Yamaha bLU cRU Racers Capture 2021 Off-Road Racing Championships
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, Side-by-Side (SxS), ATV, and motorcycle bLU cRU racers have captured various titles and championship bonuses for the 2021 season competing on the podium-proven YXZ1000R, YFZ450R, and YZ250FX vehicles in various off-road races across the country, including Championship Off-Road, ATV Motocross (ATV MX), Grand National Cross Country (GNCC), and King of the Elements racing series.
On the ATV circuit, Chad Wienen made history in the ATV Motocross series, tying Gary Denton’s record with his eighth AMA Pro championship, as well as a third-straight Pro Stock championship on Saturday, September 4, at Briarcliff MX in Nashport, Ohio. Wienen earned four wins in the AMA Pro class and never finished a race below second throughout the 10-round series. Wienen secured the championship with a 16-point lead over fellow bLU cRU racers, Joel Hetrick, who earned six first-place finishes in the series, and Bryce Ford for a Yamaha YFZ450R podium sweep. Bryce Ford also earned the Pro-Am class championship and $2,500 championship bonus with seven wins amidst a field of Yamaha competitors. In the women’s WMX class, Andrea Berger came through with a solid season, winning six of nine rounds on her YFZ450R to secure the title for the second year in a row.
Continuing his historic run in the GNCC series, career Yamaha factory-supported racing veteran, Walker Fowler, surpassed Bill Ballance for the second-most all-time wins record and claimed his seventh-straight championship, earning the $15,000 bLU cRU championship bonus on his WFR / GBC / Fly Racing YFZ450R. Clinching the series early on September 25 in round 11 at Burr Oak, Fowler rounded out the season with eight wins and finished on the podium in 11 of the 13 races in the XC1 Pro ATV class.
For the GNCC’s two-wheel premier classes, AmPro Yamaha Racing’s Rachael Archer and BABS Racing’s Becca Sheets were neck-and-neck all year on their YZ250FXs, swapping leads and first place finishes throughout the season in pursuit of the WXC – Bike championship. Although Archer won the YamahaRacing Ironman finale, Sheets narrowly secured third, allowing her to walk away with another title and the bLU cRU championship bonus with 306 points and seven overall wins. Archer trailed by only one point after earning six overall wins. After missing the first round due to injury and many hard-fought battles throughout the season, AmPro Yamaha Racing’s Steward Baylor finished second overall with 284 points on his YZ450FX in the XC1 Pro bike class after ten podiums and the most overall wins at seven.
In support of GNCC’s annual “pink race” at the Yamaha Racing Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana, raising breast cancer awareness and funding local breast cancer care and research, Yamaha once again returned as a major contributor to the effort, committing $50 for each class win on a Yamaha, and an additional $50 for each 2021 Yamaha championship. This year, with 30 national championships and 41 race-day wins, along with additional fundraising efforts onsite, Yamaha donated over $5,550 supporting the local Faith Alliance Fund, held at the Montgomery County
Yamaha had an unprecedented year competing at the Championship Off-Road Tour with bLU cRU racers taking every SxS championship in the series. Yamaha Racing’s Brock Heger captured the Pro Stock SxS class and $15,000 bLU cRU bonus in his BH Motorsports / Yamaha / Weller Racing / Maxxis YXZ1000R with a 47-point lead over fellow Yamaha bLU cRU racer, and defending Pro Stock champion, CJ Greaves. Owen VanEperen rounded out the podium as Yamaha YXZs placed in the top seven positions. Owen VanEperen also finished third in the Pro Mod SxS series behind his father and fellow bLU cRU racer, Rodney VanEperen, who earned his first Pro Mod SxS Championship and $10,000 bLU cRU bonus in his Powersports 1 / Beyond Redline YXZ1000R. Yamaha bLU cRU racers also took the top 11 positions in the Pro-Am SxS series, with Dylan Marquardt, Tyson Marquardt, and Dylan Parsons earning the top podium positions and bLU cRU bonuses, respectively.
Owen VanEperen also secured the SxS Sports’ King of the Elements series Pro Stock SxS class win, with fellow YXZ1000R racer Dylan Marquardt taking second. In this series dominated by Yamahas, for the Sportsman SxS class, Chase Kleist, Jake Kosmecki, and Tyson Marquardt finished first, second, and third respectively in their pure sport YXZ1000R Side-by-Sides.