ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Excitement Rises For The 2015 ATV Racing Season

Site Lap: Excitement Rises For The 2015 ATV Racing Season

Friday, January 23, 2015 | 3:50 PM
Friday, January 23, 2015 | 3:50 PM

One can’t help but start to get excited about the upcoming 2015 ATV racing season! There is newness in the air with the first-ever ATVSX at Daytona, which is then followed by the return to an old stomping ground at Echeconee MX. The fun doesn’t stop there, we then head west to the Underground MX Park in Kemp, Texas. That is three practically new venues to kick off the season, and then at the midway point we are treated to the all-new Ironman ATVMX in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Couple the new tracks with the remaining parks we will we return to and this looks like the biggest season in the history of our sport.

So, our first stop for many will be Daytona ATVSX on Tuesday, March 10 during Bike Week for the Fly Racing Inaugural ATVSX at Daytona International Speedway. This is obviously a huge ordeal and the smack talk is already starting over who is going to win. A lot of folks are picking Josh Creamer, but word is Josh may not return in 2015. Since Can-Am was pulling all their support away from many ATV racers, Josh got caught up in the downsizing. It is hopeful something pans out but as far as the news goes, but no one has mentioned that possibility yet.

Our champion, Chad Wienen, has been down south training and riding hard with some GNCC front-runners
Our champion, Chad Wienen, has been down south training and riding hard with some GNCC front-runners Photo: Ken Hill

Then our second stop on the season will actually be a familiar place to many of the veterans of the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship. It is at Echeconee MX located in Lizella, Georgia, which is about 15 minutes from Macon. It is “The Sand Box” of the southeast and was originally promoted by former ATC racing great Donnie Banks. Today the facility is owned and operated by Matt Walker who is a former top two-wheeled motocross star. Matt uses the track as part of his training facilities he operates to help take amateur and semi-professional motocross racers to the next level. I spoke with Matt about our return to the facility a few months ago and he is excited to be able to host the event. He went on to say that he has never spent any time around the style of racing but is super intrigued. He has heard and watched some video, and cannot wait to welcome the crowd in. He has been talking to Jeff Cernic and Cernic has told Matt to be ready to be blown away.

The third big deal of the season is actually round 2 of the ATVMX championship. This time we head west to Texas. We head to Kemp, Texas to be exact, which is where the Underground MX Park is located. I have never heard of or been to this track, but I am hearing great things about it. Randy Poulter, one of the nation’s top track builders, runs Underground MX Park with his family and a crew of dedicated MX enthusiasts. Randy is a legend of sorts with his knowledge, so racers and fans should be out in full force to support this one.

The final new stop on the schedule is at the Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana. This is home of the Ironman GNCC which has become one of the largest GNCC events on its schedule. The newly built MX track is part of the Lucas Oil Motocross National Championship, and is quite possibly one of the most beautiful stops on our tour.

There are plenty of things happening in and around the ATV Racin’ Nation at the moment, and I had a chance to check in on a few. Here is what I have been able to gather over the last few days:

  • Congratulations to Colten Moore on his Gold medal in the Winter X Games. Last night he took gold in the speed and style portion of the competition. According to some sources Colten had never been on a snowcross track until two weeks ago. He was an underdog coming into competition.
  • Thomas Brown is busy training away at home in Texas. He said that his new team is really coming together and he is excited for the upcoming season. Brown may be coming into the ATV SX as a heavy favorite.
  • Joel Hetrick is working on some big things. He is busy training and prepping but some big news is about to come out of that camp. I would expect a press release to come out early next week announcing the details.
Sean Taylor is putting together is own deal for the 2015 ATVMX season
Sean Taylor is putting together is own deal for the 2015 ATVMX season Photo: Ken Hill

I also spoke with Sean Taylor. As we mentioned previously Sean has some big changes coming. I got this note from him earlier this week:

Well the New Year has gone and passed. Everyone looks to be getting back on the grind. Some new things coming from the 39 tent in 2015 I wanted to tell you about. We will add a little baby boy to our family in July 2015. It was a shock to many people as a couple days before Christmas I got an email saying I would be let go from the Root River race team. Yes, a little shocked but I'll just leave it at that.

With that being said, I am pumped to say that I am putting together my own program. [Our] Race rig will consist of my 2001 Ford F-350 van with a sick SSI decals wrap on it, which looks better than half the rigs in the pro pits, thanks to Ian. Yes, I mentioned a SSI wrap and yes SSI is one of my title sponsors along with Hetrick Racing, Corrosion Specialties, Brownells Inc. and SF racing/pep. This is just a little taste of what we have brewing on our side.

Congratulations to the Taylor’s on the new baby but a real bummer about having to build a team. It looks like he is pulling it all together and this should be a great learning experience for this ace of a racer.

To mix things up in our weekly Site Lap's, we'll be having Gloop add in social media posts he comes across throughout the week... What will we call Gloops part in Site Lap? Well, It really only seems fitting that we call his part "In the Loop with Gloop!"

Here is our first In the Loop with Gloop:

Joel Hetrick has been hard at work down in Louisiana, as he has been training with Tim Detling and Alex Pafford. Hetrick has told me, “I am very excited for Daytona Supercross, and I’ve been putting in serious work and hope to be the guy to beat this season. Big changes for 2015"

Photo: Instagram

Thomas Brown has been putting in some serious motos, and looks to be getting ready for the 2015 season.

Photo: Instagram

Now, let’s check in with Ken: ”what’s this meat called beef on my plate” Hill:

Another week closer to the 2015 season as I write my part of Site Lap! The next few weeks will fly by and for the Pro’s. The images, videos and information is starting to flow from the riders first real training of the 2015 pre-season. Wienen seems to have a jump start on his training. I have to wonder who will be ready to challenge him? Joel Hetrick might be the rider I would pick, if I were a betting man. We all know he has the speed needed to get on the podium, and with another year under his belt and returning with an established team and familiar ride, this could be the year he is a threat at every round. John Natalie may be the seasoned vet of the Pro class but it appears he may have a renewed energy and be getting a jump on his season. Last year, John wasn’t as prepped as he would have liked to have been, but Baldwin Motorsports may be exactly what the Ironman needs to concentrate on things besides turning wrenches.

Could John Natalie be a threat to Chad Wienen this year?
Could John Natalie be a threat to Chad Wienen this year? Photo: Ken Hill

The news dropped last week that Fly Racing would be named the title sponsor of the Daytona ATVSX, which is pretty sweet. Fly has always been a part of the series and for them to step up and claim that spot means alot. Speaking of the ATVSX, there are still several classes available, so be sure to get registered as soon as you can. The Pro class roster was missing two big names, Josh Upperman and Jeffrey Rastrelli but don’t worry, they will be there! I saw an image of Rastrelli getting ready to put some miles in on his bicycle so I know he is getting primed for another season and will be yet another top seed to watch as he makes his way up the pro class ladder.

I got a chance to catch up with Ronnie Higgerson just before he headed south to get some riding and training in. Ronnie will be riding a Honda for Vechery Racing this season and is pretty excited with the new ride and backing from the team. 

I asked Higgerson if he was pumped for the Daytona ATVSX and he said, “So pumped, I grew up racing a local indoor series and fair tracks so I'm pretty good at that style of racing. It's going to be so sick!” I couldn’t agree more Ronnie, adding some new flair to the schedule should be good for everyone and we are expecting a good showing. Higgerson went on to say, “I hope so too, yes a lot. I really hope it leads to bigger things for ATVMX or even a SX series would be a dream comes true. We need something like that so bad.” The schedule is looking strong this season with some new co-sanctioning events and Higgerson is right with pretty much the rest of us on his thoughts for the future.

Ronnie Higgerson sure seems excited to race the first-ever ATVSX this year!
Ronnie Higgerson sure seems excited to race the first-ever ATVSX this year! Photo: Ken Hill

That is about all from me this week. I had a blast watching social media fill up with posts from the AMA awards banquet. So many from the series got the recognition they deserved and that family spirit was shining bright with pride!

Thanks Ken and good stuff again.

Before we go, In case you missed The Racer X Show #3, this week features highlights from an exciting-yet controversial-night of racing in Anaheim with the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, as well as bar-banging highlights from the second round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross. 

We also hear from a few of the 2014 AMA Athletes of the Year, exclusive news about MotoAmerica, the new home of the AMA Superbike Series, and information about the upcoming AMA Pro Hillclimb season. Be sure to tune in Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. on for the latest news and highlights from racing around the world.

That’ll do it for now. Till next time, God Bless your heart and all your vital organs.