ATV Motocross

Site Lap: A Place Called Home

Site Lap: A Place Called Home

Friday, October 23, 2015 | 5:10 PM
Friday, October 23, 2015 | 5:10 PM

This week’s Site Lap contribution comes to you from the somewhat unfamiliar surroundings of a place called home. It is actually a beautiful fall day and the colors are booming here in south eastern Ohio. It is kind of nice having this weather as it will be a good weekend to relax. There has been a lot going on and honestly I feel like I have been full throttle since Daytona Bike Week and I finally get to lift if only for a moment to rip a tear off before the final couple of turns for my season.

Will Chad Wienen be at the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC for next weekend? Wienen came to check out GNCC racing last year and finished eighth in the XC1 Pro class and 10th overall. That's impressive!
Will Chad Wienen be at the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC for next weekend? Wienen came to check out GNCC racing last year and finished eighth in the XC1 Pro class and 10th overall. That's impressive! Photo: Ken Hill

The Ironman GNCC is only a week away now and that is going to be the certain buzz for sure. Make sure you keep up with things on for all the details and as well to watch on live on on Saturday October 31, 2015 with coverage beginning around 1:00 pm eastern. It is a historic event as only the fourth ATV GNCC champion will be crowned in over 22 years. The end of an era and the beginning of a new as it appears NFab/AMPro/Yamaha rider Walker Fowler is poised to seal the deal on the 2015 championship, a title that was taken from him in 2014 in the closing moments of the final race.

Once again I want to thank the Ford family for the great hospitality shown by them and the TQRA during my visit to ATV Pro Challenge a couple of weeks ago. Robin, John, Cody and Bryce were wonderful hosts and did a great job of prepping the facility leading up to the race. Don’t let it be said that these folks don’t get their hands dirty because they do. Jeff Oldenburg the track owner praised their efforts and said had it not been for them mowing, trimming and helping maintenance that the facility never could have been ready. He said they spent two solid weeks on clean up alone and that he was truly thankful for their hard work.

As far as a true topic this week I can’t say that I have one this week. I know this morning as I dropped my son off to school and I made my drive home all I could think about is that it’s almost over for 2015. One more GNCC and technically one more round of ATV Motocross with the banquet coming up on November 21. I thought how amazing of a season we just went through and what it all means. The obstacles overcome and the strides made in positive directions. Then I thought about the entire history of our sport and what it all means.

Rastrelli finished an impressive fourth place even after missing the ATVMX event at Ironman.
Rastrelli finished an impressive fourth place even after missing the ATVMX event at Ironman. Photo: Ken Hill

We are truly blessed as a racing community to have what we have from a historical standpoint. The sport technically only 32 or so years old still has its pioneers among us. Guys like Donnie Banks, Rodney Gentry, Curtis Sparks, Jimmy White, Donnie Luce, and Gary Denton which are what I consider some of the true pioneers of our sport. There are many more I fail to mention but from the pioneers to the innovators of guys like Tim Farr, Shane Hitt, Jerimiah Jones, Doug Gust, Keith Little, Harold Goodman, Travis Spader, Kory Ellis and many more.

Now we have only a couple of ties left to the early days. A true innovator of our sport and still one of the toughest riders on the course, John Natalie and of course the legend himself Joe Byrd. Byrd can actually be considered both a pioneer and innovator as he has been around since nearly the beginning. Both have helped pave and shape the face of ATV Motocross racing in ways that we may never know. And even though they are both now in their 40s one looks to keep making history while one is preparing for his farewell tour.

Joe Byrd, a two-time AMA Pro ATV Motocross champion and multi-time race winner announced that 2016 will be his final year of competition as a pro title contender. Joe is quite possibly one of the most successful racers in the history of the sport. Among his many national race wins, Joe competed in Mickey Thompson Off Road ATV racing and several other championships along the way. He has been likely the greatest ambassador the sport has ever had. Traveling the world with his Joe Byrd Quad Riding Schools academy, he has introduced our sport to many folks around the globe. He has inspired many to come to America and race their dream series and many have. And he has help to teach and mold many of today’s top pros as many recognize going to Joe Byrd schools including Joel Hetrick and Jeffrey Rastrelli.

Joel Hetrick had some fun this season!
Joel Hetrick had some fun this season! Photo: Ken Hill

One thing about Joe Byrd is that he is one of the most recognizable names and faces our sport knows. He is one of the most loved and quite possibly one of the most despised racers on the track. Though no one likes the “bad-guy” persona Joe has played the part well. Without regrets and without shame he brought a fire to the sport that made and makes for great hype and anticipation. What will he do next? Will he be a hero which he is very good at or will he be the villain that everyone deep down inside loves to see? No one knows for sure and if you ask Joe most days he’s not sure. However, if anyone likes to test the system it is Joe and he always seems up for a test.

I myself honor Joe for what he does in our sport. Amid all the controversy Joe always seems to come through in the end with a smile. Sometimes it is a bitter flavor he has swallowed but often times he has tasted the sweet. Joe brought to our sport a passion that inspired many people to be better, if for no other reason than to beat him. He brought style and pizazz and he set standards that are still being followed today. Joe’s last rides will be legendary just in the simple fact that he still lines up. He will battle for hole shots and even top finishes on an occasion or two. There is still plenty of fight in the old Byrd Dog and don’t be surprised if runs like a pup on his farewell tour.

That’s it from me for now. Let’s check in with Gloop and Ken “Grizzly” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop: 


It awesome to the see the ATVMX family racing GNCC on our off season. Now the big question, will Chad Wienen be at Ironman?


Congratulations to Westley Wolfe on his GNCC championship, his second championship of 2015!

Keeping up with Ken Hill: 

Well, this is the second time this morning I am writing my contribution to Site Lap. My desktop is being cantankerous and the power company is trimming trees close by so internet comes and goes. The story of my life! So here goes nothing again and hopefully my Mac doesn’t let me down and if needed, I can upload when I get cell service s I am or will be heading to Indiana this weekend to cover an IXCR event!

There really is not much news floating around this week regarding the series except that the banquet is fast approaching and we need everyone to help spread the word, get your rooms reserved and generally be active in making this years event the best ever! Now I am not a big pool, waterpark kind of guy. A pond, creek or lake is more my speed but for one weekend of the year I can force myself to enjoy the amenities such a venue has to offer. For me, doing what I normally do and observing you all should be a fun deal at this years banquet.

Everyone should be getting pumped, 2016 will be here before we know it!
Everyone should be getting pumped, 2016 will be here before we know it! Photo: Ken Hill

Now on to the world of social media and what not. This week has been fairly active with Joel Hetrick keeping things race related with his posts. His fan base is pretty huge and I know all those following him dig the updates so hopefully he can keep things rolling as we head deep into the land of no racing here in the northeast as winter slips in. It will not be long before we see the top racers head south to keep training while the rest of us shovel snow, slip on ice and generally embrace the suck. Ok, seriously, at least don’t post those warm sunny images while the rest of us look like Ralphie bundled up so much that we look like hobbling penguins!

Let’s see, banquet covered, talked about a pro rider, complained about the coming winter, yep that might just do it as I rush to hit the road! Oh wait, I saw the announcement that a certain pro will be switching to Yamaha for 2016? Yes, I fell for Joel Janssen’s post hook, line and sinker but to my defense it was early and I don’t do early until I have downed a pot of the original energy drink, coffee! So seeing how I took the bait, I suggest Cody and Joel sell the riding mower and buy 2 push mowers and get to work. Cody can even drag a tire behind him so the added benefit of training while you work goes full circle!

That is all from me this week. I will get back to interviews so you all do not have to read my dribble! I hope to see many of you at the final round of the GNCC season at Ironman! This is always such a cool event with so many racers and spectators that missing it just is not an option! See you all next week!


The 2015 ATVMX Awards Celebration is taking place November 21st, and you don't want to be the last to register! The registration deadline for the celebration will be Tuesday, November 17th at midnght! Don't miss out on a great time with the ATV Racin' Nation! Chekc out more online HERE.