Fowler Outduels McGill at Powerline Park GNCC
In the second-to-last round of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler took home the checkers after a thrilling battle with Precision/ITP/Lonestar/Axis/Baldwin Racing’s Adam McGill.
Thousands of fans were on hand for the 12th running of the ITP Powerline Park GNCC to see Fowler earn his third victory of the season.
McGill carried the early momentum after claiming the $250 DeRisi Racing/Team Woodhead XC1 Holeshot, with five-time XC1 Champion Chris Borich and Fowler close in tow. Kevin Yoho put his BNR Motorsports machine into fourth place on the opening lap, while JB Racing/Cheerwine/Can-Am’s Jarrod McClure began in the fifth place position.
Reliable Tool Supply/Maxxis’ Chris Bithell got tangled up off the start and a big crash left the Round 11 winner almost two minutes behind the rest of the field on the opening lap.
McGill led the way for the first half of the four-lap race, but Fowler applied pressure every step of the way. Fowler eventually made his move into the lead position around the halfway point, but McGill remained close in tow. On the final lap, the duo swapped the lead position several times and McGill wasn’t able to capitalize on a passing opportunity in the final moments of racing.
“Walker and I were passing back and forth there and I actually thought I had it at the end. I got around him [Fowler] at the mud hole, but sure enough he was back to me about two minutes later,” says McGill. “It was one of those days, I mean I was feeling good and the bike was working well but Walker was riding really good.”
Fowler went on to capture his third victory of the season in his home state of Ohio, besting McGill by nine seconds. Fowler’s win marked the first time ever that he’s won an overall in the state of Ohio.
“It feels good to get my first Ohio overall and it definitely feels good to finally get one this close to home,” says Fowler. “This should wrap up the #2 plate and it’s a big relief going into Ironman. I’m just so excited to get three wins with a new team and a new season.”
Borich came through over one and a half minutes behind the leaders, salvaging a third place finish despite running into issues throughout the afternoon.
“It was pretty tough out there. I ended up clipping a tree and bent my front end so it was all out of whack and I was fighting it all day,” says Borich. “I honestly can’t believe I even got third, it was one of those days anything couldn’t go right but I’m glad to be up here on the podium.
Bithell made an impressive comeback after his first corner crash, climbing through the pack to eventually overtake McClure for the fourth place position on the final lap. McClure ended the day with a solid fifth place finish ahead of Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing’s Braden Henthorn in sixth.
Yoho ran strong within the top five before a series of crashes in the later laps dropped him to seventh place for the day. HMF/GBC/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher came in eighth, while newly crowned XC2 champion Brycen Neal and Craig Bowman rounded out the top ten.
In XC2 Pro Am action, Nathan Wallpe grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award but it was Landon Wolfe who took the lead on lap one. Despite heavy pressure from Reigning XC2 Pro Am Champion Patrick McGuire, Wolfe earned his second class-win of he season. McGuire went on to finish second ahead of Josh Merritt.
Finishing sixth overall for the day, Cole Richardson earned the Top Amateur Award en route to his fourth College A Class win of the season.
In the 10 a.m. race, it was Westley Wolfe who claimed the top honors as he secured the GT Thunder Overall Amateur Award after beating out almost 300 riders to claim the morning overall. Cody Collier didn’t make it easy for Wolfe to take the win though, as the two battled back and forth for the Schoolboy (13-15) class win, as well as the overall position. Super Senior 45+ winner Dave Simmons injected himself into the battle, where he ultimately finished third overall for the day.
The 4×4 overall podium was topped by U2 class winner Michael Swift, aboard his Team UXC Racing Can-Am machine. Swift battled all morning with BNR Motorsports/Can-Am rider Robert Smith for the U2 Class Championship, where he finished only eleven seconds behind Swift in the overall standings. West Virginia’s Bryan Buckhannon once again topped the 4×4 Open class, securing third place atop the 4×4 overall podium and an impressive sixth overall for the morning.
In the Youth race, it was Hunter Hart who claimed the 90 Open (12-15) class win, as well as his first Youth Overall victory at the ITP Powerline Park GNCC. Hart’s win was enough to clinch his third career Youth Overall Championship with one round to go in the 2013 season. Brandon Frazier finished only sixteen seconds behind Hart to capture second overall for the day, followed by John Glauda Jr., rounding out the overall podium.
Round 5 of the UTV National Championship took place on Saturday where the Polaris National Guard Team of William and Tina Yokley once again captured the overall win, as well as the XC1 Modified Class win. Team Big Country Powersports/Polaris put in a hard fought second place finish with Team Jacks rounding out the overall podium.
The 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series will make its final stop of the season in Crawfordsville, Ind. on October 26 and 27 with the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC.
|2012 GNCC XC1 Standings||2012 GNCC XC2 Standings|
|1.||Chris Borich||SUZ||327 (7 wins)||1.||Brycen Neal||HON||280 (8 wins)|
|2.||Walker Fowler||YAM||263 (3 wins)||2.||Patrick McGuire||YAM||225 (1 win)|
|3.||Chris Bithell||SUZ||240 (1 win)||3.||Fred Marley||HON||212|
|4.||Adam McGill||HON||237 (1 win)||4.||Landon Wolfe||SUZ||201 (2 wins)|
|5.||Kevin Yoho||YAM||172||5.||Joshua Merritt||YAM||179|
|6.||Jarrod McClure||CAN||169||6.||Randy Hamilton||HON||176 (1 win)|
|7.||Braden Henthorn||HON||166||7.||Michael Lancaster||HON||155|
|8.||Johnny Gallagher||HAM||163||8.||Chad Jones||HON||155|
|9.||Jeffrey Pickens||YAM||157||9.||Blake Kramer||YAM||141|
|10.||Gabe Phillips||YAM||132||10.||Nathan Wallpe||HON||134|