Morgantown, W. Va. – The Motosport.com Snowshoe GNCC marks the halfway point in the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series as Round 8 of the 13-race tour heads to eastern West Virginia this weekend. The two-way championship battle continues to tighten between current XC1 points leader Paul Whibley and young gun Kailub Russell. With only five points separating first and second place, this weekend’s Snowshoe GNCC has the potential to stir up the points lead once again. But that’s not the only thing to keep an eye out for; there are several wildcard riders that could land a win in the rocky hills of Snowshoe Mountain.

AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley will wear the coveted white background with red numbers aboard his YZF450, indicating he has the points lead for Round 8 this weekend. Whibley solely gained the points lead from Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell as the two entered Round 7 tied for points and Whibley’s victory gave him a slight edge coming into one of the toughest courses on the circuit.

The Snowshoe course is known for its deep mud bogs, massive tree roots and near-vertical hill climbs, usually throwing an additional element to the already demanding three-hour race. WMR/KTM’s Rory Mead typically excels in technical terrain like Snowshoe. In fact, Mead held the overall lead on time adjustment from the XC2 class in 2011, giving him a confidence boost heading into this weekend’s race. Mead currently holds the fourth place spot in the point standings, only three points behind Factory FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins.

Morgantown, W. Va. (June 20, 2012) – After a one-month break in the schedule, the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series returns to action this weekend at the picturesque Snowshoe Mountain Resort in eastern West Virginia. With six wins in the first seven rounds, Pennsylvania’s Chris Borich tops the XC1 ATV point standings as the series heads into Round 8 – The Motosport.com Snowshoe GNCC. But since this race is deemed one of the toughest stops on the 13-round GNCC tour, anything out of the ordinary could take place during the two-hour battle through 20-miles of grueling terrain on Snowshoe Mountain.

Ballance Racing Yamaha’s duo of Taylor Kiser and Walker Fowler still remain in the title chase as they sit second and third place respectively in the series points. Kiser is the only rider to finish ahead of Borich in a race this season and the competition level has tightened up immensely between the two. Kiser’s teammate Fowler has a history of doing well in the rough and technical Snowshoe terrain and there’s no doubt the rookie has a winning-mentality this season.

The Snowshoe course is known for its deep mud bogs, massive tree roots and near-vertical hill climbs, usually throwing an additional element to the already demanding two-hour race. Maxxis/Yoshimura’s Borich experienced the wrath of Snowshoe last year as he battled mechanical issues while contending for the lead, ultimately sitting out the final lap of the race. GBC/Cernics/HMF/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher also experienced issues last year, only completing two laps of the race.