Millfield, Ohio – With temperatures over the 100-degree mark, Sunday Creek Raceway hosted Round 9 of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series in sunny southern Ohio. Amidst the warm temperatures, Chris Borich was still able to extend his points lead by grabbing his sixth consecutive win in the XC1 Pro ATV class, while Adam McGill and Walker Fowler battled to the final moments in order to secure podium finishes at The Wiseco John Penton GNCC.

The John Penton historically serves as the final stop before the series takes a break over the summer months, and for good reason as the blistering heat of early July intensified the already grueling two-hour competition. Precision Motorsports/Lonestar Racing/Moto X Perts’ Adam McGill was rearing to go in his first full race back from injury, taking the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award and putting himself into the lead-pack right away. Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Taylor Kiser took control of the opening lap as he led McGill and Borich through Lap 1-where Kiser and Borich set in for their first pit-while McGill chose to keep his momentum rolling into the second place position.

Park City, Ky. – The stage was set for the Ballance Racing Yamaha team to attempt defeat on the defending champ Chris Borich as they headed to their first-ever hometown GNCC in Park City, Kentucky for round five of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. Tension was high coming into the weekend as anticipation set in on whether or not Borich would actually be able to fend off a hungry field of XC1 racers for another round of racing and after a hard fought battle to the final seconds of racing, Borich proved that he still has the upper hand on the rookie. The Can-Am Mammoth GNCC boasted some of the most challenging terrain on the circuit and racers rose to the challenge as the two-hour race pitted man versus machine against the rocky hills of the Park Mammoth Resort.

Walker Fowler managed to seal the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award amongst a pretty chaotic Pro class start, and he and Ballance Racing teammate Taylor Kiser jumped out front early on, writing the beginning to a perfect story for the weekend. Bowers/Coastal National Guard/Yokley Racing’s Jarrod McClure put himself up front right away and contested the lead pack, along with defending champ Chris Borich, who casually tucked into the top five right away. It’s always a toss up on who’s going to lead the race early on, because in GNCC Racing the strategy is all about picking it up at the end of the race, which seems to be a signature move of Borich this season, but there were several instances where he wanted to pass Fowler throughout the race, but couldn’t stick the move.

St. Clairsville, OH -Chris Borich made a thrilling, last-lap pass on Brian Wolf to take an exciting, come-from-behind victory at the ITP Powerline Park GNCC, round 12 of the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

The win marked the seventh time this year the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider has graced the top step of the podium and it increased his already hefty lead in the series standings to a massive 36 points over Adam McGill with two rounds remaining on the schedule.

Dustin Canipe got the ball rolling by grabbing the holeshot at the start of the two-hour race, and by doing so, the Honda rider claimed the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award. It wasn’t long, however, before Wolf put his GT Thunder-backed Honda into the lead, eventually stretching his advantage to 40 seconds by the end of the opening lap.

And while Wolf ran solo out front, McGill and his Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am teammate Chris Bithell battled Borich for second – all three riders taking a turn at the runner-up spot.

Morgantown, W. Va. (September 20, 2011) – Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chris Borich is well on his way to another championship title after his signature final-lap pass on Warnert Racing Can-Am riders Adam McGill and Chris Bithell last round at Unadilla. Borich now holds a thirty-six-point lead over McGill heading into round eleven of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series at Mountain Ridge ATV Trails in Somerset, Pa. this weekend.

The thirty-six-point margin doesn’t fully reveal the season-long battles between Borich and McGill, or even the competition level within all the top five XC1 contenders. Chris Bithell has been exchanging podium positions with his Warnert Racing Can-Am teammate all season long and is now only ten points behind McGill for second place.

GT Thunder-backed Brian Wolf is the only rider besides Borich and McGill to claim an XC1 class win, and due to a couple strings of bad luck, Wolf is trailing Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Taylor Kiser by thirty-eight points in the championship standings. Kiser has consistently put his blue machine inside the top five and a race-win at Mountain Ridge would keep him in the running for the championship title.

New Berlin, NY -Chris Borich came out on top of a hard-fought battle with Chris Bithell and Adam McGill to top the XC1 division at this year’s Can-Am Unadilla GNCC in New Berlin, New York. However, it was XC2 rider Walker Fowler who claimed the overall victory, edging Borich on adjusted time by just over six seconds at the end of the two-hour race.

After getting off to a mid-pack start Borich moved into the lead midway into the race, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider hooking up with GT Thunder-backed Brian Wolf at the front as the two riders pulled away from the rest of the pack. However, due to the relatively short length of the course, it wasn’t long before the two front-runners ran into lappers, allowing Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am teammates Bithell and McGill to catch up. For the next few laps, the four front-runners took turns leading the race.

“It was a good battle once those guys caught up,” explained Borich. “Me, Wolf, Bithell and McGill were like a train, battling back and forth for awhile.”

On the final lap, Borich passed McGill when the Can-Am rider took a different line, which moved Borich into second behind Bithell. With less than half a mile to go in the race, Borich made a bold pass on Bithell to take the lead, jumping one of Unadilla’s huge motocross jumps.

“Bithell checked up and I knew I had to make a move so I thought, ‘okay, this is it,’ and I just hit it hammer-down,” said Borich.

At the finish, Borich took the checkers with about two seconds to spare over Bithell, with McGill finishing third another three seconds back.

While Borich battled for the XC1 win up front, Fowler cut loose from the rest of the XC2 pack – which started on row two – and concentrated on catching the XC1 riders. After hooking up with Ballance Racing Yamaha teammate Taylor Kiser at the halfway point of the race, Fowler was able to gain enough time to pull ahead of the XC1 riders on adjusted time and take the overall win.

“I really owe Taylor a whole lot for this win,” said Fowler. “I caught up with him with three laps to go. I led him a lap and then I pulled over and let him go and he set a really good pace and we picked up a lot of time. As soon as I tapped him he pulled over and started pushing me as hard as he could. I think the amount I won by… I owe that amount to Taylor.”

The Unadilla race marked the second time this year that Fowler has clamed the overall win, the first coming at the Rock Run in Pennsylvania. However, Borich was still pleased to have gained valuable points in the XC1 championship standings, and now leads McGill by a whopping 36 points in the XC1 title chase.

“It’s good to get the class win, but in the overall, I didn’t know Walker was that close [in overall time],” said Borich. “It’s so hard to keep your pace not knowing where someone is at. I’m looking forward to Walker moving up and actually having to race us head-to-head.”

Fowler also claimed the win in the XC2 class, making his ninth win in a row in the division, and wrapping up the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series XC2 class championship with four rounds remaining on the schedule.

Wolf, on the other hand, ran up front for most of the race, however, an incident on a gnarly uphill left the Honda rider in fourth at the end of the day.

“I was pretty consistent in second all day and then we were coming up the hill before the white flag lap and I got stuck on the hill behind Bithell and that’s when Borich and McGill got around me and I just couldn’t reel ‘em back in,” said Wolf.

Kiser finished fifth after coming back from a nasty crash in the first turn, finishing almost nine seconds behind Wolf.

Jarrod McClure put his Honda into sixth, ahead of FRE KTM’s Bryan Cook. Meanwhile, GT Thunder Yamaha rider Kevin Yoho was eighth after claiming the $250Motosport.com Holeshot Award at the start of the race.

Yamaha riders Jeffrey Pickens and Mark Notman rounded out the top 10.

Walker Fowler’s win in the XC2 class was somewhat anticlimactic, so most of the focus was on the battle for second place, which boiled down to part-time GNCC competitor Nathan Thomas on a Honda and Greg’s ATV & Cycle Yamaha rider’s Patrick McGuire. Thomas capitalized on a good start and settled into second early in the race. Meanwhile, McGuire worked his way into third during the later stages of the race and was not able to catch the New York rider.

Thomas ended up with second overall, his first-ever podium finish in GNCC competition, while McGuire rounded out the podium.

Blake Kramer was the lone Suzuki rider in the XC2 top 10, with a fourth place finish, while Yamaha-mounted Eric Wilczek grabbed his best finish of the year with a fifth.

Yamaha rider Matt Hanna took the $100Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the race and then rode to a sixth, with Honda riders Martin Christofferson, Michael Lancaster, and Nathan Wallpe finishing seventh, eighth and ninth.

Meanwhile, Aarol Bright rounded out the top 10 on a KTM.

Braden Henthorn was the top finishing “non-Pro” rider, winning the College A (16-21) class on a Honda with a 15th overall finish.

In the A.M. race, Yamaha rider Dave Simmons won the $100 GT Thunder Amateur Overall and topped the Masters (50+) class as well, while Angel Atwell was the winner in the Women’s division.

Bryan Buckhannon edged fellow Can-Am rider Michael Swift to win the 4×4 Open race. Meanwhile Clifton Beasley beat Scott Day and Danny Jessee to win the U2 class. All three riders were on Can-Am.

For the second time this year, Ohio rider Josh Simmons (PIT) claimed the overall win in the Youth race, also winning the 90 Open (12-15) class in the process. Blaine Martin was second overall and second in the 90 Open (12-15) class.

The 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Somerset, Pennsylvania for the Mountain Ridge GNCC on September 24 & 25. ATV racing will take place on Saturday, followed by bike racing on Sunday. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

XC1 Results:

1. Chris Borich (Suz)

2. Chris Bithell (CAN)

3. Adam McGill (CAN)

4. Brian Wolf (Hon)

5. Taylor Kiser (Yam)

6. Jarrod McClure (Hon)

7. Bryan Cook (KTM)

8. Kevin Yoho (Yam)

9. Jeffrey Pickens (Yam)

10. Mark Notman (Yam)

XC1 Standings:

1. Chris Borich (230/6 wins)

2. Adam McGill (194/2 wins)

3. Chris Bithell (184)

4. Taylor Kiser (177)

5. Brian Wolf (139)

6. Bryan Cook (132)

7. Jarrod McClure (126)

8. Donnie Ockerman (112)

9. Kevin Yoho (100)

10. Jeffrey Pickens (98)

XC2 Results:

1. Walker Fowler (Yam)

2. Nathan Thomas (Hon)

3. Patrick McGuire (Yam)

4. Blake Kramer (Suz)

5. Eric Wilczek (Yam)

6. Matt Hanna (Yam)

7. Martin Christofferson (Hon)

8. Michael Lancaster (Hon)

9. Nathan Wallpe (Hon)

10. Aarol Bright (KTM)

XC2 Standings:

1. Walker Fowler (270 points/9 wins)

2. Gabe Phillips (176)

3. Patrick McGuire (147)

4. Eric Hoyland (137)

5. Aarol Bright (133)

6. Matt Hanna (117)

7. Blake Kramer (99)

8. Dustin Canipe (98)

9. Parker Jones (96)

10. Richie Brown (89)

Motosport.com $250 XC1 holeshot – Kevin Yoho

Motosport.com $100 XC2 holeshot – Matt Hanna

Morganton, NC – Adam McGill and Chris Bithell gave Can-Am the top two steps of the podium with an exciting one-two finish at the FMF Steele Creek General GNCC – round three of the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series in Morganton, North Carolina.

The Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing/Can-Am teammates battled race-long with Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chris Borich and Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Taylor Kiser, with McGill, Bithell and Borich trading the lead over the course of the two-hour race.

McGill and Bithell took a strong lead on lap two when they elected not to pit and the rest of the field did, however; near the end of the race Borich and Kiser pulled to back within striking distance on the rough and mountainous 11-mile course.

On the final lap it looked as though Borich might get one of his patented come-from-behind wins when he passed Bithell for the lead up one of Steele Creek’s steep hills. However, near the end of the lap Borich’s bike sputtered and slowed, allowing McGill and Bithell to go around. At the finish, McGill took the checkers and the win four seconds ahead of Bithell.

“It’s been two years since I’ve been up here on the top step and it feels pretty good,” said McGill. “On the final lap my mechanic put out a sign that said “Break It” and I did.”

Bithell has gained momentum with every race this year, and looked capable of taking the win, despite losing his brakes on the final lap.

“I lost my rear brakes at the beginning of that last lap and Adam caught me,” said Bithell. “I thought he might have a better chance to catch Borich so I let him by. Then, the next thing I know I could hear Borich’s bike snappin’ and poppin’. After that we just put the hammer down.”

After grabbing the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the race, Yokley Racing’s Jarrod McClure ran a strong pace which paid off in a third place finish, a personal best for the Pennsylvanian.

“I couldn’t have started the race any better and my bike ran strong, and it just all paid off,” said McClure.

Kiser ended the day in fourth, while Borich managed to salvage a fifth place finish – which meant he held onto his points lead.

“On the last lap I managed to get the lead and I was riding smooth,” said Borich. “I had the lead until about a mile to go and the bike just started cutting out. All in all, it was a pretty good day except for the end. I was able to get a few points with a fifth and I still have the points lead, so we’ll just have to get ‘em at the next one.”

Honda rider Brian Wolf got his best finish of the year, beating out FRE KTM’s Bryan Cook for sixth. Meanwhile, JET Suspension Honda’s Donnie Ockerman finished eighth ahead of Yamaha riders Johnny Gallagher and Jeffrey Pickens.

With three races in the books, Borich holds the series points lead with 76 points, followed by Bithell with 71, McGill with 69, and Kiser with 61.

Walker Fowler continues to dominate the XC2 division, claiming his third win of the year with an impressive ride at Steele Creek. The Ballance Racing Yamaha rider got off to a poor start at the beginning of the race, but still finished with a minute to spare over second place.

“I didn’t think the bike was going to start and I kind of hesitated and the next thing I knew everyone was gone,” said Fowler. “It was a little harder to get going than I thought, but the fans were great here and that kept me going.”

Greg’s ATV & Cycle Yamaha rider Gabe Phillips made a few critical passes at the end of the race to steal the runner-up spot from Honda rider Eric Hoyland.

“I was so mad about my race in Georgia that it just lit a fire under me,” said Phillips.

Hoyland finished out the podium in third, his second podium finish of the year.

“I jumped early in Georgia and got penalized for it, so I cranked a little slow to be on the safe side and still got a great start,” said Hoyland. “I could see Gabe coming on the last lap and I just couldn’t hold him back.”

Matt Hanna was fourth on his Greg’s ATV & Cycle Yamaha, beating out KTM rider Aarol Bright and Honda rider Parker Jones. Meanwhile, Greg’s ATV & Cycle

Yamaha rider Patrick McGuire was seventh ahead of Honda riders Dustin Canipe and Nathan Wallpe, while Richie Brown was 10th on a KTM.

Bright won the $100 Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the Xc2 race.

In the A.M. race, Dave Simmons won the $100 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award, beating out Traci Cecco and Michael Swift with a last lap charge.

“Things started out kind of rough and I had a problem at the start,” said Simmons. “I just kept pushing there at the end, though. I just left it pinned and it worked out.”

Cecco held the overall on adjusted time heading into the final lap, but hit a tree on a downhill section, giving up valuable time to Simmons.

In the 4×4 Open class, Michael Swift beat out fellow Can-Am riders Rick Cecco and Bryan Buckhannon for the win.

Meanwhile, Can-Am rider Clifton Beasley topped Jordan Phillips (CAN) and Danny Jessee (CAN) to win the U2 division.

Hunter Hart took the overall win over Josh Simmons and Cody Collier with a come-from-behind performance in the morning Youth race. The victory was Hart’s third straight of the year as the New York rider also topped the 90 Open (8-11) class.

“This was a little too close for comfort,” said Hart. “My last lap is always my fastest and I just came from the back to get it done.”

Simmons’ runner-up finish was a personal best. “This is my first podium and I’m excited,” said Simmons. “My hands are frozen solid, though.”

The 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Union, South Carolina for the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC April 9-10. ATV racing will take place on Saturday, followed by bike racing on Sunday. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

XC1 Results:

1. Adam McGill (CAN)

2. Chris Bithell (CAN)

3. Jarrod McClure (Hon)

4. Taylor Kiser (Yam)

5. Chris Borich (Suz)

6. Brian Wolf (Hon)

7. Bryan Cook (KTM)

8. Donnie Ockerman (Hon)

9. Johnny Gallagher (Yam)

10. Jeffrey Pickens (Yam)
XC1 Standings:

1. Chris Borich (76 points/2 wins)

2. Chris Bithell (71)

3. Adam McGill (69/1 win)

4. Taylor Kiser (61)

5. Jarrod McClure (52)

6. Bryan Cook (43)

7. Johnny Gallagher (40)

8. Donnie Ockerman (39)

9. Kevin Yoho (34)

10. Brian Wolf (33)

XC2 Results:

1. Walker Fowler (Yam)

2. Gabe Phillips (Yam)

3. Eric Hoyland (Hon)

4. Matt Hanna (Yam)

5. Aarol Bright (KTM)

6. Parker Jones (Hon)

7. Patrick McGuire (Yam)

8. Dustin Canipe (Hon)

9. Nathan Wallpe (Hon)

10. Richie Brown (KTM)

XC2 Standings:

1. Walker Fowler (90 points/3 wins)

2. Eric Hoyland (55)

3. Aarol Bright (55)

4. Gabe Phillips (55)

5. Dustin Canipe (45)

6. Patrick McGuire (41)

7. Matt Hanna (38)

8. Richie Brown (38)

9. Mathan Wallpe (37)

10. Parker Jones (35)

Motosport.com $250 XC1 holeshot – Jarrod McClure

Motosport.com $100 XC2 holeshot – Aarol Bright
About GNCC Racing:

The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1979, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles, competing for more than $3 million in prizes. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.