EVENT: DAYTONA ATV SX

Wienen wins his fifth! By the staff of Dirt Wheels with Kayla Bolton ATV MX Photos by Stephen Tripp

Seven-time and current national ATV MX champ Chad Wienen grabbed the start in the Daytona final. Joel Hetrick (88) is right behind. Note the massive crash that is beginning on the left side of the shot. Jeffrey Rastrelli (28) looks like he is in the clear, but he was collected from behind.

The 2021 ATV Motocross National Championship kicked off with ATV Supercross of AMA Pro ATV Racing inside the historic Daytona International Speedway. This season opener is the only SX-style race on the ATV MX schedule, and it features SX scoring with overall results standing from the final heat. With everyone eager to get the racing season underway, there was an almost full gate of AMA Pro ATV racers.

Joel Hetrick was rocket-fast at Daytona on his new Yamaha YFZ450. He won both preliminary races and was in the lead of the all-important final. In a way, he was a victim of his success. As he was blasting through lapped riders, he was swatted out of the air by a lapper who jumped into his trajectory.

With no need to narrow the field a great deal, Daytona splits the entrants into two groups. Each group runs a heat and a first moto before running combined for the final moto. Chad Wienen came through to take the first overall win of 2021 on his Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Fly Racing/Yamaha. After a second-place finish in his heat race, Wienen was determined to come out and earn the win in moto two. Wienen got a great start in the final moto, grabbing the early lead. Phoenix Racing/CST Tires/Elka/Walsh Race Craft/Moose Racing’s Joel Hetrick applied pressure and made a pass stick on lap nine.

These shots with a herd of riders in the air at one time are pure Daytona ATV SX. This is eventual sixth-place finisher Bryce Ford leading this group on his new Yamaha YFZ450.

Wienen and Hetrick continued to battle until Hetrick attempted a pass on a group of three lappers. He cut inside and was on the way to jumping past when the first lapper moved right off the jump face to make his own pass attempt. The result was Hetrick taking a hard tumble right out of the air. Hetrick was evaluated and fortunately did not suffer any broken bones, just bruising, but his final was over. Wienen would go on to take the overall win for the fifth time in Daytona.

While Joel Hetrick has shown an edge in speed, current champ Chad Wienen is also blazing fast. Wienen simply has championship thinking down. He loves those daily wins, but not at the expense of the championship.

Earning his best overall finish to date, GennUSA Racing/Integrated Financial Concepts/CST Tires/Walsh Race Crafts’ Nick Gennusa held on to earn second overall in Florida. Gennusa was running third in the final moto ready to capture third overall, but after Hetrick’s mishap, Gennusa would find himself crossing the finish line second.

Nick Gennusa literally kicked up his heels to celebrate his second overall. It was Gennusa’s best overall finish to date.

Another rider earning his career-best overall finish was JH Racing/FTR Graphics/Fly Racing/Walsh Race Craft’s Westley Wolfe. Wolfe also competes in the XC-1 class of the GNCC series on a Suzuki, and he is currently running seventh overall. His primary focus is ATV MX, though, and that focus and the new-for-2021 partnership with JH Racing and a switch to a Honda paid off at Daytona. He moved into third in the final with four laps remaining and maintained it to earn his career-first ATV MX pro podium finish.

Westley Wolfe is racing both the GNCC off-road series and the ATVMX series. Daytona was his first mx national podium finish.

In a continuing but refreshing development, riders new to the pro ranks continue to make an impression. Young Max Lindquist (ML2 Motorsports/Walsh Race Craft/Maxxis/Yamaha) earned fourth overall on the day. 2020 Pro-Am champion Lindquist made the move to AMA Pro this year, and with fourth overall at the first round it seems that Lindquist will be one to keep an eye on in 2021.

Michael Allred (Yam) from Yanceyville, North Carolina, put his #8 machine in eighth place.

Rounding out the top five overall was TDR Motorsports/on the Box Performance/Pafford EMS/Decker Training Facility-backed Brandon Hoag. Hoag finished the day fifth place. After a great 2020 season, the Ford Brothers made the switch to Yamaha. For their Yamaha debut Bryce Ford had a better day picking up sixth overall on his Ford Brothers Racing/Fly/SSi/Maxxis/DWT/Maxima/Fourwerx/Walsh Yamaha. After getting tangled in a first turn crash, Cody Ford didn’t have a great day.

Wisconsin’s Max Lindquist is a first year pro, and he put his Yamaha in fourth place at Daytona. He looks like a good bet for Rookie of the Year in 2021.

That same first-turn dust-up affected Phoenix Racing’s Jeffrey Rastrelli. He looked like a top contender all day, but after the tumble, he completed lap one in 13th place. He steadily worked his way up to seventh. HuntScapes/Baldwin Motorsports/Captial Powersports Michael Allred captured eighth place overall. Stanfield Motorsports/Nine6Nine/Corrosion/TDR/Maxxis Logan Stanfield ninth. Poland’s Witek Natkaniec made his first appearance in the AMA Pro ATV racing world. Natkaniec, also involved in the first-turn melee, rounded out the top-10 finishers. Natkaniec wasn’t the only international entrant; Patrick Turrini made the trip from San Remo, Italy, to finish 13th.

            RESULTS

1. Chad Wienen (Yam)

2. Nick Gennusa (Yam)

3. Westley Wolfe (Hon)

4. Max Lindquist (Yam)

5. Brandon Hoag (Hon)

6. Bryce Ford (Yam) 

7. Jeffrey Rastrelli (Yam)

8. Michael Allred (Yam)

9. Logan Stanfield (Yam)

10. Witek Natkaniec (Yam)

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