Round 4 of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series headed to Morganton, North Carolina over the weekend and the Coastal Racing/Answer/Maxxis/Waynesburg Yamaha ATV Team emerged with three top-five finishes. XC1 Pro ATV racer Brycen Neal earned his third podium finish of the season with 3rd overall, while Drew Landers made it three-in-a-row with a big victory in the College A (16-21) class.
Neal fought hard for the entire two-hour race as he immediately engaged in battle with the lead pack off the start. With the top-five riders wheel-to-wheel on the opening lap, Neal was able to position himself in the 3rd place spot by lap two as he continued to work his way into 2nd with his sights set on the leader. However, Neal had to pit on the next lap which dropped him back one position to 3rd around the halfway point.
Neal put on a charge in the final lap but he wasn't able to catch the lead battle before the checkered flag came out. With a host of top-five finishes behind him, Neal's 3rd place finish vaulted him up to 2nd overall in the Championship Standings after four rounds of racing.
"We got off to a much better start this week and we didn't have to work so hard to climb through the pack. We tracked down Fowler and McGill and battled with them for the rest of the day," Neal said. "We gambled on the pit stop and decided to go a lap later and all was going according to plan until a bottleneck on the hill caused us to all bunch up again and I was passed when I had to pit for gas. We ended up 3rd overall on the day and we're very happy because this is my least favorite race out of the year!"
Coastal Racing/Answer/Maxxis/Waynesburg Yamaha's Drew Landers continued his dominance in the College A (16-21) class as he came away with a victory of nearly seven minutes ahead of the 2nd place rider. Landers shot off the line to capture the holeshot and the early lead in the class. Landers maintained his lead position throughout the entire two-hour race as he consistently pulled a gap on the rest of the field.
With three consecutive wins behind him, Landers jumped up in the Championship Standings to sit only six points behind the leader with nine rounds of racing left to go.
"North Carolina treated me very well!" Landers said. "Thanks to my Coastal-powered Yamaha I pulled the holeshot and grabbed the early lead. I took off into the woods and never looked back. I charged strong all day long, working through riders from rows in front of me on a tough track to pass on. I ended the day with 1st in College A and 12th overall for my third straight Top Amateur award. I'm pumped on my performance this weekend and ready to start work for Round 5!"
Eli Kiger got off to a top-five start in the College A (16-21) class where he quickly set his sights on the podium battle ahead. Kiger maintained the 5th place position through the first two laps before making his move into 4th just before the halfway point. Despite a hard charge, Kiger wasn't able to reach the podium battle but the young rider held strong to match his best finish of the season with 4th place in the class.
"I rode in 4th for pretty much the whole race until the last lap when a lapped rider got stuck on the hill climb and two riders got around me," Kiger said. "After that I only had six miles to go until the finish so I went as hard as I could to catch them and I was able to do it with only four miles to go. I got them both on a split line and ran it into the finish for 4th in the class and 33rd overall, which I am pretty happy about!"
Next ATV Event: GNCC Round 5 - April 22, 2017
Results from the Steele Creek GNCC - Saturday, April 8
XC1 Pro ATV Results
- Walker Fowler
- Adam McGill
- Brycen Neal (YAM)
- Chris Borich
- Johnny Gallagher
College A (16-21) ATV Results
- Drew Landers (YAM)
- Tanner Walker
- John Glauda Jr.
- Eli Kiger (YAM)
Overall ATV Championship Standings
- Walker Fowler (120)
- Brycen Neal (85)
- Adam McGill (78)
- Chris Borich (73)
- Jarrod McClure (68)
College A (16-21) ATV Championship Standings
- John Glauda Jr. (66)
- Eli Kiger (63)
- Drew Landers (60)
- Tanner Walker (51)
- Boedy Lamoreaux (49)