Fowler Holds Off McGill to Win Mountain Ridge GNCC
With Hurricane Juaquin dropping buckets of rainfall, track conditions at the Car-Mate Mountain Ridge GNCC were not exactly ideal. Walker Fowler was able to push through and picked up another big win to pad Overall National Championship lead.
As the green flag dropped for the XC1 Pro ATV race, Showhauler/Maxxis/Cycle Barn’s Landon Wolfe claimed the $250 AMSOIL Holeshot Award and led the pack into the opening lap of racing. However, N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Fowler quickly took over the lead.
As the race wore on, Fowler held onto a consistent first place throughout with little pressure until the white flag lap when Adam McGill picked up the pace.
“You can’t win the championship on a day like today, but you can lose it quickly,” says Fowler. “McGill started pushing on that last lap and I knew it would either be good or bad. He made up a lot of time and got within striking distance right when my hands went numb. Thankfully things got quiet and I was able to cross the finish line first.”
McGill had suffered a small bobble, causing the silence, and allowing Fowler to pull ahead. In the end, there was a 10 second gap between first and second as they crossed the finish line.
Adam McGill (left) and Jarrod McClure (right) celebrate with Walker Fowler on the XC1 Pro podium.
“I made a good push to catch Fowler on the last lap and was within five second of him,” said McGill. “I miscalculated the front end, clipped a tree, and dumped it. Hats off to Walker for the overall, but I’ll be ready for Powerline Park and looking for the win there.”
JMR/ATVRider.com’s Jarrod McClure came into this round with his first overall GNCC win behind him, along with a handful of podiums. McClure proved that his momentum is not slowing down as he worked his way from sixth on the first lap to standing in the third place spot on the podium.
Team Maxxis-backed Chris Borich finished fourth in XC1 Pro for the day, followed by Maxxis/B. Neal Motorsports’ Brycen Neal in fifth and Coastal/Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jay Shadron crossed in sixth. Following behind them would be Fasttrax/Wolf Racing’s Brian Wolf in the seventh position, eighth place was Maxxis/BNR/Moose-backed Josh Merritt, GBC Yamaha HMF’s Johnny Gallagher in ninth and West Virginia’s Brent Sturdivant help the tenth place in the XC1 Pro division.
N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Cole Richardson was able to clinch to XC2 Pro Am Championship after a big win at the 11th round. After capturing the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot Award, the Pennsylvania native left the rest of the pack and never looked back. Richardson will be moving to the premier XC1 Pro class for the remainder of the 2015 season, before ultimately making the official transition in 2016. New York’s Marty Christofferson captured yet another solid podium finish with second place in the class, where he also sits second in the championship standings. Thomas Koontz Jr. made his first appearance on the podium finishing in third.
Cole Richardson (middle) received his XC2 Pro Am championship plate.
“It feels good to be the XC2 champion, especially with the way the weather was,” said Richardson. “I’m definitely looking forward to stepping up to the front row at these last two races to see how I can do against them. I can keep up with them at local races, but a National race is on a different level.”
College A (16-21) class winner Westley Wolfe took the Top Amateur honors, finishing 14th overall for the day.
The 10 a.m. race was full on intense battles, but it would be Team UXC Racing/Factory Polaris’ Michael Swift at the head of the pack. Swift’s performance not only earned him a class-win, but the Tennessee native also topped the entire morning overall with his fourth victory of the season in the 4×4 Pro division. Can-Am rider Bryan Buckhannon finished second overall, with Schoolboy Sr. racer John Glauda Jr. who rounded out the top three overall and took home the GT Thunder ATV Amateur Overall Award. Buckhannon maintains the points lead in the 4×4 Pro class, over Team UXC Racing/Factory Polaris teammates Swift and Kevin Trantham.
Battling on the track the same time as the 4×4 Pro class was the WXC division. Honda rider Angel Knox defended her championship points lead finishing an astounding 55 seconds ahead of Pennsylvania native Traci Pickens. Although, even with the time gap after the checkers flew, the win would not come that easy as Pickens put up a hard battle during the first half of the race swapping positions throughout. New York’s Kara Frederick pushed from sixth place to round out the podium in third.
Angel Knox (middle) celebrates her WCX class victory.
In the Youth division, Pennsylvania’s Ronnie Rusch captured his tenth overall victory of the season allowing him to wrap up the Overall Youth ATV championship. “Rocket Ronnie” has been hard to beat this season, winning 10 out of the 11 rounds. Ohio’s Joey Ocel finished second in 125 Sr. and overall for the day, while Yamaha rider Mikey Nickles stood in the third spot atop of the podium.
Ronnie Rusch earned his 10th win of the season and secured the Youth Overall championship.
The future stars of the sport took to the track for their last round of the season. The 50cc Micros classes proved that the next generation can handle the rough and muddy conditions, with the crowning of an additional two champions. In the ATV Micro division Indiana’s Niko Graham walked away as the new overall champion, while New York’s Paul Best claimed the Bike Micros overall championship.
The 2015 AMSOIL GNCC series will head to St. Clairsville, Ohio on October 17 and 18 for the ITP Powerline Park GNCC.