ATV Motocross

Site Lap: 2015 Night of Champions

Site Lap: 2015 Night of Champions

Friday, November 20, 2015 | 10:00 AM
Friday, November 20, 2015 | 10:00 AM

The long awaited 2015 ATV Motocross Night of Champions will take place this Saturday evening in Sandusky, OH as the ATV Racin’ Nation celebrates one of its most historic years yet. As we reflect back it seems like we were just preparing for the Daytona ATVSX and now here we are celebrating it and the many other things that have taken place this season. It was said this would be one of the biggest years for our sport, and it was.

Last week we looked at our amateur classes and the top contender, so this week we will look at the youth division classes. And like in seasons past, there was plenty of competition. Out of the competition we saw true talents begin to surface and indications that the talent pool is really getting deep through the ranks, which again is a good sign of things to come if all goes well. The talent and competition is there and they have their sights set on big things. We can only hope our sport grows with the talent that is being produced.

Youth and Amateur riders always seem to have a blast at the events.
Youth and Amateur riders always seem to have a blast at the events. Photo: Ken Hill

The first class we look at this week is all new Youth All-Star class. I echo my original statement that this was one of the greatest class additions in the history of our sport possibly. It is the perfect transition from smaller ATVs to bigger ones and the competition is off the charts. When you throw in names like Peyton Zimmerman, Cody Ford, Troy Hill, Grayson Eller, Logan Stanfield, and of course the talents on the way, you cannot help but be excited for what’s to come in our sport. Actually you may say you are excited for the now of our sport and be justified. The now is certainly showing us some great things.

Though the class of Youth All-Star riders was a stacked one I don’t think many saw what was to come in this one. Peyton Zimmerman was a heavy favorite coming into the season and his biggest challenge may have not even been considered. That soon changed though, and as the season wore on it became apparent Alan Meyers would make a huge mark in the ATV national scene. It all added up when you looked at who he had helping him. Travis Moore a former AMA Pro ATV racer that never really got his chance for lack of support took his passion and knowledge to the drawing board and developed a program and helped mold Meyer’s not only into a threat but a champion. This championship came down to the final round and Meyers and Zimmerman tied in points with Meyers winning the tie-breaker. Without a doubt one of the hardest fought and exciting title chases to watch this season.

The future stars of our sport are the Youth riders.
The future stars of our sport are the Youth riders. Photo: Ken Hill

The Schoolboy Sr. 14-17 class is another class that exciting to watch. There are several players from the All-Star ranks in this one and field is another stacked class. Troy Hill though was the man in this class. He won the title by nearly 30 points but even he says it was not that easy. Cody Ford, the older of the Ford Brothers Racing, is without a doubt one to watch in the future. He finished second in the class but after seeing his big bike skills at the ATV Pro Challenge, I am certain this kid is destined for monumental success. The Ford and Hill matchup is only in the early stages and we have many seasons to look forward to these battles as both are reaching for excellence.

Perhaps one of the next names to be watching for in the up and comer’s department may actually be Devon Kendrick. A mountain of a kid in stature and genuine personality this kid’s talents have only shown us the tip of the iceberg here. Devon won the Schoolboy Jr. 13-15 class by over 30 points, but more importantly the quiet confidence and skill he possesses tell a bigger story of things to come. If his future is nearly as bright as his smile, then he has a lot to look forward to.

Possibly one the hardest fighting, and most challenged rider in the Youth classes is Peyton Zimmerman. Zimmerman tied in points for the title with Alan Meyers in the Youth All-Star and was in just as heated competition in the Super Mini 12-15 class. In this class he faced off with the younger Ford brother Bryce. Bryce Ford is proving at his young age to be a formidable opponent as makes his rise into the bigger youth classes. Zimmerman was also faced with some obstacles through an injury, but talent and determination kept him in contention as he tied for a second time this season coming out on top of the tiebreaker in this one. Peyton seems to have been inspired by all this and may possibly be more determined than ever in the upcoming season.

We can't wait to celebrate all of our riders this weekend at the ATVMX Night of Champions!
We can't wait to celebrate all of our riders this weekend at the ATVMX Night of Champions! Photo: Ken Hill

The Schoolgirl class introduced us to another interesting battle and the awakening of Niamh Shaw. Shaw was one of the younger girls class top competitors, and making her move up through the ranks was questionable in the early part of the season, as she seemed to find some struggles adjusting. As the season wore on she adjusted just fine and beat out Maci Devenport and the entire class of big name girls like Maddie Guyer, Kiersten Keane and relative newcomer Johannah Vossman. The season may have started slow for Shaw, but she ended on a big note and is expected to be a future prospect in the premier Women ATVMX class as well. Plus, keep an eye out for Lindsay Hutchinson whom looks to be a fierce competitor making her way to the top of the ranks herself.

Another name to watch out for in the girls class is Dani Smith. Dani won the Girls Sr. 12-15 class and looked to be a true player. Of course her step up in class will be the true tale to this story but indicators point to this speculation and it looks like a tough women class may be coming in the future as well. Joining Smith with the talents in the older class is yet another sign of things to come. And not only in the Women class but also these girls classes.

The Girls Jr. class was won by Natalie Jackson. Natalie had a convincing points lead, but again we cannot be fooled in what experience was gained by not only her in this class, but also her closest competitors. Grace Goodwin may be another name to log in the memory for future references because she and India Trimble both showed some strong signs this past season.

Bryce Ford was one to keep an eye on all season, and he sure will be one to watch next year as well!
Bryce Ford was one to keep an eye on all season, and he sure will be one to watch next year as well! Photo: Ken Hill

The 125 8-15 class gave us some good battles as well. We say it every time he hits the podium and I think it may be more of a warning for the future but “Eli is a coming!” Eli Lingle took the title in the class and as well gained a lot of knowledge. His journey through the rest of the ranks will be one to watch as we have only seen a small bit of what he may be capable of doing. The rest of the field may be ones to keep an eye on also as each rider from Braden Lollis to Braden Shiamone, Bryce Lequia and Bryson Slagle showed some major signs of speed and improvement over the season.

As far as 90 Sr. class racing is concerned it was Bryce Ford. Bryce won two titles and tied for a third against some of the strongest talents the youth division has to offer. As previously mentioned it came down to the tie-breaker in the Super Mini 12-15 class with Peyton Zimmerman but equally impressive Ford took the honors in three other classes in only his sophomore season in the classes.

It was expected that Ford would one day be the one to beat in the Super Mini, 90 Open Sr. and 90 Shifter Sr. classes but not many expected to happen so soon. It is a true testament I feel of not only talent but heart. It’s not as if he just goes out and it happens, Bryce works very hard to achieve the results he does and after this past season must be inspired to reach all new levels next season.

This weekend we celebrate our champions in every class.
This weekend we celebrate our champions in every class. Photo: Ken Hill

Max Lindquist is another to watch out for. Max won three titles himself in the 90 Open Jr and 90 Shifter  8-11 and 70cc Shifter 6-11. Lindquist like Ford may have made it look easy on paper but anyone that watched these championships unfold know the hard work and effort that was put into making it happen. Max was tailed in both titles by Zack Decker who is another that should be on our watch list. Lindquist three titles may have been done quietly in a lot of respects but he showed a lot of dominating characteristics in the process.

The 90 Automatic classes were won by Christopher Furches in the Sr. 12-15 class and Tristian Evans in the Jr. 8-11 class. Furches will only won the class over Corey Bost by one point so you know that was an exciting one. As far the Jr. class is concerned it was all about Tristan Evans. Tristan rode as smart and convincing championship in this and in his successes nearly captured the 70cc version of this class two missing out by only four points.

The 70 Open 6-11 was another good one. We saw Zack Decker challenging Max Lindquist for the 90 title but the 70cc class belong all to him. He won all but two rounds and this may be the herald of his coming in the future to the bigger bikes.

The next generation of the ATVMX series are our up-and-coming ATV Youth riders!
The next generation of the ATVMX series are our up-and-coming ATV Youth riders! Photo: Ken Hill

The 50 cc classes are always hard to pinpoint. Some kids don’t really show true potential till sometimes when they hit the upper ranks of the classes age wise. But sometimes some kids give you those moments where you say he just might have it. Ramon Smikowski seems to have it winning two classes in the 50 CVT 4-6 and 50 Open 6-8 classes. As do several others in these classes. Kolton Smittle, Noah Arnal, Bodie Derrer, Kazin Vanfossan and the likes prove my point if you watch or pay any attention to the racing. Dayton Hunt won 50 Single speed and Gage Scherer took honors in the 50 Semi-Stock class. The 4-6 and 4-8 classes are hard to judge but again indicators are saying these kids have it.

That’ll do it for now. Let’s check In the Loop with Gloop and with Ken “I thought today was tomorrow” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In the Loop with Gloop:

The next generation of the ATVMX series are our up-and-coming ATV Youth riders!
The next generation of the ATVMX series are our up-and-coming ATV Youth riders! Photo: Ken Hill

Awesome to see Joel Hetrick is still riding before it gets too cold to.

The next generation of the ATVMX series are our up-and-coming ATV Youth riders!
The next generation of the ATVMX series are our up-and-coming ATV Youth riders! Photo: Ken Hill

Brett Musick is ready for 2016!

Keeping up with Ken Hill: 

With the banquet preperation in full force at the office, we were asked to get our contribution to this weeks Site Lap in early, so we can make sure you get all the information you need before tomorrow night! This week will be fairly easy and simply because we are closing in on the last hoorah of the 2015 season and that is of course the banquet!

 This is your night, it is your opportunity to stand before your peers and fellow competitors and be acknowledged for your hard work and dedication. I know many dismiss the importance of an awards ceremony but lets face it, it takes a tremendous amount of work, time and investment to get on that stage and you earned the right to be there. The hard work doesn’t just prove you have what it takes; it shows to those who support you that they too are standing up there with you as their hard work is on display even if they don’t have their feet on the stage. It is also your chance to acknowledge all those who assisted you in your efforts, so have that list ready they deserve it!

Whose ready to celebrate our riders this weekend at the 2015 ATV Night of Champions?! 
Whose ready to celebrate our riders this weekend at the 2015 ATV Night of Champions?!  Photo: Ken Hill

For me, it is the young racers who make the night special. It is those young souls who race truly for the love of doing it with out politics, promotion or personal input on anything beyond going racing. It is the spark in their eyes that shows me this is indeed all a good thing far away from the cost of any sport. It just warms the heart to see the families rush the stage, cell phones and cameras in hand ready to capture the moment. I sit center stage to do my job and I can tell you the intensity the parent’s display is more focused and determined than anything else you care to compare it with! People apologize to me all the time for stepping into an image and let me tell you, you do NOT tell a mom to move during her child’s moment on that stage! It is all-good and as it should be!

So there it is, my last musing on this big event before it unfolds at a new venue! I am planning on taking the laptop to the stage and will be uploading to a gallery on the series Facebook page as the night rolls on so if you are not attending or simply wish to see the fun, be sure to follow along, tag those you see and share it so we can spread the word one more time in 2015!