BUDDS CREEK ATVMX NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE REPORT

Another 1-1 For Hetrick at Round 7

Report and Photos by Ken Hill

MECHANICSVILLE, Md. – The return to Budds Creek Raceway after being absent from the ATV Motocross National Championship Series, an AMA National Championship, schedule was looked upon with excitement and uncertainty simply because so many had never raced the venue while others knew it well.

Turnout was good and seemed to push the facility to its limit as both the ATV Motocross and NEEDT series competed on the same days, which gave the event the feel of better days or at the very least a feeling to those who never raced this form of event a larger than life platform. The decade long absence would share some of the same names still competing and would set up a pro podium that featured two of the winners that landed on the box at the last race here.

ATVMX returned to Budds Creek in Maryland for round seven of the 2023 season.
ATVMX returned to Budds Creek in Maryland for round seven of the 2023 season. –Ken Hill

While Phoenix Racing Yamaha’s Joel Hetrick and Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Chad Wienen were no strangers to Buddy Creek, other pro racers would be seeing it for the very first time especially at the pro level. With elevation changes being numerous, Budds Creek demands a ton of power and the ability to attack the track as every foot of this soil brings a demanding effort be put forth. Friday evenings torrential downpour didn’t help as the crew faced a daunting task of giving the racers a track they could indeed race on.

Arriving Saturday morning, fans were greeted to a beautiful day and albeit for a few bad spots, the track was coming together and by the time the pro qualifiers were run things were coming into focus as to who was going to do what as Hetrick powered his way to clinching another top qualifier as he set the gate on notice he was looking for perfection once again. The pits became alive with changes and adjustments as the first pro moto prepared to kick off the sand and assault this track with all the intensity, we’ve become accustomed to.

Joel Hetrick went 1-1 to extend his points lead.
Joel Hetrick went 1-1 to extend his points lead. –Ken Hill

The gate dropped and it was the number one ride of Joel Hetrick claiming the holeshot as this race turned the first turn into a churning blur of soft soil and the valley was filled with the sound only the pros can provide! Their battle just off Hetricks grab bar was an all-out brawl as Wienen, Bryce Ford and Brandon Hoag entered the first turn wheel to wheel and remained that way as now the entire class worked things out as the first uphill jump was encountered. The first moto was all Hetrick’s as he had clean air, huge fan support and the lead as he put the moto one win in his pocket. The battle behind him was far from over as Hoag and Wienen were entangled in a fight for second as Hoag finally seemed to have found what he needed to run upfront where most expected him to be in 2023. Wienen was pushing hard but was unable to get past Hoag as the pair went 2-3 respectively.

The break in between moto’s saw more tweaking to the set up on many of the rides as the crews feverishly dialed in things after feedback rolled in from the first moto. There were not any huge issues in the moto although a few racers were feeling the pressure after not finishing where they thought they should have. Others were pretty satisfied as they attributed their results to be  where they thought they should be or at the least, were satisfied with where they ended the moto. As moto two approached, the fans moved to various locations that afforded the best viewing to see how the day would play out.

Chad Wienen would go 3-2 at round seven to earn second overall.
Chad Wienen would go 3-2 at round seven to earn second overall. =Ken Hill

Loaded on the gate, the engines began to scream as we were mere seconds from the second moto. The gate dropped and the pro’s launched hard and were streaking towards the first turn. This time, it wasn’t the familiar number one plate out front, it was Nick Gennusa taking the holeshot! Gennusa has been investing training time in a few areas he felt he was lacking and starts were one of them. The extra work paid off and now he was leading everyone through the opening laps! Just behind Gennusa was the two riders who wanted control of this race the most, Wienen in second and Hetrick in third. Wienen would eventually take the lead and Hetrick followed him taking second as now the two top riders in the world were setting up a fight in front of a very robust crowd cheering them on!

The excitement ended when Hetrick sealed the deal on another 1-1 weekend. Wienen was never able to push forward after Hetrick overtook the lead and powered ahead to take the win. One day, someone will remove Hetrick from that top spot however it wasn’t going to be today as he graciously took the podium and shared his race with the crowd. The excitement Hetrick brings when he is on the track is insane and the crowd eats it up. You may not have him on top of your favorite rider list but everyone gives him the respect he has earned and there doesn’t seem like he will let up his pace anytime soon.

Wienen put in a solid effort going 3-2 for second and once again, showed he is getting back to full strength as his speed has increased as well as his willingness to let it all hang out there in his effort to take the fight to Hetrick. Wienen wasn’t jumping up and down with second which just gives him more drive to push harder as we now see the end of the season coming into view. A win or two to close out the season would be outstanding for his team and offer some redemption after a rough start to the season.

Brandon Hoag went 2-6 for third overall on the day.
Brandon Hoag went 2-6 for third overall on the day. –Ken Hill

As the 2023 season approached, Musick Racing/Deja Vu/Kenda Tire’s Brandon Hoag was on everyone’s list as being one to watch. He showed signs of excellence in 2022 and as the new season began to unfold, Hoag seemed to be trapped in the struggle bus. Here at Budds Creek, Hoag was back and would claim third overall with his 2-6 performance. If Hoag can finish the season strong, it would make a great comeback story and give him something to build on for 2024.

Fourth place was all Ford Brothers Racing/FXR/SSi Decals/CST’s Bryce Fords as he went 4-4. It did not appear he had any issues but that was deceiving as he lost his front brakes making things difficult so a solid fourth it was. Look for Ford to be upfront at the remaining three rounds as he is putting together a very envious season!

Going 6-3 and taking a moto holeshot, GennUSA Racing/SSi Decals/CST Tires/Corrosion Specialties’ Nick Gennusa leaves his home track with a big smile and a lot of energy with his fifth place finish. Gennusa had a huge fanbase here at Budds and his support group could not be missed as they all showed proudly their rider’s swag! Nick may not have taken a podium finish here, but he got his chance to visit the podium to take possession of his holeshot check and tell his story. Nicks training efforts could pay off big in the last three rounds.

Nicholas Gennusa earned one of the SSi Decals holeshot awards.
Nicholas Gennusa earned one of the SSi Decals holeshot awards. –Ken Hill

The series next hits Pleasure Valley Raceway over the July 4th holiday. This race is one that Hetrick fans will be at in huge numbers as this is considered “Hetrick Territory”. The track gets hard packed and is a very fast layout which plays right into Hetrick’s strengths. If one can take the win away from Kid Dynamite, this would be the round to do it!

For more information on the ATV Motocross National Championship, visit the series official website at www.atvmotocross.com or call (304) 284-0101. Join the conversation on the series social media channels, along with receiving the most up-to-date news and exclusive content.

Joel Hetric (center), Chad Wienen (left) and Brandon Hoag (right) rounded out the top three AMA Pro overall finishers.
Joel Hetric (center), Chad Wienen (left) and Brandon Hoag (right) rounded out the top three AMA Pro overall finishers. –Ken Hill

Budds Creek Results and Points Standings

Mechanicsville, Maryland
Round 7 of 10
Saturday, June 17, 2023

AMA Pro Class Event Results:

  1. Joel Hetrick (1-1)
  2. Chad Wienen (3-2)
  3. Brandon Hoag (2-6)
  4. Bryce Ford (4-4)
  5. Nicholas Gennusa (6-3)
  6. Jeffrey Rastrelli (5-5)
  7. Max Lindquist (8-7)
  8. Westley Wolfe (7-10)
  9. Kevin Saar (10-8)
  10. Michael Allred (9-9)

Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Joel Hetrick (314)
  2. Bryce Ford (257)
  3. Chad Wienen (242)
  4. Jeffrey Rastrelli (235)
  5. Nick Gennusa (215)
  6. Brandon Hoag (204)
  7. Max Lindquist (176)
  8. Logan Stanfield (156)
  9. Westley Wolfe (155)
  10. Michael Allred (129)

About the ATV Motocross National Championship:

The ATV Motocross National Championship, an AMA National Championship, is the nation’s premier amateur and professional ATV motocross series, hosted at top motocross facilities nationwide. The 10-round AMA Pro and 9-round amateur series features the Nation’s best racers, teams and sponsors, and is America’s largest and longest-running ATV national motocross program. Since 1985, the series continues to expand and produce top talent from the amateur ranks, while premiering the professional class. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.

About the American Motorcyclist Association:

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

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