Story and photos by Michael Marino
PALATKA, Fla. — Walker Fowler showed he is still the Pro ATV rider to beat in the AMSOIL Grand National Cross County Series, presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship.
Pro ATV race winner Walker Fowler crossing the finish line
The reigning GNCC XC1 ATV Pro Class Champion and 2018 AMA ATV Athlete of the Year took the overall win at the series-opening Moose Racing Wild Boar GNCC event on Saturday.
Fowler’s win was far from easy. The Yamaha rider said he got a good start but was held up during the first lap when race leader Devon Feehan hit a tree with him in close pursuit. Fowler finished the first lap in ninth place, but rode hard to make up the lost time.
Walker Fowler accepting the ATV Pro race trophy for the Wild Boar GNCC
“I knew I needed to get to the front as quickly as possible,” he said. “I took some risks and gambles in the mud holes. I made sure I hit them as hard as I could. If you go fast enough, you will skip across them.”
He retook the lead before the end of Lap 2 and built a gap of nearly two minutes by the end of the five-lap race.
Fowler was joined on the overall Pro podium by second-place finisher Cole Richardson of Edinburg, Pa., on a Yamaha and Chris Borich of Sunbury, Pa., on a Suzuki.
In Saturday’s Amateur ATV race, Can-Am rider Landon C. Wolfe emerged as the overall victor. The 2018 11. 4x4 Pro Class runner-up from Glenville, Pa., finished ahead of fellow Cam-Am rider and 11. 4x4 Pro Class rider Dwight Pollard of Clayton, Ga.
The overall podium was rounded out by Super Senior (45+) Class rider Michael Relyea of High Springs, Fla., on a Yamaha.
“Everything worked pretty flawlessly for me today,” Wolfe said. “I got off to a pretty good start and handled the sand as best I could.”
Amateur race podium (l-r) Dwight Pollard, Landon C. Wolfe, Michael Relyea
The day’s racing action kicked off with youth racing.
In the Youth ATV race, Cooper Stewart of Brooks, Ga., took the overall win, followed by Parker Henderson of Wattsburg, Pa., and Bryce B. Husband of Shelbyville, Ky.
In the Micro (50cc) ATV race, Khyler Davis of Bolt, W.Va., took the overall, win with Zander Rogers of Cincinnati, Ohio, in second place and Ryder McCormick of Muncy, Pa., rounding out the podium.
Micro Bike podium (l-r) Colby Goodman, Moddox Moretz, Brian Poindexter
When the two-wheeled Micro racers took to the track, Moddox Moretz of Morganton, N.C., was the overall winner. He was joined on the podium by Colby Goodman of Olin, N.C., and Brian Poindexter of Farmington, W.Va.
The event featured nearly 400 entries and was scheduled as the second round of the 2019 GNCC season. It became the season opener when the Big Buck GNCC was postponed due to poor course conditions.