ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Big Things are Happening

Site Lap: Big Things are Happening

Friday, January 22, 2016 | 3:45 PM
Friday, January 22, 2016 | 3:45 PM

Just like that, it happened! The 2016 ATV Motocross National Championship, and AMA National Championship, just took another huge step forward. The momentum that has been building for so many years is finally picking up speed and crashing through barriers that such a short time ago seemed impenetrable. The announcement of the 12th round of AMA Pro ATV Motocross National Championships was added with the announcement of the Edge of Summer Motocross at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort. This move is not only huge in its happening but maybe more so because of the partners associated with the effort. Carey Hart, Ricky Carmichael and of course Soaring Eagle Resorts partnership in this event with ATV Motocross is nearly as huge as Daytona’s Fly Racing ATVSX. And once again if you didn’t know, legend Ricky Carmichael is associated in a big way with it as well.

Jeffrey Rastrelli took the win at last year's Edge of Summer event, now that it is the 2016 ATVMX Season Finale who do you think will take the win?
Jeffrey Rastrelli took the win at last year's Edge of Summer event, now that it is the 2016 ATVMX Season Finale who do you think will take the win? Photo: Garrett Hamilton

What does this mean for the ATV motocross racing as a whole because we know we still have obstacles to overcome and many hurdles to cross but it is apparent something big is happening in the ATV Racin’ Nation right now and the biggest thing we must remember is to not be our own worst enemy. Let us not forget the recent past that nearly destroyed our sport as a whole and move forward in a positive manner. In other words, let’s keep up doing what we are doing now. Shining a bright light on our community with your positive attitudes in your private affairs, public dealings, on social media and in everything you do.

As far as the rest of the ATV Racin’ Nation goes, I have communicated with a few folks and the positive I spoke earlier of is running strong it seems. And once again I just want to remind you that if you have anything you would like to share you can reach me on Facebook or email at [email protected].

Recently we heard about the growing team efforts of Silas Brothers Racing and the addition of Ethan Keffer to the program. Well it seems that Ethan has been really busy training this offseason and may be coming as huge force to reckon with. I mentioned momentum for the series and I feel that maybe Ethan like so many of us are really feeding on the positive energy flowing right now.

Can anyone stop Chad Wienen in 2016?
Can anyone stop Chad Wienen in 2016? Photo: Ken Hill

Ethan told me “I have been training super hard this winter. I went to Florida to train with Brett Musick, Cody Gifford and my teammate Silas Lamons for 11 days. It would have been nice to stay longer but I wanted to come home to race the remaining 6 rounds of the Victory Sports winter Indoor Series to fight for the championship. I have put in a lot of hours racing and tuning to be ready for this season.” The Victory Sports Indoor series is one of the biggest regional series of its type and one thing about Sam Gammon is that he makes sure the quads have a good place to race as well. It’s things like this that have helped keep our sport alive and has been a good grassroots program for many years. The momentum that is flowing right now can be said to have been aided by this and many series like it. Ethan also told me that once he wraps up the indoor championship on Feb. 13, “Lord willing” he is headed back to Florida to train until The second annual Fly ATVSX at Daytona International Speedway.

Keffer also said that the week before the race at Daytona for Bike Week he will be racing at the Spaceport UTV/ATV Challenge at Orlando MX on Feb. 27-28. He is hoping for a good finish and says “even though I know all the pros will be there.” He will be competing in the 450A class at Daytona and will also be racing both 450A and 25+ the entire season of nationals. 2016 will mark his first year racing nationals but he feels he is ready thanks to the hard work and his family, friends, and sponsors backing him every step of the way. He says he hopes to put Lamons Brothers Racing on the box every round and that he is “hungry for 2 championships this year.”

There is no doubt Ethan Keffer is an unknown variable when it comes to the national scene. It’s riders like him that fan the flames and get the excitement building. Ethan has looked forward to making this step and even though he has challenges ahead he is approaching with a confidence that only a true champion can. Will everything go as he hopes and what will he think after a full season of nationals? I’m not sure but I hope to find out next fall. So let’s say this story is. To Be Continued.

That’s it for now. Let’s check in with Gloop and Ken “the firewood cutting king of Maryland” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:

Can anyone stop Chad Wienen in 2016?
Can anyone stop Chad Wienen in 2016? Photo: Ken Hill

Thomas Brown was out helping our sports youth riders at the Root River Racing riding school last weekend in Texas.

Can anyone stop Chad Wienen in 2016?
Can anyone stop Chad Wienen in 2016? Photo: Ken Hill

Jeffrey Rastrelli is looking good on his new Honda! We can't wait to see him rip it up at the first event this year.

Keeping up with Ken Hill: 

Finally, the time of the offseason where riders are beginning to nail down their program for the new season and get the last of the big details hammered out. Most of even the pro class at this point are still working like mad to get deals handled as the racing nation gets cranked up for another exciting season of racing. For myself and others who hunt information nonstop, this upturn of the offseason means we have something to write about besides using filler and it makes life much better until we actually get to gates dropping at Daytona. 

We are ready for the gate to drop!
We are ready for the gate to drop! Photo: Ken Hill

I reached out to Zach Kaczmarzyk to get his insight on his championship season and his offseason as he gears up to attack another full season of ATVMX racing.

First off, congrats on that #1 plate! That had to be a crowning touch to a solid season, can you tell us a bit about how it all went down? 

This past season had its ups and downs. It was my first year racing the whole national series as well as my first year as a college student. I found out just how hard it is to make time for racing while pursuing an engineering degree, but I managed it quite well. For me, it started off rough, racing Daytona was my first time on a quad since Loretta's and it was one that I was completely unfamiliar with. However, it didn't take long for me to get my speed and confidence back after a very long offseason of zero seat time. I was leading all 3 of my classes until about midseason, then bad luck found me. I had several mechanical, electrical, and motor issues this past season. These issues were primarily due to the fact that I only had one race quad and I put a ton of hours on it. At nearly every round I struggled through troubles with my bike, but luckily, with the help of my team, we managed to power through it and produce the results we worked so hard to achieve. As the season continued, I found myself with a very commanding lead in the 16-24 class while the other two classes slowly crept away due to bad luck and mechanical issues. At Millville I over jumped a triple and broke my ankle and just about everything on my quad. I dug deep and got everything fixed for the last couple rounds of the series and by redbud I had the 16-24 class wrapped up. 

Racing a full season is a tough deal all-around, how to you keep pushing forward when life seems to keep beating on you? 

As I now know, racing a full season is very tough financially, physically, mentally and emotionally. You have to keep on pushing, no matter what comes at you, and never give up. I have sacrificed a lot to do this sport, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There is no better feeling than being out on the track doing what you love, and especially being out in front! As for those who have future championship aspirations, never give up, train hard, ride smart, give it all you have, and then some; because you may never have the chance to do so again.

As for this "offseason," I am a full time college student. I have been in the gym pretty religiously for the last six months. Recently, my good friend Kody (Kilburg Personal Training) has developed a program in the gym that will hopefully put me in the best physical shape possible for a motocross athlete. I try to get out and ride as much as I can, but living in Illinois makes that next to impossible until summer comes around, which is unfortunate because nothing compares to seat time.

For next year I'm excited to race the pro-sport class and put myself up against the big boys in the pro-am class. It's a dream I have always had and I can't express how excited I am to be able to fulfill it. Our team, Media All Stars, has had a very respectful presence at the ATV nationals for many years, but really hasn't had a rider stand out in the pro or pro-am classes for quite some time. This year, I am hoping to put all my hard work and training to the test and represent my team, all of my supporters, and myself, in a way that I will be proud of. I am looking forward to working hard toward another championship and the opportunity to show people what our team and myself are capable of. 2016 looks to be a great year for our team, our sport and myself! 

Good luck Zach, your dedication and hard work show just what it takes to be successful! 

Now I was pretty bummed when Nick Moser stepped away from the bars and took a good hard look at things after his brutal crash. I completely understood the reasoning behind wanting a break. His return to racing in 2015 on a limited schedule was exciting and put some flavor back into the mix as Nick has a solid following and is a fun rider to watch rip up a motocross track. When he finally decided that he was making full-time return to the series I knew he would be a rider I wanted to get the inside line on and Nick wasted no time in getting back to us.

First, I see you just got back from Mexico just in time for a mega snowstorm! How was the trip, it looked fun and warm!

Mexico was amazing! I was very happy to be able to spend it with my best friends and my family. Joel and I were not looking forward to coming back straight into training (laughs)! The weather couldn't have been better but after a week there I was ready to get home and get cracking at the 2016 season. 

So making a run at the Pro class for 2016 has you back in the mix in a big way. I know you have to be excited to get on the gate in 2016!

I honestly never thought I would be back as a Pro. After my accident I wanted nothing to do with ATV racing. I went to almost all the races last year to watch Joel Hetrick and that really made me realize how much the sport was a part of me and how much I wanted to be back. So a year and a half later hear I am! I honestly cannot wait till Daytona. I've really been putting in the work on #TheProgram. I never knew how hard it would be to strengthen my lung again after injuring it like I did. I'm headed to The Pafford Compound the 27th to start my riding with Joel, come March I will be ready!

Who will you representing this season?

For 2016 I have so many great sponsors and families behind me I can't begin to thank them enough! To start it off my parents and my whole family. Without their approval and support I wouldn't be able to do it. FTR Powersports and his whole family have been behind me since the mini days and I am glad to say they are more family than a sponsor as is Hetrick Racing. New for me this year is Team SSR! It's a brand-new group of people who are helping me out tremendously. Matt Smittle and Kevin Smitley thank you! I can't forget Corrosion (The Parrish Family) The Program, MAXXIS, ELKA, MCC, WALSH, DASA, FLY, BELL, 100 percent, REAL BAD MOTOSPORTS, BPG, RATH, THE PAFFORDS, QUADIFIED, and everyone else who is apart of my program this year thank you so much! See you guys on the gate! 

ATVSX is right around the corner, are you signed up!? This is an event you DO NOT want to miss. 
ATVSX is right around the corner, are you signed up!? This is an event you DO NOT want to miss.  Photo: Ken Hill

Well there you have it. Just a glimpse into what it takes for the top names in the series to get things primed for a season of racing. On deck for next week is none other than Sam Rowe and Calen McGinty so is sure to follow our social media so you won’t miss out on what they have to say.