ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Another Week Closer

Site Lap: Another Week Closer

Friday, January 15, 2016 | 11:45 AM
Friday, January 15, 2016 | 11:45 AM

Another week has gone by, and we are getting closer to heading down to Florida. Daytona Bike Week brings so much for our industry with the many forms of motorcycle racing taking place. It is even growing into an ATV related affair in some instances with the addition of ATVSX, and of course, the long standing GNCC ATV racing that has been a part for so many years and now come the UTVs. Yep that's right UTV racing will take place in the sands of Florida at the Wild Boar to kick off Round one. 

We can't wait to see everyone at Daytona!
We can't wait to see everyone at Daytona! Photo: Ken Hill

We all know that Florida is an obvious hot bed for preseason training and this year the ATV and UTV community will have an extra opportunity to get warmed up. Long time motorcycle motocross racer Dean Dyess, who is sort of a legacy in Florida MX, has opened a track and is hosting the first ever Spaceport Cycles UTV/ATV Challenge. I first spoke with Dean at the Winter Olympics when the event was still in the early planning stages and it sounds like he is really excited to offer such an event. It will take place Feb. 27 and 28th at Orlando MX Park in Orlando, Florida. In a nutshell according to the information released “The first Spaceport Cycles UTV/ATV Challenge is a unique event that involves ATV and Side by Side racing on an action packed high flying motocross track. There will be awards, giveaways and a $2,000.00 purse for each Unlimited Open UTV and Unlimited Open ATV class.” It's a great addition and will certainly give you more incentive to make the trip.

Around the world of ATV motocross I was able to catch up with a few of the guys training in Florida and among all the training and hard work there is lots of play in the early part of training. Four-time ATVMX champ Chad Weinen along with GNCC stars Chris Borich, Johnny Gallagher and Kenny Shick all arrived in Florida Dec. 26 and went right to work biking, running and such. Even the two wheeled GNCC champ Kailub Russell and fellow two wheeler Layne Michael stopped by for a couple of days of training and of course some fun. It seems Chad has spent the past few winters training with Chris Borich and boy it looks like it's paying off. Anyone that follows GNCC knows Chris Borich was beaten this past season as he made his bid for title No. 7. One has to think the intensity he is feeling and the competition surge for ATVMX for Chad that this will be one intense camp this offseason. 

Whose excited to get the 2016 ATVMX Season underway?!
Whose excited to get the 2016 ATVMX Season underway?! Photo: Ken Hill

As this lull in the race season sets in and motor builds and training amps up one thing to remember is to keep up what most have been doing in social media. I am super pumped from all the posts I get to see. All the videos on and off the track and posts show the heart is strong in the ATV Racin’ Nation. Every little bit of promotion you can do to help promote yourself and the sport is a major plus and you can feel part of something that just keeps getting bigger. We have made some major strides in our sport and things are moving along in the class structure, track locations and exposure. It picks up momentum with each day and every little push you give will only take it further.

Also don't forget if you are a team or individual we would like to hear from you. Let us know how your offseason is going and what you may have in store. There is a lot to say so why not share here. If you have a press release or just a note you want to drop here in Site Lap please send it to me at [email protected] and I will see it gets where it needs to go. You can also hit me up on Facebook through messages and share your news. Honestly if it has you stoked, we want to hear about it! 

Shoot us an email and let us know where you've been ripping it up at this offseason.
Shoot us an email and let us know where you've been ripping it up at this offseason. Photo: Ken Hill

That’s about all I have right at the moment, but I hope to see folks sharing information about the Spaceport Cycles UTV/ATV Challenge and more! This event is another prime example of our sport growing. When someone who has had nothing but two wheel ties says I want to put on an ATV race it means something. Looks like the Fly ATVSX has yielded yet another open door, so don't forget to support events like these. I know many will be in Florida for training and the ATVSX so why not see where you stand a week ahead? 

That’s it for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs. 

In the Loop with Gloop:

Thomas Brown is hard at it in his home state of Texas.
Thomas Brown is hard at it in his home state of Texas. Photo: Ken Hill


Looks like Ryan Korody is planning on heading down south to start training soon.
Looks like Ryan Korody is planning on heading down south to start training soon. Photo: Ken Hill

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Well, we are narrowing down our run up to the opening rounds and a few riders are just about ready to roll while others are still in scramble mode as they get their programs in order. I had a chance to run a few questions past some of the top riders in the world and got us a glimpse into what 2016 may offer! 

This season should be full of great battles throughout multiple classes.
This season should be full of great battles throughout multiple classes. Photo: Ken Hill

First up was Sean Taylor who has his hands full trying to work full time, handle the home life complete with his children and be head wrench! 

I am starting to get my racing program finalized for the most part. There is nothing really new to my deal. Guess you could say we will be apart of that Privateer Life. I lost a couple sponsors, but was also fortunate enough to pick up a couple new sponsors like Goldspeed Wheels and Tires, 2 Brothers Powersports,Traxx Performance. I haven't got any seat time since the Pro Challenge in Texas, but hoping to go down south and get some riding in before Daytona gets here. I have just been working full time and at night after we get the children to bed, I head out to the garage to get a workout in and after that work on my two machines that are in the process of being built or go play basketball Wednesday nights.

I was hoping to have a practice quad built by Christmas, but I had to pretty much order everything brand-new for two quads, so I am still waiting on a few things to come in.

My goals for the season are to be more aggressive on the racetrack, pull a hole shot and be able to hold a strong pace throughout the Moto. A big challenge for me is getting enough seat time to get into that riding shape that you need to have in the Pro class and I think no one knows what that is like unless you are an competitor in the pro class. 

My biggest competitor is myself. Getting focused for a race weekend and staying focused is something I have always struggled with and being able to dissect a track within a couple laps. I feel good at home practicing but when I get to the national, I tend to ride with no aggression or intensity. So getting overall this would take my riding to the next level and that's what I need to work on this year. I have too much love and passion for this sport to give it up. If it were ever possible for me to be able to train again full time I'd be down south in a heartbeat to get started.

Joel Hetrick had a great run for the championship this year, can he grab the #1 plate in 2016 from Chad Wienen?
Joel Hetrick had a great run for the championship this year, can he grab the #1 plate in 2016 from Chad Wienen? Photo: Ken Hill

Brett Musick took some timeout if his busy schedule to get word back to us as well. With a new team and college he will have his hands full in 2016! 

Hey, how’s it going? I'm pretty pumped to be back on my Honda for this season. Koster is really hooking me up this year. I'm super pumped to ride with him. He really makes everyone feel welcome. The offseason is going flat out awesome for me. My trainer Steve Thaxton has been killing the workouts and I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. 

My quad is also on point. Best setup I have ever had on a quad. Walsh Racecraft and Blommel Motorsports have my Honda handling amazing. I always want to give a shoutout to my new engine and exhaust company’s I’m working with. Extreme Tec ATV is doing my motors this year and I am super happy with how he has my motor. Great guy to work with and he knows how to make power. Empire industries are another new sponsor. I'm running their exhausts this year and I have zero complaints. They sound great and make the power. 

My goals for the season is to win Pro Am, and finish top 5 in Pro. I'm super confident going into the season. Everything is on point and we are ready to roll. My biggest challenge for the season is for sure going to college. It really takes up a lot of my time. I wish I could stay down here in Florida to train the hole winter but I will have to work my butt off back at home during the week with the training and ride every weekend. I couldn't really say there's one guy that's my biggest competitor. The Pro and the Pro am class are both loaded with loads of talent.

I couldn't make this year happen though for it wasn't for Koster racing, Walsh Racecraft, Blommel Motorsports, empire industries, extreme Tec ATV, Fasst Flexx, SSI decals, fly racing, Shoei helmets, jet trim, Rath, Douglas wheels.

The months are turning into weeks until the season kicks off!
The months are turning into weeks until the season kicks off! Photo: Ken Hill

Now on to Casey Martin who has taken a different approach to racing the past few seasons and having fun is what he appears to be after!

Hey Ken. I'm back with Vechery Racing again for 2016 and all sponsors seem to be the same as last year. Current training involves waking every morning and going to put in my 10 hrs at work with the possibility of stopping by the gym on the way home!!   Also a couple city basketball leagues, which is great cardio!  However, I am planning on trying to get out of the cold a few weekends between now and Daytona to put some laps in though.. As far as the builds go, the Vechery’s take care of that so I have no clue. But, knowing them, everything is probably ready to go. 

Main goals for the year are to stay healthy and have fun! It's hard to be a top contender when you can't ride all the time and be prepared. So as long as I can race every weekend and have fun, then make it to work Monday, I'll be happy. Biggest challenge for me is the lack of time to ride, sure, I can get into the gym everyday but that just doesn't do what sitting on the bike everyday can do. That's been a challenge for me for a while now and we always make out OK! 

Biggest competitor would have to be the entire Pro class. All those guys rip and all are well respected by me! Any rider in the pro field has the ability to do something big this year... Just ready to get the season rolling and can't wait to see y'all in Daytona.

Now one rider who I was anxious to hear from has a real curveball coming his way as we look to the new season, Ronnie Higgerson checked in with some big news!

I am and have been stuck at home pretty much since the end of the season and all I've really done is work to start saving up for next season again. I haven't had a chance to ride a quad since the Soaring Eagle race mainly because I don't have a quad of my own right now. Next season I'm making some changes, which in the beginning are going to be tough but in the end will be more beneficial to me and help me further achieve my goals. The biggest change without a doubt is that for 2016 I'll be on my own again racing for myself. The past two years I have rode for two different teams in which they took care of almost anything quad and part related so to go from that to my own again is going to take some getting used to, but in the end worth it. Not only am I on my own but for 2016 I'm starting up a new team with my good friend Calen McGinty which I'm very excited about, look for a press release coming out soon. We have been wanting to do a press release for a while but have been waiting on all sponsors to be finalized and what not. People have been asking me nonstop what I'm doing for next year and I've been pretty tight lipped until now, but say hello to Savage motor sports!! I'm finishing up practice bike builds now and will be heading south at the end of this week to get my training fired up again and train harder than ever and I couldn't be anymore ready to do get it started! Off the track my biggest difficulty will be like I said earlier, the financial difficulties of being on my own again. We have a lot of great companies on board for next season and we have the best components on the market so I'll leave you with this Ken. See you from the podium in 2k16!

ATVSX at Daytona International Speedway will be here before you know it, have you registered yet?
ATVSX at Daytona International Speedway will be here before you know it, have you registered yet? Photo: Ken Hill

Well there you have it! Some common problems and some breaking news! The underlying common denominator here is that these guys refuse to quit and set the bar high be it at home, work or at the track! It will be an exciting season!