New Berlin, Ny. – It was only a matter of time before this year’s determined rookies topped the podium amongst a deep field of veterans in the 2011 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series presented by DWT. Pro class rookie Chase Snapp took his first-ever moto win two weeks ago in Ohio, while Makson Construction JB Racing’s Joel Hetrick swept Saturday’s Unadilla event, giving the rookie a career-best overall win.

Sunny skies and warm temperatures graced the Unadilla Valley Sports Center for round nine of the eleven-stop circuit. The habitually rough Unadilla racetrack was sleek and fast, an additional variable to the already exciting championship points battle. The points margin is closer than it’s ever been this season and with only two rounds remaining on the 2011 schedule, every moto counts.

Motoworks Can-Am’s John Natalie took home the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award, with a 1:43.668. Natalie, who is still recovering from a mid-season injury, carried on the Can-Am tradition that teammates Chad Wienen and Jeremie Warnia have dominated so far this season.

As the gates dropped on the opening AMA Pro ATV moto, Wisconsin’s Nick DeNoble grabbed the SSiDecals.com Holeshot Award aboard his Janssen Motorsports Honda, with Can-Am/Canada’s Richard Pelchat close behind. The 7-Time Canadian National Champion held off Hetrick, Josh Upperman and Natalie for the first few laps until the trio finally moved past and Pelchat dropped to seventh. Hetrick passed DeNoble for the lead around lap five and the rookie went on to claim his first-ever moto win in the AMA Pro class.

“It was definitely my weekend here at Unadilla,” said Joel Hetrick. “The track was good. I mean it was smooth, simple and real fast. I started off the first moto in third and then I caught up to [Nick] DeNoble and Josh [Upperman] so I just tried to stay on their pace for a while and then I got around them and went for it,” Hetrick added.

Baldwin Motorsports JB Racing Honda’s Josh Upperman eventually passed DeNoble in the second half of the race and locked in the second place finish in moto one. Walsh Race Craft Suzuki’s Jeremy Lawson started off at the back of the pack but steadily climbed his way to a podium position after laying some of the fastest lap times of moto one. DeNoble dropped to fourth after dicing back and forth with Lawson and Natalie in a fight for the third position – which Lawson claimed – and Natalie fell back to fifth on the last lap.

In moto two, the SSiDecals.com Holeshot Award went to moto one winner Joel Hetrick, who set an untouchable pace early on. Upperman got off to a great start behind Hetrick and latched onto the pace of the leader at first, until Natalie contested the Honda rider at the end of the race. With such a tight points margin, Natalie was more focused than ever on beating Upperman in order to maintain his points lead. Natalie made the pass on Upperman with just two laps to go, finishing second in moto two and securing his points lead with a (5-2) finish for third overall. Joel Hetrick went on to take the overall win, the first of his rookie career, with a (1-1) sweep.

“I got the holeshot and just lead the whole race. I kind of pulled a gap and held it until the end,” Hetrick said. “I’ve been working out a lot different at home and trying some different stuff. I rode a lot to get ready for this race and it seemed like it went well for us.”

Josh Upperman claimed second overall with (2-3) finishes, gaining valuable points as the 2011 season winds down. Jeremy Lawson managed to slate a fourth overall; despite a comeback effort in moto two and Canadian Richard Pelchat went (7-6) for the fifth spot.

John Natalie fought through a recovering injury to capture yet another podium for the Motoworks Can-Am team, edging Upperman out by only three points in the championship point standings. Jeremy Lawson is 28 points back from the leader in third and 20 points ahead of Can-Am’s Chad Wienen, who will not be racing the remainder of the season.

The AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series heads to RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich., July 30 and 31, with Pro class racing starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, supported by 37 amateur classes throughout Saturday and Sunday. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.

AMA Pro ATV Results

1. Joel Hetrick (HON)
2. Josh Upperman (HON)
3. John Natalie (CAN)
4. Jeremy Lawson (SUZ)
5. Richard Pelchat (CAN)
6. Thomas Brown (YAM)
7. Greg Gee (HON)
8. Devin Heimes (SUZ)
9. Derek Swartfager (HON)
10. Nick DeNoble (HON)

AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings

1. John Natalie (345) 2. Josh Upperman (342) 3. Jeremy Lawson (317) 4. Chad Wienen (297) 5. Thomas Brown (261) 6. Chase Snapp (258) 7. Joel Hetrick (246) 8. Nick DeNoble (237) 9. Joe Byrd (211) 10. Travis Moore (210)

Manufacturer’s Cup Points

1. Team Can-Am (421) 2. Team Honda (380) 3. Team Suzuki (317) 4. Team Yamaha (262) 5. Team Kawasaki (62)

Millfield, Ohio – There was a noticeable absence at this weekend’s Suzuki Summer ATV National at Sunday Creek Raceway as Motoworks Can-Am’s Chad Wienen missed his first race of this season after undergoing surgery just last week. Although Wienen will not be racing again this season, the ATV Motocross family will continue to follow and support Wienen in his recovery efforts.

Round 8 of the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series presented by DWT took over the grounds of Sunday Creek Raceway in Millfield, Ohio, for the first time ever in the history of the series. With its wide-open spectating view, first-class parking and undeniably workable clay terrain, the Sunday Creek facility was a big hit on the AMA ATVMX circuit. A small rain took place in the early afternoon, creating an interesting dynamic for the first set of motos, but as soon as the rain stopped and the sun came out, it was a perfect day for ATV racing.

Motoworks Can-Am’s Jeremie Warnia grabbed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award after taking advantage of the dry track conditions during the morning practice sessions. “The track was awesome for practice, I prefer when it’s dry definitely. My Can-Am was running really good and I just found smooth lines out there,” said Warnia.

Bowling Green, Ky. -The Motoworks Can-Am duo of Chad Wienen and John Natalie is no stranger to the podium by now, as they currently sit first and second in the AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series presented by DWT after round three at Ballance MX in Bowling Green, Ky. After finishing second to teammate Chad Wienen in the first two rounds, Natalie finally put the pieces together to prove that “Big Red” can be beat – taking his first moto win and overall of the season.

Wienen took the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award to bank an extra $100 for the day. Josh Upperman grabbed the moto one holeshot aboard his Baldwin Motorsports JB Racing PEP Honda and led for the first part of the race. Natalie got a third place holeshot close behind Upperman and Devin Heimes before making his move into the lead around lap five.

“It was a good race,” said the moto one winner. “I got a pretty good start and after I passed into the lead I just held on until the end. Chad was right there the whole race.”

Wienen got off to a rough start in moto one, getting pushed out to around seventh. The points leader quickly made his way to the front of the pack and settled in behind his Motoworks Can-Am teammate until he experienced some bike problems when his rear shock broke. Chad pushed through, though, going on to capture his first second place finish of the season.

The Ballance Racing team experienced continued bad luck at their home track as Thomas Brown and Taylor Kiser both dealt with bike problems in moto one. Kiser, who currently sits in fourth place in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series XC2 class, broke his axel on the first lap of the moto, leaving him out of contention in moto one. Thomas Brown grabbed a decent holeshot and pushed right outside the top five until his bike broke down, leaving him with another DNF for the season.

Rookie Chase Snapp put in an impressive ride aboard his Can-Am and after getting off to a back of the pack start, Snapp worked his way up to fifth behind Florida’s Jeremy Lawson. Walsh Race Craft Fox Shox Maxxis FMF’s Lawson maintained a consistent pace in moto one to finish fourth.

Josh Upperman grabbed the moto two holeshot and it wasn’t long before John Natalie put his Motoworks Can-Am back out front.

“The track was a little more technical this week so and it picked out the riders a little more,” said Natalie. “I like the technical stuff a lot better but this weekend I just got good holeshots and went from there. Chad and I battled it out for about five or six laps and I just held on until the end.”

Wienen got a bad holeshot in moto two but quickly began picking off riders. Upperman kept close behind Natalie until about lap six when Wienen made his way into the second spot. It didn’t take long for Lawson to make his move past Upperman to secure a third spot, giving him a season-best finish on the podium. Lawson now sits fourth in the overall point standings behind Upperman.

After struggling with mechanical issues this season, Ballance Racing’s Thomas Brown was finally able to cross the finish line on his Yamaha machine. Brown maintained a consistent pace throughout the moto and finished fifth, giving him a tenth place overall for the day. Brown currently sits in thirteenth overall in the points.

After finishing second this weekend, Chad Wienen still sits at the top of the point standings with round three winner John Natalie just six points behind in second. Only ten points separate the third and fourth spots of Upperman and Lawson and Joe Byrd rounds out the top five eleven points behind Lawson.

The AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series heads to Mechanicsville, MD for the Motoworks Budds Creek event, with Pro class racing starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, supported by 37 amateur classes throughout Saturday and Sunday. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.

AMA Pro ATV Results

1. John Natalie (CAN)

2. Chad Wienen (CAN)

3. Jeremy Lawson (SUZ)

4. Josh Upperman (HON)

5. Chase Snapp (CAN)

6. Nick DeNoble (HON)

7. Joe Byrd (HON)

8. Travis Moore (HON)

9. Harold Goodman (HON)

10. Thomas Brown (YAM)


AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings

1. Chad Wienen (144) 2. John Natalie (138) 3. Josh Upperman (116) 4. Jeremy Lawson (106) 5. Joe Byrd (95) 6. Chase Snapp (79) 7. Nick DeNoble (73) 8. Travis Moore (65) 9. Joel Hetrick (62) 10. Derek Swartfager (58)

Photo: Mike Roth, Event Pix

Morgantown, W.Va. – Coming off a strong finish last season, both Motoworks/Can-Am Pro riders were heavy favorites coming into the first round of the AMA ATVMX Championship, presented by DWT. With beautiful, sunny temperatures in the 70′s, conditions could not have been better for the season opener at Aonia Pass MX in Washington, Ga.

Josh Upperman grabbed the moto one holeshot aboard his Baldwin Motorsports Honda, taking over the lead early on. Motoworks/Can-Am riders Natalie and Wienen weren’t letting Upperman out of their sight, though. Pro class Rookie Joel Hetrick got a great holeshot behind the veteran riders. On lap 5, Natalie went over the berm, allowing his teammate Wienen to cruise on by for the second place position. Hetrick also capitalized on Natalie’s mistake, moving himself into the third spot behind Wienen. It didn’t take Wienen long to make his way past Upperman and cruise on for the moto one victory. Natalie finished out in second behind Wienen with early on leader Josh Upperman capping the top three. As rider and owner of Joe Byrd Quad Racing School, Byrd put in a solid ride to capture fourth overall with Walsh Race Crafts Suzuki rider Jeremy Lawson rounding out the top five.

“It was a picture perfect day out there, the bike is working great and I couldn’t ask for more,” said points leader Chad Wienen. “I’ve been working really hard on the off-season and with a great start today, it all came together,” Wienen added.

Harold Goodman captured the moto two holeshot, with moto one winner Chad Wienen breathing down his neck. Wienen made his way around Goodman right away, setting his machine on autopilot for the rest of the race. Motoworks/Can-Am teammate John Natalie got around Goodman as well, and then settled in behind Wienen to take over a comfortable second. Josh Upperman took over the third spot and never looked back as he carried his Baldwin Motorsports Honda to the final podium spot. Tough luck for Factory Yamaha rider Thomas Brown, as he had bike problems in both motos.

The real story here is Rookie Joel Hetrick, who finished an impressive sixth place overall in his first ever-Pro race. After getting a third place holeshot in moto one, Hetrick has proved that he has what it takes to run with the big dogs in the Pro class.

“I started off the first moto in third place and lost three more spots after I tensed up,” the Rookie said. “Second moto I got a bad holeshot, like thirteenth, and I worked my way up just trying to stay calm and race. My goal for next week is to get in the top five,” said Hetrick.

Motoworks/Can-Am rider Chad Wienen heads into round two of the series as the points leader, with teammate John Natalie sitting 6 points behind. Josh Upperman is just 10 points out from the lead, making for a much-anticipated 2011 season.

The AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series heads to Millcreek MX Park in Pell City, Ala., with Pro class racing starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, supported by 37 amateur classes throughout Saturday and Sunday. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.

AMA Pro ATV Results

1. Chad Wienen (CAN)

2. John Natalie (CAN)

3. Josh Upperman (HON)

4. Josh Lawson (HON)

5. Joe Byrd (KAW)

6. Joel Hetrick (KAW)

7. Nick Denoble (HON)

8. Chase Snapp (CAN)

9. Travis Moore (HON)

10. Harold Goodman (HON)


AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings

1. Chad Wienen (50) 2. John Natalie (44) 3. Josh Upperman (40) 4. Josh Lawson (34) 5. Joe Byrd (34) 6. Joel Hetrick (30) 7. Nick Denoble (28) 8. Chase Snapp (26) 9. Travis Moore (24) 10. Herold Goodman (22)