MORGANTON, N.C. - It's been a long time coming for five-time GNCC Champion Chris Borich, who secured a record breaking 69th career win at Saturday's FMF Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, N.C. With steady rainfall throughout the day, Round 3 of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, saw challenging conditions, but that didn't stop Borich from claiming the victory and regaining the championship points lead.
On Saturday, Borich became the winningest rider in GNCC historyPhoto: Ken Hill
Borich's record-breaking victory didn't come without a challenge, as DWT Racing's Jarrod McClure put in a hard fight to finish only three seconds behind the reigning champ.
N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Walker Fowler grabbed the $250 Twin Air/DeRisi Racing XC1 Holeshot Award and challenged McClure for the lead early on. Fowler soon made a pass for the lead but unfortunately the previous points leader got stuck behind a lapped rider and lost several positions in the meantime.
Jarrod McClure had an impressive ride at Steele Creek Photo: Ken Hill
And that's when things really began to click for Jarrod McClure. The Pennsylvania native capitalized on his early lead, as he was able to set the pace early on. It didn't take long for Team Maxxis' Borich to make his way to the front, though, and from there the duo battled it out for the lead position. McClure threw down some of the fastest lap times of the race, and he even passed the reigning champ on a few different occasions, which made for an exciting battle for the North Carolina fans. In the end, Borich was able to hold off McClure to capture a big win at Round 3, with the second place finisher just three seconds back.
"I wasn't expecting it but my big thing was to go out there and try to win this race and get a points lead," Borich said. "I knew it was going to be a tough race, you had to pay attention out there, be smooth and watch the lines. I'm not going to lie, seeing Walker ride to the starting line first really burned me up so I wanted more than anything to get that points lead back in my possession."
Adam McGill landed a podium position after an intense afternoon of racing Photo: Ken Hill
RacingPowersports.com/CST Tires/PirateMX.com's Adam McGill didn't get off to a favorable start but the West Virginia native immediately began working his way through the pack. On the final lap, McGill battled with Precision/Maxxis Tires Chris Bithell for the final position on the podium but as the checkered flag flew, Bithell was nowhere to be found. McGill rode in for a second straight podium finish this season.
"You had to put your head down and charge all day," McGill said. "I reminded myself to stay calm and I came back calm, cool and collected on the last couple laps. I'm really happy to be on the podium two weeks in a row, that hasn't happened in a while!"
XC1 podium: (left) Jarrod McClure, Chris Borich, (right) Adam McGill Photo: Ken Hill
BNR Motorsports/Loctite rider Kevin Yoho led the field heading into the woods on the opening lap, but it was later determined that Yoho fired up his ATV too soon on the start. As a result, Yoho was held for 30 seconds in his pit area. Despite his early penalty, the Ohio native pushed his way back to a top three position where he set his sights on a podium finish. Unfortunately Yoho ran into issues on the final lap, ultimately finishing fourth in the XC1 Class and fifth overall for the day.
Waynesburg Yamaha's Jay Shadron put in a solid top five finish, while Maxxis/FLY Racing/ATV Innovations Landon Wolfe came in sixth, Dave Bayless Motorsports/Dirtworks/DC Cycles Brycen Neal took seventh, DeRisi Racing/Team Woodhead's Braden Henthorn took eighth, and Waynesburg Yamaha/GT Thunder/GBC Jeff Pickens and Yamaha/GBC/HMF's Johnny Gallagher rounded out the top 10 in XC1.
Marshal Goings secured his first career XC2 Pro Am victoryPhoto: Ken Hill
In the XC2 Pro Am Class, SICC Racing's Marshal Goings edged out N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Cole Richardson in a head-to-head battle to the very end, topping the points leader by less than one second. While Richardson appeared to have a comfortable lead throughout the race, the SICC Racing duo of Goings and Fred Marley pushed each other to the front of the pack. Eventually, Marley and Goings pressured Richardson for the lead position and the three riders battled it out on the final lap of racing.
XC2 podium: (left) Cole Richardson, Marshal Goings, (right) Fred Marley Photo: Ken HIll
In the end it was Goings, the XC2 rookie from Indiana, who captured a big win at Round 3.
Randy Hamilton captured another $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Pro Am Holeshot Photo: Ken Hill
Randy Hamilton captured another $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Pro Am Holeshot and ran in the lead pack all afternoon but an unfortunate mechanical issues held the New Jersey native back to a sixth place finish for the day.
Todd Demaree took the Top Amateur honors, along with the Vet A win Photo: Ken Hill
SICC Racing's Todd Demaree captured his second Vet A Class victory of the season, while earning the Top Amateur honors at the Steele Creek GNCC with fourteenth overall for the day.
Robert Smith prevailed in an all-out battle for the 4x4 Pro Class victoryPhoto: Ken Hill
Conditions during the 10 a.m. race were once again favorable for the 4x4 machines as the top four overall finishers belonged to the 4x4 Pro division. While Can-Am X-Team's Jordan Phillips led a majority of the nearly one and a half hour race, it was BNR Motorsports/Can-Am's Robert Smith who prevailed with the overall victory, as well as his first career 4x4 Pro Class win. But it wasn't without a fight from Can-Am X-Team's Kevin Trantham, who also led at times, in addition to ATV Parts Plus/Can-Am's Bryan Buckhannon. Factory Polaris/UXC Racing's Michael Swift just missed the overall podium with a fourth place finish for the day.
Cody Collier took the $125 GT Thunfer ATV Amateur Overall Award Photo: Ken Hill
It was once again the #201 Cody Collier who earned the $125 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award after outlasting his Schoolboy A/B competition. Collier was able to capture fifth overall for the day.
The WXC Premier Women's Class once again presented an exciting battle as multi-time Women's Class champ Angel "Atwell" Knox captured yet another win this season. The 2013 Women's Class champ Kylie Ahart grabbed second in the class and Ohio's Kara Merritt rounded out the top three.
Youth podium: (left) Carter Kerens, Brandon Frazier, (right) Dylan Walraven Photo: Ken Hill
In the Youth division, Florida's Brandon Frazier made it three-in-a-row in the 90 Open (12-15) Class en route to his third consecutive overall win. West Virginia's Carter Kerens earned second overall, while Georgia's Dylan Walraven rounded out the overall podium.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes April 12 and 13 with the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC in Union, S.C. For more information on the series, visit www.gnccracing.com.
FMF Steele Creek GNCC
Round 3 of 13
Saturday, March 29
XC1 Event Results:
- Chris Borich (SUZ)
- Jarrod McClure (HON)
- Adam McGill (HON)
- Kevin Yoho (YAM)
- Jay Shadron (YAM)
- Landon Wolfe (SUZ)
- Brycen Neal (HON)
- Braden Henthorn (HON)
- Jeff Pickens (YAM)
- Johnny Gallagher (YAM)
*Overall National Championship Standings:
- Chris Borich (81)
- Walker Fowler (57)
- Jarrod McClure (57)
- Cole Richardson (47)
- Adam McGill (46)
- Chris Bithell (43)
- Braden Henthorn (33)
- Johnny Gallagher (32)
- Brycen Neal (28)
- Landon Wolfe (27)
*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2014 National Champion.
XC2 Event Results:
- Marshal Goings (HON)
- Cole Richardson (YAM)
- Fred Marley (HON)
- Blake Kramer (YAM)
- Martin Christofferson (HON)
- Randy Hamilton (HON)
- James Green (HON)
- Nathan Wallpe (HON)
- Thomas Koontz (YAM)
- Ryland Johnson (HON)
XC2 Series Standings:
- Cole Richardson (85)
- Fred Marley (67)
- Marshal Goings (65)
- Martin Christofferson (49)
- Thomas Koontz (46)
- James Green (41)
- Randy Hamilton (39)
- Blake Kramer (38)
- Brody Livengood (35)
- Nathan Wallpe (35)