Brycen Neal and Walker Fowler Battle for Home State Overall Win
The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series, an AMA National Championship continues this weekend, May 26 and 27, with the 29th Annual Wiseco John Penton GNCC. Not only is this event the longest running GNCC race of the series, but it also pays homage to the legendary John Penton who pioneered numerous modern advancements in the world of off-road racing.
Coming just two weeks after the X-Factor Whitetails GNCC, The John Penton GNCC marks the halfway mark through the 2018 season. This could result in a change of strategy for riders who are gunning for the 2018 GNCC ATV National Championship and in doing so could have major impact on the outcome of the race. This event has the potential to make for an intense battle as we have already seen four different riders earn an overall win this year.
JMR/ATVriders.com/Maxxis’ Jarrod McClure comes into this weekend’s GNCC eager to keep his momentum rolling after taking the overall win at the previous round. McClure currently sits third in the championship standings, but he is looking to earn valuable points as he sits 17 behind the leader. Another win on the season would be critical for McClure as it could help to place him even higher in the championship hunt.
After a disappointing ending to round six, WFR/GBC/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler maintains the points lead by 14 heading into The John Penton GNCC. Fowler is no stranger to The John Penton racecourse. For the past four seasons Fowler has earned the overall win at this round, and he is hoping to have another successful weekend when the XC1 Pro ATV class take to the track at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Hailing from Bidwell, Ohio, just an hour south of Sunday Creek Raceway, is Bneal Motorsports/CST Tires/Houser Racing’s Brycen Neal. At round three Neal took his first-ever overall win, and has consistently finished inside the top five throughout the 2018 season. Neal is considered a hometown favorite, and earning his second overall win of the season in front of his family and friends would make for a very special weekend.
Maxxis/Fly Racing/Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Chris Borich enters this weekend with a long history of wins at The John Penton GNCC, and after finishing in the runner-up position at the previous round he is looking to earn a spot in the middle of the podium once again. Borich has not claimed a win since the GNCC finale in 2014, but he is still very much a top competitor and could return to his winning ways at a venue he knows so well.
Currently fifth in the championship standings is McGill Mafia/CST Tires/Moose Racing’s Adam McGill. After winning round four, then suffering from a mechanical issue at round five, McGill is ready to rebound this weekend and will be looking to claim the overall win, which would mark his first win at The John Penton.
AmPro Yamaha’s Cole Richardson has had an up and down season after returning from an injury. Richardson has proven that his healing process and off-season training have helped propel him back into the racer he was in the 2015 – 2016 seasons. Since finishing second at Steele Creek, Richardson has had some misfortune but is hopeful that he can turn his luck around this Saturday and contend for another podium finish.
Currently sitting seventh in the championship standings is RJR/Tire Spine/GBC Motorsports’ Devon Feehan. After being unable to start round six due to an illness, Feehan is looking to redeem himself this weekend. Spider Graphix/GBC Motorsports/Moose Racing’s Marty Christofferson did not have the finish he was hoping for in Indiana, but will aim for a top 10 finish at round seven.
GBC Motorsports/RJR/Solo Pilot’s Westley Wolfe sits ninth in the championship standings, just two points head of GBC/Fly Racing/HMF/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher. Both Wolfe and Gallagher have had an unpredictable season thus far, however they are each hoping to turn their season around this weekend and contend for a top five finish in Ohio.
In the XC2 Pro-Am division, Maxxis/Ithaca Recreation Sports/Fly Racing’s Hunter Hart continues to lead the way with a 22-point lead over Indiana’s Austin Abney. Coastal Racing’s Drew Landers sits third in class points, followed by Matthew Lindle in fourth. Lindle is looking to battle at the front of the pack again after finishing outside the top 10 at the past two events. John Glauda Jr. sits fifth in XC2 Pro-Am, however after earning the win at round three had suffered some bad luck at round four. Glauda is looking to battle with the front-runners and earn valuable championship points.
UTV racing action returns Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to The John Penton GNCC. Ohio native and Can-Am/Chaney Racing’s Kyle Chaney took the UXC1 Pro Turbo win at the last UTV round in South Carolina, after suffering from mechanical issues at the first two rounds. Chaney is hoping to earn his second win of the season before the UTV events take their summer break hiatus. Currently leading the points is Miller Brothers/Can-Am/Maxxis’ Hunter Miller. H. Miller will be aiming to earn his first win of the season after a consistent start to the season where he has finished inside the top five at all three rounds.
Jamie McCoy and Team UXC Racing’s Kevin Trantham have also each earned a win this season. McCoy and Trantham are eager to try and take another overall UTV win this Saturday afternoon. Defending Champion and AmPro Yamaha’s Cody Miller did not have the start he wanted to the season, but finished second at round two with a disappointing ninth at the third UTV round. C. Miller is looking for redemption this weekend, and is hungry to earn his first win of 2018.
Friday at 6 p.m. the Fantic eMTB racing will take place at The John Penton GNCC. There are 7 classes available and no pre-qualifying necessary. You must wear a bicycle helmet, and register at Rider Registration. Class 1 Pedal Assist Bicycles with a motor powered speed of 20 mph and motor wattage of <=750 watts eligible only. Classes offered: Pro, Schoolboy (12-18), Junior (19-29), Vet (30-39), Senior (40-49), Masters (50+) and Women. Read more about the Fantic eMTB Racing by clicking HERE.
Saturday’s race schedule is as follows: Youth ATV racing begins at 8 a.m., followed by Single Seat UTV racing at 9 a.m., then amateurs, 4×4 Pro and Women at 10 a.m., and the pros and top amateurs race at 1 p.m. Following Saturday’s afternoon race will be Side-by-Side racing taking place at 4:00 p.m.
Adult (12+) gate admission is $20 for the full weekend and $10 for kids (6-11), with kids five and under free. Gate admission includes pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
The event is co-sanctioned with WEXCR, a series that produces local racing events across Eastern Ohio and West Virginia, and will ultimately bring out a full slate of local racers. All local riders are invited and encouraged to compete in the event, as GNCC Racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is $50 if racers pre-enter or sign up at the track. To learn more about GNCC Racing, refer to the GNCC 101 webpage.
The local racers expected to compete Saturday on ATVs will be: Andrew Banovsky (College A 16-21), Alex Elioff (Junior B 22+), Drew Blackley (24+ C), Nick Davidson (Junior A 22+), Alex Brockway (30+ C), Gavin Jenkins (College A 16-21), Kevin Yoho (XC1 Pro), Colton Buck (Schoolboy Sr 14-17), Benjamin Ciesielczyk (4×4 C), Levi Coen (Junior A 22+), Cody Collier (XC1 Pro), Aaron Delancey (Super Senior 45+), Dustin Dickerson (Vet B 30+), Sadie Gorrell (WXC), Ayden Konkler (Schoolboy Jr. 13-15), Brycen Neal (XC1 Pro), Casey Simmons (Schoolboy Sr 14-17), Megan Shepherd (WXC) and David Rutter Jr. (Vet B 30+).
Ohio side-by-side residents competing on Saturday afternoon will be: Matthew Ashton (UXC2 Pro), Chris Brockway (Masters 45+), Kyle Chaney (UXC1 Pro Turbo), Scottie Lawrence (UXC3 Pro-Am), Robert Lisey (Sportsman), Michael Wittekind (UXC3 Pro-Am), Luke Shepherd (UXC3 Pro-Am), Austin Seelig (UXC2 Pro), Dulton Schmidt (UXC3 Pro-Am) and Cohl Secoy (UXC1 Pro Turbo).
For a complete schedule of the weekend’s activities, please visit the Wiseco John Penton GNCC event page on the series website by clicking HERE
XC2 Pro-Am Event Results:
- Hunter Hart (YAM)
- Jay Shadron (YAM)
- Austin Abney (HON)
- Drew Landers (YAM)
- John Glauda Jr. (YAM)
- Ben Kowalewski (HON)
- Kenny Shick (YAM)
- Steven Covert (YAM)
- Brody Livengood (YAM)
- Tanner Walker (HON)
XC2 Pro-Am Series Standings:
- Hunter Hart (136)
- Austin Abney (114)
- Drew Landers (109)
- Matthew Lindle (109)
- John Glauda Jr. (104)
- Ben Kowalewski (91)
- Tanner Walker (78)
- Kenny Shick (74)
- Brody Livengood (65)
- Steven Covert (60)