ATV Motocross

Site Lap: The ATV Stampede

Site Lap: The ATV Stampede

Thursday, May 19, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Thursday, May 19, 2016 | 10:00 AM

The excitement from the ATV Racin’ Nation as we head into the ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, PA this weekend is reaching a fever pitch. The battles are heating up in every class throughout the entire field of ProX ATV Motocross National Championship presented by CST Tires championship races. The season is barely approaching the halfway point and there is really no true indication of how things will end. It is by far one of the greatest seasons building and the “New Era” of ATV racing is bringing it all to the table to be sorted out.

This weekends ATV Stampede at High Point will mark another historic return for the ATV racers. Last season Randy Poulter introduced us to some rather big changes to the course as it was in the midst of a facelift. We could recognize that there were more changes coming and we saw them for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Nationals. This though will be the first time for ATV racers to see all the implemented changes and should make for another interesting scene. The playing field should be evened out for everyone, as no one really knows the whole track anymore.

Whose ready to charge into this weekend's ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway?
Whose ready to charge into this weekend's ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway? Photo: Ken Hill

One who does still feel the home field advantage is Joel Hetrick. Hetrick may not know the full course like before but he does know the dirt and he knows how to ride it very well. In a recent video released this week by Gloop at Rip It Up Films, Hetrick speaks with confidence heading into this weekends round of racing and even more about how he hopes to be able to chip away at he point lead that Wienen has now and emerge victorious by seasons end. It is a task he seems to have put a lot of thought into and if he can keep things rolling then we may see things down to the wire at the end.

Chad Wienen himself has spent some time readying himself for the upcoming ATV Stampede. If you watch much social media then you have probably seen the shots of his newly redesigned backyard moto playground. The pictures look like you walk out of the back door of Chad’s house and in just a few yards find yourself on a moto track, and a rather nice moto track might I add. You can see why he is at the level he is having such a training ground in his own backyard. Aside from the top class training grounds he is still a defending four time champion that seems to know what he has to do and when he has to do it.

Jeffrey Rastrelli is gaining momentum as the season continues one, so be sure to keep an eye on the No. 728!
Jeffrey Rastrelli is gaining momentum as the season continues one, so be sure to keep an eye on the No. 728! Photo: Ken Hill

There is a 28 point gap between first and second now, which changed between second and first but not between Wienen and Hetrick. That gap remained the same between those two as they split motos at the Ironman two weeks ago. The points did however change up quite a bit. There were four riders with only point separating each but there were some big changes and mix-ups after last rounds race.

The surprise right now may be Jeffrey Rastrelli who sits in third place of points yielding some rather successful and consistent points is now 39 points out of the number one spot. He lost points to both Hetrick and Wienen but still has a dog in the fight so to speak. It could be the best opportunity for Rastrelli right now simply for the reason that knows one really has him factored in for the title right now. He can ride quietly under the radar and possibly score big if the title hunt between Wienen and Hetrick steers them into some bad luck. All it would take would be a couple of bad motos for them and all of a sudden Jeffrey may be a bigger threat than anyone expects. We all saw the progression and he is taking off like a rocket so I am saying don’t be surprised if the No. 728 becomes a true contender for title.

The infamous Godzilla jump at Ironman Raceway.
The infamous Godzilla jump at Ironman Raceway. Photo: Ken Hill

John Natalie’s injury from the last race over Godzilla has had two weeks to heal, but he lost some big points finishing fifth and fifteenth dropping him to a 51-point deficit and to fourth place in the standings. The 42 year old Natalie is noted as being a fast healer and often times seems to excel most when you expect him to not. The injury may have fired him up and with all eyes on the Hetrick vs Wienen scenario, the Ironman may pull one out himself in front of the hometown crowd and all of a sudden be back in the hunt for this title.

Thomas Brown sits another four points behind Natalie in fifth of the standings. Brown too had struggles due to mechanical breaks, which too may have been caused by the “Ironman Raceway Godzilla.” The one thing that is certain is that he may be looking through binoculars for the point lead right now but he can definitely see it not too far from reach. Brown is in a position himself to make up some major ground with a little luck swinging his way.

One thing we all must recognize and realize heading through the rest of this championship is the fact that we should not be fooled by the obvious. As often time in the past things have happened to change the face of everything happening. With recent weather conditions and oddities happening one may even say it is already happened or even happening. In may not be an overnight swing we are witnessing, it could be only building at this point to take us to new levels we haven’t even imagined yet. Regardless we all need to just hold on and enjoy the ride we are taking because it is really about to get good.

RacerTV will be broadcasting live online starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.
RacerTV will be broadcasting live online starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21. Photo: Ken Hill

This weekend will also mark the return of live streaming on of ATVMX racing. The “Globe cast” should begin around 11:00 am eastern and run through around 5:30 pm eastern. The presentation will feature both AMA Pro ATV racings round five and round four for the amateurs. There will be a number of the amateur classes along with both motos of AMA Pro ATV racing at 2:00 and 4:00. Be sure and watch if you can’t attend and make sure we all use the social media hashtags #ATVMX and #ATVMXLive. There will also be contest to be watching out for that could score you a free event tee shirt from Moto Tees or $250.00 in Amsoil products.

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

In The Loop with Gloop:

RacerTV will be broadcasting live online starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.
RacerTV will be broadcasting live online starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21. Photo: Ken Hill

If you can’t make it out Saturday head over to and watch it live!

RacerTV will be broadcasting live online starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.
RacerTV will be broadcasting live online starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21. Photo: Ken Hill

Cody Janssen is healing up, and giving his ATV a fresh look for the upcoming ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway this weekend! 

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Well it is that time of the week where I turn my attention to Site Lap and it doesn’t seem like it was a week ago since the last one. Maybe because it was, and many of us were right back in Indiana and you know it, we were tromping around in the mud again! This trend of rain sure has hit that state hard with over 10 inches or so falling in the past few weeks, so I have no room to complain about the 4 inches we have gotten here at home due to the same storms. We got lucky though and it did not rain on race day, but the damage was done as the course was a straight train wreck but in a creek bottom midway through the race the riders started throwing me thumbs up and hollering out shouts of excitement so much like them, we are just going to have to roll with whatever comes along. Now I spoke of the weather in last weeks edition and it was more for those of us who work out in the weather more so than regarding the races but I think when the two meet we get an element added in that can throw a wrench in the works which benefits some, hurts others chances and can really set forth some strange things out on the track! 

It was quite a mudder at the last round of ATVMX in Indiana. 
It was quite a mudder at the last round of ATVMX in Indiana.  Photo: Ken Hill

I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is just how fast you all are regardless of the conditions and when to comes to the pro class a mudder or a slick track is taken all in stride or so it appears. They make it look all to easy at times when one can barely walk across the track yet they are flying by at top speed clinging to every bit of traction while on the very edge of control. Now don’t get me wrong, watching someone spin out and keep going can be a moment of sheer humor or catching someone slipping in the mud as they try to get from place to place. I guess it comes down to how serious you take life in general but even when conditions are far from ideal, you all seem to make the best of it and wear the tough conditions as a badge of honor. Good for you if you are one of those people because I will take 70 degrees and a blue sky day thank you very much! I hit Gloop up the other day and asked him if he had seen the weather for Saturday and he merely commented that its the mountains and things can change every 10 minutes and he is on point with that assessment so I remind you, be prepared for anything! 

The roost will be flying this weekend in Pennsylvania!
The roost will be flying this weekend in Pennsylvania! Photo: Ken Hill

Speaking of smiling and good attitudes, I had a chance to get the run down on Ironman from one rider who seems to have his smile stuck in the always-on position. Brandon Smitley would be that guy here is what he had to say.

“Well, my weekend was decent. Had my ups and downs but hey you're going to have that. Friday practice I was feeling awesome! Got myself a lot of confidence for the racing because of how I felt during practice. Saturday, I came out in 450B with a 7th. Battled with a couple kids and made some passes because the holeshot I had was not so good but came back up for the 7th place! Then, Production B I came off the start in about 8th and worked up to 6th. I beat the rain so that was good. Than Sunday came around and in 450B I came out and had a decent holeshot, got a couple passes in and ended up with 14th. Production B was terrible. Came out of the holeshot about 8th and got flipped. Caught up to a few people and wrecked again which caused me to bend my a-arms pretty bad but still put everything I had to finish the moto. Ended up 16th. Wasn't where I really wanted to be but I’m going to do whatever I can to complete my goal. Just adjusting to some things right now and going into my hometown track with my head held high and train hard as I can!

I mean come on, you have a bad weekend and still remain positive and I even caught him being cheesy as I went about sloshing around doing what I do. Brandon is good people and fun to hang out with at the track so I wish him a much better race this weekend at High Point! 

#ThrowbackThursday to last year's ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway! Joel Hetrick took the win, can he do it again this year?
#ThrowbackThursday to last year's ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway! Joel Hetrick took the win, can he do it again this year? Photo: Ken Hill

Now thinking about this weekends pro race once again puts one at a “Hetrick-Wienen” battle and I have no doubt we are going to see some bar banging between these two no matter what conditions they face. It is coming down to a “who can make the least mistakes” kind of season but that just means the racing has been close and exciting which most folks prefer over a one rider dominates kind of deal. The question for me is who is going to join these two up front and be the spoiler? I haven’t seen an update on Natalie’s wrist but even if half of his arm were missing I would have to put money on him here in his home state. Thomas Brown and Jeffrey Rastrelli also make the short list but I wouldn’t dismiss Ronnie Higgerson having a break out run here as well. The only reservation I have with Ronnie is he has had so many issues that if he can get with that lead pack he may not be able to fend off a late moto charge but I sure hope we get to see him preform at a level where many of us know he is capable of. Then there is Haagsma, who might just surprise some folks here but again, his conditioning may come in to play if he can get out front early as he stated from the podium that running those speeds will take some getting used to but he is coming on strong so we have yet another rider who can be a player.

Ok, all from me this week. It is not 6 am this week, it is 2:22 am to be exact because I woke up and needed to get this done so I can be at Lowes bright and early to buy a new push mower seeing I sent another one to the scrap yard! Be safe in your travels and I will see everyone soon!