Borich Wins Season-Ending AMSOIL Ironman GNCC
Chris Borich fought off Walker Fowler to win the season-ending AMSOIL Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Ind. The win was the 67th of his career, tying him with Bill Ballance for the all-time ATV win record.
Borich kicked off the afternoon by grabbing the $250 DeRisi Racing/Team Woodhead Holeshot, but he opted to follow Precision/ITP/Lonestar/Axis/Baldwin Racing’s Adam McGill into the woods on the opening lap. It wasn’t long before AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler joined the front-runners, creating a three-way battle for the lead early on.
By Lap 2, Fowler had made his way past McGill to take over the lead position, while Borich continued to follow closely behind in third. However, the lead spot changed once again on Lap 3 as McGill made a charge to the front of the pack. McGill ran into problems shortly after acquiring the lead, where he was forced to stop in his pit to repair a mechanical issue.
Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing’s Braden Henthorn capitalized on McGill’s misfortune as the XC1 Class rookie made his way past BNR Motorsports rider Kevin Yoho and into the third place position. From there, Yoho applied the pressure to keep a young Henthorn in his sights.
As the race wore on, Borich inched his way toward the front of the pack where he finally engaged in a side-by-side battle with Fowler on the final lap. The duo flip-flopped the lead position in the final moments, but it was Borich who prevailed at the end of the two-hour competition.
“I never thought I would be that high up in the win records until everyone started talking about it and it’s pretty cool to think about I guess,” says Borich. “It seems like every year we get the championship wrapped up early and run into some bad luck in winning races. But today we just had fun, did what we needed to do and came out with the win.”
Despite leading a majority of the two-hour race, Fowler finished eight seconds behind Borich to claim second overall for the day. Fowler’s second place finish gives him the #2 plate for the 2014 season.
“Today was a lot of fun. The last lap I got into a rhythm and got a second burst of energy and did everything I could to battle with Chris [Borich],” says Fowler. “It was fun to push each other and we both made our mistakes but he came out on top this time.”
In his first year of XC1 competition, Henthorn put forth his best performance of the season with a third place overall finish at the season finale.
Yoho finished only 16 seconds behind Henthorn to capture fourth place overall for the day, securing a career-best #5 plate for 2014. After a successful season of competition in the College A Class, Jay Shadron made his XC1 Pro Class debut, where he finished an impressive fifth place overall from the front row. McGill was able to salvage sixth place overall after losing time to adjust his ATV in the pits.
With absence of Shadron in the College A Class, it was a head-to-head battle all afternoon between Pennsylvania’s Cole Richardson and Indiana’s Marshal Goings. The duo set a pace that wasn’t even matched by the XC2 Pro Am Class, as they finished seventh and ninth overall respectively, ahead of all Pro Am riders. Richardson’s impressive seventh place overall earned him the Top Amateur honors for the day.
Hilltop Motorsports rider Chad Jones landed himself a position in the center of the podium for the first time ever as he claimed the XC2 Pro Am victory in front of his home state crowd. Indiana’s Jay Humphrey grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award but it was 2012 XC2 Champion Patrick McGuire who claimed the early lead in the class. McGuire led the first three laps of the two-hour race but an unfortunate mechanical issue hindered his ability to finish the race.
From there, Jones made his way into the lead position and never looked back. Ohio’s Josh Merritt began the race just inside of the top ten but quickly moved his way through the pack. As the white flag fell, Merritt held a comfortable second place position as the battle came for third place. New Jersey’s Randy Hamilton and Indiana’s Nathan Wallpe flip-flopped the third place spot but in the end, it was Hamilton who claimed the final podium position.
In the 10 a.m. race, it was Super Senior 45+ winner Dave Simmons who topped the AM Overall podium, claiming the final GT Thunder Overall Amateur Award of the season. Ohio’s Cody Collier and Maryland’s Wesley Wolfe once again battled it out in the Schoolboy (13-15) Class until Wolfe ran into mechanical issues that ended his morning after only two laps. As a result, Collier captured the class win, as well as the plate and the Schoolboy (13-15) Class Championship in his first season competing in the 10 a.m. race. Recently crowned 2013 Women’s Class Champion Kylie Ahart ended the season on a high note as she secured her second overall-podium finish of the season with third overall and yet another victory in the Women’s Class.
The 4×4 overall podium was topped by U2 class winner Michael Swift, aboard his Team UXC Racing Can-Am machine. Swift’s victory at the Ironman GNCC earned the Tennessee native his first U2 title, besting BNR Motorsports/Can-Am rider Robert Smith in a close-knit battle for the championship. North Carolina’s Kevin Trantham secured yet another 4×4 Lites victory, also securing third place overall atop the 4×4 podium.
West Virginia’s Bryan Buckhannon took the win in the 4×4 Open class, securing yet another championship in the class. Buckhannon announced that the Ironman GNCC would be his last race as a full time 4×4 competitor.
New York’s Hunter Hart grabbed his tenth 90 Open (12-15) class win of the season, while topping the Youth overall once again. Hart closes out the 2013 season as the Youth ATV Champion, in addition to the 90 Open (12-15) class win. Florida’s Brandon Frazier locked in the second place overall finish, surpassing John Glauda Jr. in the class standings after 13 races.
The final round of UTV racing took place on Saturday afternoon where Team Can-Am/JB Racing 41 secured its first overall win of the season at the Ironman GNCC. Team Jacks put its Polaris machine into the second place position for the day, taking home third place overall in the championship standings. Team Big Country Powersports rounded out the overall podium with a third place finish where they went on to finish second place in the championship. It was once again team Polaris National Guard who claimed the 2013 National Championship, despite a fifth place finish at the season finale.
|2013 GNCC XC1 Final Standings||2013 GNCC XC2 Final Standings|
|1.||Chris Borich||SUZ||357 (8 wins)||1.||Brycen Neal||HON||280 (8 wins)|
|2.||Walker Fowler||YAM||288 (3 wins)||2.||Patrick McGuire||YAM||230 (1 win)|
|3.||Adam McGill||HON||252 (1 win)||3.||Fred Marley||HON||228|
|4.||Chris Bithell||SUZ||240 (1 win)||4.||Joshua Merritt||YAM||204|
|5.||Kevin Yoho||YAM||190||5.||Landon Wolfe||SUZ||202 (2 wins)|
|6.||Braden Henthorn||HON||187||6.||Randy Hamilton||HON||197 (1 win)|
|7.||Johnny Gallagher||YAM||175||7.||Chad Jones||HON||185 (1 win)|
|8.||Jeffrey Pickens||YAM||170||8.||Michael Lancaster||HON||170|
|9.||Jarrod McClure||CAN||169||9.||Nathan Wallpe||HON||152|
|10.||Gabe Phillips||YAM||132||10.||Blake Kramer||YAM||151|