ATV Motocross

Site Lap: ATVMX is Finally Here!

Site Lap: ATVMX is Finally Here!

Friday, March 21, 2014 | 12:25 PM
Friday, March 21, 2014 | 12:25 PM

It’s here! Ready or not the 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross Championship an AMA sanctioned series has officially kicked off the season with its first Friday practice session. Nearly 550 participants took to the track today to ready themselves for the new year. On the weather front beautiful sunshiny skies rain down beams of much need UV for a number of the ATV Racin’ Nation as many have stated that they haven’t seen much sun this winter and riding has been at a minimum for many.

The motorhomes and trailers have moved into Aonia Pass MX Park for the opening round of the 2014 ATVMX season!
The motorhomes and trailers have moved into Aonia Pass MX Park for the opening round of the 2014 ATVMX season! Photo: Hill

The Mtn. Dew Georgia National is round one of a nine round series in 2014 and with the new year there are a number of new things to be looking forward with the 30th season of championship racing. One of the most notable will most likely be the change in the AMA Pro ATV Motocross Championship format. This season the pros will no longer run the traditional 20 minutes plus 1 lap and now the format will be 15 minutes plus 2 laps. This should bring a whole new element to the racing evening the playing field for those up and coming Pro Am riders trying to make the step up.

As for the popularity of this change there are many mixed reviews. Some of the seasoned pros are not big proponents of the change but are willing to accept the change “if it helps the sport.” Those not so seasoned seem to see a brighter light at the end of the table hoping that the less wear and tear on the machine and body should make them a little more competitive in the shorter formats. The only way to know is to do it and like AMA Pro ATV rider #84 Thomas Brown said of the situation, “at least we are trying something whether it is the right move or not, it’s a move.”

Thomas Brown seems to be optimistic about the changes to ATVMX.
Thomas Brown seems to be optimistic about the changes to ATVMX. Photo: Hill

The shortened motos are not the only change in the pro program however. There will also be a change in the time schedule which will hopefully accomplish a few things in the process. The main thing that it is hoped to help is to make it a true “Pro Show”. The new schedule will put the pros later in the day which will hopefully open the opportunity for more families to make it out for an afternoon of family entertainment. This timing will also hopefully give the amateur racing a chance to be more complete and the Pro race to be the last race of the day with its second moto. Between motos there will be some amateur racing as well a few other things during this time that will be geared toward entertaining the race fans.

Here is the Saturday Pro schedule as of the latest that will be followed for the first round:

 8:00  am                                 Pro Tech Inspection

10:50 am                                Pro Rider’s Meeting at the starting gate

11:00 am – 11:15 am           Pro Timed Qualifying (Session 1)

12:30 pm – 12:45 pm          Pro Timed Qualifying (Session 2)

If there are more than 20 participants the top 16 riders only from timed qualifying will advance to the National Motos. A 3 lap consolation race will be held to determine the last 4 positions for the National Motos.

1:30 pm                                   Pro Consolation Race LCQ (if needed)    3 – Laps

2:40 pm                                   Opening Ceremonies

3:00 pm                                   Pro Moto 1 (15 Minutes + 2 Laps)

5:00 pm                                   Pro Moto 2 (15 Minutes + 2 Laps)
                                                  - Victory Circle Following

5:30 pm                                   Pro Autograph Session / Mtn. Dew Pit Party

During the day of racing the schedule will continue with amateur racing on the track between pro motos with activities planned at the Mtn. Dew tent with Kick Start sampling and rider meet and greets. Vendor row will also be a hot area at this time and fans and families should have a great time as we celebrate 3 decades of ATV Motocross.

These ATVs are ready to for the 2014 season.
These ATVs are ready to for the 2014 season. Photo: Hill

That’s enough of that. Let’s get the “Skinny” from Ken “All my clothes are getting too big” Hill.

Can you believe the 2014 season is finally here! All the months of training and hard work are about to be unleased on the Aonia Pass MX track as we celebrate the opening round of a brand new season. I made it to the track long before the racers were allowed through the gate and got to see the new quads rolled out and man do they ever look sharp! Many people and companies work tirelessly to make things happen for the racers and seldom do the people behind the scenes get the accolades due them, so as a fan of ATV racing, let me thank each and every person who had a hand in making things happen for so many!

Root River Racing ATVs are ready for the gate to dropĀ 
Root River Racing ATVs are ready for the gate to dropĀ  Photo: photographer

Now small talk is fun when you get a Pro racer pulled aside, and when it’s BCS Performance's Josh Creamer, you never really know what you will end up talking about. Today, Creamer was all business as I asked him about how he saw things shaping up as we head to the first gate drop of the new season. Creamer stated that he is as ready as he could possibly be, and if that is not enough, then that means the others just worked that much harder. If you've been following Josh's social media, you will already know the rumors coming out about how lightning fast he is this year. If the other Pro riders are as dialed in as Creamer, look out! Creamer is a favored rider this year as are so many others so we all will be watching intensely to see how things play out.

John Natalie was equally excited about getting things underway. Not only is John planning his own assault on the 2014 season, he has a host of riders that he has been working with that should do very well in their own right.

John Natalie is excited to get the 2014 season started!
John Natalie is excited to get the 2014 season started! Photo: Hill

The name everyone keeps coming back to is that of Joel Hetrick. He seems to have quite a few people concerned as he is super-fast and a threat to anyone who wants to take the win. It could be that fact or the new moto time that has everyone pushing so hard this off season because they know it will have an impact on results and there will be no room for error. We could add Josh Upperman into the same threat category as Hetrick if we were adding up the threat assessment these two Honda mounted racers bring to the table.

The pressure is on and time has run out as the first gate drop hits the dirt in just hours instead or weeks. It is going to be an intense season and the pressure may be the deciding factor in the early rounds for defending champion Chad Wienen and his teammate Thomas Brown. The pits are a buzz that this will be the season the blue army falls and that they will not be the dominating force in 2014. I am pretty sure Wienen and Brown will take exception to that and have plenty to offer once the first moto is underway, in fact I would say the first two practice and timed qualifier may have people with jaws agape and scratching their heads because the feel is that this is a new day and a new chapter is about to be written.

How will the start of the 2014 season go in Georgia's red clay?
How will the start of the 2014 season go in Georgia's red clay? Photo: Hill

By the next Site lap the world will know!

Thanks Skinny….I mean Kenny!

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