Fowler Wins Second Straight to Start GNCC Season
The top cross-country ATV racers headed to Sparta, Ga. this past weekend for the Maxxis Cannonball GNCC, the second round of the 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series.
As the green flag dropped CST/LSR/Induction Solutions/DeRisi/SG/Tire Blocks’ Adam McGill jumped out to the early lead to claim the $250 Wiseco Holeshot Award. McGill was able to escape the pileup behind him that involved Coastal Racing/MSR/Maxxis’ Brycen Neal and BNR/Moose Racing/Maxxis-backed Josh Merritt.
It did not take long for N-Fab/Maxxis/AmPro Yamaha/Lonestar/MXP’s Walker Fowler to make his way to the front of the pack, but Maxxis/Fly Racing/HMF/Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Suzuki’s Chris Borich was right behind him. The two battled and passed the first place position to each other a couple of times, but eventually Fowler was able to see a clear trail and pulled away in the last half-mile of the race.
Walker Fowler fought off Chris Borich to earn his second straight win to start the season.
Meanwhile, Neal was putting his training to use by pushing through the pack. After starting next to last, Neal spent the majority of the race battling with N-Fab/Maxxis/AmPro Yamaha/Lonestar/MXP’s Cole Richardson and McGill.
“I’m very happy and proud to be back on the box,” said Neal. “This podium finish means a lot especially after getting tangled up on the start and coming back to fight through a tough pack.”
Once the white flag was out there was a drag race until the end. Borich pushed until the very end to pass Fowler, but just could not take the lead. Fowler crossed the finish line in first, followed by Borich and Neal.
“I never start the year off real well, and that’s not to say it can’t go downhill, but it feels great to have two wins in two races,” said Fowler. “I just want to dedicate the win to my sister as she’s not feeling well, but will be on the road to recovery soon.”‘
McGill finished the race with a solid fourth overall followed by JMR/ATVriders.com’s Jarrod McClure in fifth, Precision/Axis/Maxxis’ Jay Shadron in sixth and Merritt finished a remarkable seventh after his last place start. Show Hauler/Canyon Motorsports/GBC-backed Landon Wolfe placed eighth, Richardson in ninth and GBC/HMF/FLY Racing/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher rounded out the top 10 in the XC1 Pro class.
In the XC2 Pro-Am division, New Jersey native Randy Hamilton grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, but in the end it was Dillinger’s Celtic Pub & Eatery/GBC Motorsports/Moose Racing’s Mary Christofferson who found his way back to the podium with the win after a not so favorable season opener. Christofferson was followed by XC2 Pro-Am rookie and Hygear Suspension/Waynesburg Yamaha/FLY Racing/Moto-Xperts/Spider Graphix’s Greg Covert placed second followed by Pierce Performance/Waynesburg Yamaha/Greg’s ATV’s Bryson Hoppes.
Martin Christofferson (center) celebrates his XC2 Pro-Am victory.
“I saved myself in Florida,” said Christofferson. “I just felt a lot better today and the terrain here fits my style a little better. I loved the new track and felt like it put everyone on an equal playing field.”
The 10 a.m. race was one to go in the record books with Missouri’s Bryan Hulsey taking home the overall win along with $125 GT Thunder ATV Amateur Overall Award. The Super Senior (45+) competitor proved that he has what it takes to contend with the top amateurs. He was followed by 4×4 Pro class winner and Team UXC’s Racing’s Kevin Trantham in second overall, followed by Cunningham Racing/Can-Am/Spider Graphix/Gold Speed-backed Kevin Cunningham in third. Texas native Cody Miller placed fourth overall, but third in the 4×4 Pro class.
The WXC division took to the Georgia woods with speed, but at the end of the two-hour race it was Pennsylvania’s Traci Pickens, Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Maxxis/Fox Shocks’ Alicia McCormick and Houser Racing/Maxxis/Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Kara Frederick on the podium.
Georgia native Dylan Walraven made it two-in-a-row in the 8 a.m. youth race, but he had some stiff competition right behind him with the Yamaha rider of Mikey Nickels. After finishing 34th overall last weekend, Bailey Morgerson had a standout performance and rounded out the podium in third.
GNCC National Championship Standings
- Walker Fowler (60)
- Brycen Neal (46)
- Chris Borich (46)
- Adam McGill (34)
- Jarrod McClure (34)
- Josh Merritt (29)
- Greg Covert (25)
- Landon Wolfe (24)
- Cole Richardson (22)
- Johnny Gallagher (22)
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