EVENT: 2022 DAYTONA ATVSX
Hetrick handled the mud By the staff of Dirt Wheels Photos by Stephen Tripp
Former national ATVMX champion Joel Hetrick has experienced luck turning against him at the Daytona ATVSX. In 2021 Hetrick had his new Yamaha YFZ450R ride swatted out of the air when a rider he was passing crossed lines. Instead of standing on one of the three podium steps, he was in an ambulance on the way to get checked out. While general luck—mostly weather—wasn’t too nice to any of the ATVMX pros at Daytona, Hetrick’s personal luck held strong. Daytona has become the traditional opener for the ATVMX series, and Hetrick had to battle to leave with top points.
The Daytona track is typically toned down for the amateur day that the ATVSX is part of. For a Supercross motorcycle track, Daytona is quite friendly to quads, and the track was fully prepped the night before the race. A frog-strangling rainstorm hit the night before the race. Depending on your viewpoint, the water either did some serious harm to the track or repaired Lake Daytona.
The crew scrambled to repair the track and drain standing water. The repairs looked great until further downpours during the qualifiers all but guaranteed that the track would have limited lines. During the races, some turns and straight sections had four ruts—two deep square ones for the tires and shallower ones where the sprockets and disc rotor were furrowing the surface.
As it turned out, the racing was stunning with very close racing, but riders were trapped in follow-the-leader ruts for extended times. Reigning champ Wienen took an off-track excursion on lap one, and he had to battle like a madman to scratch and dig his way up to fifth place. That left Hetrick to battle with young riders all day.
Musick Racing’s Brandon Hoag holeshot the main and gave every indication of staying in front. Hetrick maintained pressure but wasn’t going to attempt a risky pass. He wanted points! Hoag was joined in the lead pack by recent pros Bryce Ford, with Max Lindquist and veteran Jeffrey Rastrelli just behind.
Things seemed to break loose at the front in the late laps. Wienen had been mired at the rear of the top 10, but he soldiered on. Hoag tragically lost a water pump on lap 14 and pushed his bike off the track on lap 16 of 18. The final adjustment was a small but costly miscue that dropped Ford from second to fourth on the final lap.
After Hoag’s unfortunate mechanical, Hetrick was mud-blasted but happy and safe in the lead. Lindquist slotted into second and Rastrelli was third. Ford recovered for fourth, and Wienen’s massive effort pulled him to fifth.
1. Joel Hetrick (YAM)
2. Max Lindquist (YAM)
3. Jeffrey Rastrelli (YAM)
4. Bryce Ford (YAM)
5. Chad Wienen (YAM)
6. Zack Decker (YAM)
7. Nick Gennusa (YAM)
8. Michael Allred (YAM)
9. Logan Stanfield (YAM)
10. Patrick Turrini (YAM)