClure and XC2 points leader Brycen Neal round out the top 10 overall.
Neal extended his XC2 Pro Am class lead after securing his fifth victory last round in Ohio. Defending XC2 champion Patrick McGuire experienced bad luck at the last round, finishing 19th in the class, where he lost valuable points in the overall standings. Rookie Landon Wolfe is back in action after missing Round 6, where he currently holds third overall in the XC2 class. Fred Marley sits in a solid fourth place, while Randy Hamilton rounds out the top five in the XC2 division.
Youth ATV racing will take place Saturday at 8 a.m., followed by amateurs, 4×4 and Women at 10 a.m. and the top amateurs and pros at 1 p.m. Round 4 of UTV competition returns to the schedule this weekend, taking place on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.