Walker Fowler Race Report: X-Factor GNCC
Fowler Makes It Four-in-a-Row
MORGANTON, N.C. (April 14, 2017) – Walker Fowler headed to Morganton, North Carolina this past weekend, April 8, for Round 4 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series. The Steele Creek GNCC hasn’t been the best to Fowler in previous years, but after winning the race in 2016 Fowler had an extra confidence boost heading into this year’s event.
Fowler improved on his start from the last round, and was fourth around the first turn. After spinning the tires a little bit, Fowler advanced to second in the following turns. As they entered the woods, Fowler was able to snag the lead briefly, until Adam McGill took a quicker line and was able to get back around him. McGill lead the first few laps, but Fowler was only a few seconds behind where he mentioned he was riding a little tight.
As the front runners approached the pits on the third lap, Fowler made the pass for the lead after taking a new line through a mud hole. Although his pit crew was ready, Fowler elected not to pit in hopes of gaining time on McGill who did stop.
Brycen Neal also decided not to pit and began to put the pressure of Fowler. Around the eight-mile marker Fowler came face-to- face with a tree as he was going downhill, allowing Neal to take command of the lead. Fowler quickly remounted, but McGill was able to catch up and was right on his rear bumper as he got back on track. Fowler was able to use his advanced skillset to take a different line through another muddy section where Neal was hung up with a lapper, and take back over the lead as they went back through timing and scoring.
Even with the lead, the win didn’t come easy for Fowler. The pro hill climb was littered with lapped riders and Fowler tried his best to navigated through, but only made it three-quarters of the way up until coming to a stop and getting stuck himself. Neal, McGill and the rest of the pros also had issues further down the hill. After struggling to get back going, the infamous GNCC “Mud Fleas” came together to pull Fowler the rest of the way up the hill. With the luck of the crowd, Fowler gained a few seconds on the field behind him as they had a difficult time tackling the hill as well.
Once he had a little gap on the closest competition, Fowler built his lead and focused solely on his race. Fowler continued to do what he does best, and crossed the finish line almost a minute ahead of second place to bring home his fourth win of the season!
“I cannot be more pleased with our team’s performances and unmatched preparation in these first four rounds,” said Fowler. “My mechanic, Mark Notman, continues to amaze me with his mechanical skills in building these perfect machines for me to go to battle on!”
The GNCC travels to Society Hill, South Carolina next weekend, April 22, for the second annual Camp Coker Bullet GNCC. After a second place finish last year, Fowler will look to improve his results and earn another career overall win. UTV racing action also returns in South Carolina.
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