Good Friday to you! Literally, it is “Good Friday” and a special time for many in our ATV Racin’ Nation. It is another opportunity to see the family at home and enjoy one more solid Holiday with the loved ones before we head into the meat of what looks like another extraordinary national championship season.
The 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross Nationals has merely gotten underway but already the stage is setting for a dramatic road to the championships with tight fierce battles already beginning to wage. The exciting thing about this season is the unpredictability of what it holds with the talent pool seeming so deep in nearly every division and class. It is my prediction that what you see is not necessarily what you get. Don’t be surprised by the sleepers, late bloomers and those that just feel that switch click and rise to the next level before our very eyes.
I have spoken with a number of people over the first two rounds and there does seem to be something a little different in the air this season. Confidence, hope or just plain crazy I am not sure what it is but it seems very positive. The new format on Saturday may lend some hand in part to that and maybe that makes us all feel like something big is coming.
Well I for one can say that something big is in store for ATV Motocross coming to round 3 The Maxxis ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway on May 17th. RacerTV.com is set to feature AMA Pro ATV Motocross championship racing as a part of a feature live video webcast on the hugely popular web based all racing channel. Full details about the show are set to be released soon and I for one am very excited. This is the only live scheduled event this season but all nine rounds will be featured on MAVTV as previously announced and scheduled.
I was scanning through the web watching ATV MX videos I could find and was pleasantly surprised when I came across some videos I hadn’t seen as of late. I actually quite inspired by one piece in particular. The video was produce by 21/20 Films and with a little more digging I noticed that the producer was former ATV Nationals star Mark Kendal. Check the Upperman interview out here and be on the lookout for more.
Daniel Owens at Number One ATV also produced a rather interesting video on the new and hugely successful Natalie Experience Team Riders. The Natalie Experience has introduced us to some rather interesting talent and this video gives us a little more perspective into to the “whom” and “what” the team is about. The team includes Brody Runyon, Logan Steele, Johannah Vossman, Cody Ford, Tommy Vossman, Bryce Ford, Alex Woskob and John Natalie. Check it out here.
In recent months I have written about several different riders and one name that seems to keep popping up is the young Niamh Shaw. I know I speak of her quite often but this young lady and her dedication on and off the track genuinely impress me. So much so that I asked her moto mom Vanessa to keep me informed on how things are going.
I finally got round to letting you know how it is all going. After moving to Bowling Green last November I think the girls have finally settled into their new school and have made many new friends. Niamh was actually invited to join the local chapter of the National Junior BETA club.
We didn't get to ride much this winter because of the weather that most of the country experienced, we manage a few local indoor races along with Lane “The Dude" Baird and only got out on the big track maybe four or five times. It was a big rush to get bikes ready for round 1 as Craig has worked in Oklahoma all winter and didn't come home until two weeks before GA.
We had a good time at round 1 and came home with two holeshots and two moto wins, which was kind of unexpected but was what we were aiming for. After Georgia Chloe took a ride round the yard on Niamh's quad and decided she was bringing the boots and helmet out of retirement, which had happened after Loretta's last year! So it was all on for Craig to get a bike together for her and get some practice in before Muddy Creek where she ended up with two holeshots and two 2nd place finishes in the Girls Jr class.
What is a 2-year-old little girl to do while her sisters are practicing? Well little Finlie has her own Suzuki LT50 that she rides around the yard, not sure she is ready for the track yet but maybe in a couple of years she will be out there with her sisters.
Cody Janssen and Troy Hill are here this week getting in some moto's so after school they are all hitting the track and laying down some laps under the watchful eye of Jeremiah Jones. Hopefully the weather is finally changing and the rain will stay away as we have a house to build in between the rest of the national round.
We can't wait for school to get out and summer to be here. Now it's time to put in some serious training while on this break, we are eagerly awaiting High Point and the rest of the season and hope it goes as well as the first two rounds.
Niamh wanted me to let you also know that she is trying her hardest this year to win a championship for Steve McGehee, Steve was co-owner along with his son Ryan of Ryno Racing Engines who have built Niamhs awesome motors for the past 5 years, Steve passed away in February from a massive heart attack at the young age of 55. She wants to make him proud and not let Ryan down who has been traveling to the nationals with us and hopefully will be at many more this year. She rides for Steve and carries his name on her bike!
Thanks for the update and insight Vanessa and we are certainly looking forward to what the future holds for the trio of sisters that all seem to breathe the same passion.
Let’s check in with Ken “Check out my new camera stuff” Hill:
Rodney, all is good here. Very busy getting things planted while the weather is working with us and trying to get things done before too many Rattlesnakes start moving! All has been quiet on the MX side of things, the extended break is a real bummer for me but in all honesty, the little break it affords some of us will be so short that in no time we will be back at it.
I had some time to ask some questions and reflect on round two. Spectator entries were up, rider numbers were up and we had good weather sans Fridays track watering storms. I did hear a ton about the actual track conditions but everyone seemed to get past that and race what was in front of them and some good racing it was.
I really do not have much to add but I will direct everyone to the www.atvriders.com homepage for some cool interviews with our series biggest stars! John Natalie, Josh Upperman and the entire crew of the Pro class gave Harlen Foley some pre-season insights and a glimpse inside their programs so be sure to check them out.
RacerTV is always a safe bet to get your fix on when it comes to professionally edited episodes that show our sport and make sure you share the highlight videos! Everyone has been asking about the full shows and due to their contract with MAVTV, they can not air the full show until it has been shown on MAVTV, so that answers that! Just be patient, good things are coming and in the works with regards to...well, I just can't quite say!
Be safe everyone, enjoy the break that I know many of you won't take! I will be watching social media to keep tabs on everyone and the racing you all will be showing us from all over the country. Until we gate up at round three, See Ya!
Thanks Ken for the update and all the great photos and insights you have provided so far.
That’s it for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.