Morgantown, W. Va. (May 23, 2012) – The 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series has been full of excitement with the addition of three new venues to the schedule, all of which add an all-new dynamic to the racing. The 13-round series makes its way to Masontown, W. Va. this Memorial Day weekend, May 26 and 27, for Round 7 of racing. The championship points chase is closer than ever before and the rocky hills of West Virginia could perhaps produce another first-time winner in the XC1 ATV division.
Precision/Moto X Perts/ITP/Lonestar/RG Motorsports’ Adam McGill is arguably the hometown favorite heading into this weekend’s Can-Am Mountaineer Run GNCC. The West Virginia native grew up in close proximity to the rocky terrain of Marvin’s Mountain Top. McGill has been the most consistent runner-up to Chris Borich’s panel of wins this season, but there’s no telling what a home court advantage could do in a two-hour battle through the wild and wonderful woods of West Virginia.
It’s still Maxxis/Yoshimura’s Chris Borich who leads the overall standings with five wins in the first six rounds. As a three-time champ already, Borich has a vast knowledge of race strategy and that almost always comes into play near the end of a two-hour cross-country race. Borich’s competitors are beginning to figure out his final lap race strategy and the racing has become more closely knit.
Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Taylor Kiser is the only other rider besides Borich to score a win this season and despite a couple rough finishes; Kiser only trails McGill’s second place by five points in the overall standings. Kiser doesn’t have to look far to find his rookie teammate Walker Fowler, who sits less than ten points back in the fourth place position. Fowler has encountered a few mechanical issues in his XC1 class debut, but consistent top five finishes have kept the young rider in the running. Pennsylvania’s Chris Bithell is also landing near his homeland this weekend as the Motoworks/Can-Am racer looks to snag his first win of the season this weekend. Like most of his competitors, Bithell has one bad finish on his record from Round 5 when he spent a majority of the race putting his chain back on the rails. The top five XC1 racers will be sure to put on a great show as they battle through a brand new course and venue this weekend.
JG Offroad/FRE/American Honda’s Brian Wolf currently sits in the sixth place position in the standings, heading a pack of five riders separated by less than five points. GBC/Cernics/HMF/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher, perhaps one of the most consistent racers on the front row right now, trails Wolf by only one point in the standings. Gallagher has another Yamaha rider hot on his heels and that is the Waynesburg Yamaha ride of Jeff Pickens, who has been involved in a heated battle with BNR’s Kevin Yoho all season long. The duo has traded finishes back and fourth quite often, but Yoho has especially stepped it up in the last few rounds of racing.
Bowers Motorcycle/Coastal National Guard/Yokley Racing’s Jarrod McClure has shown that he has the speed to run with the lead pack but the Pennsylvania boy continuously runs into mechanical issues on race day. McClure has put in two season-best fourth place finishes, in addition to a handful of not-so-desirable scores, putting him all the way back in tenth overall.
The XC2 Pro Am division has begun to take shape for Waynesburg Yamaha’s Gabe Phillips, who now holds three wins for the season heading into his home race in West Virginia. DeRising Racing’s Braden Henthorn still holds a three-point lead over Phillips with one win under his belt. Tireballs-backed Patrick McGuire still edges out DeRisi Racing’s Eric Hoyland for third place after Hoyland experienced mechanical issues at the last round. Greg’s ATV & Cycle’s Matt Hanna isn’t far behind as he secured his second podium finish last round.
Spectator passes run $15 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On Saturday, youth riders race at 8 a.m., amateur racers and the top utility and Women riders race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m. Special events at this weekend’s Mountaineer Run event include Round 3 of Side-by-Side racing, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m., and a special course will be designed for Pee Wee classes to race at 3:30 p.m. For more information on special events, please visit the event page HERE.
To get to the track, take I-68 Morgantown WV, Sabraton exit, take RT.7 east approx. 11 miles to Masontown, WV – make left at main pharmacy – follow signs 3 miles to Marvin’s Mountain Top. For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084.
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,500 riders through tracks ranging in length from ten to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed and draw talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised and airs every week on NBC Sports Network. For more information, please visit www.GNCCRacing.com.