Challengers Natalie and Hetrick Ready to Step Up
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (May 28, 2014) – With three of nine rounds in the 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA (ATVMX), completed, the season is in full swing as the series makes its return to the state of Illinois and Sunset Ridge MX for the AMSOIL ATV Showdown. Located in Walnut, the facility is sure to produce some captivating battles this Saturday, May 31, with its sprawling, technical layout. Reigning AMA Pro ATV Champion and Galena, Illinois, native Chad Wienen carries a 13-point lead into this weekend’s action and enters Sunset Ridge as the defending three-time race winner with his Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Yamaha.
Joel Hetrick took the win at the last round of the 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship Series Photo: Ken Hill
Two weeks ago at championship’s previous stop from High Point Raceway in Pennsylvania, Wienen came up just short in his bid for a 3-0 start to the season. The defending two-time ATVMX Champion was a fixture at the front of the field, but an impressive second moto performance by JB Racing/DWT/Mtn. Dew Live Wire Can-Am’s Joel Hetrick gave the victory to the up and comer and added intrigue to the early title fight.
John Natalie has been consistently battling for a top three position with Wienen and Hetrick Photo: Ken Hill
Since the opening round of the 2014 season, Wienen, Hetrick, and ATVMX veteran John Natalie, who rides for Motosport.com/RRR/Ford/DWT/Walsh/Fox Honda, have emerged as the most formidable riders in ATVMX. Each boasts at least one moto win, while both Wienen and Natalie have also finished on the overall podium in each of the first three rounds of the season. While Wienen’s consistency has allowed him to maintain the championship lead since the opening round, the rise to prominence by both Hetrick and Natalie is adding to the pressure of Wienen’s run at a potential third straight title.
Week in and week out, the on-track competition in 2014 has been compelling thanks to incredible battles for the win, podium, and throughout the AMA Pro ATV field. With the remaining six rounds of the championship scheduled on a bi-weekly basis from now until the finale at Loretta Lynn’s in August, the time is now for riders to make their move in the point standings. While the top three riders in the championship appear to be hitting their stride, they will no doubt be accompanied by a slew of contenders who are also ready to step up and challenge for a win of their own. Former series champion Josh Creamer hasn’t had the consistency he was hoping for thus far in 2014, but the BCS Performance Can-Am rider does have a pair of fourth-place finishes through the first three rounds and sits just behind the lead trio in the championship standings. Additionally, 2013 series runner-up Thomas Brown is learning from the success that has been achieved by his teammate and mentor Wienen at Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Yamaha. He sits fifth in the AMA Pro ATV standings and is primed to make a run for the podium.
Sunset Ridge will be Wienen’s hometown race of the 2014 season, can he get another win and extend his points lead? Photo: Ken Hill
Last year at Sunset Ridge, Wienen’s path to victory wasn’t as smooth as it had been the previous two seasons in which he posted dominant 1-1 efforts. After a strong start to the afternoon in which he won the opening moto, Wienen had to battle it out just to land on the podium in the final moto, which ensured his third consecutive victory at the facility by just one single point over Natalie.
As the ATVMX Championship gears up for its six-round run to crown a champion in 2014, Sunset Ridge MX will provide a critical stop in that journey. If any of Wienen’s challengers can overthrow his recent reign at his hometown track, it could translate favorably in their continued efforts to unseat him as series champion.
The ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway had some great battles during both motos Photo: Ken Hill
Previous Round Results:
High Point Raceway – Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania
May 17, 2014
AMA Pro ATV Overall Results (Moto Finishes)
1. Joel Hetrick, Seneca, Pennsylvania, Can-Am, 2-1
2. Chad Wienen, Galena, Illinois, Yamaha, 1-2
3. John Natalie, Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania, Honda, 3-3
4. Josh Creamer, North Stonington, Connecticut, Can-Am, 4-4
5. Thomas Brown, Sanger, Texas, Yamaha, 6-5
6. Ronnie Higgerson, Cutler, Illinois, Can-Am, 10-6
7. Casey Martin, Frenchburg, Kentucky, Honda, 9-8
8. Sean Taylor, Montezuma, Iowa, Honda, 8-11
9. Tyler Hamrick, Cortland, Ohio, Honda, 13-7
10. Josh Upperman, Louisville, Ohio, Honda, 5-16
AMA Pro ATV Championship Standings
1. Chad Wienen, Galena, Illinois, Yamaha, 141
2. John Natalie, Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania, Honda, 128
3. Joel Hetrick, Seneca, Pennsylvania, Can-Am, 123
4. Josh Creamer, North Stonington, Connecticut, Can-Am, 95
5. Thomas Brown, Sanger, Texas, Yamaha, 91
6. Josh Upperman, Louisville, Ohio, Honda, 90
7. Jeffrey Rastrelli, Palm City, Florida, Can-Am, 79
8. Ronnie Higgerson, Cutler, Illinois, Can-Am, 69
9. Casey Martin, Frenchburg, Kentucky, Honda, 68
10. Tyler Hamrick, Cortland, Ohio, Honda, 57
ATVRiders.com Top Qualifier Award
• Aonia Pass MX Park – Chad Wienen
• Muddy Creek Raceway – Chad Wienen
• High Point Raceway – Joel Hetrick
SSi Decals Holeshot Championship
1. John Natalie – 6 points
2. Josh Upperman – 2 points
3. Chad Wienen – 1 points
On-track AMA Pro ATV Class action at Sunset Ridge MX begins at 12 Noon ET with practice and qualifying. Opening Ceremonies kick off at 3:40 p.m. ET, with opening motos scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. All the action can be followed via Live Timing and Scoring through the official series website.
Catch all nine rounds of AMA Pro ATV Class racing action on MAVTV. For more information on the series, visit www.atvmotocross.com and join the conversation on the series Facebook page or follow on Twitter @ATVMXdotcom and #ATVMX.
About the AMA ATV Motocross Championship
The AMA ATV Motocross Championship is the nation’s premier amateur and professional ATV motocross series, hosted at top motocross facilities nationwide. The 9-round 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 Mountain Dew
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