Fowler earns win at Big Buck

By: Special to The Union Times
Photo by Ken Hill Walker Fowler earned the first win of 2018 as he battles for his fourth consecutive championship.
Photo by Ken Hill Brycen Neal had a solid start to the season with a second overall finish in South Carolina.
Photo by Ken Hill Brandon Icard grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot.
Photo by Ken Hill Kevin Cunningham (center) earned the first 4x4 Pro win of the year, taking the early points lead as he defends his championship.
Photo by Ken Hill Collin Truett took home the Single Seat UTV race win, as well as an afternoon UTV podium finish at round one.

UNION — The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series an AMA National Championship, kicked off Friday, February 24, with the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC. Weather created ideal race conditions in Union, South Carolina today as the XC1 Pro riders battled to the checkered flag.

WFR/GBC/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler came out of turn one on a mission as he grabbed the first Wiseco XC1 Holeshot of 2018. Fowler would quickly set the pace for what seemed to be a very challenging opening round of racing. The defending champion would quickly rebound and work his way back through the pack to regain the lead. This season would start just like last years season finale ended, with Fowler taking the overall win.

Behind Fowler the racing was intense as a host of riders began battling for a podium position as the two-hour race unfolded. Bneal Motorsports/CST Tires/Houser Racing’s Brycen Neal was the rider to catch as he showed the fans that he had come to round one with intensity and desire to get back on the podium. After an incredible effort, Neal would finish second, marking a solid start to the new season and his championship efforts.

Maxxis/Fly Racing/Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Chris Borich was primed for a fight at Big Buck. Now that round one is in the books, Borich is showing how his off-season preparations have equipped him to run with the front of the pack. Although an issue at the start caused him to have a dead last start off the line, he quickly made up that time after heading into the woods. As the checkered flag flew, Borich took home third overall. This could be the year that Borich has been looking for.

When McGill Mafia/CST Tires/Moose Racing’s Adam McGill came through the finish line on lap one, he was fighting through the mid-pack crowd of XC1 Pro riders. However, on lap two McGill would pick up the intensity, where he then found himself fighting for a podium finish. McGill would finish the day one spot off the podium in the fourth place position.

JMR/ATVriders.com/Maxxis’ Jarrod McClure and GBC Motorsports/RJR/Solo Pilot’s Westley Wolfe would have a strong start to the 2018 season, as they finished in the fifth and sixth positions overall.

After suffering an injury last year, AmPro Yamaha’s Cole Richardson returned ready to race in South Carolina. He would come through on lap one in the second place position, but would ultimately finish out the day in the seventh place position. Cody Collier, Johnny Gallagher and XC1 Pro Rookie Devon Feehan would round out the top 10 overall.

The racing in the XC2 Pro-Am class was no less exciting as the Honda-backed rider, Austin Abney, claimed the first win in XC2 of the season. Coastal Racing’s Drew Landers made his mark by taking second after taming the brutal Big Buck track. Rounding out the XC2 podium in third was Ben Kowalewsk. The XC2 class should prove to be ultra competitive this season with a deep talent pool and hungry racers looking to make their own history as they march through the season.

With an impressive UTV turnout, the race would be a great battle from start to finish. Heavy hitters like AmPro Yamaha’s, Cody Miller, and Can-Am/Chaney Racing’s, Kyle Chaney, would succumb to mechanical issues. Can-Am driver, Jamie McCoy, would claim the first UTV overall win of 2018, with Collin Truett taking second overall and Weller Racing/GBC/WFR/Yamaha’s, Walker Fowler, claiming his first UTV podium with a solid third place overall effort.

Walker Fowler was not the only racer to make the podium twice, as Collin Truett drove his Polaris ACE to the single seat UTV win alongside Team UXC’s Michael Swift in second, who also found the podium twice today with his podium finish in the 4×4 Pro class. Robert Boynton would claim the final single seat UTV podium position with third.

The 10 a.m. morning racers faced the best conditions of the day as warm temperatures set the stage for some great racing. The 4×4 Pro class was pounding the South Carolina clay as Kevin Cunningham put himself out front and center stage as he claimed the first win of the year. Dwight Pollard was finding the course to be a handful, but nothing he couldn’t handle, and finished second with Michael Swift rounding out the podium in third.

The ultra competitive WXC class would see ten-time champion, Traci Pickens, put her Yamaha out front and cruise to the class win. Taking second was Katelyn Osburn followed by Alicia McCormick in third.

Youth racing continues to become more and more competitive and the opening round would see some great racing throughout the ranks. Bryce Husband would be the first rider to claim a win in the 2018 season with Keaton Henderson claiming second and Paige Berryman taking third.

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 Sunday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m.

The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes in two weeks, March 10 and 11, in Palatka, Florida with the Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC.

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.

• Facebook: @gnccracing

• Instagram: @gncc_racing

• Twitter: @gnccracing

• YouTube: @racertv

VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC

Union, South Carolina

Round 1 of 13

Saturday, February 24

XC1 Pro Event Results

1. Walker Fowler (YAM)

2. Brycen Neal (YAM)

3. Chris Borich (SUZ)

4. Adam McGill (HON)

5. Jarrod McClure (HON)

6. Westley Wolfe (SUZ)

7. Cole Richardson (YAM)

8. Cody Collier (YAM)

9. Johnny Gallagher (YAM)

10. Devon Feehan (HON)

*Overall National Championship Standings

1. Walker Fowler (30)

2. Brycen Neal (25)

3. Chris Borich (21)

4. Adam McGill (18)

5. Jarrod McClure (16)

6. Westley Wolfe (15)

7. Cole Richardson (14)

8. Cody Collier (13)

9. Johnny Gallagher (12)

10. Devon Feehan (11)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2018 National Champion.

XC2 Pro-Am Event Results

1. Austin Abney (HON)

2. Drew Lander (YAM)

3. Ben Kowalewski (HON)

4. Matthew Lindle (HON)

5. Brandon Icard (HON)

6. Steven Covert (YAM)

7. Sam Hough (HON)

8. Tanner Walker (HON)

9. John Glauda Jr (YAM)

10. Hunter Hart (YAM)

XC2 Pro-Am Series Standings

1. Austin Abney (30)

2. Drew Landers (25)

3. Ben Kowalewski (21)

4. Matthew Lindle (18)

5. Brandon Icard (16)

6. Steven Covert (15)

7. Sam Hough (14)

8. Tanner Walker (13)

9. John Glauda Jr (12)

10. Hunter Hart (11)

About GNCC Racing

The AMSOIL 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 2,400 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised weekly on NBC Sports and RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

How To Watch

Racer TV and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) are the official homes for coverage of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 13 rounds, from the season opening Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina to the finale at Ironman Raceway in Indiana, will air in 30-minue; taped-delayed telecasts on NBCSN, while Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 1 p.m. ATV and motorcycle races from each event, in addition to the six UTV rounds. Catch all the action at http://www.nbcsports.com/ and http://www.racertv.com/.

About The American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

Photo by Ken Hill Walker Fowler earned the first win of 2018 as he battles for his fourth consecutive championship.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_42805_ban_9989.jpgPhoto by Ken Hill Walker Fowler earned the first win of 2018 as he battles for his fourth consecutive championship.

Photo by Ken Hill Brycen Neal had a solid start to the season with a second overall finish in South Carolina.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_42808_jig_9702.jpgPhoto by Ken Hill Brycen Neal had a solid start to the season with a second overall finish in South Carolina.

Photo by Ken Hill Brandon Icard grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_42809_jig_9280.jpgPhoto by Ken Hill Brandon Icard grabbed the $100 All Balls Racing XC2 Holeshot.

Photo by Ken Hill Kevin Cunningham (center) earned the first 4×4 Pro win of the year, taking the early points lead as he defends his championship.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_42810_ban_9879-2.jpgPhoto by Ken Hill Kevin Cunningham (center) earned the first 4×4 Pro win of the year, taking the early points lead as he defends his championship.

Photo by Ken Hill Collin Truett took home the Single Seat UTV race win, as well as an afternoon UTV podium finish at round one.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_42811_ban_9852.jpgPhoto by Ken Hill Collin Truett took home the Single Seat UTV race win, as well as an afternoon UTV podium finish at round one.
Neal, Borich round out the overall podium

Special to The Union Times