ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Announcements And Advancements

Site Lap: Announcements And Advancements

Friday, November 14, 2014 | 11:55 AM
Friday, November 14, 2014 | 11:55 AM

The "unofficial" final round of the 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship took place this past weekend with the annual year end awards banquet. The night featured not only awards for the top 10 in each class, but a chance to see our racing family once more before the long off-season set in. There were some huge announcements that came down our way and gave us something to talk about and look forward to. We as a racing community are finally reaping the reward of years of hard work. Sometimes the big picture is hard to see but the great things announced for 2015 have been literally years in the making. 

First off we should say thanks to Mtn. Dew for claiming title sponsorship role for another season. The announcement of the continued partnership is something very positive for the industry. The relationship through Rich Gillette and Mtn. Dew has been possibly one of the biggest advancements our sport has seen. What is even bigger is that at contract time Mtn. Dew wanted to be a part of ATVMX and chose to stick around and see us grow.

The ATVMX Banquet gave everyone one last chance to celebrate before the 2015 pre-season begins
The ATVMX Banquet gave everyone one last chance to celebrate before the 2015 pre-season begins Photo: Ken Hill

A look at numbers from this past season was all good. Our rider count was up, and our fan attendance was up. Media coverage was historically greater than ever before with RacerTV on MAVTV and live coverage on brought over 1.7 million people to watch our sport worldwide. This is in my knowledge the most exposure the sport has ever seen. More news was then announced that next season will offer the same availability, and that can only mean more growth. 

The announcement of the Inaugural ATVSX! Yep you read it correctly, ATV racing will feature a one off Supercross style event at the legendary Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL., and on top of that it will be a part of Daytona’s Bike Week. They will race the same track as the AMA Supercross race on Saturday night. The event will also be streamed live on with ATVMX Live.

It will be a point’s event for AMA Pro ATV but a one off limited entry event for amateurs. The racers get to come in as early as Friday before and the race will be held on Tuesday. It is without a doubt a historical event for the speedway, ATVMX and the ATV Racin' Nation. Be watching for details sign up information and sign up as soon as you can, spots will likely go fast. 

A lot of announcements were made at this years 2014 ATVMX Awards Banquet
A lot of announcements were made at this years 2014 ATVMX Awards Banquet Photo: Ken Hill

There was a lot more information I have I can pass a long but it is a long off-season and we have some time there. Next week I will let you in on some more information about Thomas Brown's new race team and more. 

Next though I have been talking with Root River Racing's, 2014 Team of the Year, Rich Gillette. He told me that there were some things that they were working on and he wanted to debut as much as he could here in Site Lap. He said he would have a few things to come but sent this after last weekend's banquet:

“As I sit here on my 15 hour journey back to home base in Minnesota, I am being overwhelmed with emotion. The accomplishments and recognition that the Root River Racing riders achieved this year is humbling to me. I am in awe of what each rider, the mechanics and the team as a whole is capable of achieving. 

We appreciate being selected as Team of the Year. It is a great honor to all of us. As we are a team, we feel more as a family than ever.  We all rely on one another not just to help each other strive towards our goals, but to help each other at and away from the track with anything that maybe going on in our lives.

The big surprises were Noah Mickelson and Sam Rowe winning Youth Riders of the Year and Amateur Rider of the Year. Of course we feel our riders do a great job and at times it's hard to be nonbiased, but when a group of nonbiased opinions nominates your rider as the Top Rider of the Year, you just sit back and go WOW. Then when a second rider from your team receives the award, you have to leave the room and wipe the tears from your eyes.

I truly appreciate being honored again with Sponsor of the year, but my job as series sponsor is far from over. At this point, I personally will continue to support ATV MX until I'm either 6 feet under or someone passes a Federal Law stating ATV MX is outlawed. I love this racing nation family too much to quit and I truly believe we are on the brink of one of the biggest growth periods in this sport.

On top of a blissful night at the awards, I had many great conversations with all kinds of riders and their families as well as the series team of promoters and decision makers. 2015 looks to be one heck of a year.”

Thanks Rich! I have the same feelings about next season and can't wait to see it all unfold. 

Now let's check in with Ken "Livin' the good life" Hill: 

What a great evening we all shared at the ATV Motocross awards banquet! The endless smiles and laughter was fitting to a season filled with triumph and success for many in attendance. The long hard work this season paid off for our number one plate holders who graciously accepted their hard won accolades from their peers. Our series sponsors got to brag on their rider’s successes and new information came to light on what looks to be another incredible year of racing for the series. 

The 2014 ATVMX Champion Chad Wienen was in attendance
The 2014 ATVMX Champion Chad Wienen was in attendance Photo: Ken Hill

In last weeks Site Lap, I mentioned my hearing or lack of, and it held true for this event. I know we are going to Daytona, but that is all I know! And Texas, which means I will get a chance to go visit my mom's home for the first time since she vacated Florida so I can't say this isn't a positive for me! The internet chatter so far seems to be positive about the Texas round so hopefully the hectic start to the 2015 season is a huge success which I am sure it will be! 

There were some unanswered questions that remain as a few of our top riders still look for the program to take them through the upcoming season. That is tough to take, knowing the hard work a rider has to put in has to struggle so hard to get what is needed to make a run at the premier classes. The business side of racing is hardcore and takes as much work as seat time and staying physically ready to compete. As times change, be prepared to change with them or you will be left behind, this goes for any sport or business. You are treating your program like a business right? If you don't, you can bet those you are dealing with will treat you like an amateur so stay focused and make sure that side of your program is very strong.

Ken Hill caught up with John Natalie for a moment at the banquet
Ken Hill caught up with John Natalie for a moment at the banquet Photo: Ken Hill

I did get a chance to chat briefly with John Natalie. It seems he is having the same lack of success with a nice buck as I am. It has been fun watching his family grow and now seeing Michelle carrying rugrat number two! I had to laugh when I saw John driving a borrowed mini van at Loretta Lynn's, practical, but way out of place when you've been watching him be a badass behind the bars for a decade! With all these racers having kids, Walsh might need to start making strollers that are fitting for the life we lead!

Our own Andrew
Our own Andrew "Gloop" Mahey took home an award for Media Excellence! Photo: Ken Hill

More info will be flowing out in the coming weeks regarding the schedule, changes to classes and to riders programs, so hopefully that will fill the huge hole we all have had to deal with as far as information. It was great seeing everyone, and I would like to throw a huge congrats out to Gloop for his award. He deserved it and then some for not only his dedication to his job but also for the untold hours he puts in that go way beyond a paycheck. It shows in his work and that is a huge plus for the series and for everyone that gets to share his teams work each week!That is all for me, everyone be safe and try to find a few days to just relax, 2015 is going to be busy!

Thanks Ken! It is certainly a great time in our industry and the new venue announcements are yet another plus to the upcoming season. 

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