Fowler Wins Unadilla GNCC and Takes Over Championship Lead
Walker Fowler had three months to stew over his second place spot in the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country series standings. When the series resumed Saturday at the Unadilla GNCC after the long summer break, Fowler cruised to the win and the lead position in the chance for the championship.
It was CST/PirateMX.com/LSR/DeRisi/Tireblocks/SG’s Adam McGill who shot out to claim the $250 AMSOIL XC1 Pro Holeshot and the early lead. Fowler (N-Fab/AmPro/Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar) crept his way up to the front, and it didn’t take long for the duo began their race-long battle for the lead. McGill pulled ahead after the first pit stop, due to Fowler getting off the quad to make a quick adjustment.
“I jumped off and adjusted the micro steering stabilizer. It made the machine act much better on this rough terrain,” says Fowler. “I lost 10-15 seconds at that time doing what I did, but I think I definitely gained in the long run.”
Once the steering issue was resolved, Fowler and McGill were riding wheel-to-wheel until bad luck struck McGill on the last lap. Fortunately, the infamous “McGill Mafia” was able to push McGill to the finish line, but he would end up dropping to ninth overall.
Team Maxxis’ Chris Borich first made an appearance at the inaugural Unadilla event in 2005, and being no stranger to the track meant that when the white flag flew he knew to pick up the pace. Borich was able to move from fourth to second on the last lap, making it one of his best season finishes. The Pennsylvania native considers Unadilla to be a favorite stop on the circuit.
“It’s a close to home track, and it’s nice to be up here with the WYNOA crew,” says Borich. “There’s always a lot of riders and fans, and it makes for a great race.”
Coming into this round from his first-ever GNCC overall win, JMR/ATVRiders.com Jarrod McClure found himself once again on the podium. McClure has been on the last four Unadilla podiums, and finished third on Saturday.
Cole Richardson dominated the XC2 class at Unadilla MX and continues to lead the championship standings.
In the XC2 Pro Am division, New York’s own Nick Wheeler grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, but the quick lead wouldn’t last long as N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar backed rider Cole Richardson worked his way out front. The Pennsylvania native created a gap and never looked back, claiming yet another win in the Pro Am division. After adjusted time, Richardson would end up missing the overall podium by only one second.
“Over the break I focused on getting better physical fitness for the last half of the race, and I think we achieved that,” says Richardson. “I felt really good today, and I think we’ll be good going into Mountain Ridge.”
New York’s Mary Christofferson followed in Richardson’s tracks and stayed in second the entire race. Honda support rider Randy Hamilton claimed the last spot on the podium in the Pro Am class.
Maryland’s Westley Wolfe put forth an impressive ride at Round 10, capturing the College A (16-21) class win. Westley earned not only the Top Amateur honors, but also finished 11th overall, his best overall finish.
The 4×4 Pro class once again showcased some of the most intense battles of the day as the fastest 4×4 ATV racers in the world converged for the tenth round of GNCC racing. The battle came down to the final moments where Team UXC Racing teammates finished by mere two tenths of a second from each other Kevin Trantham emerged victorious, followed by Michael Swift. Can-Am’s Bryan Buckhannon rounded out the top three, but he still continues to hold the lead in the 4×4 Pro points championship.
Kevin Trantham (middle) celebrates his 4×4 victory on the podium.
In the premier Women’s Cross Country division, Katelyn Osburn was standing on the top of the box after the grueling two-hour race. The win didn’t come easy for Osburn as she played consistent and capitalized on Angel Knox’s misfortune with her fuel line during lap four. Another New Yorker, Kara Frederick, worked her way from seventh to second. Yamaha’s Kylie Ahart, the new WXC points leader, took third overall.
The ATV Youth started off the racing action at 8 a.m. Pennsylvania’s Tim Sroka took his first win of the season, exiling Ronnie Rusch from his season-long winning streak. Rusch still made his presence on the podium, but instead was third overall. New York rider Mikey Nickels finished in second, and then turned abound to race the 10 a.m. race in Schoolboy Jr. where he finished 23rd.
Tim Sroka (middle) holds the trophy for his Youth class win. He is joined on the podium by Mikey Nickels (left) and Ronnie Rusch (right).
XC1 Event Results
Walker Fowler (YAM)
Chris Borich (YAM)
Jarrod McClure (HON)
Brycen Neal (YAM)
Landon Wolfe (HON)
Johnny Gallagher (YAM)
Adam McGill (HON)
Braden Henthorn (HON)
Jay Shadron (YAM)
Joshua Merritt (YAM)
Overall National Championship Standings
Walker Fowler (235)
Adam McGill (226)
Jarrod McClure (188)
Chris Borich (165)
Brycen Neal (158)
Cole Richardson (138)
Chris Bithell (129)
Jay Shadron (110)
Brian Wolf (110)
Johnny Gallagher (101)