(Photo by Ken Hill)
After chasing Chris Borich all season, Walker Fowler finally took the checkers a couple of weeks back at the Limestone 100 GNCC. He’ll try to make it two in a row this weekend as the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Millfield, Ohio for the Wiseco John Penton GNCC.
AmPro Yamaha‘s Fowler made a statement last round as he secured the Round 6 victory that also ended Borich’s five-race win streak in 2013. Fowler has been in contention for the lead all season long and the young gun looks to keep it rolling with two in a row this weekend.
Although Borich has the most wins this season, the Maxxis-backed rider hasn’t necessarily spent the most time out front. Reliable Tool Supply/Maxxis rider Chris Bithell has arguably led the most laps this season as he continues to fight for the overall win each round. However, Borich has the last-lap pass down to a science and the seasoned veteran knows what it takes to secure the win after two hours of racing. As the series reaches the second half of the schedule, strategy becomes even more crucial in winning a championship at the end of the season.
Kenny Rich Sr. won the Masters (50+) class at Mammoth GNCC.
Team ITP racers fought through the rain and mud to earn four class victories and seven podium finishes at round five of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series in Park City, Ky. Meanwhile, at the Best In The Desert Silver State 300 in Nevada, Team Murray Motorsports / Del Amo Motorsports piloted its ITP-clad side-by-side to third overall on the 1900 class podium.
“GNCC courses are tough enough without mud, but when you factor in heavy rain, slippery, power-robbing mud and everything that comes with it, the 2013 Mammoth GNCC was a very challenging event. Considering the conditions and the fact that 15 percent of racers DNF’d, I’m very pleased that we won four classes, had two racers finish in the overall top 10 in the morning and grabbed a total of seven podiums,” says Pat McGuire, public relations / race support for ITP. “The Murray brothers had a another good showing in the Nevada desert, earning third using the new ITP UltraCross R-Spec 30-inch tires in the BITD SxS Pro ranks.”
Chris Borich looks for his fifth straight GNCC win this weekend. (Photo by Ken Hill)
Maxxis-backed Chris Borich has opened the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series with four straight wins. He’ll try to make it five in a row this weekend when the series heads to Park City, Ky. for the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mammoth GNCC.
With 63 career wins to date, Borich is attempting to dethrone nine-time champion Bill Ballance – who has 67 wins – to become the winningest ATV racer in GNCC history. Seven-time ATV champ and 2003 bike champ Barry Hawk currently holds the all-time win record with a combined 68 wins between both disciplines, an achievement that could be reached and exceeded by Borich in 2013.
In just its second year hosting a GNCC, the Park Mammoth Resort offers some of the freshest trail on the circuit with plenty of single-track sections and technical terrain. Borich took the win at the inaugural event in 2012 but it wasn’t without a fight from AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler as the duo ran side by side through the final turns of the race.
Walker Fowler (right) is looking for his first win of the season. (Photo by Ken Hill)
Chris Borich and Walker Fowler sit 1-2 in the standings after two rounds.
Anybody who thought Chris Borich might start to take it easy after winning his fourth straight GNCC XC1 Pro ATV class title has been proven wrong. Borich is perfect after two rounds of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series and he’ll try to make it three-for-three at this weekend’s FMF Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, NC.
While Borich enjoys life at the top of the mountain, the battle for second through 10th place is a lot less predictable with a deep field of talent on this year’s front line. AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler currently sits in second place as he continues to chase Borich for a win. Fowler has struggled with poor starts in the first two rounds but the 20-year-old has successfully charged his way through the pack to secure two solid podium finishes so far this season.
Chris Borich begins his quest for his fifth straight AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series championship this weekend at the season-opening Moose Racing Westgate River Ranch GNCC.
Borich’s closest pursuer in 2012, Ohio’s Walker Fowler, returns to the front line this year aboard an all-new AmPro Yamaha team. As a rising star in the GNCC ranks, Fowler has chalked several wins throughout his career-including one win over Borich last season-but the young gun has found that beating the champ isn’t an easy feat. It’s also not one that Fowler plans to back away from any time soon.
West Virginia’s Adam McGill switched to a privateer-backed effort in 2012, causing a little bit of stress on his final results due to mechanical failures along the way. However, McGill managed to grab a race-win late in the season to give him fourth place overall in XC1 and a high level of confidence leading into the new season. McGill returns aboard his Lonestar/Precision/ITP Honda with high hopes of contesting for the championship.
Pennsylvania’s Chris Bithell will make his debut aboard a Bithell Racing Suzuki machine in 2013, a pretty drastic change from the last couple of seasons with the Factory Can-Am squad. However, a change in pace may be just what Bithell needs to put him over the edge for race wins this season.
Taylor Kiser reports that he will not be lining up for the season opener in his home state this weekend, and as of right now he does not have plans to contest the XC1 championship in 2013.
Beginning in March, the series will once again kick off in conjunction with Daytona Bike Week at Westgate River Ranch, before traveling north just four days later for Round 2 in Washington, Ga. Several other popular venues will return next season, including Steele Creek, Big Buck, Snowshoe, Unadilla and Powerline Park.
“Our team worked really hard this season to incorporate fresh trail with three new venues and the feedback has been really great,” says Trail Boss Jeff Russell. “Pair that with the return of so many series favorites and we’re pretty confident the racers will be happy with the outcome.”
According to the Racer Productions, the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series saw almost 18,000 racer entries in 2012, the second most in its 35-year history. The 2012 GNCC season added 1,700 riders from 2011.
Highlighting the healthy 2012 season was the Unadilla GNCC, bringing 1,880 racers to New York’s well-known motocross venue and rewriting the GNCC history books with the highest-ever rider turnout. Also, the Ironman GNCC brought in the largest number of racers the venue has seen in its 18 years on the GNCC schedule.
“We are thankful for the many racers and families that have put their trust in the GNCC Racing team, making this series the most competitive and entertaining off-road motorcycle and ATV series in the world,” says Tim Cotter, GNCC director of events.
The GNCC Dealer Challenge is an incentive program designed to enhance the involvement of dealership support to racers in the GNCC series. Throughout the season, teams earned points every round based on each team member’s respective class-finish.
“GNCC’s Dealer Challenge is a great way for dealers to interact with amateur racers,” says Lazarus Sommers, CEO GT Thunder. “It’s always a pleasure to work with amateurs where you can really help their program in many ways – including parts selection, training, professionalism and the mind set for competitive racing.”
Dave Simmons led the way for Team GT Thunder I, earning a perfect season in the ATV Super Senior (45+) class. Glenn McConnell helped the team to victory as well, topping the Masters (50+) division. Senior A (38+) class-winner Tom Wright also claimed a class title. Brayden Shick put in a solid season for the team, finishing second in the Schoolboy (13-15) A/B division.
National Guard/Coastal/Bowers Motorcycle Supplies/Yokley Racing Team rider Jarrod McClure finished fifth overall and fifth in the XC1 Pro Class at the season finale of the 2013 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. There were 113 total entries including 16 XC1 Pro racers.
The format for the last GNCC of the year at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch was different as the bikes raced on Saturday and the ATVs on Sunday. Rain showers on Saturday night made the track almost perfect for the ATVs on this crisp autumn race day. The historic facility features a high-speed grass track, the national caliber Moto Cross track, trails with lots of rocks, gravel and elevation changes.
At the drop of the start flag, McClure got a great launch and the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award. The top five XC1 Pros ran nose to tail for the first several laps, with the lead changing hands several times per lap. McClure ran a good, smooth race and finished in fifth place at the end of the five-lap, two-hour race.
Though Chris Borich has long ago clinched the XC1 season championship, the world’s top cross-country racers still have plenty to fight for at the season finale of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series – the Parts Unlimited Loretta Lynn’s GNCC in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
Last round, Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Walker Fowler became the fourth unique winner in the XC1 Pro ATV class, while Bowers Motorcycle/Coastal National Guard/Yokley Racing’s Jarrod McClure and Motoworks/Can-Am’s Chris Bithell came close to grabbing their first wins of the season as well. Four-time and current champ Chris Borich hasn’t been able to continue his win-streak the last couple of rounds, which has left the door open for other riders to land a spot in the middle of the podium.
National Guard / Coastal / Bowers Motorcycle Supplies / Yokley Racing Team rider Jarrod McClure finished third Overall and third in the XC1 Pro Class at the 10th round of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series in New Berlin, NY. There were 214 total entries including 13 XC1 Pro racers.
Yokley Racing Summary
The GNCC annual two month summer break is over and everyone was ready to get back to racing. Jarrod McClure has been riding and training regularly with his Pennsylvania neighbor, Chris Borich, so he was ready to go! The historic Unadilla has been the home to Pro Motocross events for more than forty years, and the racers are able race on the famed Professional and Amateur motocross courses as well as eight miles of adjoining woods sections. The conditions were almost perfect.
The Mountaineer Run, held at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV, was another new stop on the 2012 Grand National Cross Country schedule, but for many it had an old school feel. Round seven of 13 was held on a technical, rough, rocky, semi-muddy course not far from the familiar Snowshoe GNCC site. Plus it was also just good old fashioned hot, which all added up to a challenging weekend for man and machine. But Team ITP was up for it, and notched a number of victories using a variety of ITP QuadCross and Holeshot tire setups.
A most impressive display of skill and endurance was put up by Patrick McGuire (Yamaha). The Valencia, Penn. native blasted out of the first turn in first and never looked back, leading the XC2 Pro Am class from start to finish, securing his second win of the season by nearly three minutes. It was good for ninth overall out of 186 top competitors in the afternoon wave of racing, and moved him back into the points lead.
Finishing second in XC2 was Matt Hanna, backed by Greg’s ATV and running ITP tires on his Yamaha YFZ450. It was Hanna’s third podium appearance of the season, which puts him in fifth place in the class standings.
National Guard / Polaris / Coastal / Yoshimura / DragonFire / Yokley Racing teammates Scott Kiger and William Yokley finished second and third in the Side by Side XC1 Modified Class at the Mountaineer Run GNCC in Masontown, WV. Meanwhile, National Guard / Coastal / Bowers Motorcycle Supplies / Yokley Racing Team rider Jarrod McClure finished sixth Overall and sixth in the XC1 Pro Class.
Summary – Side by Side
The GNCC Series moved on to the Mountaineer Run in West Virginia for Round 3 for the Side by Side machines. This race is new for the GNCC Series in 2012 and the competitors did not know exactly what to expect. The track featured a very technical 4.6 mile course with lots of rocky sections and tight woods. Taking care of your machine in the rocks would be important today.
The start flag dropped and after the first few turns, Kiger had the lead with Yokley in third. Later in the lap, Kiger slid wide in a turn and had to back up, dropping him back to third place. The course had tight woods trails and a few open areas, and about one half of the track was on totally newly cut trails. Both Yokley and Kiger had good pace and other than a few bottlenecks, they were on pace for good finishes.
The sixth stop of 13 on the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series schedule this year found the ATV competitors and their supporters in Springville, in the south-central part of Indiana, for the first Limestone 100. And while many of this large crowd had never plied the woodsy, hilly trails of this venue — centered around the Lawrence County Recreation Facility — they found the conditions to be similar to what’s found at The Ironman GNCC which takes place not far from here every October.
That’s a race that Team ITP’s Adam McGill knows very well, and he put his extensive experience to good use by nearly winning at Limestone. McGill ( Honda) worked his way up from a mid-pack start to hold fifth place at the end of the first 10-mile lap, then kept the pressure on to jam into first place on lap two. The West Virginia native led the majority of the race from that point (three laps) but on the last lap he physically ran out of gas — “I started to hit a wall,” as he described it — and had to settle for a safe second overall.
It was McGill’s fourth runner-up finish of the season, and kept him in second place in the premier XC1 Pro division point standings.
National Guard / Coastal / Bowers Motorcycle Supplies / Yokley Racing Team rider Jarrod McClure finished 87th Overall and 12th in the XC1 Pro Class after breaking a suspension component. There were 154 total entries including 12 XC1 Pro racers.
The Limestone 100 is another new venue this year on the GNCC schedule. The track featured some unique obstacles including rough creek beds and lots of hills. The warm weather was great for racing. McClure was coming off of a good run at the last GNCC in KY, and was looking forward to battling for a podium finish today.
McClure got a great start at the drop of the green flag, and grabbed the $250 Holeshot Award. He led for part of the way around the 10-mile course until he clipped a tree, and fell back to seventh place. He spent the next 3 laps charging his way up to fourth place. McClure was turning fast lap times, and was in position for a good finish.