Noah Mickelson and Grayson Eller Score Snowshoe Victories
Phoenix Racing Honda team riders Noah Mickelson and Grayson Eller won their respective College ATV classes during the Snowshoe GNCC at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia. Pro 4X4 rider Haedyn Mickelson finished fifth, while motorcycle riders Andrew Delong (XC1) and Austin Lee (XC2), finished seventh and ninth, respectively.
Known as one of GNCC’s most picturesque and challenging venues, the course is nestled in the hills and valleys of the ski resort in the Monongahela National Forest. With light rain leading into and during the event, the track was dryer than in years past, making for a technical and fast pace in the event.
In College A, Noah Mickelson snagged the holeshot on the live engine start, but lost the lead shortly after in a bottleneck. Quickly charging back, he re-took the lead and wasn’t headed from there. It marked his third victory of the season and moved him back into the win column after a five-race draught, allowing him to extend his points lead.
“Going into the weekend everyone was talking about how unpredictable the event is,” said Noah Mickelson, who was making his debut at the track. “I wasn’t sure what to expect. But we had our 22-inch Maxxis tires which helped tremendously. I never got stuck and it was one of the more fun races this season. Everything is dialed in and I’m loving the setup this year.”
In College B, Eller also scored his third win of the season. After running second for most of the race, he made a last-lap charge into the lead. The win moves him into a numerical tie for second in points with just one race left before the summer break.
“This was my first time at Snowshoe and I was blown away,” said Eller. “I was confident at the start but I was nervous about Howard’s Hole and it was crazy once I got down in there. It was a wild race and it was fun. I’m hoping to just stay consistent for the rest of the season.”
In 4X4 Pro, Haedyn Mickelson was making his second start at Snowshoe. He had a slow start, but quickly made it up to fifth. He battled for fourth for most of the race but got stuck in a bottleneck and held on for the top five.
“It was a challenging track and it was really fast,” said Haedyn Mickelson. “We got up to 70 mph in some places, so it was key not to make any mistakes. Fifth is not particularly great, but I got the finish and I felt really good.”
In XC1 Pro Motorcycle, Delong had trouble finding the rhythm and consistency Snowshoe demands, especially in the dry conditions. Despite falling back early, he made a late charge and finished seventh, moving him to just outside the top five in points.
“I had some bad luck, but it went well overall,” said Delong. “I felt good the whole time. I need to work on my consistency, but we’re making progress. Another top ten gives us some good points, and I beat all the people I needed to beat.”
In XC2 250 Pro Motorcycle, Lee had a rare off race, though he still pulled off a top-ten finish. After falling back early, Lee finished ninth and is ready to bounce back at the next event.
“I had a few crashes at the beginning and had issues with the rocks,” said Lee. “This is my favorite track usually. I just had trouble riding it. It was probably the driest we’ve had it at Snowshoe so that made it really technical.”
The Phoenix Racing Honda team has one more round left before the summer break, the High Voltage GNCC at Lilly Family Farm south of Pittsburgh on the West Virginia border. That race is scheduled for July 6-7.