UNION, S.C. – After two plus hours of intense racing action at the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC, defending champion Chris Borich put his signature last-lap pass on teammate Chris Bithell to claim his fourth consecutive victory in 2013. Bithell came through only six seconds behind the leader and Walker Fowler put a valiant charge to claim the final XC1 podium position.
Things were aligned just right for Maxxis-backed rider Chris Borich on Saturday as he kicked off Round 4 of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series in a big way, claiming the $250 Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing Holeshot Award. However, Borich has made it apparent that he doesn’t like to lead the race early on and that’s when the 4-Time champ went into reserve mode.
AmPro Yamaha’s Fowler took the reigns from there and led the entire opening lap but it didn’t take long for Lonestar Racing/Precision/ITP’s Adam McGill to try his hand at the lead on Lap 2. McGill led Fowler, Borich and Bithell into the VP Racing Fuels Pro Row where all the top riders received their first fuel stop. Borich interjected himself into the lead several times throughout the first half of the race, but it was Reliable Tool Supply/Maxxis-backed Bithell who maintained the position out front.
“The track was super brutal out there,” Bithell said. “I made a couple of smart moves and ended up catching the leaders. Borich let me by in the creek section but I knew he was right there pressuring me. I just kept my head and didn’t make any mistakes.”
The race long battle between Bithell and Borich became more of a reality when the white flag flew, signaling one lap to go in what turned out to be a five-lap race. Borich immediately turned things up a notch, making the pass on Bithell during the final lap of the two-hour race.
“I think I got around Bithell down by the creek section, he went right and followed a lapper and I was able to make my way out front,” Borich said.
The Suzuki-mounted duo battled it out until the very end but experience overpowered all once again as Borich claimed his fourth consecutive victory in 2013. Borich’s win also put him one step closer to beating the all-time win record of 67, as the champ now holds 63 career wins.
McGill dropped back halfway through the race where he engaged in a battle with Fowler for the third place spot. Fowler turned up his intensity when the 2-Lap card fell and that’s when he made the pass stick on McGill. Both riders charged to the finish line but this time it was Fowler who claimed the final podium position by less than one second over McGill.
“I had a good race today. I made a couple of mistakes out there but I just flat out got beat,” Fowler said. “I’m going to keep on plugging away.”
JB Offroad/Can-Am’s Jarrod McClure started his day around tenth place but quickly moved into the top five by Lap 2. McClure finished five minutes behind the lead pack, securing fifth overall for the day. Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing’s Braden Henthorn finished sixth, while HMF/GBC/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher came in seventh. Waynesburg Yamaha’s Gabe Phillips put in a solid ride to take eighth place, while BNR Motorsports’ Kevin Yoho and Greg’s ATV and Cycle’s Matt Hanna rounded out the top ten.
Defending XC2 Pro Am champion Patrick McGuire got off to a great start, immediately putting himself out front in a field of twenty XC2 riders. Fred Marley grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award once again and it was Michael Lancaster who jumped into second right away.
Landon Wolfe eventually made his way into podium contention behind McGuire and Neal, where things became interesting on the final lap. The rookie duo of Neal and Wolfe slipped past McGuire in the final moments of the race, knocking the defending champ back to third place in the XC2 class. Neal went on to grab his third win of the season, while Wolfe came in second.
Marshal Goings edged out his biggest competitor Jay Shadron, taking home the College A class win. Goings posted a thirteenth place overall, claiming the Top Amateur honors for the day.
Round 2 of the UTV Series saw an all-new overall champion as Team Big Country Powersports/Polaris topped the XC1 Modified division for the first time this season. Team Jacks II put in an impressive ride, taking the XC2 Limited Class win and placing second overall for the day. It was March-Westin Company rounding out the overall podium, grabbing a second place finish in the XC1 division.
The 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series continues May 4 and 5 with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mammoth GNCC in Park City, Kentucky. For more information on the series, visit www.gnccracing.com.