ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Dreams On The Line!

Friday, March 29, 2013 | 12:15 PM

The 2013 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship kicked off this past weekend in less than stellar conditions. The rains may have dampened conditions but it did not dampen the high spirits the ATV Racin' Nation brought with them to Aonia Pass Motocross in Washington, Georgia. One could say that is a muddy mess, while many others see those memory making moments that will last a lifetime.

I must warn you that thisƒ‚ Site Lapƒ‚ may get a little nostalgic at times but stick with me and see where this goes.

Saturday evening I was walking around the pits with my son. It was not the most glamorous place to be. It was cold, muddy, wet and very less than ideal conditions. I heard many a chuckle that day that our longtime friend and series referee Smitty had made it rain and was laughing at us because of all the mess it made and he didn't have to deal with it. Now let's just hope he isn't thinking about doing this all season.

As my son and I walked, I told him a story that he didn't really understand but eventually brought a tear to my eye. I stopped by and spoke with #75 Casey Martin and his mom and it made me realize something. This sport has come a long way.

Like I was explaining to my son, I told Casey and his mother that they were part of a dream come true - a dream that started even before my time. A dream shared by many. As many of you reading this may or may not know the story of the ATV Motocross Nationals.

I really got choked up as I remembered seeing a full starting line that unfortunately left some not qualifying for their first AMA Pro ATV National competition. As sad as that may seem, it was actually a joyous day for ATV Motocross. As the gate dropped on Moto 1, I literally stood there in silence and thought to myself, "the dream lives!"

It was the mid 1990's at Loretta Lynn's Dirt Days and the old GNC Championship was coming to a close. I had the esteemed honor of sitting in on one of the biggest meetings ever held in ATV MX history. Dave Coombs Sr., the founder and father of MX Sports who oversees this series as well as The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Nationals, the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country series, the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship and more held a now very historic meeting that set in motion a plan that is finally seeing fruition.

As the mud flew from the full gate of pros on the starting line onto the beautiful new Mtn. Dew banners, I remembered Big Dave saying that someday the changes that were being made were going to pay off. I have seen a full gate of pros and until the last eight years or so the gates were full. There have been times since that it looked like pro racing was dead and would never see resurgence. But Saturday proved that wrong. The new and deserving blood in the pro class now makes it something to be a top ten AMA Pro ATV racer again. The outside the industry sponsorship with Mountain Dew is also huge and there are more big things on the horizon.

I spoke with many others about the same thing that evening. Many had no idea while a few said they remembered that meeting. There aren't many left that were there but those that were know why it meant so much to see what happened at Aonia Pass this past weekend. I hope those that don't know can appreciate what happened and make the best of what is to come while we that were there can sit back and enjoy the greatest moments in our sports history.

This past weekend saw probably more rookies than veterans on the track for the pro class but the great thing is that each one of those there deserved to be on the track in the pro class. The last few years the competition has been so intense in the Pro Am ranks that no one can deny anyone who stepped up doesn't deserve to be there. I can't wait to see it prosper and grow even more.

The friendships amongst riders and teams seem to be sparking a lot of fun back into the sport too. I spoke with #728 Jeffery Rastrelli, who entered his third season as a AMA Pro ATV racer. Rastrelli said that he had a great start to the year except for the Moto 2 mistake that saw him caught up on the berm losing valuable positions and time. He is riding a Can-Am this season with JB Racing/Cheerwine/Can-Am and even though he has only had a couple days on the bike, he is comfortable and ready for round two.

Rastrelli is hanging at the residence of Duck Lloyd and family getting ready for round two coming up at Muddy Creek in a couple of weeks. The two-time AMA Pro ATV Champ #13 John Natalie and rookie #74 Kyle Fix are also training there at Duck's place. It is said that #88 Joel Hetrick and #89 Cody Suggs are headed that way too.

#39 Sean Taylor made his pro debut this past weekend as well. He sent me a note explaining his experiences and how good things seems to be going there:

Things are going pretty well I would say. I am currently home right now in between rounds 1 and 2. The temps are still low but I am heading over to Walnut, Illinois this weekend to get some laps in and get ready for Tennessee. I have a lot to prove coming from an 18thƒ‚ place finish in Georgia. As hard as I’ve worked this off-season, I know that is unacceptable in our program. Hopefully better weather is waiting for us in Tennessee. Stop by the Root River Racing trailer on vendors row and say hi to everyone. I can't thank the Root River guys enough for what they have done for me this year and giving me this opportunity.

Speaking of Root River. The team had an excellent start to the season and I hear there is a little rivalry starting form between them and the legendary Media All Stars Team. One could only ask how long it would take with the success of both programs. Both teams are solid and both teams have great riders. It's almost looking like an east coast VS midwest thing happening here. I can already see the gang signs flashing.

Nick Moser also sent a report in. Nick was banged up pretty bad just before the season but still found the will to qualify on Saturday for AMA Pro ATV competition. Nick sent me this note:

Hey Rodney,ƒ”¨ƒ”¨ Moser checking in here. I have been feeling a lot better since my accident a few weeks ago. I got some updated x rays today and nothing has changed. I took this whole week off to get some rest being I wasn't feeling so well after riding last weekend. I'm packing up and headed to Virginia to Duck Lloyd's house to ride with him, Fix, Rastrelli, and Natalie. Come round two I will be 100% better than last round, and I got my eyes set on that box for Sunday! See you there.

Well there is another headed to Duck's compound...this could almost be a reality TV show....hmmm.

That's about all I have for this week. Happy Easter to everyone. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs