John Barnes and Phillip McGhee, Jr. Move Into 5th Place in XC1 Pro Standings After Big Buck GNCC

photos by Ken Hill
South Carolina presented dusty conditions for the Side-by-Side race.

South Carolina presented dusty conditions for the Side-by-Side race.

Team NAC Racing climbed into the top five in the XC1 Pro Championship Standings on Saturday after capturing 8th place at round four of the 2016 Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) in Union, South Carolina.

Team driver John Barnes and his co-pilot Philip McGhee Jr. began on row two, where they powered their Polaris machine into the second place position off the start. By the end of lap one, Barnes had settled into third place overall, where he ran a solid pace with 2015 Side-by-Side Champion Kyle Chaney early on.

John Barnes and his co-pilot Phillip McGhee Jr. navigating through the course.

John Barnes and his co-pilot Phillip McGhee Jr. navigating through the course.

The Big Buck GNCC course quickly became overtaken with dust as over 80 Side-by-Sides took to the dry South Carolina terrain, providing low visibility and limited passing opportunities. Lapped traffic became prevalent by lap two and the NAC Racing team focused on staying smooth through the chaos. However, duo was involved in a major pileup on lap three as they attempted to get around a group of lapped drivers amidst a pool of dust.

“There were four lappers ahead of us and one of them came to an abrupt stop on the hill, causing me to slowly bump into their rear,” Barnes said. “But behind us was another driver who hit a jump wide open and slammed into our rear, causing major damage to our car and totaling his to the point of ending his day.”Despite the carnage, Barnes and McGhee were able to finish the rest of the six-lap race, where they ultimately salvaged 8th place in the XC1 Pro Class.

Barnes added, “The front end and rear end of our car were in bad shape and handling was less than desirable but we were able to complete the remainder of laps and hold onto 8th. At the end of the race, we discovered the car was holding together by literally a thread of metal. We must say that the Man above was looking after us.”

It was an active day of navigating for co-pilot Phillip McGhee, who was instrumental in helping Team Driver John Barnes complete the rough and tumble South Carolina course.

“We had a great finish with all things considering,” McGhee said. “I’m very thankful that this Polaris held together after some very hard impacts.”Barnes moved up substantially in the Overall Championship Standings, where he now sits tied for 5th place with four rounds to go.

The team would like to extend a big thanks to its sponsors for the 2016 season: STI Tire & Wheel/Roctane HD tires, OMF, Yokley Racing Suspension, Super ATV, SSi Decal, New Appearance Cabinet, Total Medical Solutions, CCAD, RZR Extreme and Alba Racing.

Next round: GNCC Round 5 – April 30 in Society Hill, South Carolina

XC1 Pro UTV Results

  1. Kyle Chaney
  2. Cody Miller
  3. Jamie McCoy
  4. Tim Farr
  5. John Yokley
  6. Bill Patterson
  7. Kevin Trantham
  8. John Barnes (POL)

Overall Championship Standings

  1. Cody Miller (55)
  2. Kyle Chaney (42)
  3. Jamie McCoy (39)
  4. David Plavi (25)
  5. Jason Luburgh (21)
  6. John Barnes (21)
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