ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Christmas is almost here!

Site Lap: Christmas is almost here!

Friday, December 18, 2015 | 3:00 PM
Friday, December 18, 2015 | 3:00 PM

Christmas is quickly approaching and most of our attentions have turned to the Holiday and family. I have spent some time digging out decorations and putting up the tree and such. I get to break away for just a moment though as I head to the GNCC annual awards banquet. Then I get to set my mind fully on the wind down to an amazing year on and off the track. This has been a year that has hopefully set a new benchmark in the ATV Motocross Nationals.

A look at the new schedule for 2016 is a good indication that most of those things are on track for a repeat and possibly another step or two forward. The addition of Monster Mountain is a huge bonus, and it is a true racing facility that is recognized worldwide. It plays host to AMA Majors Event championships and will be a perfect marriage for ATVs.

Whose ready for the ATVSX at Daytona International Speedway!? Be sure to sign up today!
Whose ready for the ATVSX at Daytona International Speedway!? Be sure to sign up today! Photo: Ken Hill

As the year comes to a close in a couple of weeks a look back on this season is almost breathtaking. The ATV Racin’ Nation hit the ground running and when it was all said and done things turned out even better than expected. However, we cannot rest on the fact that it was a success and we recognize more work is needed to help keep the momentum rolling.

As I type these words I can’t help but be reminded of one or our sports greatest ambassadors Jorge Courtas. Jorge started a team called Media All-Stars many years ago. The team has at times been in the spotlight and at times under the radar but one thing is certain is that like ATV racing they have had to reinvent themselves on occasion as the sport has changed. They were recently named the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship Team of the Year, which is an award that hasn’t come without sacrifice for a number of people.

Jorge continues to work with the team mainly behind the scenes helping secure deals and point the team in the right direction. Chase Cunningham who is a long-time team member is major part of the process as well and has helped to shape and mold the team and has enjoyed the successes with the team as well. He was also a part of the team when the won the same award a few years ago and with recent hard times on the support and finances side of things has still been able to pull together a group of hard fighting enthusiasts that let their passion help drive the team.

After the recent award announcement at the banquet Chase sent me a few words expressing his gratitude for the award and gave a look at how the team actually works. It may be way different than you think. Even though these guys have some of the coolest looking rides and trick equipment they still sacrifice a lot to be a part of this success. Each one feeling like true family they meet on race weekends and do what they love to do.

Chad Wienen will be looking to add another championship to his books this coming season! 
Chad Wienen will be looking to add another championship to his books this coming season!  Photo: Ken Hill

The following is the words sent to me expressing thanks to everyone involved:

Rodney I just wanted to take a moment to properly thank everyone after winning our "major award" a few weeks ago.  I'm still upset that the year we win Team of the Year is the first time in a long time I wasn't able to attend the banquet.  I've been told by a few sources that Dane Heilman accepted the award, which is only fitting, as he's more accustomed to having awards in his hands than anyone else, but Dane is not a man of many words. 

That being said I'd like say thank you to the entire ATV Motocross staff, to you Rodney and to Dean for treating us better than we probably deserve at times.  A big thank you goes out to all our riders who pour their heart, soul and bank accounts into this sport.  The riders this year really bought into being the best and putting us back out front.

Our team is a Zero budget program so our riders are footing the bill for a lot of the products that they use.  We depend heavily on sponsors to help us out with product allotments and killer discounts so without them we wouldn't have a team. 

A huge thank you goes out to Dan Fisher at Lonestar Racing, Heather Avery at Maxxis, Richard with Yoshimura, Ronnie at Maxima, Cynthia with Elka suspension, Fourwerx, Sunstar, Powermadd, Uni filters, Oury grip, TC Racing, JPMX, Shift, Precision, Maier, DG and last but certainly not least Ian Harris of SSI Decals.

This makes the 2nd time we've won this prestigious award (2011) and just like Championships it seems like the 2nd one is just a little bit sweeter than the first. These awards are really special and hard to get.   Jorge and I have accomplished a lot in this sport and so have this team but these awards rank at the top!  So on behave of our riders the Media All-Stars say thank you and God bless, have a Merry Christmas ATV Racing Nation!

That’ll do it for me for now. Let’s check into Gloop’s Loop and with Ken “Firewood Packing Trainer and Instructor Extraordinaire” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In the Loop with Gloop:

Chad Wienen will be looking to add another championship to his books this coming season! 
Chad Wienen will be looking to add another championship to his books this coming season!  Photo: Ken Hill

And it begins for Jeffrey Rastrelli on his new Honda ride.

Chad Wienen will be looking to add another championship to his books this coming season! 
Chad Wienen will be looking to add another championship to his books this coming season!  Photo: Ken Hill

Congratulations to Chad Wienen!

Keeping up with Ken Hill: 

Thinking back to the “good old days” of Christmas past has me thinking of how far we really have come in regards to many aspects of racing. I used to live for the latest issue of the magazines that centered on the racing and life that was 3 and 4 wheelers and those glorious ad’s that used to grace their pages. Mail order was all we had so whatever you wanted was ordered via phone or mail a check and then the dreaded agony of waiting. Now I never ordered much in my early years because trying to convince my parents that my trike needed the latest or greatest part so I could do laps in our horse field and live out the fantasy of racing with the greats that most 12 or 13 year old kids do or did. Hey that’s right, many of you cannot even fathom that youth racing was all but a distant dream back then!

Nick Gennusa is hoping to become a top contender in the Pro class next season.
Nick Gennusa is hoping to become a top contender in the Pro class next season. Photo: Ken Hill

I do recall wanting new tires and they had to be what I saw on the likes of Marty Hart or Mickey Dunlop and the very cool Jimmy Whites factory rides. I am pretty sure I got turf tamers or what ever they were called back then. So for Christmas, my big present was two rear tires! I do not remember who ordered them but I think my dad took in a magazine in which I had marked the size and model of tire and got them on their way. I do know it was well after the holiday when they arrived which was a bummer but I was stoked! That excitement was short lived when I realized I had ordered tires the wrong size for my rims and followed that mistake up with begging for the correct rims for my birthday, which was in July. So for 7 months the tires sat idle until the rims came in. Lesson two was in full effect, as I had no idea about bolt patterns so once again, feeling gutted and at the mercy of my old man to get me out of this jam. He had me load the trike; a super wicked Yamaha Tri-Moto 200 in his truck and said he would figure something out. Now my father was quite the craftsman and owned his own welding and fabrication shop and to him, this was an easy fix but way out of my skill set at the time. My beast returned home later that week with the tires and rims mounted and I do not think I even paid attention to the “how”, all I cared about was that finally; almost a year later I could throw this thing into a wicked slide in the field and hammer down! His fix was to simply drill new holes but to me, he was a genius! All that time waiting and waiting and finally I could use my Christmas and birthday presents, the feeling was pretty cool!

Now fast forward to today and I am watching my oldest son rebuild a well-used Honda 450 for XC racing. One day it was a running quad, the next a million pieces scattered all over my shop. That is pretty much how it sat due to his military obligations but once he found a stretch of free time, he opened his laptop, placed a few orders, called a few sponsors and magically this big brown truck came every few days dropping off box after box of shiny aluminum, clean plastic and incredible power adding parts of all shapes and sizes! Technology has indeed transformed the way we all do things but I wonder what would happen if the old way had to be the fact of life for todays younger generations! You may know the struggle of waiting for a part that has been backordered but you will never know the pain of mailing in a check, mail time, check approval, product availability and then finally that part showing up with no shipping confirmation! The struggle was real! Ok, that is my throwback to Christmas agony from my now extremely distant childhood and those of you who know my quest for instant gratification or impulse buying can understand why I suffer from buy-it-itus on anything I “want”. 

Joel Hetrick will be working hard in the off-season to make sure he is a top contender again in 2016.
Joel Hetrick will be working hard in the off-season to make sure he is a top contender again in 2016. Photo: Ken Hill

So from 1983 now to 2015 I sit here getting excited for the upcoming holiday. I am seeing your images of Christmas trees and presents all wrapped and ready for the big day. I know they say it is the thought that counts but we all like or want that special gift and when we get it we go nuts! I want a 64-gun safe that is fire rated for an hour and costs 2 arms and a leg but I am pretty sure I will have the wife will have to rob a bank to get it. No matter, this year is going to be her year. For the better part of 25 years, I have never really bought her much, not that I did not want to or was lacking on funds most years, it is the pure fact the lady has no outside interests and I mean none! She has always put others first and especially the kids and have course, we have no problem having a wish list a mile long, but not the wife. It has been the typical mom stuff but seriously, when all you do is work and mom stuff what do you buy her? She likes riding, but not enough to have her own quad, she likes fishing but we don’t need a boat for each of us although she has her own tackle and rods but that only took me so far. I am pretty sure some of you have this dilemma with your own mom or wife so you know how difficult this is. This fall she came out of left field and wanted to get back into shooting and hunting which was a big shock. I figured she was going to be regulated to Betty Crocker for life so this was a game changer. I worked my rear end off this fall so I could finally unload on her come Christmas day! She already took possession of what she thinks is her big gift and that was a new rifle but there are way more surprises hidden for her. A new shotgun, her own bow, some ammo and I couldn’t pass up a deal on a new vacuum cleaner but I am pretty sure she will be beyond shocked. The entire family is in on it so this Christmas for us will be all about giving back to the one woman who has kept our family rolling and I get to feel that “better to give than receive” thing I hear so much about! So a twenty plus year drought of what to buy is gone and will never return as long as there is a Cabelas and the Internet! 

Now I already received my big gift, a new recliner so I am pretty happy already but the act of making someone else feel special and seeing the joy in their eyes when you gift them something they want or can use is indeed special. I know there have been lean years where a simple card is all we exchanged and for many, even that may be out of reach but know that if that happens to be you this year, things do change and will change it just takes hard work, some personal dedication to setting a goal and making it happen and possibly even asking for help. Material things seem to mean everything and they shouldn’t so don’t be afraid to make something, bake something or just spend time with the folks that mean so much to you and your life. Thinking back all these years later, the fact that my dad made it all work sticks out more than those tires and rims I wanted so badly.

We can't wait to see the battles in 2016!
We can't wait to see the battles in 2016! Photo: Ken Hill

That is all from me this week, not much race related but this is the Christmas edition and there is not a ton of big changes or news dropping that cannot wait until next week. I would ask that you post pics on the series Facebook page so we can all join in on your excitement especially of the kids! God bless you all and Merry Christmas from y family to all of you!