Fowler Earns Win at Mountaineer Run GNCC
N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler earned his second victory of the season at the third running of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC, which took place on Saturday in Masontown, WV. The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, reached its halfway mark this weekend with Round 7 of the 13-race championship series, and Fowler proved that there’s still plenty of racing left to go in 2014 as he closed the points gap on current leader and reigning XC1 Pro ATV Champion Chris Borich.
It was XC1 rookie Jay Shadron who captured his first career pro class holeshot to earn the $250 Twin Air/DeRisi Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. From there, the Waynesburg Yamaha rider held an impressive lead over the seasoned veterans of the class, including five-time champ Borich, Brent Sturdivant, Fowler and BNR Motorsports/Loctite’s Kevin Yoho, who all ran inside the top five early on.
Around the halfway point, things began to heat up as Fowler took over the lead, with Team Maxxis’ Borich hot in pursuit. The duo battled back and forth for the lead position in the final laps of the two-hour race but in the end it was Fowler who prevailed with the Round 7 victory.
“Chris is really hard to beat straight up. I could see myself on the box but I knew the win was going to be tough,” says Fowler. “When you can get out with a good start and get a lead and make him chase you, then you have a better chance. But to beat him straight up, it’s not easy at all.”
Borich finished a close second place, marking only his second loss through the first seven rounds of the season. The five-time champ holds the lead in the championship standings as the series heads into the eighth round of the series.
“I caught Shadron at the end but he was rolling really well,” says Borich. “I tried to put my hammer down then and tried to catch up. I tried to be smooth but it got sketchy in some spots out there.”
Meanwhile, a battle for third place ensued between Shadron – who was looking to capture his first career podium finish – and Adam McGill, who won the Mountaineer Run GNCC in 2013. RacingPowersports.com/CST Tires/PirateMX.com’s McGill made a valiant charge from outside the top five, where he caught and eventually passed Shadron on the final lap. McGill held on to finish third overall for the day, where he currently sits third in the championship standings.
“I started putting the hammer down, and I felt really good all day,” says McGill. “I kept pushing, pushing and pushing but I just couldn’t catch up to these guys.”
Shadron finished fourth overall for the day, which is a career best result. Brent Sturdivant had a stand out ride, where he finished a season-best fifth place in the class and sixth overall for the day.
Maxxis/FLY Racing/ATV Innovations Landon Wolfe finished sixth in the XC1 Class, while DWT Racing’s Jarrod McClure came in seventh. Josh Merritt finished eighth in the class, GT Thunder’s Brian Wolf came in ninth and Yoho rounded out the top ten in the class.
It was a tough day for Precision/Maxxis Tires Chris Bithell, who experienced mechanical issues almost immediately off the start. Bithell was able to push his way inside the top ten but the problems arose once again and ultimately ended the day for the Pennsylvania native, who now sits in fourth overall in the championship standings.
N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Cole Richardson closed up the points gap in the XC2 Pro Am division after capturing his fourth win of the season at Round 7. Richardson led all four laps, where he topped the second place of Marshal Goings by over four minutes after two-hours of competition.
SICC Racing’s Goings now leads the XC2 Pro Am championship standings by a mere five points over a hard-charging Richardson.
Marty Christofferson made his second straight appearance atop the XC2 Pro Am podium, where he maintained a solid and consistent third place all afternoon after claiming the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Pro Am Holeshot Award. Christofferson now holds third place in the championship standings after seven rounds of racing.
In the 10 a.m. amateur race, the of Cody Collier battled it out with Schoolboy (13-15) competitor Westley Wolfe for the overall position all morning. Collier prevailed once again to earn the $125 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award, in addition to the honor of topping the entire field of racers on the overall time clock. Wolfe earned second overall for the day, as well as the runner-up position in the Schoolboy Class.
Joining the young guns atop the overall podium at Round 7 was 4×4 Pro Class winner Kevin Trantham, who finished third overall for the day. Trantham’s victory marks his third 4×4 Pro Class win of the season, where he now holds the points lead in the championship standings. Factory Polaris/UXC Racing’s Michael Swift secured his best finish of the season, as he came through just seven seconds behind Trantham for second place in the highly competitive class. Swift’s stellar ride also earned the Tennessee native another season-best finish of fourth overall. ATV Parts Plus/Can-Am Bryan Buckhannon rounded out the 4×4 Pro Class podium with a third place finish in the class and sixth overall for the day.
Round 3 of the Side-by-Side racing series embarked upon Marvin’s Mountain Top on Saturday, as Can-Am driver Kyle Chaney took his first win of the season in West Virginia. Chaney got off to a great start, where he led all six laps of the nearly one-hour competition. Chaney’s Can-Am teammate and fellow Ohio native, Tim Farr, started off around the fifth place position but the Round 2 winner quickly put himself into striking distance of the leaders, finishing just 14 seconds behind for second place. It was yet another Can-Am machine that finished in the third place position, as team driver Larry Hendershot put forth a season-best performance for his hometown crowd in nearby Marietta, Ohio.
In the Youth division, Florida’s Brandon Frazier returned to the center of the podium with his sixth overall victory of the season. Frazier also earned himself yet another victory in the 90 Open (12-15) Class. Pennsylvania’s Tim Sroka landed a spot atop the overall podium as well, earning second place in the 90 Open (12-15) Class and second overall. Georgia’s Dylan Walraven made his second appearance on the overall podium this season with a third place finish in both the 90 Open (12-15) Class and the overall tally.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes June 7 and 8 with the Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio.