ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Birch Creek

Friday, June 7, 2013 | 11:00 AM

The first half of the 2013 Mtn. Dew AMA ATV Motocross National Championship is now in the history books and there may still be as many questions as there ever were before the season started. The series is still within reach of so many different riders in every class and it seems each week brings something exciting and new.


The exciting part came in so many forms. There was the obvious excitement of the racing itself. As expected the championship got a little more intense as championships tightened up and some classes are beginning to see a clear cut champion.


There was the excitement of the return of Heather Byrd for a race in the Women’s class that had the fences around Sunset Ridge packed with folks eager to see whether or not she would be able to hang with the new breed of Women class competition. Byrd did not disappoint as she pulled the early lead in both motos. It took a little while for the girls to make a pass on Heather and it surely made one wonder if Heather a little more time to train how much more intense this class could be.


There was even more excitement as Chloe Buerster and Katie Mette who are two of the top competitors in the Women Class are also top contenders in the Open B class. As Mette took top honors in the Women Class it was Chloe posting two moto wins to snag the Open overall win and increase her points lead to 19 over Sean Mitchell and 30 points over Mette who sits third in the class.


One had to be anticipating what the AMA Pro ATV class had in store with the recent injuries of Joel Hetrick and John Natalie. And under much speculation, both riders were there and both riders mounted up for both motos. Joel was fresh from surgery only days leading into the event and had not even sat on his quad since the day of the crash at Wildcat Creek MX. John Natalie though with his pinched nerve in his was reported to be back on his machine within hours of hearing nothing was broken.


Joel rode to a safe and comfortable top 10 finish when things were decided at the end of the two ƒ‚ motos. Being only the second major injury Hetrick has ever suffered, it was quite impressive how the kid bounced back so quickly, Joel said it was a tough ride and it hurt a lot but it could be the only thing to keep him in the hunt for the championship. As Joel knows, anything can happen and the championship can turn on a dime back in his favor in only a moto or two. We are only halfway through the season and we should only expect to see some of the most intense battles of our lives in the coming five rounds.


John Natalie proved once again why they call him the Ironman. It seems that when John is hurt his game elevates. It may have seemed like a lot of hype for Natalie leading into the race as many were speculating that John could be the one to beat. His former mechanic Casey Greek spoke of things like this on more than one occasion and leading into the day of racing he could only echo this as the gates dropped and Natalie was a contender from the word go. John didn’t win, but scored winning points with any race fan that watched him hauled off the track only two weeks before and ƒ‚ to be standing there on the podium with a 2nd for the day, thankful to be there.


The excitement of the Pro Am racing on Sunday cannot be denied either. As many of the Pro Am riders have made the step up to the AMA Pro ATV class to begin cutting their teeth in the premier class it has quite possibly elevated the competition field in this class by doing so. Many of the riders are training at the pro level and for pro level competition which has made for the level to raise in the Pro Am class.


Some notes of interest in this championship are as follows:

  • The Pro Am points leader (Brett Musick) has not won a race overall this season

  • There have been 4 different winners in the 4 rounds they have raced.

  • Only 31 points separate 1st to 10th.

  • Sean Taylor may have found his mojo with the win in Illinois

  • Brent Sellers could be one to watch with his consistent approach to the championship


Joe Byrd’s back to the basics program continued to run strong at Sunset Ridge MX as well. Byrd seems to have found new life after 40 in the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross Nationals. Byrd who is known as the rider you either love or love to hate has been one of the biggest ambassadors this sport has ever seen. Byrd exposes ATV racing to the world with his Joe Byrd Quad Riding Schools teaching them all over the world. And to keep things in the exciting department this weekend we have information on an upcoming school that you may be interested in attending later this month.


Joe sent this information regarding a school coming up in Colorado:


FAST APPROACHING!!! Join Joe Byrd Quad Riding school for a weekend of Riding in Berthoud, CO which is about 30 minutes North of Denver. Spots are filling up FAST!!!


Date: ƒ‚ Saturday & Sunday June 15

Location: ƒ‚ Valley Dirt Riders/Berthoud MX track

Price: $550

What to Bring:

ƒ”¢ Bicycle

ƒ”¢ Running Shoes

ƒ”¢ Tools and ATV

ƒ”¢ Food and Drinks


What You Will Learn:


ƒ”¢ Jumps

ƒ”¢ Whoops

ƒ”¢ Passing

ƒ”¢ Braking

ƒ”¢ Balancing

ƒ”¢ Diet & Nutrition

ƒ”¢ Bike Set-up

ƒ”¢ And Much Much more


To sign up, email Joe at [email protected]. For more information about the school, visit We look forward to seeing you there!


This coming weekend the ATV Racin’ Nation will celebrate the life of one of its biggest fans and contributors to it’s history. The weekend of racing will be a celebration of the is planned for this weekend for our late referee and friend Bob ƒ“Smittyƒ” Smith. I will not be there in attendance this weekend due to some conflicts but Kevin Bailey will be filling in and he was as well a good friend of Smitty’s.


I also got some information from Justin Bush about an FCAMX Camp on Monday June 10th following the Birch Creek Round of ATV Motocross Nationals.


Virginia Camp 2013

Featuring MX instruction by Ryan Sipes and ATV instruction by Justin Bush!

The only FCAMX camp offering ATV instruction this year!

June 10-14

Click here to register!ƒ‚ 

For questions aboutƒ‚ registration, please contact the FCA Camp Department at 1-866-269-2267.

Camp and Track: Camp Motorsport

Camp Location: 8144 Mount Laurel Road, Clover, VA 24534 *ƒ‚ 434-822-2999

Camp Deans:ƒ‚ Ann Margaret and Tex McCraw * Check the Southeast Teams page for more info about AM and Tex

Camp Dean Contact Info:ƒ‚ 803-543-0907ƒ‚ *ƒ‚ [email protected]

Camp Price: $695 per camper; $295 per non-camper
Cost covers lodging, food, MX training for campers, Bible, pen,ƒ‚ lanyard, 1 year subscription to Sharing the Victory magazine andgeneral liabilityƒ‚ (not health) insurance.

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