Fowler Outduels McGill to Win Big Buck GNCC
The race for the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series XC1 championship tightened up this weekend as Walker Fowler picked up his second win of the season after an exciting battle against series leader Adam McGill at the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC.
CST/PirateMX.com/LSR/DeRisi/Tireblocks/SG-backed McGill collected yet another $250 AMSOIL XC1 Pro Holeshot Award to begin the day out front. McGill turned up the pace immediately, with N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar/MXP’s Fowler, Maxxis/B. Neal Motorsports’ Brycen Neal, Bithell Racing/Maxxis/Precision-backed Chris Bithell and JMR/ATVRiders.com-backed Jarrod McClure close in tow.
McGill worked hard to create a comfortable gap on the rest of the field early on, but around the halfway mark of the four-lap race it was Fowler who began his charge to the front. As the two-lap card fell, Fowler made his move to the front and the lead duo battled their way to another exciting finish.
The excitement didn’t stop with the lead battle, as the final podium position was up for grabs all afternoon. Neal and Bithell exchanged the third place position several times through the first hour of the race but it was McClure who quietly made his way into podium contention on the final lap.
Adam McGill got out to an early lead, which he held for the first half of the race.
Despite the pass two laps earlier, McGill didn’t let Fowler out of his sights as the two raced into the final turns of the two-hour race with only seconds separating their machines. In the end, Fowler held a three-second lead on the West Virginia native as he came through for his second victory of the season in South Carolina. Fowler’s win allowed him to make up five points toward McGill’s lead in the championship standings, where McGill now holds a 15-point lead heading into round five.
McClure upped the pace in the final moments to break through for his first podium appearance of the season with third overall. The Pennsylvania native now sits fourth in the championship standings, only eight points outside third place.
Jarrod McClure earned his first podium finsih of the season.
Despite running inside the top three for a majority of the afternoon, Neal finished about 35 seconds off the podium at round four. However, Neal’s consistency thus far has earned the sophomore XC1 Pro rider a third place position in the championship standings amidst a talented field of veteran riders. Bithell extended his consistent string of top five finishes with his third fifth place finish of the season. Bithell sits in eighth place in the championship standings despite a mechanical issue at round three, where he earned zero points toward the championship.
After getting off to a mid-pack start, Maxxis/SSi/FLY/Yamaha’s Chris Borich maintained a consistent pace where he ultimately finished sixth overall for the day. Borich’s sixth place finish marks the second time in four races that the six-time champion has finished off the podium, where he sits in fifth place in the early championship standings.
It was a tough day for Coastal/Waynesburg Yamaha’s Jay Shadron, who was running near the front when he collided with a tree and reportedly injured his left shoulder. After attempting to push through the pain, Shadron decided to call it a day after the first lap.
Landon Wolfe put in a season-best seventh place finish in the XC1 Pro class, followed by Fasttrax/Wolf Racing’s Brian Wolf in eighth, BNR Motorsports/GBC Racing’s Kevin Yoho in ninth and Team Woodhead/Baldwin Motorsports/DeRisi Racing’s Braden Henthorn rounded out the top ten in the class.
In XC2 Pro Am action, it was N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar/MXP’s Cole Richardson who captured his fourth consecutive $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot Award before extending his win streak to four-in-a-row in 2015. Richardson got off to the early lead but the reigning champion experienced a minor setback when a rock hit his front shock and forced him to stop in the AmPro Yamaha pits for almost two minutes to make a repair. Despite falling back to fifth place, Richardson was able to bounce back and capture yet another win in his quest for a second XC2 Pro Am title.
Cole Richardson has started the 2015 GNCC season with four straight wins.
RYCO Racing/Pierce Performance’s Cody Collier took advantage of Richardson’s misfortune early on where he led his first career laps as an XC2 rider. Collier eventually went on to capture second place in the class, just ahead of Dillingers/Hygear’s Marty Christofferson in third.
Maryland’s Westley Wolfe captured his first-ever Top Amateur Award with a 18th overall and his first career win in the College A (16-21) class.
The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes April 25 and 26 with the Limestone 100 GNCC in Springville, Ind.
Overall National Championship Standings
Adam McGill (110)
Walker Fowler (95)
Brycen Neal (76)
Jarrod McClure (68)
Chris Borich (61)
Cole Richardson (53)
Jay Shadron (52)
Chris Bithell (48)
Johnny Gallagher (41)
Kevin Yoho (36)