The 2013 Mtn. Dew AMA ATV National Motocross Championship has presented the ATV Racin' Nation with about as many challenges as any one season can present. Especially on the weather front. Well it may all actually stem from the weather. Even though we have had some minimal dry conditions it seems we have been faced with rain at some point during the weekend. Actually on an occasion or two it has made some on the better track conditions but it seems like such a small light at the end of the tunnel.
The bigger light at the end of the tunnel may be coming from the fact the everyone is trying to adapt and accept what has been dealt and make the best of it. It is as if everyone is optimistic that things will turn around heading through the final stages of 2013. Round 6 at Birch Creek kicked off the second half of the season in much the same fashion as the season opener but the good news is that the weekend ended on a very positive note and hopefully this will usher a great weekend of racing when the season resumes after this sort of mini break in mid July at Steel City Raceway near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The approaching wind down to the season has many riders as excited as they were when the season began while many have made the absolute best of bad situations. This week I sent out a call to a few riders and many of them sent back their version of how things have been, are going and hopefully will be for them. It is amazing as frustrating as things may seem, there are several silver linings in this seasons dark clouds.
First up let's hear from someone that you may or may not know. If nothing else you know his work. He is Kenny "Pappy" Hill from ATVRiders.com and he is also the series photographer for the GNCC and the ATV MX. I asked Kenny what he thought so far and if he could shine some light from behind the lens. Here is what he had to say:
Man what a season so far! Covering both the ATV and GNCC national races, I usually look forward to the MX season for intense MX action, great weather and the thrill of trying to capture you guys and gals doing your thing. Well, 2013 has been like one weekend after another of everyone looking the same, with the MX crowd getting a bit higher in the air! I actually thought about switching images from one series to the next to see if anyone noticed!
No one really likes crappy weather except me when it is hunting season, although it can make things really interesting when you sit back and see who can handle it and who can't. Horse racing faces the same challenge, bet on the mudder when things get ugly! I've watched things go from great to bad within an hour and observed who can take it and who runs around the pits acting like someone stole their lollypop. Ok, so I do not like it when someone steals my lollypop but it is what it is and we have to suck it up, put on our big boy pants and do the best we can. Unfortunately that has been the story at virtually every round and it sucks. If you can find a way to control Mother nature you go right ahead and set her straight please!
My rant is over, I needed that! Now as far as the on track stuff, you guys still amaze me. From the Youth classes to the Pro's, what you all are able to do no matter the conditions is nothing short of incredible. I come from the days when a 25 foot table top was a big jump on a quad, now we have 90cc riders doing 40 foot doubles in sloppy conditions, pros ripping it up like Pro riders should and the amateur ranks filled with so much skill that it is never boring. I called this year as epic before it started and it still is. The weather may have been trying to shut us down but you all fought back and the racing has been top notch. Sometimes epic doesn't mean sunny skies and 80 degree temps, it could mean facing adversity and slamming it into a berm! You take what life gives you and you handle it, or you get handled.
We still have a ton of racing left and the points battles are going to be very interesting if we catch the rest of the season giving us good conditions. I know many are frustrated and haven't been able to unleash themselves on the competition but be ready for it, it is coming and when it happens I will be there to capture it!
Great perspective Ken and I couldn't agree more. And like Ken said, all the ranks have shown a bit epic characteristics.
The Youth ranks offer great competition as well as competitors. Many strive for a trophy or maybe a chance at the podium while others reach those goals and then move on to try to achieve even more. Gunnar Tebon is one of those that has really excelled in the sport and here is his report.
We have the 90 mod Jr locked up and working on the 70 mod. Lane Baird is making us work. He is a great rider. We are building 2 new quads for next year 150 by Janssen and Roberts frames plus a new 90mod for Sr class. Thanks Rodney!
Wow! Gunnar is doing well and he is looking ahead. That is good to see as it means that the next challenges are ready beginning to excite the young competitor. Right now Gunnar is training hard and he's at basketball camp this week. Gunnar has his goal set high to become youth rider of the year.
Another youth talent that Gunnar mentioned is Lane Baird. Lane is a unique rider with the luxury of a full time mechanic and race staff to help. However he is the one that makes it happen on the track and if you have seen him ride, you would say that you don't blame the one backing this young man because he is all talent. Casey Greek, Lane's mechanic sent us this report from the "Dude's" camp.
Mid season update from Bill Baird Motorsports: well 6 rounds are in the books and six rounds have had some kind of weather evolved with them. We are all sick of the mud but it's part of racing in the dirt. Years like this you just have to embrace what Mother nature hands you. Things for me are going great I love the new job and working with the Bill Baird Motorsports crew. Lane is a awesome kid we have so much fun together. As far as racing the year has been great to us we have won 5 out of 6 70 limited overall s winning 10 motos in a row and one 2nd place at the first round due to water inside his goggles. 70 mod we have won 2 overalls and been 2nd most of the year with one bad race at balance motocross due to spinning out on the face of a jump. We are currently leading the 70 limited class and sitting 13 points in 2nd place in 70 mod class. So things for us at Bill Baird Motorsports are going great hope to see everyone at Steel City in a few weeks.
Next we heard from Katie Mette who is the Women class points leader and after round 6 moved up in the Open B class to challenge the Chloe Beurster.
Hey Rodney! Things have been going very well this season. I currently sit in 1st in points in the women's class and tied for 1st in the open B class. I took my first overall win in the open B class last round in VA which is something I have been working towards for a long time. With 4 rounds left to go I am working hard on this break to come back and finish the season even stronger!
Good news and optimism from the general populous so far. Next week we will have more from the Pro and Pro Am ranks. If you would like to drop us a note and let us know how things are going for you. Email [email protected].
Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs