Team UXC Race Report from the Mountaineer Run GNCC

| 26 September 2017 11:57 am

GNCC Grand National Cross Country Series
ATV Round 2 UTV/Round 5 ATV: Mountaineer Run at Marvin’s Mountain Top

Courtesy of Team UXC Racing
Photos by Ken Hill
MASONTOWN, WV, SEPT. 23-24, 2017

After being much depleted at the Unadilla race, the team was back to full strength, with all of their machines and racers, as the UTVs got back in action!

Team UXC was back in action at the Mountaineer Run in West Virginia.

Team UXC was back in action at the Mountaineer Run in West Virginia.

Marvin’s Mountain Top in West Virginia welcomed Team UXC and the racing nation family. The weather was hot and there wasn’t a sign of rain anywhere, which was something to be thankful about, given the rocky nature of this track. Early track walks showed that the boulders and rocks were still big, the dust was going to be a factor, and it was going to test rider and machine to the limit.

UTV Racing
Three rounds are left in the UTV Series, and with three manufacturers in the mix, it was still open for fighting.

After racing consistently in the first half of the season, Michael Swift started on row two and Kevin Trantham just behind him on row three.

Swift was in the mix from the outset, but you could see that the dust was making it hard to stay close. In contrast, shortly after the start, Trantham was able to make a sharp move that put him out front early and, more importantly, clear of the dust.

Both Swift and Trantham were pushing their vehicles hard, and it was evident that the hard work put in with Teixeira-Tech to develop the chassis components was paying off. The RZR 1000XP was making light work of the rock gardens yet handling the fast turns with precision.

Kevin Trantham (22) at speed at Marvin’s Mountain Top.

Kevin Trantham (22) at speed at Marvin’s Mountain Top.

About midway through the race, Swift and Trantham were battling each other hard for position. On adjusted time, Trantham was running second and Swift fourth. This continued for most of the second half of the race, until a technical issue forced Swift to back off and preserve the vehicle. Trantham continued to push the pace until the finish.

When they UTVs crossed the finish line, it looked like Cody Miller had taken the overall. However, Trantham had chased down so much time that this was to be his and the Polaris RZR’s day.

After the race, Trantham was ecstatic with his win, and he attributed it to the often endless hours of work put in to develop the machine with Michael Swift and Team UXC’s sponsors.

“Everything came together today – the chassis, motor, wheels and tires all worked seamlessly and perfectly,” Trantham said.

“We knew it was going to be challenging this year,” noted team owner Swift, “but we also knew we could put a Polaris RZR back in the center of the box.”

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Single-Seat UTV Aces
It was to be a tough race in the rocks as the Single Seats took on Marvin’s Mountain Top for the first time since the GNCC welcomed them. The GNCC track team had laid out a great and varied track that included much of what the property had to offer. Ten machines lined up, ready to tackle it, and both Jesi Stracham and Becky Widdicombe got off the line well.

The Single Seat ATVs take to the track.

The Single Seat ATVs take to the track.

Stracham made her usual lightning-fast start and put her machine in second. However, the course was cut a little too tight for the wider XC, and she clipped her rear wheel on lap two, causing too much damage to continue.

Meanwhile, Widdicombe was running well in fourth, but a racing incident unfortunately resulted in damage that made it unwise to continue. She managed to complete the lap, doing enough to secure sixth overall.

ATV Racing
Once the dust had settled from the Single Seat UTV race, the flag dropped and the morning’s ATV race was under way, with the Pro 4×4 class out front. Cunningham took an early, dust-free lead and set a blistering pace well ahead of Bryan Buckhannon. They appeared to be comfortably ahead, but none had counted on the pace set by Kevin Trantham and Michael Swift.

Kevin Trantham was runner-up in the ATV Pro 4x4 class.

Kevin Trantham was runner-up in the ATV Pro 4×4 class.

With each lap, both Trantham and Swift were making passes and moving up toward the front, until an unfortunate accident left one of the Pro 4×4 riders pinned under his machine. Swift was right behind him when it happened, and he leaped from his bike to help. That set Swift back a bit in his race, but he was just doing what any other rider would have done.

Ahead of the incident, Trantham had chased down and passed Buckhannon. He had Kevin Cunningham in his sights, and he closed the gap right down to three seconds. Some smart play by Cunningham put lappers in between them and allowed Cunningham to gap Trantham.

Cunningham took first place on this day. Trantham came across the line in second. This was some great, close racing, and it showed the strength of the combination of the Polaris motor, the RCV axle and Maxxis tires.

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Team UXC 4×4 A rider Josh Day had a great day, finishing sixth in class and 38th overall.

Graham Widdicombe put it on the podium again with a second in class in the 4×4 Senior ranks and 41st overall. Nic Snyckers also had a good race, taking third in the same class.

Youth rider Tayton Swift had a tough day that resulted in a fifth-place finish after running in first until a collision with another rider left him stuck in first gear and with a puncture. He did well to finish and recover some points.

Deserving special mention is an independent rider named Austin Parks. He moved over to a Polaris Scrambler from a Can-Am over the summer break and put his machine on the podium in second in the 4×4 A class. Well done, Austin!

That sums up Team UXC’s Mountaineer race weekend: some excellent highs, some frustrating lows, and plenty of reminders as to what’s truly important in life. But then, that’s racing!

See you in Ohio for more UTV and ATV racing!

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Team UXC Racing 2017 Sponsors
Thank you to Team UXC’s sponsors this season: Airdam, Alco Cleaners, All Balls Racing, Bair’s Powersports, Big Gun Exhaust, Carbo Rocket, Carmichael Training Systems, Cool-It Thermo Tech, Custom Axis Shocks, Dirt Works Motorsports, DP Brakes, Evans Cooling, FPS Racing, Fasst Company, Fly Racing, Hilliard, K&N Filters, Leatt, Maxxis Tires, Motion Pro, Ogio, OMF Wheels, Polaris Engineered Lubricants, Polaris Factory Racing, Polaris Power Generators, Quad Logic, Quad Tech, RCV Performance, RT Pro, RZR, Ricochet Off-Road Armor, Rigid Industries, Rox Speed FX, Securadyne Systems, Scott Goggles, Spider Grips, SSI Decals, STM Powersports, Team, Teixeira Technology, and Tire Balls.

[Stay tuned for more from this event to be posted soon on Today’s Cycle Coverage… Editor]


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Category: ATV, Cross Country, National, Riders' Race Reports

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