As one of the longest running stops on the Grand National Cross Country series tour, Henry Turner’s Big Buck is a favorite amongst riders and fans alike. Heavy rains Friday made for slick conditions in the hard packed sections and also made the numerous creek crossings more challenging than usual. Adding to the anticipation for the race, GBC Sales Representative and former top ATV Motocross star Kory Ellis made a surprise appearance to cheer on all of the GBC supported athletes.
Bryan Buckhannon started off the morning race with a holeshot and never looked back on the way to his 4th consecutive 4×4 Open class win, which has him sitting atop the standings with a perfect 80 points. BNR’s Robert Smith grabbed the U2 class holeshot on his Dirt Commander equipped Can Am Renegade and held the lead for 2 laps before experiencing a motor failure that left him sidelined for the day. Forrest Whorton returned to his winning ways with another 4×4 Senior class triumph, and Ryan Smith’s 2nd place finish in the 4×4 Novice was enough to secure the points lead.
In the afternoon race action it was Johnny Gallagher who led the way on his XC-Racer equipped Yamaha. Gallagher fought through a second lap crash that dropped him from the top 20, but was able to rebound late for a 7th place finish. Gabe Phillips put in a strong ride to capture 8th place after spending much of the latter stages battling with teammate Kevin Yoho. Yoho struggled with some front brake issues throughout the race but persevered for a solid 9th place. Waynseburg Yamaha’s Jeff Pickens continued his string of consistent finishes with an 11th place on the day.
Jay Shadron put in another impressive ride coming up only a few seconds short of the College A class win and coveted Amateur Overall position. Daryk Pitzer won his first College B race and made his third podium appearance of the season to extend his points lead.
John Pellan from ATV Scene decided to use Big Buck as testing ground for a set of GBC Grim Reapers. The choice paid off big as Pellan pushed the Team ATVScene.com Polaris RZR to a UTV Novice Limited victory. Look for Pellan’s review of the Grim Reapers at www.ATVScene.com and on their Facebook page.
Other outstanding rides by GBC racers included: Kara Merritt 3rd (Women) , Cory Blinkiewicz 3rd (Vet A), Shane Pitzer 3rd (Schoolboy Novice), Scott Day 3rd (4×4 Lites), Kevin McKeown 4th (College A), Tanner Bowles 4th (4×4 Open).