KENNESAW, GA—(Marketwired – October 31, 2017) – Yamaha Racing's factory–supported and bLU cRU ATV and Side–by–Side (SxS) racers continue their winning ways in 2017, taking championships in Grand National Cross Country (GNCC), Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS), Lucas Oil Regional Off–Road Series (LORORS) and The Off–Road Championship (TORC).
Although he solidified it over a month ago, Yamaha factory–supported racer Walker Fowler grabbed the Holeshot Award and officially clinched his third–straight XC1 Pro ATV class championship title this past weekend during the GNCC finale at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Racing his WFR / Maxxis / Moto–XPerts / Yamaha YFZ450R, Fowler finished first in 12 of 13 rounds, setting a new record for most overall wins in a single season, and was the only racer to podium in every round. Fowler secured the Yamaha bLU cRU championship bonus of $12,500 and led the series with 154 more points than second place finisher and fellow YFZ450R racer, Brycen Neal.
Thanks to GBC / Fly Racing / HMF / Yamaha's Johnny Gallagher taking his first–ever overall GNCC win in Round 6 with his YFZ450R, the best–selling 450–class Sport ATV in America* won every XC1 Pro ATV round. An additional title captured at the Ironman GNCC finale was by Traci Pickens on her YFZ450R. This win signifies her 10th WXC National Championship, tying the record for most championship wins by any GNCC racer, and further backs why Yamaha is the best–selling Sport ATV brand in America**.
New to Yamaha this year, and joining Fowler and Pickens atop the Ironman podium, reigning XC1 Pro UTV champion Cody Miller secured his second championship in a row in his Randy Hawkins N–Fab / Am–Pro YXZ1000R Sport Shift (SS). This victory marks the Proven Off–Road paddle–shifting YXZ1000R SS vehicle's inaugural year of racing, and first national cross country championship. For his XC1 Pro UTV championship win in the YXZ1000R SS, Miller takes home the $12,500 Yamaha bLU cRU championship bonus.
As part of GNCC's annual Breast Cancer Awareness efforts, Yamaha committed to donating $100 per Yamaha championship win and $50 per Yamaha race win at the Ironman series finale officially deemed a “pink race.” With 26 Yamaha racers earning championships and 29 total races won with Yamaha vehicles over the weekend, Yamaha donated a total of $4,050, supporting local breast cancer care and research for the Montgomery County Free Clinic (MCFC), a non–profit organization dedicated to providing free mammogram examinations across the Crawfordsville and Montgomery county region.
In short course last month, Yamaha factory–supported racer CJ Greaves captured the TORC Series' Pro Stock class championship in his Johnny G Motorsports prepared Monster Energy / Yamaha Racing / Maxxis Tires / Yamalube #933 YXZ1000R with a near–perfect 12 of 13 first–place finishes. For his TORC Series Pro Stock UTV victory in a YXZ1000R, Yamaha rewarded Greaves with the $15,000 bLU cRU championship bonus. The series ended with a YXZ podium sweep for Yamaha, with drivers Zach Martin and Jake Lunderby taking second and third respectively.
In TORC's Pro Mod UTV class, bLU cRU racer, Rodney Van Eperen secured an overall second–place finish driving his Powersports 1 / Johnny G Motorsports / Yamalube #945 non–turbo YXZ1000R — only eight points behind the leader, and against a fleet of turbos — further proving the YXZ1000R is the dominant, Proven Off–Road SxS for short course racing.
In the LOORRS national circuit, the YXZ1000R finished first through fifth overall in the Production 1000 UTV class, with Brock Heger and his Icon Vehicle Dynamics / AIRAID / Yamaha YXZ1000R on top with six first place wins, earning him the $15,000 bLU cRU championship bonus. Correspondingly finishing second through fifth in the series were Brandon Arthur, Paul O'Brien, Jason Weller, and Dustin Nelson. In the LOORRS Challenge Cup race, Yamaha's YXZ1000R again swept the podium with Mickey Thomas in first, Brock Heger in second, and Brandon Arthur in third.
Currently in LORORS Arizona, bLU cRU racer Corry Weller leads the Production 1000 UTV class in her Dragonfire Racing / Weller Racing Yamaha YXZ1000R with only two rounds remaining, and is additionally the only racer to podium in every race thus far. Fellow YXZ racers Paul O'Brien and Will Munns presently round out the top spots in second and third, respectively. Although Weller is leading the charge for the win, all three will be battling for the series championship and $7,500 bLU cRU bonus.
Earlier this year, five–time ATV MX Pro champion and Yamaha factory–supported racer, Chad Wienen returned as a dominant force for his sixth showing in the series aboard his Wienen Motorsports / SSI / 7240 / Walsh / Yamaha YFZ450R. Wienen finished on the podium in every round, with five first place finishes, allowing him to take second overall in the final standings. Capturing third place was fellow Yamaha factory–supported bLU cRU racer Thomas Brown on his Root River Racing / CST / Pro Motorsport / Yamaha YFZ450R.
Bringing Team USA to their first–ever victory in the Quadcross of European Nations (QXoN) on September 23 and 24 in Cingoli, Italy, the Proven Off–Road YFZ450R finished first in all three motos. Integral to Team USA's success, Brown secured two first–place finishes, with Wienen grabbing the holeshot and win in the second moto.
By the end of the season, Yamaha ATV and SxS racers across the country will have earned more than $60,000 in championship bonuses through the bLU cRU program. To view more information on Yamaha's bLU cRU program, including all guidelines and requirements, visit www.YamahabLUcRU.com.
The ATV and SxS titleholders listed above, along with this year's motorcycle champions, will be honored in November at the annual Yamaha Wall of Champions event in recognition of their exceptional racing performance. The ceremony will include a tour of Yamaha's state–of–the–art manufacturing facility in Newnan, Ga., where all Yamaha SxS and full–size ATVs are built for worldwide distribution.
About Yamaha Motor Corp., USA
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, is a recognized leader in the powersports industry. The company's ever–expanding product offerings include ATVs and Side–By–Side vehicles, Motorcycles and Scooters, Snowmobiles, Outboard Motors, Personal Watercraft, Boats, Outdoor Power Equipment, Golf Cars, Race Kart Engines, Unmanned Helicopters, e–Bikes, Accessories, Apparel, and much more. Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA products are sold through a nationwide network of dealers located in the United States.
Headquartered in California since 1960, YMUS also has facilities in Wisconsin and Georgia, as well as factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. For more information about Yamaha, visit www.YamahaMotorsports.com.
*Based on IHS Markit Total new U.S. ATV registrations in the Yamaha defined 450cc class Sport ATV category for Calendar Year 2016.
** Based on IHS Markit Total new U.S. ATV registrations in the Yamaha defined Sport ATV category for Calendar Year 2016.
SxS Vehicles are recommended for use only by licensed drivers 16 years and older.
ATVs over 90cc are recommended for use only by riders 16 years and older.
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