2009 Snowshoe GNCC ATV Results 0

It was a Cinderella story in West Virginia where XC2 Yamaha rider Brian Wolf nailed his first overall victory, besting XC1 heavy-hitters Chris Borich and Bill Ballance on the podium. Wolf, a pro-am rider who is considering ending his racing career after this season, picked the perfect weekend to pull off such an astounding upset with $10,000 on the line from the event title sponsor, MotorcycleUSA.com. The swollen purse rewarded second-place Borich with an easy $5000 and Ballance, a welcome return to the podium, snared $3000.

“My wife told me today, ‘if you don’t get stuck you can do this,’” said Wolf, “and I wasn’t going for the overall because I usually have a couple good laps racing with these guy but I get exhausted at the end. This year I am going for the XC2 championship and Josh (Kirkland) and the KTM guys are really pushing me hard. I was lucky to get in front of them and push hard today. My goal is really to win this XC2 championship and this is just a bonus. It’s incredible what MotorcycleUSA has done, stepping up and sponsoring this event, thank you so much.”

The race started out in abnormal fashion with riders lining up in rows of five for a live-engine pavement start. The system is unique to Snowshoe Mountain and shakes up the normal procedures for riders and fans. Another new format change was the addition of an extra 10 miles of trail along the west side of the mountain for a total of roughly 20 miles. The past two years have used only the east side but riders were happy to have more ground to cover which made for longer laps and less abuse on the racecourse. Snowshoe is known for its technical and rough terrain, especially the abundance of rocks. The racers hammered their equipment and bodies for over two hours as they chased the lucrative payout.

All three of the overall podium finishers had trouble off the start, in the case of Ballance it was clipping a tree obscured in the dust. Early on it was Yamaha’s Donnie Ockerman who was running at the front. Wolf, the pro-am rider from Medina, OH, hooked onto the rear fender of fellow YFZ450R rider Brandon Sommers who towed him through the pack and into striking distance with the leaders. From there he took over and reeled off some blistering late-race laps to record a 2:15:49 overall time, nearly two minutes faster than Borich and Ballance. The two XC1 riders were separated by less than a second. Sommers finished third in the XC1 results while early leader Ockerman dropped to sixth behind Jarrod McClure and Bryan Cook. West Virginia’s own Josh Kirkland and Eric Hoyland finished on the XC2 podium.

“It was a pretty gnarly track out there,” said Ballance. “It was a different event for us; you know I would rather have a 40-mile loop. It was just different than what we are used to. It’s something different and it’s good to see something like this.

“It’s kinda weird, really,” he continued. “The way they start the pros, with the time differences and everything, I feel bad for some of the guys. Because for me, I’m kinda having a bad year but for some of the guys I feel bad for what happened here today. This kind of event is fun for us to come and do, its great bit I think in the future it could be more of a money event… It’s a fun event and I love coming up here to an event like this.”

This was the final race before the Can-Am GNCC series takes its summer break. Racing action will be on hiatus until September 12-13 when it resumes at the famed Unadilla racetrack in New Berlin, NY. Only four rounds remain as Borich now holds the lead in the title XC1 title chase. Wolf also leads the pack in his respective class with six wins this season so far. He claims that the extra $10,000 will help pay off some bills and purchase a new machine for him to race the remainder of the year.

XC1 Pro
1. Chris Borich, Suz
2. Bill Ballance, Yam
3. Brandon Sommers, Yam
4. Jarrod McClure, Yam
5. Bryan Cook, Hon
6. Donald Ockerman, Yam
7. Chris Bithell, Can-Am
8. Ryan Lane, Hon
9. Taylor Kiser, Yam
10. Duane Johnson, Hon

XC2 Pro Am
1. Brian Wolf, Yam
2. Joshua Kirkland, KTM
3. Eric Hoyland, Hon
4. Kevin Yoho, Yam
5. Scottie Rich, KTM
6. Parker Jones, Hon
7. Josh Konecheck, Pol
8. Gabe Phillips, Hon
9. Mark Notman, Pol
10. Josh Beavers, KTM

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