Thomas-Brown-ATV-MX-8-12-13HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. – It wouldn’t seem right if the 2013 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA, didn’t have some rain fall for the final round of racing at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. With the most mud races the series has had in a single season, Mother Nature has played more than her part in the 10-round race series. But as clear skies came through in the afternoon, Saturday’s track shaped up to give spectators some great racing.

Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer rider Thomas Brown won his first ever Pro class overall at Loretta Lynn’s. Brown made his pro debute in 2009 and has been working towards his life goal since. Brown has been present on the podium at all but two rounds this season and was able to secure second place overall for the 2013 Championship points this weekend.

Millfield, Ohio – Round 8 of the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series took to the hills of Sunday Creek Raceway where Chad Wienen and Joel Hetrick split moto-wins in the AMA Pro ATV division. Wienen’s Moto 2 win gave him the overall win, while Hetrick and Josh Upperman rounded out the podium.

Despite Friday evening’s severe storms that crippled much of southern Ohio, the crew had the track prepped and ready for qualifying Saturday morning. It was Motoworks/Can-Am’s Joel Hetrick who once again earned the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award after only one timed qualifying session—a result of the severe weather.

When the gate dropped for Moto 1, it was Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft/Yamaha’s Chad Wienen who grabbed his first SSi Decals Holeshot Award of 2012, with Hetrick, Baldwin Motorports/PEP’s Upperman and John Natalie in tow. Hetrick began applying pressure to Wienen early, before finally securing the pass for the lead on lap 3. Wienen began closing the gap on Hetrick by mid-race, but the young gun put in several quick and consistent laps, building a comfortable cushion all the way to the checkers.

Wienen crossed the finish line in second, while Motoworks/Can-Am’s Natalie came through in third after working his way past Upperman for the final podium position. Meanwhile, TBROWN Yamaha Racing/Moto-X-Perts Yamaha Thomas Brown spent much of Moto 1 chasing after Upperman and the lead pack, ultimately settling for a fifth place finish.

Oakland, KY – Round 5 of the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series made its way to Oakland, Ky., where defending champion John Natalie made history by sweeping the first-ever ATVMX night race at Ballance Moto X. The specially-designed night track was made up of technical whoop-sections and quick lap times, and the unique atmosphere made for a spectator-friendly weekend of racing.

Central Kentucky hosted a regular day of amateur racing at the home track of 9-Time GNCC ATV champion Bill Ballance, but the evening show brought an all-new element to the race program. The AMA Pro ATV class featured two motos under the lights, while the Pro-Am Production class highlighted the amateur portion of night racing, and the Women and 50cc Sr. (6-8) classes wrapped up their second motos under the lights.

Motoworks/Can-Am’s John Natalie kicked off the afternoon’s qualifying with high intensity as he took home the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award for the first time this season. Natalie maintained his momentum as the gate dropped for Moto 1. It was Texas native Craig Porter who grabbed the SSi Decals Holeshot Award in Moto 1, but Natalie put himself into the lead position after getting around Porter and Chad Wienen on the opening lap.

Mechanicsville, Md. – Sometimes in motocross, it’s not always the rider who wins the races that ends up taking home the overall win. For Joel Hetrick at round four of the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series, two second place finishes was enough to put the sophomore rookie on top of the podium at Budds Creek MX, where he scored his first overall win of the 2012 season.

Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft/Yamaha’s Chad Wienen continued his five-race win streak in Moto 1 as he made his way out front immediately and went on to lead all twelve laps of the race. But it was Baldwin Motorports/PEP’s Josh Upperman who grabbed the SSi Decals Holeshot Award and led for a brief moment before Wienen put himself into the lead. Hetrick put in a solid second place finish, coming in less than three seconds behind Wienen. Upperman worked hard to fend off TBROWN Yamaha Racing/Moto-X-Perts rider Thomas Brown to maintain third place in Moto 1, while Brown finished a close fourth after getting off to a rough start.

ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Joe Byrd landed the fastest lap time in the morning qualifying sessions and the veteran made his way up to fifth place after getting off to a bad start in Moto 1. Motoworks/Can-Am rider John Natalie began the race inside the top five until he overshot a corner, causing him to go off the track and lose a significant amount of time and positions. The Ironman was able to work his way back into a sixth place finish, despite his early fumble.

It was an outstanding weekend for FOX athletes at the second round of the 2012 American Motorcycle Association (AMA) ATV Motocross Championships. Chad Wienen claimed victory by taking both moto wins and the overall pro win at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn., where he was joined on the podium by FOX-supported racers John Natalie Jr., and Joel Hetrick.

Wienen battled the elements in the first moto and came out ahead after a rain blew through the area and created slick conditions for racers. Those conditions, however, worked to his advantage in his hard-fought win.

“It was nasty out there at the end. The track was slick and rough, but we were able to turn it up for the last two laps. My FOX shocks soaked up all the bumps and I was able to get around the competition and take the win,” Wienen said.

Washington, Ga. – The 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series kicked off Saturday at Aonia Pass MX Park in Washington, Ga., providing some of the best racing in series history, pitting the fastest ATV Motocross racers in the country against one another for two twenty-plus minute motos. After an eight-month hiatus from racing due to a season ending injury in 2011, Wienen Motorsports/SSi/Walsh/Yamaha-backed Chad Wienen began the season in a winning fashion, going (1-1) for the overall and the early points lead.

In the opening moto of the Pro ATVMX class, it was Baldwin Motorports/PEP’s Josh Upperman who grabbed the SSi Decals Holeshot Award and led the early part of the race. It wasn’t long before Wienen powered his new Yamaha ride into the lead, though, passing Upperman through the fan-filled finish line section.

While the rest of the field was viewing the track on the site lap, Motoworks/Can-Am’s newest addition, Joel Hetrick, was waiting behind the gate while his crew worked to fix a mechanical issue on the ATV. Earlier in the day, Hetrick grabbed the ATVRiders.com fastest Qualifier Award over a stacked field of veteran riders, and after finally fixing the ATV in time for the gate drop, Hetrick proved it wasn’t a fluke as he caught and passed the front-runners and pressured Wienen for the lead spot. Hetrick finally made a bold attempt to pass Wienen for the lead, but in doing so, the nineteen-year-old went off the track and was forced to sit the rest of the moto on the sidelines.

Hurricane Mills, Tenn. – This year’s AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series presented by DWT has been an array of ups, downs, career-firsts and even season enders; it’s been chalked full of excitement as well as disappointment as the fastest ATV racers in the nation have put everything on the line to compete for the coveted AMA Pro Racing ATV Motocross Championship title. However, amidst all the hard work and emotion, only two riders were in actually in contention this weekend to take home the championship title, and those riders were Motoworks Can-Am’s John Natalie and Baldwin Motorsports PEP Racing’s Josh Upperman – who came into the final round of racing at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch only ten points apart.

Rewinding back to June, Motoworks Can-Am’s Chad Wienen had swept four of the first seven rounds of racing – giving himself a padded points lead heading into the second half of the schedule until a season-ending practice crash put a halt to his championship sights in 2011. Like the true champion that he is though, Wienen attended this weekend’s season-finale race to support his Can-Am teammate as well as his friends and fellow racers. To keep his mind in the game, Chad even co-announced both pro motos alongside ATVMX announcer Rodney Tomblin, adding his on-track experience and expertise for the fans at Loretta Lynn’s.

It wasn’t either of the championship contenders standing out in the morning’s times qualifying, but instead – Makson Construction/JB Racing/Maximum RPM’s Joel Hetrick who grabbed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award, posting his fastest lap time of the day in the first qualifying session. “I’m pumped to get the fastest qualifier award, it was a great start to the day and definitely set the tone for what we wanted to do this weekend,” Hetrick said.

Hetrick carried his qualifying momentum into moto one as he grabbed the SSiDecals.com Holeshot Award as well, followed closely by fellow rookie Chase Snapp. It was an epic battle for the AMA Pro Racing ATV Motocross Rookie of the Year award until SSiDecals/Motoworks/Can-Am’s Snapp was forced to pull off the track to fix his derailed chain. Snapp eventually made his way up to tenth in moto one, although he lost crucial points in the championship standings.

Points leaders John Natalie and Josh Upperman both got off a rough start, but worked their way up throughout the moto. “I spun out of the gate and missed a gear, so I didn’t get the best jump and then just settled in behind John [Natalie]. I wanted to find good lines and maybe try some different things for the second moto,” Upperman said.

Joe Byrd led a pack of Natalie, Upperman, Thomas Brown and Jeremy Lawson – all fighting for the fourth place position but it was Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Brown who charged hard about mid-moto, past Byrd and Lawson to eventually wrap up the fourth spot in moto one.

Natalie caught up to Hetrick towards the end of the moto and put the pressure on pretty thick but even the veteran didn’t have anything for Hetrick who was on rails in moto one. “John [Natalie] was on my bumper the whole time but I just did my best to stay in front of him the entire race. I made a couple mistakes and he closed up the gap a little bit but luckily he didn’t put a pass on me,” said the rookie Hetrick. Hetrick edged out Natalie for the moto one win and Upperman finished in third behind Natalie, extending Natalie’s points lead heading into the final moto.

“I hung back a little bit, we didn’t want to take any chances for that second moto. Joel [Hetrick] was riding really good and I didn’t want to take a chance of taking him and myself out so I figured I would wait for him to make a mistake, but he rode flawless,” Natalie said after moto one.

As the gate dropped for moto two, it was the Baldwin Motorsports PEP Racing Honda machine of Josh Upperman who shot out of the gate to claim the SSiDecals.com Holeshot Award. Points leader John Natalie and Ballance Racing’s Thomas Brown got tangled up in first corner carnage, sending both riders to the back of the pack right away.

Heading into the final moto, Natalie only needed an eighth place finish to capture the championship title, so he played it cool on the first few laps. But, as any true champion would, Natalie dug deep and began picking off riders until he got into the top five, and even then he still kept on it.

Meanwhile, Upperman and Hetrick fought for the lead position in moto two, each keeping two different goals in mind. Hetrick wasn’t vying for the championship, although he was looking to score as many points as he could; but his sights were on the AMA Pro Racing ATV Motocross Rookie of the Year Award, which he claimed after going (1-1) for the overall win at Loretta Lynn’s. The award didn’t come easy to Hetrick though, as Chase Snapp was in high contention until his chain derailed in moto one.

“It’s great to win here in the pro class at Loretta’s,” said Hetrick. “A lot of people came out here to watch us today and I think it’s pretty cool that the “rookie” won!” Hetrick added.

Finishing with a (2-4) score for the day, John Natalie captured the 2011 AMA Pro Racing ATV Motocross Championship title by only eight points over Josh Upperman. Jeremy Lawson finished fourth overall to claim third place in the championship standings in front of Thomas Brown and Joel Hetrick, who round out the top five in overall standings.

“There are a lot of people that put their heart and soul into this team and they made it all possible. Can-Am started out with a dream and four years later we finally realized it. We took this DS-450 and we took a championship!” said the 2011 Champion Natalie.

The 2011 AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series presented by DWT wraps up Sunday with Pro-Am and Amateur racing throughout the day. 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. Thomas Brown (YAM)

6. Travis Moore (HON)

7. Chase Snapp (CAN)

8. Harold Goodman (HON)

9. Joe Byrd (HON)

10.Nick DeNoble (HON)

AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings

1. John Natalie (432) 2. Josh Upperman (424) 3. Jeremy Lawson (374) 4. Thomas Brown (339) 5. Joel Hetrick (319) 6. Chase Snapp (315) 7. Chad Wienen (297) 8. Nick DeNoble (277) 9. Travis Moore (268) 10. Joe Byrd (264)

Manufacturer’s Cup Points

1. Team Can-Am (509) 2. Team Honda (470) 3. Team Suzuki (380) 4. Team Yamaha (339) 5. Team Kawasaki (62)

Millville, Minn.  – Warm temperatures and sunny blue skies surrounded round 7 of the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series presented by DWT, as the series headed to Spring Creek MX in Millville, Minn. this weekend. Challenging track conditions made for an exciting day of racing as the top ATV racers in the country battled for the overall win.

Chad Wienen grabbed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award after taking advantage of the smooth track conditions in the first qualifying session. As the day went on, the notoriously rough Millville track chalked longer and more demanding lap times.

Joel Hetrick shot off the start to grab the SSiDecals.com Holeshot Award in moto one, barely edging out Jannsen Motorsports rider Nick DeNoble. Wienen, the fastest qualifier of the day, got a mid-pack start, forcing him to work his way through the pack early on. Hetrick held Natalie off for about five laps until the rookie appeared to get a little winded. Natalie took over the lead and for the remainder of the race focused on holding his teammate Wienen off. Wienen had Millville’s famous “whoop monster” whoop section down, gaining time each lap.

“The whoops started to get tough as the race went on but I was able to find a faster pace through them and I think I definitely gained some time through there,” said Wienen. “I had to work my way up to John [Natalie] and a little past the halfway point I tried a couple different lines, I tried to mirror him a couple times and then tried to swing around him one lap but he was protecting his lines pretty well,” Wienen added.

Walsh Race Craft Suzuki’s Jeremy Lawson appeared to be one of the stronger riders on the rough track as he continuously charged throughout the entire moto. Lawson got off to a rough start but quickly picked off riders, eventually making his way to the fourth place of Josh Upperman. Lawson passed Upperman on the last lap to claim a fourth place finish in moto two.

Joel Hetrick was on fire aboard his Makson Construction Hetrick Motorsports Honda machine, grabbing the SSiDecals.com Holeshot Award once again in moto two. Wienen immediately took over the lead on the first lap and never looked back. Hetrick began the race strong once again, but faded back by mid-moto. Natalie made his way around Hetrick for third just before the rookie fell victim to the “whoop monster”. Hetrick swapped sideways through the whoop section and after taking a lap to restart his machine after crashing, Hetrick was no longer in contention for an overall.

On the last lap before the downhill drop-off, Natalie charged up the hill to the inside of Ballance Racing’s Thomas Brown, making the move for second as Brown was put to a standstill. Lawson finished in fourth behind Brown in moto two, going 4-4 for the day to capture third overall. Brown nabbed the fourth overall and Josh Upperman rounded out the top five. Chad Wienen took home the overall win with a 2-1, extending his point lead to ten over teammate John Natalie, who went 1-2 for second overall.

The AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series heads to Sunday Creek Raceway in Millfield, Ohio, July 2 and 3, 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. Jeremy Lawson (SUZ)

4. Thomas Brown (YAM)

5. Josh Upperman (HON)

AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings

1. Chad Wienen (297) 2. John Natalie (287) 3. Josh Upperman (253) 4. Jeremy Lawson (241) 5. Chase Snapp (201) 6. Thomas Brown (192) 7. Nick DeNoble (183) 8. Joe Byrd (180) 9. Joel Hetrick (170) 10. Travis Moore (166)

Walnut, Ill.  – The chase for the championship tightened up this weekend at round five of the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series presented by DWT. Only four points separate the current points leader from second place, the closest margin yet this season. At almost halfway through the season, the veteran riders are beginning to mark their territory while several Rookie riders are showing flashes of brilliance.

Although Wienen lined up at his home track, all holeshot advantages were pushed aside as Sunset Ridge debuted a brand new starting structure this weekend, but that’s ok since he grabbed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award earlier in the day. Makson Construction/JB Racing/Maximum RPM/Hetrick Racing’s Joel Hetrick had no problem adjusting to the changes as he shot out of the hydraulic-powered gates to capture the SSi Decals Holeshot Award. It didn’t take long for Wienen to put the move on Hetrick as the duo went side-by-side over the finish line jump on lap two.

Motoworks Can-Am’s John Natalie spent the first half of moto one chasing the Honda of Hetrick, who rode a tenacious race – even pulling away from the veteran rider at times. Natalie finally made his move about halfway through the race, turning his sights to Can-Am teammate Wienen out front.

The intense racing action actually took place in the battle for fifth between Ballance Racing’s Thomas Brown, SSI Decals/Motoworks/JB Racing/Fox Shox’s Chase Snapp and Walsh Race Craft/Fox Shox/Maxxis/FMF’s Jeremy Lawson. Brown got off to a bad start but hammered his way through the pack and put the pressure on Lawson who was all over Snapp for the fifth spot. Snapp, Lawson and Brown were in freight train formation heading into the corner – Brown railed the outside while Snapp tucked inside and Lawson followed. Brown swept around Lawson first and then went to work on Snapp, eventually slipping inside on the downhill corner. Snapp returned the favor the next time around, making contact with Brown and finishing out the race in fifth behind Baldwin Motorsports/JB Racing/PEP’s Upperman. Brown held off Lawson for sixth and the Rookie claimed his first-ever Pro podium behind the Motoworks Can-Am duo of Wienen and Natalie.

“You had to be really patient out there, the track was only turning a couple fast lines and you really had to pick them right,” Wienen said. “I had to be really safe on the lines I picked and I just all of the sudden turned the light switch and hit it,” he added.

Joel Hetrick was on fire aboard his Honda machine, grabbing yet another SSi Decals Holeshot Award in moto two with fellow Honda rider Josh Upperman close behind. The Can-Am duo of Chad Wienen and John Natalie tucked in behind the Honda riders and immediately began picking away. Wienen railed the outside line to steal second from Upperman and it wasn’t long before Natalie followed suit. The fans cheered home state rider Chad Wienen hard as he pushed his way past Hetrick for the lead and never looked back. Hetrick lost steam midway through the moto, falling victim to another Can-Am rider for the second position.

“I got a couple blisters on my hands and had real bad arm pump for a while, I couldn’t even push the gas through the turn but that eventually went away and I just cleared my head and calmed down after that,” Hetrick said.

Natalie heightened his pace near the end of the moto, turning lap times nearly two seconds faster than the leader. With two laps to go, Natalie put himself within striking distance of his teammate until his bike started smoking. Natalie lost his momentum as his bike slowly deteriorated, making it as far as the corner before the finish line before it shut off. Natalie pieced together a sixth place overall despite his moto two breakdown.

“It stinks what happened to John out there but I’ll take it,” Upperman said. “That’s all I’m asking, is to be in the top three,” he added.

After battling to the end in moto one, Chase Snapp and Thomas Brown found themselves paired up once again in moto two – this time Brown controlling the fate. Snapp, Lawson and Joe Byrd were close behind but through the rough track conditions couldn’t make the move around Brown. Upperman took home a comfortable third after Natalie dropped out and Brown finished with fourth to take the fourth overall with Snapp going 5-5 for fifth.

Wienen now holds a four-point lead over Natalie in the Championship standings heading into round six. Josh Upperman, who has been consistent all season, holds the third position over Jeremy Lawson and Rookie Chase Snapp bumps out Joe Byrd for the fifth spot.

The AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series heads to Steel City MX in Delmont, Pa., May 21 and 22, 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. Joel Hetrick (HON)

3. Josh Upperman (HON)

4. Thomas Brown (YAM)

5. Chase Snapp (CAN)

6. John Natalie (CAN)

7. Jeremy Lawson (SUZ)

8. Joe Byrd (HON)

9. Nick DeNoble (HON)

10. Adam Clark (HON)


AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings

1. Chad Wienen (221) 2. John Natalie (217) 3. Josh Upperman (189) 4. Jeremy Lawson (172) 5. Chase Snapp (140) 6. Joe Byrd (137) 7. Nick DeNoble (134) 8. Joel Hetrick (122) 9. Travis Moore (117) 10. Thomas Brown (115)