SNOWSHOE, W. Va. - The Snowshoe GNCC is deemed one of the most challenging stops of the season with its treacherous obstacles and unique setting atop the picturesque, yet brutal, Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia. As the ninth stop of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, the championship battle is well underway between Chris Borich and Walker Fowler but Saturday's AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC wasn't necessarily centered on the two front-runners. Two multi-time Snowshoe winners, Adam McGill and Brian Wolf, engaged in a two-hour battle for the overall win and it was West Virginia's very own McGill who emerged victorious in the end.
Adam McGill captured his first win of the season in his home state of West Virginia Photo: Hill
One unique feature of the Snowshoe GNCC is the starting procedure. Based off the overall championship point standings, riders are placed in rows of five for a live engine "grand prix" style start, with 10 seconds between each row. Snowshoe GNCC winner, GT Thunder-backed Brian Wolf was a heavy favorite heading into this year's race and the Ohio native proved exactly why as he jumped into the early lead on the adjusted time clock. However, it didn't take long for N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Walker Fowler to regain the lead by lap two. Reigning champion and current XC1 points leader Chris Borich held the second place position behind Fowler and rookie Jay Shadron sat close behind in third.
As the group checked in for lap three of six, Fowler did not surface. Reports later confirmed that Fowler snapped his chain and had to be towed into his pits. From there, McGill and Wolf continued to trade the lead back and forth all afternoon.
Fowler (2), Borich (1), McClure (10), Richardson (15) and McGill (521) made up the first row of the start at Snowshoe Photo: Hill
Heading into the final lap, the duo was neck-and-neck on the adjusted time clock and it all came down to the final moments of the two-hour race. Since they weren't physically battling, Wolf admittedly stopped pushing as hard near the end and that's when McGill put his head down and finished out strong, capturing his first win of the season and his third career win at Snowshoe.
"It's such an amazing feeling to do this in front of the fans here in West Virginia," McGill said. "Snowshoe has always been good to me!"
Brian Wolf led a majority of the race, taking home second overall for the day Photo: Hill
Wolf finished a respectable second overall for the day, finishing just under a minute behind McGill.
"You know, we don't do this [racing] for the points or even the money, it's all about being with the family and the great friends and people that support us in what we do," Wolf said.
DWT Racing's Jarrod McClure made his second straight appearance atop the podium with a hard charging performance. McClure began the day just outside of the top ten, but the Pennsylvania native made his way into podium contention just after the halfway mark, where he turned it up in the final moments to secure third place overall.
Jarrod McClure put in another solid ride to finish third place overall Photo: Hill
Precision/Maxxis Tires Chris Bithell ran into some issues at the beginning of the race where he fell just outside of the top ten early on. However, Bithell pushed his way back through the pack to finish fourth overall for the day.
Chris Borich maintains the points lead heading into summer break Photo: Hill
XC1 Pro points leader Chris Borich got off to a good start, running inside the top three for the first three laps of the race. The five-time champ ran into some issues just before the halfway mark, dropping him from podium contention. Borich made up time near the end, ultimately finishing fifth overall for the day. Borich maintains the points lead after nine rounds of racing.
Chris Bithell finished fourth overall Photo: Hill
West Virginia's Brent Sturdivant finished sixth overall for the day, while Jay Shadron took seventh. BNR Motorsports/Loctite's Kevin Yoho came in eighth; Maryland's Landon Wolfe took ninth in the XC1 Class and Ohio's Braden Henthorn rounded out the top ten.
XC1 podium: (left) Brian Wolf, Adam McGill, (right) Jarrod McClure Photo: Hill
In the XC2 Pro Am division, it was N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Cole Richardson who secured the win, along with ninth overall for the day. Richardson topped his biggest competitor, Marshal Goings, to take over the XC2 Pro Am points lead after nine rounds of racing. SICC Racing/Maxxis Tires-backed Goings finished second for the day, while JMC Racing's Randy Hamilton rounded out the XC2 podium with third place.
XC2 podium: (left) Marshal Goings, Cole Richardson, (right) Randy HamiltonPhoto: Hill
Ohio's Matt Pierce captured his first Top Amateur award of the season with 20th overall for the day, also landing a big win in the Vet A 28+ class.
Matt Pierce took the top amateur honors Photo: Hill
It was GT Thunder-backed Dave Simmons who captured $125 GT Thunder Amateur Overall at Snowshoe, as well as the Super Senior 45+ class win.
4x4 Pro podium: (left) Rick Cecco, Bryan Buckhannon, (right) Rob Smith Photo: Hill
West Virginia's very own Bryan Buckhannon emerged victorious after more than two hours of battle at Snowshoe, capturing his second straight 4x4 Pro victory, as well as his first career overall victory at Snowshoe. ATV Parts Plus/Can-Am's Buckhannon was joined atop the podium by Factory Polaris/Coldcock Whiskey's Rick Cecco and BNR Motorsports/Loctite/Can-Am rider Rob Smith.
Youth podium: (left) Jordan Digby, Timmy Sroka, (right) Rhett Cox Photo: Hill
It was a big day for Pennsylvania's Timmy Sroka, who claimed his first Youth overall win of the season, as well 90 Open (12-15) victory, at the toughest race on the entire circuit. Sroka was joined by Mississippi's Jordan Digby in second place, while Kentucky's Rhett Cox rounded out the overall podium with third place. Digby earned first place in the 125 Sr. class, with Cox finishing second in the class.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series will take a break for the summer, resuming with racing in October. For more information on the series, visit www.gnccracing.com.
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AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC
Snowshoe, West Virginia
Round 9 of 13
Saturday, June 21
XC1 Event Results:
- Adam McGill (HON)
- Brian Wolf (HON)
- Jarrod McClure (HON)
- Chris Bithell (SUZ)
- Chris Borich (SUZ)
- Brent Sturdivant (HON)
- Jay Shadron (YAM)
- Kevin Yoho (YAM)
- Landon Wolfe (SUZ)
- Braden Henthorn (HON)
*Overall National Championship Standings:
- Chris Borich (212)
- Walker Fowler (188)
- Adam McGill (183)
- Jarrod McClure (144)
- Chris Bithell (121)
- Cole Richardson (115)
- Brycen Neal (108)
- Brian Wolf (96)
- Marshal Goings (90)
- Braden Henthorn (85)
*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2014 National Champion.
XC2 Event Results:
- Cole Richardson (YAM)
- Marshal Goings (HON)
- Randy Hamilton (HON)
- Martin Christofferson (HON)
- Fred Marley (HON)
- James Green (HON)
- Luke Upah (HON)
- Blake Kramer (YAM)
- Thomas Koontz Jr. (YAM)
- Jonathan Fugate (HON)
XC2 Series Standings:
- Cole Richardson (220)
- Marshal Goings (219)
- Martin Christofferson (170)
- Randy Hamilton (130)
- Fred Marley (125)
- James Green (124)
- Blake Kramer (115)
- Thomas Koontz (106)
- Jonathan Fugate (103)
- Luke Upah (86)