ATV Motocross

Special Interview with Series Manager Harv Whipple

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | 3:00 PM

A few years ago, the AMA moved the pro class of the ATVA/AMA National MX Championship under the AMA Pro Racing banner. They tabbed Harv Whipple to manage the series, and for the last three seasons, the tour continues to grow in professionalism. What's Harv think of the 2009 season? Let's find out.

Are you looking forward to the start of the series?
Absolutely! In the winter I work the AMA Arenacross Series and by the time March comes around I am ready to spend some time outdoors.

There aren't any new tracks this series, why did you keep them the same?
Actually Steel City is an addition to the AMA ATV Motocross Championship schedule for 2009. Although they have held National ATV events prior to this season the last couple years it has been an invitational event in conjunction with the bike National. Besides, I have input but am not the sole determining factor. The ATVPG sets the schedule and I am sure with the success of the venues last year that they did not want to stray too far with everything else that is going on with the economy at this point in time. We all know that these are good tracks and first-rate facilities.

What new rules are going to be implemented this year?
The only major technical rule will be the decibel limit. AMA Pro Racing has determined 96 decibels will be the maximum level for sound in 2009.
Race procedures will be the same with the Pro's but we are trying something new with practice that will begin in Pell City. Pro's and Pro Am's will have 1 continuous hour of untimed practice that will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday. All qualifying and racing for the Pro Am Production and Pro class will take place now on Sunday. The race format is up on if anyone wants to check it out

You've done this for three years now, how do you feel about the ATV crowd?
Well this will be the third year. I still am confused when people ask me this question but I always seem to have the same answer. At first I was a bit unsure that I would be the right person for the job but only because my background is in motorcycles and not ATV racing. But immediately I realized that racers are just racers regardless of how many wheels they have under them. ATV's, motorcycles, whatever why does that matter? I had a few free weekends before Arenacross started this winter and developed a new race format for the new National Snocross series and learned the same thing there again, racers are just racers.

How have you seen the series change over the past three years?
On the professional level I would like to think with AMA Pro Racing being involved it has brought a new level of professionalism to the sport of ATV motocross and I truly believe it has helped. But at the same time, without the support of the teams and the professionalism that they have brought with the rigs they present at the races and the multi-rider rosters they host the series would not of advanced like it recently has.

Who do you think is going to be a strong team?
That's a tough one. I couldn't imagine any of the teams moving backwards if you really think about it. From knowing most all the managers and such I am positive that they have all done their homework and are probably as eager as I am to get this year kicked off.