ATV Motocross

Site Lap:Wacky Wildcat

Friday, May 17, 2013 | 9:45 PM

The inaugural running of the Amsoil Hoosier ATV Motocross National at Wildcat Creek MX in Rossville, Indiana was certainly nothing less than exciting and just as predicted, somewhat of a game changer for the 2013 championships. There were many upsets and wackiness from the AMA Pros through the 50cc classes. To say that this was a memorable first date could be an understatement.

Starting at the top, the pro class saw at least 3 take some heavy spills and sustain injury. As bad as it seems, everyone is going to be okay and they know as well as anyone that the rest of the season may be a wash but they should be back to make their marks if nothing else.

Two time Pro Champ John Natalie took a hard spill landing on his head and damaging some muscles and tweaking some nerves. The Ironman swears he will be back with a vengeance and is determined to not let this hamper his efforts. He hopes to be back at least scoring points and hoping to take advantage of others misfortunes as the year wanes on. He doesn’t wish ill will on anyone, but knows that anything can happen at any time and change the face of the championship.

Joel Hetrick suffered a broken collarbone and scapula from my understanding. Hetrick notably one of the fastest if not the fastest riders on the track battled veteran and former two time champ Joe Byrd for several heated laps. Hetrick tried to strike on Byrd in the final whoops section late in the race for a pass for second when a change up in lines also meant change up in rhythm that Joel missed by only half a beat and landed him on his shoulder at the end of the section. Hetrick said he has only been injured one other time and it was the other shoulder. He expects that if he has to miss Sunset Ridge he should be back on a mission in Danville, Virginia for the Bob ƒ“Smittyƒ” Smith Memorial at Birch Creek Motorsports. It would be only fitting if Joel can come back to win this one since Joel was kind of the pick of the litter for Smitty.

The third pro injured was rookie Tim Dettling. Dettling is a top contender in the Pro Am class and it seems he may have suffered a little worse than the others. It appears he sustained a broken femur and had to have surgery. The last I heard, all was well but heal time may be a while for this up and comer. It comes at `unfortunate time as he had just secured a great sponsorship deal this season and the results showed the help was a great addition to his program. Hopefully they will be ready to make another run at it when he heals.

Youth rider Cole Sepesi also found himself in a pretty gnarly incident. Cole went down in a collision with another rider that left him down off the side of the track. Sepesi had a scary moment but was back at the track and all smiles on Sunday saying he can’t wait to get back in action. He said he was pretty sore but expected it to all work out in time.

Though it sounds like it was a rough weekend, it was actually pretty good. I think rather coincidental that so many seemed to be injured. It is that time of year where these kinds of things happen but let’s just hope it is out of the system of the ATV Racin’ Nation and we have a healthy end to 2013.

The weather was rather cool but the rains came early enough that it did not seem to affect the racing surface. Actually it came with a little pre planning of Tim Ritchie and the Red Bud staff. They saw the rain on the way and rented extra equipment to roll and pack the track in to shield as much as they could and Friday morning yielded a rather perfect racetrack for the start of the weekend. The combination of forethought, hard work and Mother Nature made for ideal track conditions and some of the seasons best racing.

Congratulations to Rookie Pro and Pro Am standout Tyler Hamrick for his first ever Pro Am overall on Sunday. Hamrick rode great on Saturday during the AMA Pro ATV race scoring a 9th overall and his best finish to date in that class as well. Hammy is another rider to be watching out for in the 2013 season. Confidence may have been all that was lacking from his program and now that shouldn’t be an issue.

Heading into Walnut Illinois to Sunset Ridge Motocross is going to be another big and unpredictable round of racing. Look for anything to happen and I mean anything. The number of riders finding some confidence and showing signs of improvement is rather mind blowing. This should be a good formula for great racing to the season’s end.

Some of the highlights heading into round 5 include:

8 Time Women Champ Heather Byrd was in Indiana and said she was picking up a quad to take home and ride. She said though she has no plans of coming out of retirement, she is thinking of mixing it up a little in the sand for some fun. She laughed and said don’t expect too much if I do, I haven’t been on a quad since Red Bud last year.

Sunset Ridge MX invites all racers, spectators and sponsors to ƒ“go pinkƒ” for breast cancer awareness by adorning their clothing, gear and pits in the color pink at Round 5. As supporters head out on a 1.8 mile walk around the track, net proceeds will be given to Susan G. Koman for Breast Cancer Research. Track guides will be available to answer questions and provide a safe walk and a shuttle service will be available for those wishing to ride instead of walk.

Pre-registration for the Track Walk is $15 or $20 after May 17. Tickets may also be purchased at the event. Sponsorships are available for $50 and the sponsor name will be imprinted on participant t-shirts, programs and event recognition. For donations less than $50 the sponsor will be receive program and event recognition. Door Prize donors will receive program and event recognition.ƒ‚ 

Pre-registration is now available atƒ‚ HERE or by contacting Jan at 815-379-9534. Please make checks payable to 4-P Promotions Inc. and mail to Sunset Ridge MX.

That’s it for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.