Round two of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, took place in Washington, Ga., on Saturday for the annual running of The Maxxis General GNCC. With muddy conditions and rainfall throughout the day, Adam McGill emerged victorious in a two-hour test of survival to put himself into the XC1 Pro points lead for the first time since 2008.
Following a narrow second-place finish at the last round in Florida, CST/Lonestar/DeRisi/Tire Blocks/Spider Graphics-backed Adam McGill came out swinging as he put himself into a favorable position early on. It was Braden Henthorn who captured the $250 AMSOIL XC1 Holeshot Award, but as the opening lap came to a close, Brian Wolf took over out front. McGill made the pass on Wolf just before the first lap was complete and the West Virginia native led every lap through the finish.
Meanwhile, the highly anticipated rivalry between six-time GNCC National Champion Chris Borich and two-time runner up Walker Fowler shaped into an interesting dynamic as both riders checked in outside of the top five on the opening lap. Both riders managed to charge into the top five by the halfway point, but it was about that time that Maxxis/SSi/FLY/Yamaha’s Chris Borich experienced a mechanical issue and was forced into the pit area.
McGill extended his lead to nearly 30 seconds over Neal during the second half of the two-hour race, capturing his first victory of the season in Georgia. After two rounds, McGill holds the reverse number plate colors to indicate that he is the points leader heading into the third round.
“It feels so good to get this win,” McGill said. “After everything I went through last weekend [narrowly missing the center of the podium], I can’t explain how good it feels. The Mafia was out in full force, and I’m so happy to carry that points lead into the next round.”
Neal held on to capture a career-best second place finish.
“This is my best overall finish ever, and it feels awesome!” Neal said. “I just tried to stay focused out there and put in solid laps.”
N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar/MXP’s Walker Fowler put on a hard charge during the final lap, making his way from sixth to third place in the final moments.
“It wasn’t really a good day; I don’t like to lose,” Fowler said. “But your bad days are the days that championships are won, and this is what I have to do [finish on the podium] to go after that championship.”
N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar/MXP’s Cole Richardson extended his lead in the XC2 Pro Am division with a second straight win in the class. Dillingers/Hygear’s Marty Christofferson secured yet another second-place finish after leading nearly half of the two-hour race. Christofferson holds second place in the championship standings, with JMR Racing/DWT’s Randy Hamilton in the third-place position.
With rain through the week leading up to Sunday’s race, Aonia Pass Motocross Park presented muddy conditions; however, Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell emerged victorious despite the conditions to secure his second straight victory in as many rounds.
Russell grabbed the early lead with the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, but AirGroup/Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes tucked in close behind and applied pressure to the two-time champion early on. Russell ran into a few issues on the opening lap, even dropping back to fourth place, but it wasn’t long before he made up the time and gained the lead once again.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Josh Strang put himself into a favorable position early on. However, as he worked his way into second place, Strang got together with a lapped rider, resulting in a damaged brake rotor on the front side. The 2010 GNCC National Champion came into the pits for a quick front wheel swap and returned to the course a couple positions back. Strang quickly made up that time and returned to the second-place position, as a hard-charging Thad DuVall began his charge through the pack.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR’s DuVall came from outside the top five off the start and moved into third place. The West Virginia native experienced a couple issues throughout the three-hour race that caused him to lose substantial time in the overall running, but a late charge allowed him to maintain a podium position heading into the final lap of racing.
N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn interjected himself into the podium battle early on, where he went back and forth with DuVall for a majority of the afternoon. Near the end of the six-lap race, Ashburn went head-to-head with JCR Honda’s Chris Bach to capture the fourth-place position. Bach, who also began the race outside the top five, charged his way through the pack to battle for a podium position.