ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Heating Up At Sunset

Friday, May 24, 2013 | 10:45 AM

The Mtn. Dew AMA ATV National Motocross Championship rolls into Sunset Ridge this weekend with a head full of steam and possibly more surprises on the way. Defending Champ Chad Wienen has kept it steady all season and this weekend may be a little easierƒ”¦one would think.

Two top contenders who were slowed two weeks ago are said to be on the mend and back in action this weekend. Joel Hetrick who broke a collarbone is reported to be back but how strong will he be. The rough conditions of Sunset Ridge are surely not what the doctor ordered so it will be as much a survival weekend for this young contender as anything. John Natalie was reported to be back on the bike only a few days after his crash. The rumor mill says Natalie is strong and ready to try and gain some points back in the championship race.

Though these two may be slowed a bit there are others capitalizing and starting to show great promise. Thomas Brown has finished consistently 3rd each round overall and is tied for 2nd with Hetrick in the point battle. Both sit 26 points down and a bad moto or two for Wienen and both could be in the points lead at the end of this one. Josh Creamer is another who could play it cool and find himself in position. Experience through the halfway point of the season is going to be key and Creamer has this to his credit as does the old dog in the hunt Joe Byrd. Byrd has shown great strides this season and seems to be determined to get back in the fight for this one. Though 77 points down Byrd could find luck and experience and position himself as contender soon in the championship race.

While walking around the pits this weekend you may see some familiar faces. Doug Gust who was in attendance at Wildcat Creek MX is said to be making another cameo this weekend. Gust will not be racing but another familiar face and former champion in the Women Class Heather Byrd said two weeks ago it was a big possibility she would be lining up this weekend. She says she has not been on the quad since last year at Lorettaƒ’s and limitedly before that, so she is not expecting to set the world on fire.

The Pro Am class lost one of its top competitors for the season. Tim Dettlingƒ’s injuries during the AMA Pro race at Wildcat left him with a season ending broken leg injury. Dettling will be missed and with his absence, there may be some new blood seeking the podium this weekend. Tyler Hamrick has shown speed in the Pro class and with his first win in the Pro Am class last round one can only expect him to be one of the ones to beat.

ƒ‚ Donƒ’t count out Nick Moser yet either. Moser started the season in Georgia pretty banged up and rode some impressive rides. It is said that he is finding that mid season groove and looking for nothing but a win this weekend on Sunday. Another name to watch out for to find a mid season groove is the youngster Brett Musick. Musick has shown speed but the consistency factory could be the only thing keeping him out of the points lead. He sits only 6 points back but he has plenty of company that could walk away with the points lead this weekend.

Point leader Ronnie Higgerson has been suffering from a broken hand. Last round it was a factor but should honestly not be as much this week unless it gets reinjured. Higgerson will have his back to the wall as mentioned Musick is 7 points down but Brent Sellers and newcomer Brad Riley who has won an overall are lurking in the shadows as well. Sellers is just looking for the break out ride that will put him on top. Quietly riding under the radar, Sellers may be like a fuse on a keg of dynamite and this rider may be set to explode onto the scene with some confidence. Duck Lloyd and Kyle Fix sit only 12 points out of the lead and either one could take a win as well. The talent pool is so deep this year and the best yet to come in this class. Both Saturdayƒ’s AMA Pro ATV race and Sundayƒ’s Pro Am race will be ones to watch closely.

The weather should be good this weekend. It will be a little cooler, but this is something we have grown accustomed to so far this season. It has been a rough weather season and it is making for an interesting championship in all classes. I expect this weekend to see even more new faces on the podium and this should shake up the championships in all classes.

The 3rdƒ‚ Annual Susan G Komen Breast Cancer track walk will take place today, May 24 after practice is over. 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.

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