Coastal Racing/Answer/Maxxis/Waynesburg Yamaha ATV Team rider Drew Landers returned to the center of the podium on Saturday with an impressive College A (16-21) victory at the John Penton GNCC, Round 9 of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series. Additionally, team rider Brycen Neal secured a 4th overall finish in the XC1 Pro ATV class, while the duo of Sean Bogdan and Jade Kiger came away with a season-best 4th overall in the XC1 Pro UTV class.
After nine rounds of racing, the GNCC Series will now take a break over the summer months as they resume with racing in early September. Consequently, the John Penton GNCC serves as a milestone for riders to end the first block of the season on a good note and the Coastal Racing team was able to gain successful momentum heading into the break.
College A (16-21)
It was a great day of racing from start to finish for Drew Landers, who shot off the line to capture the College A holeshot and from there, he never looked back. With nearly a one-minute gap over the 2nd place rider after lap one, Landers continued to increase his lead to ultimately finish over 4 minutes ahead of the next placing rider. Landers' fifth victory of the season allowed him to claim the Top Amateur Award once again after finishing an impressive 17th overall in the afternoon race.
It was a good day of racing for Drew Landers. Photo: Ken Hill
"Today on the race track couldn't have gone any better," Landers said. "My Coastal Racing Yamaha rocketed off the line and sent me into the woods in the 1st place position. From that point forward I put my head down and charged my way through riders from rows in front of me and never looked back. I led from start to finish feeling strong at the end. Ending the day with the Top Amateur and College A win heading into the summer break is a good feeling. I'm excited and looking forward to bettering myself for the last four rounds of the season. Special thanks to my Coastal Racing team and the rest of my sponsors for making it happen!"
Team rider Eli Kiger jumped off the line and into a great start aboard his Coastal Racing machine, where he came around the opening lap in the 2nd place position. Kiger ran into some issues on the next lap that dropped him back to 7th and the Pennsylvania native worked hard to climb his way back up to the top five with one lap to go. Kiger made a mistake on the final lap that allowed one rider to get by before the checkered flag, leaving Kiger to salvage 6th place for the day in the College A (16-21) class.
Eli Kiger overcame many obstacles to finish 6th place on Saturday. Photo: Ken Hill
"The John Penton didn't go the way I hoped," Kiger said. "Just a lot of wrong place at the wrong time throughout the race but luckily I was still able to salvage a 6th in the class and 30th overall. I want to give a big thanks to all of my amazing sponsors and people who support me. I'm looking forward to working on some things over the summer break to come back stronger in the last four rounds."
Landers holds the 2nd place position in the College A (16-21) Championship Standings, followed by Kiger in 4th place as the series heads into its summer break.
XC1 Pro ATV
Brycen Neal didn't get off to the best start from the front row as he rounded the opening lap in the 8th place position. The Ohio native immediately upped the pace to bring himself within the top-five on the second lap, further progressing into the 4th place position by lap three. From there, Neal worked hard to position himself inside the top three, where he was well on his way to a podium finish in his home state.
Brycen Neal narrowly missed the podium at the John Penton GNCC. Photo: Ken Hill
On the fifth and final lap, Neal was engaged in a five-rider battle for a podium position; however, with two miles to go in the race another rider came from behind and ultimately took over the 3rd place position. After two hours of battling from behind, Neal finished seven seconds back for 4th overall.
"Ending the first part of the season with 4th overall isn't too bad but I was really going for a podium finish in front of my home-state crowd," Neal said. "I came from the back all race long and we had a five rider battle on the last lap. I was in podium position with two miles to go and unfortunately got passed with a new line that opened up. My bike handled extremely well and I'm looking forward to working on some things during summer break."
Neal continues to hold the 4th place position in the overall championship standings with four rounds remaining in the series.
XC1 Pro UTV
Round 3 of the six-race UTV Championship took place on Saturday and team driver Sean Bogdan drove his Coastal Racing Polaris machine to a season-best finish alongside his co-pilot Jade Kiger. The duo began on row two in the XC1 Pro class and they maximized their positioning by taking the holeshot and the early lead from their row. With the adjusted time, Bogdan and Kiger came through in 5th place on the opening lap so they continued to charge ahead.
"It was a good day of racing for us," said Bogdan. "We grabbed the holeshot on the second row and never looked back! On lap three I had a driver error and came into a turn a little too hot and put it on her side. Luckily the whole Coastal Racing crew was standing there and got us back on all fours so we could keep pushing along. We lost a few seconds there and the next thing I knew, Walker Fowler was on my bumper. We battled the last two laps back and forth, bumper-to-bumper with some sketchy passing but I was able to grab the 4th place overall finish."
Driver Sean Bogdan and co-pilot Jade Kiger claim a season-best 4th overall. Photo: Ken Hill
By the halfway point, Bogdan had positioned himself in 2nd place as they battled only one second away from the lead position. However, on lap three Bogdan experienced a tip-over that slowed down their momentum. Once the duo returned to four wheels they were able to finish strong to still salvage 4th overall for the day, only 3.5 seconds away from securing their first podium finish of the season.
With the season-best finish of 4th place, Bogdan and Kiger now sit 5th overall in the XC1 Pro UTV Championship, only five points away from the 3rd place spot.
Next Event: GNCC Round 10 - Sept. 9, 2017
Results from the John Penton GNCC - Saturday, July 8, 2017
XC1 Pro ATV Results
- Walker Fowler
- Chris Borich
- Adam McGill
- Brycen Neal (YAM)
College A (16-21) ATV Results
- 1. Drew Landers (YAM)
- Kalab Hagan
- Tanner Walker
- Eli Kiger (YAM)
XC1 Pro UTV Results
- Kyle Chaney
- Hunter Miller
- William Yokley
- Cody Miller
- Sean Bogdan (POL)
Overall ATV Championship Standings
- Walker Fowler (265)
- Adam McGill (180)
- Chris Borich (158)
- Brycen Neal (148)
College A (16-21) ATV Championship Standings
- John Glauda Jr. (156)
- Drew Landers (149)
- Boedy Lamoreaux (122)
- Eli Kiger (122)
XC1 Pro UTV Championship Standings
- Hunter Miller (73)
- Cody Miller (68)
- Kyle Chaney (51)
- William Yokley (48)
- Sean Bogdan (46)