SNOWSHOE, W.Va. (June 21, 2015) – The nickname “Sneaky Snake” became even more fitting for JMR/ATVRiders.com’s Jarrod McClure at round nine of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, with the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC held at the pristine Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in West Virginia.
McClure controlled the lead in the early portions of the race before championship points leader CST/PirateMX.com/LSR/DeRisi/Tireblocks/SG’s Adam McGill worked his way into the lead on lap three and held that lead until the final lap. However, as the white flag flew, Fasttrax/Wolf Racing-backed Brian Wolf had worked his way into the lead on adjusted time, with McGill and N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Walker Fowler out front with the physical lead.
With just one mile to go, McGill found himself stuck in the thick, deep mud of the infamous “Howard’s Hole.” McClure capitalized on the mistake and took the lead. Fowler challenged him to the final corners, but McClure held on to come away with his first-ever GNCC Racing overall win.
“It all really came down to Howards Hole; that’s where I got around Adam and Walker in the same spot,” said McClure. “Adam hit a tree trying to take the line I took, which enabled me to get around him and Walker.”
Fowler grabbed second place overall. His strong finish, coupled with McGill’s misfortune, resulted in an eighth-place finish and has tightened the championship points gap as the series heads into summer break. McGill‘s points lead has now dropped to just nine points, which will ultimately result in exciting racing when the series resumes on September 15 with the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC.
The rough, rocky and muddy terrain creates a unique challenge for riders and machines alike and, as rain fell on the late portions of the race, the course became an even bigger challenge for man and machine. The conditions served as a fitting tribute to the original GNCC event, the Blackwater 100, which began 40 years ago just around 30 miles from Snowshoe.
In Bike racing, Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell continued to prove himself, earning the top spot on the podium once again. Round nine of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, gave Russell his eighth victory of the season.
Russell, the current XC1 Pro points leader, began on the first row of the unique live engine start, replicating the start of GNCC’s birth race, the Blackwater 100. After taking the early lead, Russell started to feel pressure from Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/FAR’s and West Virginia’s own Thad DuVall. DuVall made the pass on lap three and continued to lead until Russell made the pass back on lap seven. Duvall would hold onto second place
“I kind of rode around there for about half the race, and once I got everything figured out I went for it and was able to pull the lead at the end,” said Russell.
After struggling in the first half of the season, the difficult Snowshoe track conditions didn’t slow down N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn. He walked away with his first podium of the season, rounding out the top three in the XC1 class.
“I’m just happy to be back where I know I should and can be,” reported Ashburn, “I’ve had struggles and I hate it has taken this long, but I’m good now.”
In addition to the full GNCC schedule, AirGroup/Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna-backed rider Ryan Sipes has been busy with racing the past two rounds of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship. He has been improving all season, finishing second at the past two rounds. Unfortunately Sipes injured his knee, ultimately ending his day.
“I hit my knee on something; I’m not sure if it was a rock or handlebar,” said Sipes, “but it swelled up and I couldn’t hang on anymore or use my knees to grip.”
The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes from its summer break September 19-20 with the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC. For more information on the series, visit www.gnccracing.com.