ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Heading to the Underground

Site Lap: Heading to the Underground

Friday, April 10, 2015 | 11:10 PM
Friday, April 10, 2015 | 11:10 PM

We are only one week away from the 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship resuming in the heart of one of America’s Hot Beds of ATV racing talent, the great state of Texas, home of the Texas Quad Racing Association (a.k.a. TQRA). It will be the first time in the great state in nearly a decade when the tour made a stop in Decatur at Oak Hill. Before that many may remember Lake Whitney, which was either a great event, or it was a mud fest. Stories and photos from those “Good Ole Days” of the ATV racing explain all the good and bad of what Texas had to offer. 

Many may ask the question of “Why?” Why did the Nationals stop going to Texas? It is plain and simple. The Texas riders were so fast that the national guys couldn’t keep up! No, that’s not completely true, and I am of course kidding around, but there are some fast riders out of Texas and Arkansas that we have been acquainted with in recent years working their way through the youth ranks and into the amateurs. Thomas Brown is from Texas too and we all know he is fast! But why did we stop going? There are a couple of reasons and one in particular was that it was a rather long haul. Then when gas prices rocketed through the roof it was decided to take the series in a different direction. Now the question is, why are we returning. 

Josh Upperman is looking to get his Root River Racing ATV up on the podium at Underground MX
Josh Upperman is looking to get his Root River Racing ATV up on the podium at Underground MX Photo: Ken Hill

There are a few good reasons that the Mtn. Dew ATVMX Nationals are going back. One is the before mentioned TQRA. This organization and co-sanction is rather monumental for both series. The national series has a great place to ride at Underground MX and the competitors of the TQRA are without a doubt some of the fastest and toughest competitors in the ATV Racin’ Nation. The organization has shown continued growth and success through the toughest of times our market has ever seen. Like the nationals, the TQRA are a breed of rider that cannot, and will not be denied. Another reason is knowing how involved and how progressive the racers are in Texas and that they be given the chance to showcase their talents to the rest of the world. As the economy seems to be recovering it is not nearly as strapping for east coast based teams to make the trek.

The down side to all the hopes and dreams of planners for this event is that if the Texas riders don’t show up. The idea is to help introduce and showcase the local talent to the national scene and unfortunately in the past the local crowd did not show. But with the co-sanctioning of the event all of a sudden it is not just the nationals are coming to town but now TQRA basically is playing host to the nationals and we hope to see every member there racing in support of such a potentially historic union of the two series. 

I have been in close contact with Randy Poulter in recent weeks, as well as Pat Cassidy who is also helping promote and organize this event. As you may know, Pat already has ties to our band of brothers and sisters. It comes straight through the heartland of Sunset Ridge in Walnut, IL. Apparently Pat is the sister of owner and founder Bob Pistol and has already been at some events at her brothers in the past. She told me that they were so excited to be able host the event and looked forward to a new era of racing Texas National style.

Chad Wienen gets a champagne shower from former teammate, Thomas Brown
Chad Wienen gets a champagne shower from former teammate, Thomas Brown Photo: Ken Hill

Other big things are happening in Texas as far as ATV racing is concerned. It appears that the highly acclaimed “ATV Pro Challenge” will return this fall. I have been told the event has been rescheduled for October 10-11, 2015 according to my sources. The ATV Pro Challenge began in 2013 with great success and huge reviews. The 2014 race admittedly did not live up to expectations but a number of lessons were learned and those will be applied to the upcoming event. It’s hard sometimes to match the grandeur of an inaugural event like the ATV Pro Challenge and it can be excused that maybe things did not go as well the second go around. As the 2015 event draws closer we will hear more about the event and we will be sharing as much as we can right here. 

As for the ATV Racin’ Nation from a national standpoint in the upcoming week, we as a racing community need to do everything in our power to help make this one as good as it could ever be. It is a long drive and many may be strapped for funds. So as the ATV Racin’ Nation, ban together and share rides. Offer someone you know can’t go but would if they could. Ask someone you know who is going for just a ride. Travel lightly so more can go and you will be surprised what this event could be at Underground MX. Let’s show the world how close we are as a racing community and let’s help carry our sport to the next level.

Now as far as what to expect at Underground, Ken Hill will give some insight a little further down. As for me that will do it for now, next week at this time I will be sitting in Texas anticipating another giant leap forward for the sport of ATV MX.

Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:


With the big break after Georgia everyone has been training hard for round two at Underground in Kemp, TX, and boy I cannot honestly wait! I checked out social media, and found some of the latest video posts from our current points leader Chad Wienen and Argentina’s Vitu Cazenave. Make sure you share, like and follow everything and everyone that is involved with ATV Motocross, so we can help build exposure and support the riders on all of your social media accounts. I will see everyone in Texas!


Catching up with Ken Hill: 

The calm before the storm has settled in as social media fell flat with info, with the exception of some cool videos posted by Ripitupfilms and a spattering of updates here and there but no real “I am going to crush it” posts from the heavy hitters. I did not expect to see much, I think everyone is deep into getting the final things prepped before we head to Kemp Texas for round two where I think a real showdown is about to take place. I paid a visit to the website and liked what I saw. The facility looks great and has amenities that should make for a comfortable stay when the racin nation assaults the complex. If the racing gets as intense there as I think it will, this may be one of the best races of the season!

Now I have never been to Texas in a normal way, it has always been a plane ride in, business in a big building and then a bused trip to someplace for dinner or an event, so I am really looking forward to driving through the state and taking it all in. I envision cattle, cowboys and tumbleweed or two! The old westerns that litter my memory may not exist but that won’t keep me from hoping to see some of the great state of Texas! Reality may change my perception but putting fun into everyday things keeps me sane.

Joel Hetrick is looking to get an overall win in Texas
Joel Hetrick is looking to get an overall win in Texas Photo: Ken Hill

I wrote last week about how close the top riders have been and that brewing battles lay ahead as we roll through the 2015 season. These close battles are what we need, but we need more. We need your help spreading the word via every social media outlet available. The riders need it and so do their sponsors, so take a few seconds and hit “like” or “share” and comment all you can! Building steam and a following helps us all so I ask you to do a small part to help us help you! And when the RacerTV shows start airing please be sure to get them out to the world! Never has the series or our way of life been so easy to promote so please do your part! 

That is all from me this week, short and simple. If things go well I will be in Texas a day or so early and next weeks Site lap should have some images of the travel and the Underground MX facility before we go ballistic on that Texas dirt! For everyone making their way to this round, safe travels and we will see you all soon!