Fowler-GNCC-Off-Road-7-1-13SNOWSHOE, W. Va. – Heavy rainfall consumed West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain the week leading up to Round 9 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, but the wet racing conditions only lent a hand in paying homage to the series’ predecessor-The Blackwater 100-which offered up some of the most grueling terrain in cross-country racing. Walker Fowler conquered Saturday’s rough and tumble AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC racecourse, besting points leader Chris Borich and the rest of the XC1 field by over two minutes.

The Snowshoe GNCC showcased a Blackwater-style concrete start, sending waves of five riders per row in increments of 10-15 seconds through the downtown village of Snowshoe Resort. AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler jumped out to the front on the opening lap and the Ohio native didn’t seem to look back from there. Borich had a small slip-up on the opening lap but the defending champion managed to put his Maxxis-backed Suzuki into the second place position early on where he set his sights on the leader Fowler right away.

mcGill-GNCC-Off-Road-6-17-13MASONTOWN, W. Va. – Round 8 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series made a stop in Masontown, W. Va. on Saturday, where thousands of fans witnessed a spectacular day of ATV racing. West Virginia’s very own Adam McGill bested the current points leader Chris Borich in an exciting battle that came down to the final turns of the Parts Unlimited Mountaineer Run GNCC.

McGill began his day on the right foot, taking the $250 Team Woodhead/DeRisi Racing XC1 Holeshot Award in front of his hometown crowd of friends and family. Four-Time GNCC Champion Chris Borich jumped into the second place position right away, while JB Racing/Can-Am’s Jarrod McClure began the afternoon in third. Reliable Tool Supply/Maxxis’ Chris Bithell and AmPro Yamaha’s Walker Fowler also put themselves into the top five battle right way and the lead pack rode wheel-to-wheel on the opening lap.

McGill-Borich-Off-Road-6-11-13MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (June 11, 2013) – The XC1 Pro ATV class has produced only two different winners in the first seven rounds of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country season, despite some of the most highly contested lead battles in recent history. Reigning champion Chris Borich and runner-up Walker Fowler have dominated the center of the podium up to this point, but there’s a stacked field of pro riders waiting to secure a win in the remaining six rounds.

This weekend, June 15 and 16, the series heads to Masontown, W. Va. for the second running of the Parts Unlimited Mountaineer Run GNCC. Lonestar/Precision/ITP’s Adam McGill matched his best finish of the season with second place last round, giving the West Virginia native momentum heading into his home state this weekend. McGill experienced mechanical issues at the last year’s Mountaineer Run GNCC, so there’s no doubt that McGill is looking for redemption this time around.

Borich-GNCC-Off-Road-4-22-13UNION, 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.

Borich-GNCC-Off-Road-4-8-13Morganton, N.C. – Four-Time champion Chris Borich proved his merit once again at Saturday’s FMF Steele Creek GNCC, where he swept his third consecutive win of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country season. Although Borich only lead two of the six laps, he surely made them count when besting his teammate Chris Bithell in the final moments of the two-hour race.

Thousands of spectators were in attendance for Round 3 of the 13-race series and there wasn’t a shortage of racing action at the picturesque Steele Creek Campground in Morganton, North Carolina.

Borich-GNCC-Off-Road-3-18-13WASHINGTON, Ga. – Four-Time champion Chris Borich returned to his old ways Saturday at the Maxxis General GNCC, making an almost patented last-lap pass on Walker Fowler to take the win at Round 2 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series. The front-runners were in a race of their own, finishing about five minutes ahead of the third place rider Johnny Gallagher, who appeared on the podium for the first time this season.

In fact, it’s been exactly one decade since Yamaha/GBC/HMF’s Gallagher made a podium speech, but the 35-year-old commented, “The General GNCC in 2003 was my last podium finish and I was up here with Bill Ballance and William Yokely. It’s been a long time and the faces have changed a little bit but man it still feels just as good!”

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.

Union, S.C. – Expectations were high heading into round four of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series after Chris Borich and Taylor Kiser banged bars all the way through the final moments of an intense two-hour battle in North Carolina, resulting in Kiser’s first win in two years and consequently giving Borich his first loss of the season. The defending champ switched things up this time and pulled off yet another exciting win as he edged out 2011 runner-up Adam McGill by only two seconds in a less dramatic—but just as intense—finish at the 2012 VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina.

The stage was set for Kiser continue his streak as he quickly grabbed the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award, gapping Ballance Racing Yamaha teammate Walker Fowler and JG Offroad/FRE/American Honda’s Brian Wolf from the get-go. Wolf and Fowler are no strangers in battle as the two former XC2 champions went head-to-head for years in the Pro Am division, but this time the intensity took over and the two riders came together just after the finish area. Wolf took the short end at first when he went sailing to the ground, but it was Fowler who ultimately suffered when his ATV quit working shortly after he passed Wolf for second. It didn’t take long for Fowler to figure out the mechanical issue wasn’t fixable and the track crew towed him into the pits.

And things only got worse for the Ballance Racing crew when they learned that Kiser’s ATV had also quit running within minutes of his teammate’s incident. After putting a sizeable gap on the rest of the field, Kiser made a quick attempt to run on foot towards the pit, but ended up getting towed in right behind Fowler and neither rider was able to make it back out to salvage any points for the day.

Valcourt, Québec – Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 Pro racer Adam McGill (right) stood tall on the all-pink GNCC cancer awareness podium after finishing third in the Pro XC1 class despite gruelling conditions at the Ironman GNCC course in Crawfordsville, Ind. Can-Am X-Team members Clifton Beasley, Forrest Whorton and Zac Zakowski each won their respective class in morning action.

“McGill and Bithell really battled out there today and I was proud of the effort they put forth on their Can-Am DS 450 ATVs. Adam notched his fourth consecutive XC1 podium and led three laps of the race. Chris put in an inspiring ride, coming from dead last at the start of the race to finish fourth,” said Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “Can-Am X-Team racers Cliff Beasley and Zac Zakowski each made a powerful statement with their class victories in Indiana.”

Coming into the Ironman GNCC, McGill held second place in the XC1 point standings and needed to win at the final two rounds of the series for a shot at the championship. After leading the first three laps, it looked as if McGill would keep the hopes for a 2011 title alive, but lapped traffic slowed his pace on lap four and he dropped to fourth place. He then picked up the pace to reclaim the third-place position. He moved to within striking distance of first and second place at the end of the race, but had to settle for third.

“I got a good start and was leading for the first couple of laps,” said McGill. “I fell back, but was able to retake the lead. Then I fell back again and finished in third. I had a good time out there anyway and it was a good race, so I’m pretty happy with the podium finish.”

Warnet Racing / Can-Am teammate Chris Bithell got off to slow start in Indiana when his machine failed to start. After restarting the ATV, Bithell quickly went to work and moved from last place to 10th after one lap. By the second lap, Bithell had moved into fourth place and was challenging for third place. During the final laps, Bithell and his teammate McGill actually swapped positions before McGill surged ahead for the final podium position. Bithell notched his ninth top four finish of the season and is currently fourth in the XC1 point standings. He is three points behind third place with only one race remaining.
In the morning U2 class, Can-Am X-Team racer Cliff Beasley was back in the winner’s circle after winning by more than six minutes on his Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc. He finished fifth overall and second on the morning 4×4 podium. Can-Am X-Team racer Forrest Whorton continued his 4×4 Super Senior 45+ class domination as he led from start to finish and won by more than 13 minutes. Whorton has won 11 out of 12 races this season.

Zac Zakowski (Zakowski Motorsports / Can-Am X-Team) earned his second straight 4×4 Open class win. He was in third place going into the woods on the first lap, but took the lead when the two riders in front of him had trouble on a hill climb. Zakowski ended the day nearly three minutes ahead of his competition. He also earned the top stair on the morning 4×4 podium with his second place overall finish.

“It felt really good to get back-to-back wins and I hope I can win again at Loretta’s,” said Zakowski, who is currently third in the 4×4 Open class point standings.

Can-Am X-Team racer Bryan Buckhannon overcame a hill climb crash to finish second behind Zakowski. Buckhannon now trails fellow Can-Am X-Team racer and 4×4 Open class points leader Michael Swift, who took eighth in Indiana, by just two points going into the final race. Buckhannon also piloted his Team ATV Parts Plus Commander 1000 to its second class win of the season in the Open Limited UTV class and took fifth overall for the day. In the UTV Open Limited class championship final points, Can-Am Commander teams swept the top three positions, with Team Travalena taking the title, Team Held finishing second and Team ATV Parts Plus earning third.

In the UTV Open Modified class, Zakowski Motorsports was the top Can-Am Commander with a fourth-place finish. The Warnet Racing / Can-Am / Foremost team took a hard-earned fifth place after battling back from a crash after being hit from behind at the start of the race. The Warnert Commander, piloted by Jerime Dudding, also wrapped up fourth place overall on the season. Can-Am Commander vehicles made up five out the top 10 positions (out of 44 entries) in the class.

The Can-Am GNCC racing series held its Second Annual Pink Race to support cancer awareness with many teams and racers running pink graphics, number plates and riding gear. Some riders even went the extra mile to make special appearances at local the school. On Friday, McGill and a few other top racers visited the fifth and sixth graders at New Market Elementary School to make special “pink buttons” that gave the children free admission to the Ironman GNCC race.

“I had the opportunity to go out to one of the elementary schools in the area and talk to the kids about racing and cancer awareness. I do this kind of thing around home, but have never had the opportunity to go out of state. A lot of the kids actually showed up to the races the next day so it was really cool,” said McGill.

For more information on Can-Am racing, the entire 2011 schedule, the 2011 contingency program and Can-Am DS 450 ATV amateur racer support program, please visit www.can-amxteam.com.

Valcourt, Québec, October 12, 2011 – Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 racer Adam McGill (right) finished third in the XC1 Pro class at the Powerline Park Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) race held over the weekend in St. Clairsville, Ohio. In the morning session, Can-Am X-team racers Zac Zakowski, Forrest Whorton and Kevin Trantham each won their respective classes aboard Can-Am Outlander ATVs.
“McGill rode well and was actually in contention for the win a couple of times before eventually finishing third overall. I’m happy to see him on the XC1 podium again and earn a top three overall finish,” said Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “Our Can-Am X-Team racers continue to excel on their Outlander ATVs. It was great to see Zac ride so well today and earn his first win this season in the 4×4 Open class. It was also nice to see Zac’s teammate Kevin Trantham get back to his winning ways in the 4×4 Lites. I’m also really happy for Forrest Whorton as today he clinched the 4×4 Super Senior 45+ championship aboard his Can-Am.”
McGill held the early lead in the XC1 class. Just before lap two, he dropped one spot after having difficulty in one of the track’s muddy sections. However, on lap three, McGill put in the fastest lap of the day in the Pro class and was less than a second behind the leader. He then lost time on the next lap and fell to third. That’s where he stayed until the finish line. It was the third straight XC1 podium finish for McGill.
“I was leading for a while and I felt really good out there,” said McGill. “It was rough out there and I didn’t finish how I wanted to, but I still made it on the podium.”
Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 teammate Chris Bithell rode in the top five in the XC1 Pro class for most of the day prior to the final lap. In fact, he was in third place on lap three. After falling to fourth, he picked up the pace in pursuit of the leaders. However, a large stick impaled his ATV’s radiator on the final lap and slowed his charge. He ended up ninth on the day.
Zakowski, who rides a Zakowski Motorsports / Can-Am X-Team Outlander, matched his season’s best finish with second overall on the morning podium. The 4×4 Open class win was the first for him in 2011 and the first since winning a 4×4 Open event at round four of last year. He is currently in fourth place in the class point standings.
“We have been working hard all season and it finally paid off for us. I have to thank Can-Am and all of our sponsors who have helped us make this happen,” said Zakowski.
Current 4×4 Open class points leader and X-Team racer Michael Swift (UXC Racing) finished second on his Can-Am Outlander 800R X xc. Can-Am X-Team member and tough 4×4 Open class competitor Bryan Buckhannon got stuck in a mud hole on the opening lap while avoiding spectators and had to play catch up all day. He ended up in fourth place despite battling the mud hole for more than five minutes on lap one and still holds second place in the chase for the class championship with only two rounds remaining.
Trantham rebounded from a disappointing finish at the last round and put in a dominating effort aboard his Can-Am X-Team Outlander 500 XT to convincingly win the 4×4 Lites class. He led from start to finish and won the class by more than eight minutes. He has nine victories this year.
Super Senior (45+) class Can-Am X-Team racer Whorton claimed his 10th win of the season beating MPR / Can-Am X-Team racer Mike Penland to the finish. Whorton, who led from start to finish at the Powerline GNCC, wrapped up the class championship for 2011.
Unfortunately, 2011 U2 class champion Clifton Beasley saw his unprecedented 29-race win streak end in Ohio. A mechanical issue on the final lap forced Beasley to ride slower than his normal race pace. Amazingly, he still held the lead on his Renegade 800R X xc until the final ¼-mile of the race, where he was passed by two other Can-Am riders. He finished third to keep his class podium streak alive at 24. Can-Am racer Robert Smith of Beaver, Pa., took advantage of Beasley’s troubles to post his first class win of the season.
For more information on Can-Am racing, the entire 2011 schedule, the 2011 contingency program and Can-Am DS 450 ATV amateur racer support program, please visit www.can-amxteam.com.