RACE EVENT: ATVs race the Daytona Supercross
For nearly 75 years motorcycle enthusiasts have been gathering on the streets of Daytona every spring for what is known as Bike Week. NASCAR stock cars have been racing at the world-famous Daytona International Speedway for over half a century. This year, it was a different type of four-wheel racer that had the opportunity to make history at the inaugural running of the Fly Racing ATV Supercross. For the pro riders, this marked round one of their AMA national championship battle. For the over 300 amateurs, this was a non-points race; however, a win here offered huge honors and bragging rights to win at Daytona.
The track was a toned-down version of what the two-wheeled guys raced on the previous Saturday night. However, this track was not easy by any means. The whoops were big and the jumps were bigger. This year’s race took place on a Tuesday after the amateur dirt bikes finished up their races. Every main-event moto was broadcast live on RacerTV.com, and you can still go back and view the highlights. John Natalie took that Pro-class win and led from flag to flag. However, the race was not without drama. Reigning national champ Chad Wienen got hung up in turn two of his heat race and had to go through the last-chance qualifier just to make the main event, as did Yamaha teammate Thomas Brown. The main had heat winner Joel Hetrick on a Honda and local hero Jeff Rastrelli on a Can-Am battling right behind Natalie.
Just past the halfway point Rastrelli crashed and freed up Hetrick to chase down Natalie and his fast Baldwin Motorsports Honda. The two were wheel to wheel at the finish, but the 35-year-old Natalie held on for the win. Chad Wienen rounded out the podium. With the first ATV Supercross in the books, it looks like the event will most likely return next year. If it does, we will let you know when online sign-up opens. As they did this year, classes will fill up fast. With Winters in the Northeast and Midwest the way they have been lately, we bet most serious racers will make plans to attend next year. ATV motocross racing may have just found a flagship event that we will be proud to be a part of in the future.