Lafayette, TN (May 2, 2009) - At round 6 of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, Yamaha's Taylor Kiser fought the deep mud of the Tennessee track and constant position changes to roar into first place after an amazing battle at the Weekend Warrior Titan GNCC in Lafayette, TN.
"I just kept telling myself to keep steady and not make any mistakes," Kiser said. "I pushed as hard as I could push. I'm so happy it's unbelievable."
After a day of constant passing and lead changes, Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Chris Borich recovered after last week's disappointment at Loretta Lynn's, where he broke a chain, to take second place, while Kiser's teammate Brandon Sommers took his second podium in a row with third place.
"I just tried to ride smooth today," Borich said. "I was pretty bummed out by the last one. This is a big confidence booster."
Heavy downpours the day before and morning of the race cleared up before the start of the day's races, but the rain still left its mark on the track and had turned the pits into a soupy mess. ATVRiders.com -backed privateer Jarrod McClure started off the race best, nabbing the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com holeshot award. From then on, every turn and hill of the race saw a new line of leaders as each picked on one of countless lines to choose from.
Can-Am's Brent Sturdivant led the first two laps, followed closely by Yamaha's Johnny Gallagher and Bill Ballance, FRE KTM's Adam McGill, Borich and Kiser. By the end of second lap, Ballance began to drop back, and Houser Racing's Bryan Cook was able to catch up to him. Sturdivant, Gallagher and McGill held the lead right before the pit stops, when McGill was able to take the lead with Sturdivant close behind. Meanwhile, Yamaha's Donnie Ockerman overtook Borich, Gallagher and Kiser to take the third place position.
Sturdivant grabbed the lead again on the third lap, and Kiser began making his move to inch up from second place, followed by McGill and Borich. Late in the race, Kiser, Borich and Sommers fought into the top three positions, and then Kiser and Borich battled wheel-to-wheel until the finish line. Kiser made the right moves late in the race to take first, followed by Borich in second and Sommers in third.
"I tried to ride smart, pick good lines and all of a sudden I realized I was in third," Sommers said.
In the XC2 Pro-Am Class, Brian Wolf took yet another first place position despite his vocal dislike of the mud.
"I think first off, I hate the mud," Wolf said. "The mud slows everything down. The fans out there though just made me smile, cheering me on, pointing out lines. I just really appreciate it."
FRE KTM's Josh Kirkland also nabbed another second place finish followed by Parker Jones who made it on the podium for the first time.
"I try to stay on the podium all year long," Kirkland said.
Dave Phillips started off the race first, nabbing the $100 Rekluse Holeshot award. Jones was dead last off the starting line and Kirkland battled his own problems in the first lap. Wolf started out in strong fashion and rode to another stellar finish.
Fourth place went to Gabe Phillips followed by Craig Bowman in fifth. Jeremy Rice came in sixth followed by Rob Hertz. Blake Kramer, Eric Wilezek and Joey Margueria filled out the top 10.
In the AM race, Warnert Can-Am's Bryan Buckhannon of the 4X4 Open Class took $100 GT Thunder Amateur Overall Award.
"It's awesome man," Buckhannon said, who took advantage of four-wheel drive in the mud. "I've been wanting to get on the podium all season long. Anytime you can get up here and win an overall is huge."
Michael Swift came in for second place overall and a win in the 4x4 Limited Class. Traci Cecco came in third overall and first in the women's class.
In the women's class, Cecco was followed by Jennifer Albright in second and Angel Atwell in third.
The 2009 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues tomorrow with bike racing from the Weekend Warrior Titan.
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues on May 16 -17 with the Geico Mountain Ridge GNCC in Somerset, Pennsylvania. For more information on the series, and complete results from the Acerbis Loretta Lynn's GNCC, visit www.gnccracing.com
1. Taylor Kiser (YAM)
2. Chris Borich (SUZ)
3. Brandon Sommers (YAM)
4. Donald Ockerman (YAM)
5. Brent Sturdivant (Can-AM)
6. Adam McGill (KTM)
7. Ryan Lane
8. Bill Ballance (YAM)
9. Bryan Cook (Houser)
10. Jarrod McClure
XC1 Point Standings:
1. Taylor Kiser (135/2 wins)
2. Adam McGill (128);
3. Chris Borich (127/ 2 wins)
4. Bryan Cook (98/1 win)
5.Brandon Sommers (97)
6. Bill Ballance (95/ 1 win)
7. Donald Ockerman (82)
8. Duane Johnson (75)
9. Jarrod McClure(66);
10. Johnny Gallagher (63)
Josh Kirkland (KTM)
About GNCC Racing
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1973, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles, competing for more than $3 million in prizes. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
About Racer Productions
A West Virginia-based motorcycle and ATV event production company, Racer Productions has been a leader in the off-road racing industry for more than 30 years. It's repertoire of facilities and events includes the 13-round Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, since 1973; professional and amateur national events at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, since 1977; and professional and amateur ATV events at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. For more information, please visit www.racerproductions.com.