Cecco, Fowler Win 2011 GNCC ATV Championships

Yamaha’s Traci Cecco and Ballance Racing’s Walker Fowler enjoyed a 
spectacular GNCC ATV weekend by winning their races and a pair of class 
championships in Somerset, Penn. on Saturday, Sept. 24. In the morning race, 
Cecco stormed to her sixth win of the season on her YFZ450X to claim her 
eighth career GNCC title – a record for the series. While Fowler’s 10
th
consecutive XC2 Pro Am win in the afternoon race makes him undefeated this 
year. With just three events remaining in the season, the YFZ450X ace now has 
an insurmountable points lead and captures his first XC2 Pro Am title. In the 
premier XC1 Pro class, Taylor Kiser finished just off the podium aboard his own 
YFZ450X. He is now fourth in points heading into the final rounds. 
Plenty of rainfall in the area made the long off-road course muddy and slippery in 
places, resulting in one of the closest GNCC Women’s races in memory. Cecco 
trailed season-long rival Angel Atwell on the first of four long laps, and then 
turned the tables on lap two to take over the lead with a healthy 25-second 
advantage. But the race was only halfway over, and Atwell rallied to nip past 
Cecco on lap three, holding a slim 1-second lead as the pair flew past the line to 
begin their final lap. Riding flat out, Cecco put in a scorching sub-30 minute lap 
time – the fastest of the race – passed Atwell again, and streaked to the finish 
with an advantage of just 1.4 seconds after more than two hours of racing. "What 
an amazing accomplishment for Traci to win her eighth championship today,” 
said Yamaha ATV racing manager Donnie Luce. “This puts her in a very elite 
group of GNCC riders while further elevating her racing legacy on the mighty 
YFZ450X." 
Although rival Eric Hoyland took the holeshot in the afternoon XC2 Pro Am race, 
Fowler didn’t panic. He instead followed the race strategy that has proved so 
dominating this season. Fowler passed Hoyland for the lead on lap one, and then 
proceeded to methodically build up a gap over his competitors. Yamaha-mounted 
Gabe Phillips likewise passed Hoyland on lap two, making it a 1-2 Yamaha 
freight train for the remainder of the event. Fowler enjoyed a nearly 10-second 
lead by the end of lap one, stretched it to a minute on lap two, to nearly three 
minutes on the penultimate lap, and then nearly to four minutes by the checkers 
to win the XC2 title in amazing style. “Walker is thrilled with his championship, 
and also that he’s tied Brandon Sommers’ XC2 Pro Am win record,” Luce added. 
“Now he’s already set a new goal of winning every race, which has never been 
done before.” 
Cecco and Fowler weren’t the only Yamaha racers winning in the Pennsylvania 
woods. In Sunday’s motorcycle competition, Jordan Ashburn scored his third 
consecutive GNCC XC2 Pro Lites motorcycle win aboard his Obermeyer Am Pro 
Yamaha YZ250F. Meanwhile 2009 GNCC champion Paul Whibley took second 
in XC1 Pro on his Am Pro YZ450F.

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