ATV Battles Heat Up at Ironman

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TimeTuesday, October 16, 2012 | 4:45 PM
FolderBreaking News

Morgantown, W. Va.  - The 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Crawfordsville, Ind. this weekend, October 20 and 21, for the penultimate round of racing. The 18th running of the Amsoil Ironman GNCC will once again go pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, inviting racers and spectators to support the cause by dressing in pink all weekend long.  

Last round, Precision/Moto X Perts/ITP/Lonestar/RG Motorsports' Adam McGill became the third unique winner in the XC1 Pro ATV class, while Motoworks/Can-Am's Chris Bithell landed a podium finish to further intensify the already-close points battle inside the Top 5. Ballance Racing Yamaha's Taylor Kiser lost valuable points with a sixth place finish, leaving the door open for McGill to potentially take over the third place spot with two rounds to go this season.

Ballance Racing Yamaha's Walker Fowler currently holds the second place spot behind 2012 champ Chris Borich and continues to look for nothing less than a win at the final two rounds. After Borich's mechanical issue last round, Fowler came close to securing his first win of the season but a small mistake on the final lap allowed McGill to take the victory. However, Fowler's versatility as a rider may give him the edge he needs to pull off the win in the rocky hills of Ironman.

McGill and Bithell sit only six points apart for fourth place and although McGill has a win this season, consistent finishes have kept Bithell in the running. However, McGill will have confidence-boosting momentum heading into Round 12 and barring any mechanical issues, has the potential to do it again. Bithell's calm demeanor and steady results can sometimes cause him to be overlooked but the Pennsylvania-native continues to get stronger each race and will also be a threat for this weekend's win.  

It seems as if the point-margins only get tighter in the bottom half of the Top 10 standings. Bowers Motorcycle/Coastal National Guard/Yokley Racing's Jarrod McClure holds a commanding lead over JG Offroad/FRE/American Honda's Brian Wolf, but the next four riders are close in tow. BNR's Kevin Yoho is currently tied for seventh place with Wolf, while GBC/Cernics/HMF/Yamaha's Johnny Gallagher sits five points back in the ninth spot. Waynesburg Yamaha's Jeff Pickens isn't far behind as he continues to recover from a wrist injury earlier in the season.

The XC2 Pro Am championship is still up for grabs as Tireballs-backed Patrick McGuire holds the points lead over DeRisi Racing's Braden Henthorn. Henthorn grabbed his third win of the season last round, keeping himself in the title-fight. DeRisi Racing's Eric Hoyland is currently tied with Greg's ATV & Cycle's Matt Hanna for the third place spot, which will come down to a matter of consistency in the final two rounds.  

The final round of Side-by-Side racing hits the course on Saturday as Team Coastal National Guard and Polaris National Guard continue a heated battle for the XC1 Modified championship. The two teams sit only three points apart and the finale will determine the 2012 champion. Team Barron Eastgate Racing, Can-Am/Motoworks and Team Excavating have a tight-knit battle for Top 5 honors.

Four-wheeled ATVs and Side-by-Sides will compete throughout the day on Saturday, October 20, and dirt bikes will race on Sunday, October 21. Local riders are invited to race the event as well, as GNCC racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur racer entry fee is $40 and riders can sign up at the track.

Spectator passes run $15 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, the Youth races at 8 a.m., amateurs race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and pros race at 1 p.m. Special to this event, Side-by-Side racing will take place Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., following the ATVs.

The track is located south of Crawfordsville off Route 47. You'll find it, just stay on 47 South and look for signs. For more information, visit the series website at www.gnccracing.com.