XC RACING STEPS UP

AMERICAN CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Stepping up its game in Ohio By Harlen Foley, Photos by Harlen Foley

The AXCC Series has morphed into a replacement race series for UTV racers that were formally part of the famed GNCC series. It gives UTV woods racers a major race opportunity on the East Coast.

XC RACING STEPS UP

The American Cross-Country Championship Series is perhaps best known for stepping in to sanction East Coast pro SxS cross-country racing when GNCC discontinued its SXS classes. Now, AXCC promoter, Andy Kyner, has further stepped up his game and held a special one-off, championship-level 4X4 ATV race at Muskingum Speedway in Ohio. If you ask any of the competitors in the event, Kyner has a hit on his hands.

The race was the fourth round of the series, which sanctions America’s SxS Cross-Country National Championship, as well as regional ATV racing. The special 4X4 race, with guaranteed payouts and a spotlight on the 4X4s, was just one of Kyner’s home runs in what turned out to be an excellent weekend.

The AXCC ATV Pro race was run early in the day when conditions were very muddy. Adam McGill and his Honda TRX450R won the class, but it was a muddy mess. Partially thanks to the ATV pros, the course came around later in the day.

THE RACING

XC RACING STEPS UP

In UTV racing, Mathias Rowell defended his points lead in Pro Turbo with his second win of the season in his Can-Am. In ATV, many GNCC racers showed up, and Adam McGill walked away with the Pro portion of the event. He beat out Josh Merritt and Cody Collier for the top spot.

This round saw a one-off, special 4×4 ATV pro race won by Cody Collier. It was supposed to be an extreme enduro-type, 4×4-only course, but the rain made that impossible. The winner earned $1000.

XC RACING STEPS UP

But, the real highlight of the weekend was the GBC-sponsored 4×4 Pro race. Initially, the series had planned to build a special 4X4-only track, but rain foiled its plans. The track did dry up nicely during the event, though, and the show was awesome. Collier ended up taking the top spot and the $1000 check. Justin Wood was second and earned $600, while Haedyn Mickelson made the trek from North Carolina to net $400 for his third-place finish.

Justin Wood (black Can-Am) was second and earned $600, while Haedyn Mickelson grabbed third. The pair had some extremely close racing as shown here.

XC RACING STEPS UP

“We wanted to highlight the 4×4 class because it’s getting so big, and I thought it was getting lost in the other classes,” said Kyner. “The race machines are unbelievable, and we plan to make this an annual event. Everyone said they had a blast, and I didn’t have one person complain.”

Competitor-driven racing relies on its racers to succeed. The successful promoters listen. The ones that don’t end up lost to history. Kyner is clearly listening, and the series is set to continue to grow in 2021.

Missouri’s Addison Nible won the Pro 1000 UTV class with her Honda Talon. There was a strong Honda presence in the UTV classes.

WHAT IS NEXT

XC RACING STEPS UP

Next year the series plans to use the Supercross model with three races on the East Coast, three races in the Midwest, and two races “in the middle.” This will allow competitors to run for a regional championship by competing in the regional and “middle” races. AXCC will offer two regional championships and one national championship for SxS only.

Jarrod Sheets from Ionia, Iowa, was second in his class despite completing only one lap. We imagine that washing the machine will not be fun.

AXCC has three races left on its schedule and will next compete at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee on September 19 before heading to Park Hills, Missouri, on October 17th, and then Jay, Oklahoma, on October 31st. All events are held as one-day shows on Saturdays.

For more info on championship racing from Harlan Foley click the link below:

https://dirtwheelsmag.com/event-championship-off-road/amp/

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