Site Lap: Ohio ATV National

Site Lap: Ohio ATV National

TimeFriday, June 13, 2014 | 1:40 PM
TimeFriday, June 13, 2014 | 1:40 PM

The Built Ford Tough Ohio ATV National at Briarcliff in Nashport, Ohio kicked off on Friday morning like clockwork. The inaugural running of this national welcomed the ATV Racin' Nation with open arms this morning. At near capacity the venue looks to be an overwhelming success and the racing hasn't even started. It's the halfway point of the Mtn Dew ATV Motocross National Championships and the spirit could not be higher. This could be a weekend we won't soon forget.

Wienen looks to return to the top spot of the podium again at the Ohio National
Wienen looks to return to the top spot of the podium again at the Ohio National Photo: Ken Hill

Like many of you know I did not make the last round The ATV Showdown at Sunset Ridge but I did get to talk to Thomas Brown about the big win there at his teammates home track. Brown said it was a huge win on many levels for him and the entire Wienen Motorsporst Team. Chad was able to extend his points lead and Thomas took a huge win with a next to the last turn pass on Josh Upperman to steal the show. This is monumental for Brown as his season has not been up to par in accordance to the consistent podium finishes last season.

This weekend holds could be a big turning point for pic any championships as riders are finding themselves in some classes and others seem to be losing an edge for one reason or another. Many have been riding from behind the eight ball not being able to train as much as in the past and now that they have had a little seat time it is starting to show and the race fans are being treated to great battles with nearly  every drop of the gate.

Off the track this could be one of the funnest times to date on this weekend with night time activities planned both tonight and tomorrow. Tonight is a "Pitbike Ruckus" from 5-7 on the mini track during that time there will also be a dunk tank featuring Nate Hibbs, Rich Hetrick, Rich Gillette and Dean Van Leeuwen. The rumor mill has been churning and even AMA Pro ATV Referee Harv Whipple may be persuaded to take a seat on the box.

John Natalie will look to tighten the Championship points in Ohio
John Natalie will look to tighten the Championship points in Ohio Photo: Ken Hill

I spoke with Rocky Dusenbery who is Logan Dusenberry's father and Rocky Told me he has been having the time of his life running the Senior 40 Plus class. He said that he has had horrible finishes but that has not been why he has been doing it. He said he wanted to enjoy something with his son and in the meantime he has began to make his own rivals. The only thing is that Rocky's rivals have not even been on the track. Rocky said since he was having fun he decided to start goading Big Daddy Stan Digby along trying to get him out of retirement and come race him. Stan told me In the mic this morning "hey if somebody brings me a quad to Red Bud he better watch out!

Rocky also told me of a few others including Root River Racing's Rich Gillete has been getting some pressure from him also. I haven't mentioned it to Rich yet but I am sure he will have few choice words to pass along. And while Rich Gillete is the topic, I would like to remind everyone of the great efforts he is putting out to make the Millville round at Spring Creek Minnesota a success. It appears there will be a number of things going on and it will be like a festival type atmosphere and already there have been three tour buses filled that will be traveling at least 75 miles away. I will try up to have full details of all the things planned in next weeks Site Lap.

Speaking of Root River Racing they just released their latest video from Roto Films which can be viewed on YouTube. And on top of the recent video Root River Racing also sent a report on how this season is shaping up so far. It's rather lengthy but there are several riders on this team and each one has seen some great success this season:

Thomas Brown is fresh off an overall victory in Illinois
Thomas Brown is fresh off an overall victory in Illinois Photo: Ken Hill

Root River Racing Report - 6/6/2014

Finding the time to produce a race report in between national race weekends can be challenging for an owner of a race team. When you own a team of truly dedicated and driven riders and staff, the least you can do is let the world know how awesome you think they are doing. The team is all about fighting through adversity, injuries and all the highly competitive field of riders in all their respective classes.

Over the course of the last month we have been to High Point MX in Mount Morris, PA for round 3 and Sunset Ridge MX in Walnut, IL for round 4. At these 2 races the team riders have scored 8 1st place overall finishes and are currently holding 9 top 5 series spots in 7 classes. These numbers are sure to grow going into Briarcliff MX in Nashport, OH on June 14th & 15th.

The reason I have such confidence in the team riders is because everyone is now out of school and healthy again. Balancing school, training and racing can really be a challenge at this level of our sport. Since I require a 2.5 GPA out of my riders, at times they have to cut back or even skip some training to keep their grades up in school. Keeping caught up in school can be a challenge as well do to the amount of traveling and school days missed for the first 4 rounds.

Ronnie Higgerson has been on fire in the Pro-Am class
Ronnie Higgerson has been on fire in the Pro-Am class Photo: Ken Hill

Haedyn Mickelson in the first moto of the season broke his leg. We all hope for a speedy recovery and that is what we got. In just 8 weeks, Haedyn was back on his quad at High Point and it was like he had never broken his leg. By the time he hit the track at Sunset Ridge, he was out for blood. In both Production B and 450 B, he led 3 of the 4 motos from start to finish. It was awesome to see him do so well taking 1st in both classes.

After having a tough showing at High Point in his Production B class, Alex Gillette returned home bound and determined to not make mistakes and to find more speed. In the week prior to Sunset Ridge, one of Alex’s favorite tracks, he sprained his wrist in training pushing himself to the limit. After intensive care of his wrist all week he still wanted to try to race. His first moto of the day he almost had the holeshot, but got pinched and thrown off his quad battling with the 1st and 3rd riders in the second turn. After the tumble, I pressed Alex to take the rest of the weekend off and let himself heal. As of today, he is 100% and training for Briarcliff.

Sammy Rowe & Megan Manshack are showing dramatic improvements from last year. They have definitely done their homework and found a new gear and a new more aggressive attitude. Sammy has really found his place at or near the top of the A class riders. Megan is really battling this year and showing off her definite strengths. In the Women’s class, she is really surprising everyone including her fiercest competitor and 2013 national champion, Katie Mette. Megan has gone 4 for 4 in the Women’s class and is strongly in 1st place.

Keep an eye out for another Ohio Native, Adam Clark, at the Ohio National 
Keep an eye out for another Ohio Native, Adam Clark, at the Ohio National  Photo: Ken Hill

Dylan Tremellen, Noah Mickelson and Bubba Hicks in the last 2 races have struggled in at least one of their motos. Their frustration quickly gets turned into victories. Pressing themselves, their machines and the tracks beyond the limits sometime it bits back. I have faith that they will have continue their winning ways.

The Pro and Pro Am classes, where the absolute fastest riders in the sport race, is turning into a real chase for the top spot. Sean Taylor is doing a great job mixing it up with all of them. I’m proud of him and his ability to be a new father and staying focused on training and racing. He is still showing strong strides of pushing his way to the top.

Hamrick holds down the 9th position in the championship points
Hamrick holds down the 9th position in the championship points Photo: Ken Hill

Our team is doing very well. Better than I expected. The riders and pit crew are human. We all make mistakes. All my riders are beatable. That being said, I have heard some rumblings around the pits that some riders and families are getting a little discouraged when they have to race against any of the Root River Racing riders and machines. Our team is virtually an open book. All of our riders and pit crew are available for help especially away from the track. If a rider would like to work out, train or ride with anyone of our riders, all it takes is to ask. If a there are mechanical issues with your quad, bring it over. We don’t always have time at the track to look over your machine, but between Rod Mickelson, Dee Manshack and Tony Subjek, they have been around or worked on most of the models that are being raced today. They are always willing to help you try to figure out what the issue maybe. With everything I am doing for the sport, I would hate to see anyone leave the sport because they are discouraged in some way that we as a team could possibly help. I know we can appear intimidating but I assure everyone they are welcome any time to stop by for advice, help or even a slushy.

Ohio native Josh Upperman had his best finish this season at the ATV Showdown 
Ohio native Josh Upperman had his best finish this season at the ATV Showdown  Photo: Ken Hill

Also subscribe to RotoFilms on to see all of our videos that are being made throughout the season.

Live Life to the Fullest! - Rich Gillette

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