The weather facing round six of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, was a huge turn around from the inaugural event held at X-Factor Whitetails Hunting Ranch in Peru, Indiana last season. While rain happened to fall during the 10 a.m. event, it set the stage for prime racing conditions during the 1 p.m. pro ATV race. The drying wind and intermittent sunshine provided dry fields, which kicked up dust adding another element to what seemed like a typical GNCC style course.
Without a legendary track record to look back on, it was anyone’s guess as to who would walk away with what is probably one the most sought after trophies of the season. Last season in an intense mud race it was GBC/Fly Racing/HMF/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher that came out on top, however this season WFR/GBC/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler looked to be setting the pace early. Fowler earned the $250 Wiseco XC1 Pro Holeshot and was off for two hours of racing action as he set a blistering speed. However, this would not be a runaway performance, as the top four riders remained wheel-to-wheel throughout the entire race.
Bneal Motorsports/CST Tires/Houser Racing’s Brycen Neal would directly challenge Fowler as he held the second place position for the early stages of the race, but Neal would be challenged as well by the likes of JMR/ATVriders.com/Maxxis’ Jarrod McClure and Maxxis/Fly Racing/Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Chris Borich, who swapped the second and third place positions multiple times throughout the first couple laps. As the race wore on, it became apparent that it would be a four-rider battle to the finish. When the white flag flew, it would be McClure who would put on a charge to take the second place spot from Neal and set himself up for a battle down to the wire with Fowler.
The race changed drastically as Fowler headed towards the checkered flag. McClure would find himself making the pass for his first win of 2018 in the last corner of the race, while Fowler was experiencing fuel issues. Behind Fowler were Borich and Neal, who powered in after an exhaustive last lap push to gain a spot on the podium. This was another amazing and intense race that adds to the young history of the X-Factor Whitetails GNCC.
For McClure, the win was unexpected as he had his own battle on the last lap fighting to take second away from Borich. After having the win explode in front of him, McClure was almost speechless in the first few minutes. However, after letting reality set in as to what had just happened McClure let the celebrations begin. Fowler’s issue aside, McClure was putting in the ride he wanted as his last lap push showed and in the end, his refusal to quit pushing got him this coveted win.
Borich was all smiles, as he took the second spot after a solid race that had him fighting for his own results right from the start. Borich has been striving to earn podium finishes, and to prove that he can still be a top three racer at every round. With the exception of round five, Borich has finished in the top five at every round, so it will be interesting to see how his experience can give him an edge when the pressure targets fellow XC1 pro riders.
Fowler still holds the points lead, and will look to the upcoming rounds to overcome this setback in a season that has him fighting to defend his championship. McGill Mafia/CST Tires/Moose Racing’s Adam McGill was off his usual pace this round, however he was able to salvage some points. McGill stated his performance was average, which does not sit well with him.
XC2 Pro Am ATV action was once again some of the best racing of the day as Maxxis/Itaca Recreation Sports/Fly Racing/Snapple-backed rider, Hunter Hart pushed hard and took the lead. Hard would run it all the way to the checkered flag claiming his third consecutive win of the year. Behind Hart, Jay Shadron was back in racing action and worked his way to a solid second place finish. After a disappointing finish at round five, Austin Abney would find the podium with his third place finish here in his home state.
In the 10 a.m. race, the 4×4 Pro riders would sweep the overall podium as Cunningham Racing/Can-Am/Kenda’s Kevin Cunningham claimed his sixth win on the season. Behind Cunningham was Can-Am/DeRisi Racing/GBC Motorsport’s Landon Wolfe, who once again was runner up after matching the leaders pace. Wolfe however was unable to find a way to put an end to the winning ways Cunningham has been bringing round after round. Taking the third spot was Can-Am 4×4 Pro rider Doug Robey, who rode to his first overall podium finish.
The WXC class had some serious competition as they fought for the lead throughout the racecourse. When the race ended, it was GBC Motorsports/Yamaha/Fly Racing’s Traci Pickens knocking off another win after keeping Spider Graphix’s Katelyn Osburn at bay, as she came through in second. Finishing in third and claiming her first WXC podium of the year was Sadie Welch. Welch has grown up racing in the GNCC and IXCR series, although she has been somewhat absent as she finishes school and looks towards college. Welch just made Purdue Cheerleading and will be concentrating on that and her studies, so way to go Sadie!
Youth racing was the first to tackle this years X-Factor Whitetails GNCC track, and it would be Layne McCormick racing to his fifth overall win, and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class win, of the season. Bryce Husband came through in second and Chance Hickey would join them on the podium with his third place finish. Damien Hawkins took the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. win, and came through in fifth overall.
The 1 p.m. ATV Pro race was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will be aired on the NBC Sports Network on Sunday, June 9 at 6:00 p.m.
The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Millfield, Ohio on May 26 and 27 for The Wiseco John Penton GNCC.
X-Factor Whitetails of Indiana is a privately owned and operated hunting ranch that offers guided hunts for groups of all sizes. The Indiana preserve has over 1,200 acres with one of the most beautiful lodges in the country. If you are looking for a challenging whitetail hunt for some of the biggest deer in the country, you have found the right place. To find out more about the X-Factor Whitetails Hunting Ranch click HERE.
XC1 Pro Event Results
- Jarrod McClure (HON)
- Chris Borich (SUZ)
- Brycen Neal (YAM)
- Walker Fowler (YAM)
- Adam McGill (HON)
- Cole Richardson (YAM)
- Josh Merritt (YAM)
- Westley Wolfe (SUZ)
- Cody Collier (YAM)
- Marty Christofferson (HON)
Overall National Championship Standings
- Walker Fowler (145)
- Brycen Neal (131)
- Jarrod McClure (128)
- Chris Boirch (105)
- Adam McGill (102)
- Cole Richardson (87)
- Devon Feehan (71)
- Marty Christofferson (63
- Westley Wolfe (56)
- Johnny Gallagher (54)