ATV Motocross

Site Lap: The Midway Push

Site Lap: The Midway Push

Friday, June 5, 2015 | 3:00 PM
Friday, June 5, 2015 | 3:00 PM

The midway push of the 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship is on and another interesting turn of events occurred, as everyone knew and expected could happen. The first ever visit to the all new Ironman Raceway was without a doubt a huge success even with the ridiculous rains that let loose on Saturday afternoon not long after AMA Pro ATV Moto 1. The rains were accompanied by lightening and it prompted a slight delay in the program. The rest of the weekend was marked as cold and kind of miserable from a weather standpoint for the last weekend in May. However the spirits were high and folks seemed they were not phased in the least as moto 2 for the Pros and Sundays amateur program mud were faced with challenging and muddy conditions.

Joel Hetrick captured the moto 1 holeshot!
Joel Hetrick captured the moto 1 holeshot! Photo: Ken Hill

As the rains fell hard and steady I kind of chuckled to myself as I thought about the Inaugural Lucas Oil Motocross Nationals last summer and how the rains fell and created what may have been one of the muddiest races in the series history. It rained a lot and had it not been for the perfectly engineered drainage system the ATV race could have been a wash. Couple that fact with the fact that the track was seasoned a little more and even more it was sealed pretty hard pack by the many ATV motos leading up to the rains. It made the track crew’s job a lot easier.

I say I chuckled because of a few reasons but mostly because I have seen some of the most extreme conditions over its twenty-year history as I have witnessed many of the GNCC battles that have occurred there. If you read last week you know kind of the history of the event and who it is named after and a basic history of who Bob “The Ironman” Sloan was and his ferocity. I almost feel as though “The Ironman” greeted us with one of the most memorable ways possible. You can call it the “Curse of The Ironman” or call it a “Welcome ATV Racin’ Nation” but regardless we enjoyed one of the most memorable welcomes to such a prestigious facility that we could have ever expected.

Moto 2 was quite different than moto 1, thanks to some rainy conditions... Josh Upperman captured the holeshot!
Moto 2 was quite different than moto 1, thanks to some rainy conditions... Josh Upperman captured the holeshot! Photo: Ken Hill

Now as far as the point race in the pro class is concerned the swing in momentum was a good thing for the series ultimately. Joel Hetrick is the unfortunate victim of the circumstances but even with the loss of the point lead Joel is still in the hunt and the title chase just got a little more interesting as Thomas Brown finally hit his stride in 2015. Not a moment too soon either as he can play spoiler in the championship and if all goes well could be as much a contender as anyone and actually is right now. With Brown’s win last week heading into Illinois where he won last season, this could be all the incentive and confidence he needs to finally be threat he is capable of being.

As for Joel Hetrick, he seemed as calm, cool and collected as I have ever seen him. While watching the race it almost appeared he was starting to ride a little on the edge as we have seen him in the past and throw the advantage away. The interesting thing though is that after the race he seemed as confident and determined as ever. He said that he wasn’t pushing and just hit something a little funny and took him out. Then as he was pushing he got caught up with Silas Lamons when their race lines came together. One would think Joel would be very upset knowing his demeanor but it was just the opposite. Joel said that even though he was 10 points down, he knew what needed to be done and he said that winning motos the rest of the season was his main focus.

Chad Wienen looked as smooth as ever. Chad seems to ride with as much smarts as he does speed and talent. Knowing the situation, he was able to ride and keep a steady pace without having to really push. Chad will be tough to beat for Joel or Thomas or anyone else who steps up. It will take learning to play the game as much as speed to win and knowing Chad Wienen it will be hard to match both at the same time. When it happens though, look out.

Thomas Brown (center), Chad Wienen (left) and Josh Upperman (right) are your Ironman ATVMX National top three!
Thomas Brown (center), Chad Wienen (left) and Josh Upperman (right) are your Ironman ATVMX National top three! Photo: Ken Hill

As for the race at Sunset Ridge, don’t forget that it is a “Pink Out” race once again this year with the annual track walk on Friday night where everyone dresses in pink to show support and the many other fundraisers to help out the Susan G. Koman Foundation.  And if you haven’t heard, 88 Live To Ride is sponsoring a “Bling Out Your Bra” contest where you decorate a bra in any way you can think. Be creative they say as there will be some prizes awarded. There is also an entry fee with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Koman Foundation. I can’t wait to see the creations folks are coming up with.

That’s it from me for now. Let’s check in with Gloop and Ken Hill to see what’s going on in their world. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs. 

In The Loop with Gloop


The Yamaha boys getting a little down time after their podium at Ironman Raceway


Dont forget to head over to and re-watch the LIVE broadcast from the Ironman ATV National

Catching Up with Ken Hill

The inaugural running of the Ironman ATVMX is behind us but in a good way. From what I have been reading all over social media is the track itself was deemed a big hit with the majority of riders! I know the Shavers have done all they can do and will do more to make this huge track even better and can you believe we got that much rain and the track itself remained race-able with very little work from the track crew? I was surprised but it was hard packed enough and had plenty of drains but still that were a whole lot of rain! I was sitting in my truck while it rained and could hear the laughs and cheers as many turned the down time into a free for all as small ponds formed here and there! The conditions went from great to slop but everyone made the best of it and that is what life is all about, making the best out things!

Now the racing was pretty intense in moto 1 if you happened to be running behind Joel Hetrick. Kid Dynamite ripped off the gate and checked out and that was all she wrote! Dialed in is an understatement with Hetrick as of late and he is indeed fan favorite and very fun to watch. Wienen fans were left cheering for their rider as he worked his way into second and finished the moto strong but gave Hetrick no real challenge. I suspect that the champ is a playing thing cool and allowing experience to overtake the recent surge of Hetrick and in the end it worked out well for everyone except Hetrick. 

Thomas Brown (center), Chad Wienen (left) and Josh Upperman (right) are your Ironman ATVMX National top three!
Thomas Brown (center), Chad Wienen (left) and Josh Upperman (right) are your Ironman ATVMX National top three! Photo: Ken Hill
Nick Gennusa finished fifth in the second (& muddy) moto, finishing fifth overall for the day
Nick Gennusa finished fifth in the second (& muddy) moto, finishing fifth overall for the day Photo: Ken Hill

Moto 2 was a sloppy mess and it really was anyone’s race to win, or in Hetrick’s case loose. I caught the tail end of Hetrick’s wreck and saw Wienen and Brown ride off to face their own battle with Thomas Brown claiming the moto win and his first overall of the 2015 season. It was a pretty happy time for Brown and for Wienen as he reclaimed the red plate signifying he regained the points lead as we head to the next round. This is a big thing really because Chad has stated he prefers the big loose tracks and Sunset Ridge is just that and Wienen’s hometown track so this round should be another exciting round to be watching! 

No one likes seeing a racer go down and when it is a series hot shot and fan favorite it is all that much worse. Jeffrey Rastrelli had a small get off that sent him to the ambulance and off to the hospital and unfortunately out of action. Rastrelli posted the following on his Facebook account:

“They told me I had a stage two separation and that in two weeks is maybe when I can ride again! I'm hoping to have a decent healing process in the next two weeks and come back at Sunset Ridge and at least salvage some points and then come Millville be 100%! Thank you to everyone for the support and well wishes!”

Jeffrey told me it was a stupid wreck that he should have been laughing at and instead he was in the pits with his shoulder in a sling and out of action. A big negative on his season that he will have to bounce back from no doubt and we are positive he can do just that in a big way. I know we all wish a speedy recovery for him and hope to see him making his way back up to speed in short order.

Congrats to Thomas Brown, who got his first overall win at the Ironman ATV National
Congrats to Thomas Brown, who got his first overall win at the Ironman ATV National Photo: Ken Hill

Looking ahead, the next round on deck is Sunset Ridge and while the drive is long for many, it is a track I am anxious to get back to and shoot at. I really do not know what prediction I could make as I know Wienen really feels this is his race and that Hetrick will be doing all he can to stand in front of the usually large crowd of Wienen supports in the center spot of the podium when the roost settles. While I know the stress will be high, these types of battles are great for fans all across the world to watch! All across the world give that a thought. With RacerTV and MAVTV the series reach is indeed global now and shows how much investment has been made to bring ATV Motocross to the world. You all reading this are a big part of that and please keep sharing the episodes and videos that are released after each event. Quite a few people work long hours so that you get a chance to see the event as quickly as possible and the least we can do to show our support is to press the share button.

That is all from me this week as I start heading to Sunday Creek MX for another round of GNCC action. I did want to express to the Tremellen family that we are all still praying and keeping tabs on Logan’s recovery as he now faces that process along with his family of rebuilding their lives. It is an amazing story and an incredible out pouring of support from the racing nation that shows that we all pull together when it counts.

Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend off although we know you will be hard at, as you all get ready to fire it up at Sunset Ridge!