Saddlemen

Team UXC Race Report from the Powerline Park GNCC

| 21 October 2017 10:46 am

GNCC Grand National Cross Country Series
ATV Round 12 and UTV Round 5: Powerline Park

Courtesy of Team UXC Racing
ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OH, OCT. 7-8, 2017

Still on a high from putting the Polaris RZR XP1000 on top of the box at the previous round in West Virginia, the Team rolled into a surprisingly warm Powerline Park in Ohio ready to repeat. Regardless of the class of racing, the track looked to be wide open and fast. That was deceptive; it was fast, but it roughed up and got slick and wet in places very quickly, which meant that machines would be pushed to the max.

But we wouldn’t have it any other way in GNCC Racing.

2017 1008 OH GNCC Rd12 UXC RR PHOTO A

UTV Racing
A very beaten-up track and a beautiful, hot day meant that dust would yet again be a problem for the UTV racers. Starting on row two, both UXC vehicles had a good chance of riding in some clear air, in order to close up to the front row.

When the flag dropped, Kevin Trantham just got the edge on his UXC teammate Michael Swift, and common sense kept the teammates from running into each other. Swift tucked in behind Trantham, along with co-pilot Nic Snyckers, who put the hammer down and took full advantage of a dust-free view.

Swift was in the mix, fighting with the other riders on the row, and dust was definitely a factor, preventing him from keeping it wide open. Unfortunately, shortly into the course, he lost his four-wheel drive. Despite not being able to get all the power of the big motor down to the ground, the Airdam-tuned STM Powersports clutching setup did well to handle it.

After running in seventh for most of the race, it grew harder for him to keep up the pace without risking wrecking it, so Swift worked hard to bring the machine home 12th in class. He said it was a frustrating day, not being able to show the rig’s true potential, but he was glad that his teammate Trantham had a much better day for the team.

Trantham ran strongly all race and put down an amazing lap pace to gain on the riders from the front row. By the end of the first lap, he was running in third, and by the end of lap three he’d made it up to second. Class and overall leader Kyle Chaney was out front, and despite the fact that Trantham was lapping close to and sometimes even faster than the leader’s time, lappers made it hard to close the gap down to first – so second place was the prize on this day.

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Afterward, Trantham was still pumped by the result

“It was good to show that we can consistently put the Factory Polaris RZR on the podium and be competitive,” he said. “It’s been a tough season of development, but I’m glad that me and Michael Swift have put together a strong package. The Teixeira Tech chassis components gave us some much-needed ground clearance here, allowing our engine package to put down the power so the Maxxis Big Horns can do their job.”

Team UXC and Bair’s Powersports racer Matt Ashton, who had locked up the Amateur Limited-class title at the last round, stepped up to XC3 ProAm for this round. It was a tough day for him, as a mechanical issue prevented him from finishing sixth, which is where he’d climbed up to, but eighth would have to do on this day.

2017 1008 OH GNCC Rd12 UXC RR PHOTO BATV Racing
Tayton Swift set the bar for his dad in the morning’s ATV racing. After a strong battle with the rider behind him, he brought his bike home for the win.

A proud team again headed to the start line, where a packed field of adult racers would also be vying for the win. Both of Team UXC’s Pro 4×4 racers, Swift and Trantham, got away cleanly and started the hard work of competing for the top of the podium.

Swift was showing his true skills, as both he and a super-smooth Trantham made pass after pass, right to the flag. When the checkers flew, Trantham had put it on the podium, taking third on the last half of the last lap, and Swift finished a strong fifth, only seconds behind.

2017 1008 OH GNCC Rd12 UXC RR PHOTO C

2017 1008 OH GNCC Rd12 UXC RR PHOTO DTrantham was impressed by his Custom Axis shocks, which smoothed out the bumps and ruts of a beaten-up course.

The team’s other racers also had a strong day.

Senior 4×4 riders Graham Widdicombe and Nic Snyckers finished second (66th overall) and fourth (157th overall), respectively.

Team UXC 4×4 A rider Josh Day finished well with a fifth place (and 67th overall).

Team UXC sponsor Bair’s Powersports rider Brad Cheyney rode his Polaris Scrambler to third place in the Silver Masters Over 55 class.

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Single Seat UTV Aces
Polaris Ace is the headline sponsor for Powerline Park, so it was great to see 11 UTVs line up. As more aftermarket parts become available, drivers are modifying their vehicles to a really personal level, and no rig looked the same.

A fast-starting John Baughman took the holeshot, with Chris Ferraro and championship leader Robert Boynton tucked in behind. By the end of a much longer first lap (three miles), Jesi Stracham was running in fifth, and Becky Widdicombe, who’d gotten a poor start, was in 10th. Determined to finish, Stracham stayed comfortable and tucked in behind the fourth-place rider, keeping the pressure on. An unfortunate move caused damage to the front of the vehicle, making it undriveable, and she retired on lap three.

2017 1008 OH GNCC Rd12 UXC RR PHOTO E

Becky Widdicombe, however, had a lot of work to do, and she got the bit between her teeth, making pass after pass. By the final lap, she’d worked her way up to fifth. Keen to get her first trophy, she just had to bring it home. However, a poor line choice left her with damage, making the rig hard to drive. She fought it and the seven-place rider behind her all the way to the checkers to secure sixth.

By the end of the day, Team UXC had secured four podiums and six top-five finishes from the seven classes in which they competed. The team will be returning for the final round at Ironman Raceway in Indiana. Hope to see you there for some Halloween fun in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness month; come join us in the pits!

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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.

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

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