Bithell Earns GNCC Victory, Borich and Neal Wrap up Championships
As the newest addition to the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, the inaugural Car-Mate Gusher GNCC was held this past Saturday for round 11 of the 13-race series in Foxburg, Pennsylvania. Although rain made the course more treacherous, local racer Chris Bithell earned his first overall win of the season in his home state.
Although Bithell earned his first win, the story of the weekend was Chris Borich, who secured his fifth consecutive XC1 Pro ATV National Championship with a second-place finish at round 11. Borich claimed the $250 DeRisi Racing/Team Woodhead Holeshot Award at the start of the race, but the battle remained tight between BNR's Kevin Yoho, Borich and DeRisi Racing's Eric Hoyland. At the end of the first lap, however, it was the Reliable Tool Supply/Maxxis rider Bithell who held the lead over the field.
Although the weather caused muddy condition on the track, Bithell managed to hold the lead throughout the two-hour race, holding on to earn his first victory in the class.
"It feels great to get the win today! The Suzuki was working awesome and the Maxxis tires hooked up great," Bithell said. "It was a slop fest out there but the track wasn't really that bad once you got into the main line and once I did that, I never let off all day. Everybody was cheering me on and pointing me lines, it was a blast."
While Borich had to settle for second place on the day, he did secure enough points to clinch the title with two rounds remaining in the season. Finishing behind Borich was Fowler, who overcame issues on the final lap to round out the podium.
"It was a tough one out there today," Borich said. "It was definitely one of those days where you needed to slow down to go fast and make good line choices and that's what we were able to do today. It's kind of disappointing not winning today but the bigger picture is winning the championship."
Michael Lancaster bested the field to earn the $100 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award in the XC2 Pro Am division, though he spun out in the second corner that caused a massive pileup early in the race.
Ohio racer Brycen Neal took advantage of the pileup and jumped out to an early lead, holding off reigning XC2 Pro Am Champion Patrick McGuire in second. Indiana's Fred Marley worked through the pack to finish third for the day.
Neal held onto the lead for the race to earn his eighth victory of the season and clinch the XC2 Pro Am title in his rookie season.
"I'm going to try my hand in the XC1 Class next round at Powerline Park to see where I need to be for the 2014 season," he later said.
The 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series heads to St. Clairsville, Ohio October 12 and 13 for the ITP Powerline Park GNCC. For more information on the series, visit http://www.gnccracing.com/.