The AMSOIL Snowshoe event is one of the most anticipated rounds of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, and this year it was no different. This event is a tribute race dedicated to the infamous and legendary Blackwater 100 as it honors that historical race each year. With an abundance of rainfall prior to the race, and on-and-off showers through the race, the GNCC ATV riders would try and conquer a very wet and treacherous mountain.
As the 1 p.m. race took off rain showers would begin to fall once again. Another element that pays tribute to the Blackwater 100 is the live engine street start. The top five riders in the points would start out the day on row 1 followed by fifth through 10thin the points standings on row two. WFR/GBC/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler was first through turn one, and onto the trail to go after another win. However, Maxxis/Fly Racing/Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Chris Borich and JMR/ATVriders.com/Maxxis’ Jarrod McClure were quick to keep him in check as they disappeared out of sight and into the mountain.
This trio of riders would swap positions throughout the race and it appeared no one rider was going to have the upper hand as the laps began racking up. Tough sections allowed a position gain or loss with an immense number of fans jumping in to help, with it being almost a requirement in some sections of the track.
When the pack came around on the third lap it was West Virginia’s own, McGill Mafia/CST Tires/Moose Racing’s Adam McGill in the number one spot after starting on the second row. McGill has earned four wins at Snowshoe and was prepared to win his fifth this year. However, after leading the race for two laps a mechanical issue would ultimately force McGill to halt his efforts on a fifth victory at Snowshoe Mountain.
As the leaders were coming into the final section before scoring, it was the familiar yellow Suzuki of Borich leading as he fought off every charge McClure mounted. Borich made his way to the checkered flag, taking his first win of the 2018 season as his team and fans lined the track to see the race come to an end. Not only was this Borich’s first win of the season, but it is his first win since 2014 where he ended the year with a win at Ironman.
McClure would secure his second place position as he finished 2.265 seconds behind Borich. Rounding out the top three overall would be Fowler as he fist-pumped through the finish just happy to be leaving Snowshoe with the points lead, and healthy. Bneal Motorsports/CST Tires/Houser Racing’s Brycen Neal was ready to put in another good ride on Saturday afternoon as he came through timing and scoring second on the first lap. However, after some misfortune Neal would fall off the pace for some time, only to recover to a fourth place finish.
Spider Graphix/GBC Motorsports/Moose Racing’s Marty Christofferson was having one of his best rides thus far in the season. Christofferson would swap between the fifth and fourth place position throughout the two-hour race, coming through scoring as the checkered flag waved in fifth. BNR Motorsports/GBC/Precision’s Josh Merritt was also putting in one of his best rides of the year finishing sixth overall on the day.
The New York Duo of Gold Speed/Waynesburg/Custom Axis’ Greg Covert and M.R. Unlimited/GBC Tires/RJR’s Devon Feehan would battle mid-pack before moving up into the top 10 overall. Covert would earn seventh overall with Feehan coming in eighth in XC1 and ninth overall. BNR Motorsports/GBC/Pro Graph-X’s Kevin Yoho made his fifth appearance of the season and earned his best finish yet with a 10th overall.
The XC2 Pro-Am class would see just as much competition as Maxxis/Ithaca Recreation Sports/Fly Racing’s Hunter Hart took home the win after riding an extremely smooth race working his way to eighth overall. Behind Hart was Pierce Performance/Maxxis/Waynesburg Yamaha’s John Glaudia Jr taking second and Demaree Motorsports/LSR/Fly Racing’s Austin Abney rounding out the podium in third. Harts win marks his seventh of the season as he looks to be heading for the championship when racing resumes after the summer break.
The 10 a.m. ATV racers would not be sparred a rough course as they headed into the mountains of West Virginia. The 4×4 Pro class launched off the line and set an incredible pace.
Cunningham Racing/Can-Am/Kenda’s Kevin Cunningham and Can-Am/Derisi Racing/GBC Motorsports Landon Wolfe would set the pace early at the front of the pack as the two battled back and forth to see who would take the 4×4 Pro and overall victory of the day. Coming through on the last lap it was Wolfe earning his second win of the season with Cunningham coming through in second just 5.7 seconds behind him. Brent Henke made the switch from sport quads to the 4×4 this round and rode an amazing race to land on the podium in third.
WXC racing action was intense as usual as GBC Motorsports/Yamaha/Fly Racing’s Traci Pickens tamed the mountain with another win. Joining her on the podium was Spider Graphix’s Katelyn Osburn in second and Kara Short in third. This would be Short’s first podium finish this season.
Fog is not uncommon during the 8 a.m. youth races and during the first few laps of the race this held true as visibility was poor is different locations. When the fog lifted, the pace quickened as the young riders made short work of the course they were given and commanded attention from the fans emerging from the lodges and hotels. Layne McCormick would once again set the pace and earn a win at America’s toughest race. Joining McCormick on the box would be Bryce Husband in second who has been ultra-consistent this season and Keaton Henderson taking third.
GNCC Racing will return in September after summer break for the Inaugural running of the Parts Unlimited Black Sky GNCC in Harpursville, New York.
The 1 p.m. ATV Pro race was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will be aired on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday, July 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.
Snowshoe, West Virginia
Round 9 of 13
Saturday, June 23