PERU, Ind. (May 13, 2018) – The weather facing round six of the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship, was a huge turn around from the inaugural event held at X-Factor Whitetails Hunting Ranch in Peru, Indiana last season. While rain happened to fall during the 10 a.m. event, it set the stage for prime racing conditions during the 1 p.m. pro ATV race. The drying wind and intermittent sunshine provided dry fields, which kicked up dust adding another element to what seemed like a typical GNCC style course.
Without a legendary track record to look back on, it was anyone’s guess as to who would walk away with what is probably one the most sought after trophies of the season. Last season in an intense mud race it was GBC/Fly Racing/HMF/Yamaha’s Johnny Gallagher that came out on top, however this season WFR/GBC/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler looked to be setting the pace early. Fowler earned the $250 Wiseco XC1 Pro Holeshot and was off for two hours of racing action as he set a blistering speed. However, this would not be a runaway performance, as the top four riders remained wheel-to-wheel throughout the entire race.
Bneal Motorsports/CST Tires/Houser Racing’s Brycen Neal would directly challenge Fowler as he held the second place position for the early stages of the race, but Neal would be challenged as well by the likes of JMR/ATVriders.com/Maxxis’ Jarrod McClure and Maxxis/Fly Racing/Ye Olde Cycle Barn’s Chris Borich, who swapped the second and third place positions multiple times throughout the first couple laps. As the race wore on, it became apparent that it would be a four-rider battle to the finish. When the white flag flew, it would be McClure who would put on a charge to take the second place spot from Neal and set himself up for a battle down to the wire with Fowler.
The race changed drastically as Fowler headed towards the checkered flag. McClure would find himself making the pass for his first win of 2018 in the last corner of the race, while Fowler was experiencing fuel issues. Behind Fowler were Borich and Neal, who powered in after an exhaustive last lap push to gain a spot on the podium. This was another amazing and intense race that adds to the young history of the X-Factor Whitetails GNCC.
For McClure, the win was unexpected as he had his own battle on the last lap fighting to take second away from Borich. After having the win explode in front of him, McClure was almost speechless in the first few minutes. However, after letting reality set in as to what had just happened McClure let the celebrations begin. Fowlers issue aside, McClure was putting in the ride he wanted as his last lap push showed and in the end, his refusal to quit pushing got him this coveted win.
*Overall National Championship Standings:
- Walker Fowler (145)
- Brycen Neal (131)
- Jarrod McClure (128)