ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Almost Celebration Time

Site Lap: Almost Celebration Time

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The 2016 AMA Pro ATV Championship will come to a close in a little over two weeks from this time and the ProX ATV Motocross National Championship presented by CST Tires, an AMA national championship, will be in the history books. That will mark the end to the 33rd year of the ATVMX national championship has been in existence. To some that doesn’t seem long but to others it seems like a lifetime. It has had its ups and downs, but has stood the test of time. I am proud to be a part of its history for almost two decades and have seen as well hope to see it reach even higher levels.

A level of ATVMX being reached this year is the actual championship finale at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort as a part of the Edge of Summer Motocross event. Last season was a debut for ATVs and the resort as well as attending public really enjoyed what the racing. This year it has been deemed the final round of the AMA Pro ATV championship so you know all the big guns will be there. Chad Wienen goes for title number five and will look at completing not only his fifth title but also fifth straight season finishing on the overall podium at every round. If I am not mistaken, the podium streak is the longest of any rider and title number five will put him second in titles behind the great Gary Denton.

Whose ready to celebrate the championships?! We can't wait to help at this year's banquet in Ohio coming up on October 8! More information below. Photo: Ken Hill
Whose ready to celebrate the championships?! We can't wait to help at this year's banquet in Ohio coming up on October 8! More information below. Photo: Ken Hill

The levels that may be reached next year are unknown at this point. Will we see more of the venues like Daytona and Soaring Eagle on the schedule? Will the AMA Pro class begin to showcase more often at other premier events and facilities?  One thing is for certain and that is that the new era of ATVMX has only just begun and change may be coming. There has not been a lot of talk of any big changes as of yet but we have still yet to wrap up the AMA Pro ATV championship. Once that is done and the banquet is over then there may be some things that start to come to light as the schedule gets hashed over for 2017.

Speaking of the banquet. Don’t forget it is fast approaching on October 8, 2016 at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. It is the same venue as last year but a little earlier in the fall. Details and more information on reservations and more can be found if you click here. Make your plans to be there to celebrate and bring the whole family. The waterpark is a must for everyone in the family. You can’t attend without at least a couple of hours splashing around in one of the world’s largest indoor waterpark facilities. If you don’t go you may be disappointed.

Don't forget to register for the banquet!
Don't forget to register for the banquet!

The ATV Racin’ Nation has seen some good times lately. However, some have seen some not so good times. Recently we were shocked at the passing of Steven Wotring. His son Travis is a well-known character around the pits. And those that knew Steven were more than shocked than they were devastated. It is always hard to pick up the pieces from such a thing but with good support from those around you it is possible. Support is one thing I can say that the ATV Racin’ Nation has been good at amongst our racing families. I was reminded of this Great Spirit in our midst when I received a message from Rob Boehner. I know he, like many was heartbroken to hear the news. The Wotring’s have been a part of our family for several years and he is asking the ATV racing community to step up and help keep Travis living the dream he and his father lived together.

Here is what he wrote: Hey Buddy! I could use your help with something! I'm sure you heard about the passing of Steve Wotring on the way home from Loretta’s? Steve has played a huge part in mini ATV racing for many years, his son Travis has won a few championships in the past... anyway we are trying to build a fund so that Travis can continue racing in the future. We are taking donations for stickers that Ernie from FTR made. If you click on my page you will see the post from Ernie, it would be great if you could share it!! Thanks, Rob

Upon checking out Ernie’s post, this is what I found.

Steven Wotring Memorial Shirts:
Shirts are now available via donation to the Wotring Racing Fund to help Travis Wotring keep his and Steve's dreams alive! The D6 Ultimate Quad Series final round for 2016 will be held at Sleepy Hollow MX on October 15th & 16th. It is official; this race will be Steven Wotring Memorial Race. More info to come but for now....

Shirts will be produced as shown- Royal blue with white discharge ink. This will be the one and only option and all shirts are available PRE-ORDER ONLY THRU PAYPAL! YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PURCHASE AT THE TRACK!! We aren't doing any cash at track. We are only filling orders for the track or shipping thru PayPal PRE-ORDER.

If you plan on attending the Sleepy Hollow Memorial Race-
Shirts are $20 each with pickup at the race thru Rob Boehner or Michelle Stillo. You can PayPal us at [email protected] with your donation. PayPal as a "gift"!
PLEASE INCLUDE- QUANTITY of shirts and SIZE for each shirt with your donation. Also include an email or phone number to reach you at just incase!! Again, Shirts are $20 each with pickup at the race at Sleepy Hollow Oct 15/16.

If you aren't going to make the race and you would like to order shirts and have them shipped- Shirts are $20 each and ADD $10 to your order for shipping.
You can PayPal us at [email protected] with your donation. PayPal as a "gift"!
PLEASE INCLUDE- QUANTITY of shirts and SIZE for each shirt with your donation. We will also need your SHIPPING ADRESS via PayPal to ship to you. Again shipping is an extra $10 for your order, please include with your donation as well as your shipping address.

ALL ORDERS must be received by FRIDAY SEPT 16th. That leaves 2 weeks to place your order. If you choose to have your order shipped- the shirts will be shipped AFTER the race on October 16th.

Please SHARE!! SHARE!!! SHARE!!!!!
Thanks all for supporting a good cause!

Another bit of bad news plaguing the ATV Racin’ Nation is the recent practice crash suffered by the “Ironman” John Natalie. John has suffered some fairly horrendous crashes in his career but the past two big get offs for John have been more than a normal man could withstand. He earned his nickname without a doubt and unfortunately for he and his fans he will prove once again just how resilient he is. Prayers are certainly appreciated for John and his family has they go through another time of struggle.

If you have not heard about John’s crash last week, I have included the Facebook post from Michelle his wife from their page. It read, John had a bad crash yesterday while practicing. He knocked himself out for a while, broke his left hip, nose, a few ribs, and tore his rotator cuff, pulled neck ligaments and bad concussion. His lungs and kidneys are bothering him and they are doing scans now. Orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. 

He has had a rough 2 years and we both would like to thank the people that have stood behind us through all the good and bad times. This will be a long road to recovery for him and it hasn't even started yet. So please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”

The goods news is that I heard from John's wife Michelle and she wrote this message: "Hi! He's doing pretty good!! He is wanting to walk around on his fully broken hip, of course! He's waiting on wrist surgery and shoulder surgery. But he has to go get another MRI on his hip because it wasn't displaced but where it's cracked through they don't want it to move or open up. We will know in a few days if he needs hip surgery." 

It is a hard time for some during these prospers times of our sport. So as we live the greatness of it all, let us not forget those in trouble. Help when we can and most importantly keep positive thoughts and prayers for their benefit.

That’s about it for me for now. Let’s check in with Ken “I hope I don’t have to have a tux for my boy’s wedding” Hill. Until next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:

We are pumped to see Thomas Brown training for the last round of the ATVMX Championship at Soaring Eagle!


Now this is something cool to see!


Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Well now, it appears the Ironman John Natalie has indeed decided to prove the things I’ve been writing about him are accurate and true! The big lug went and showed us all again he is as tough at woodpecker lips after taking a digger practicing and adding to his list of broken bones and injuries and at this time faces more surgeries. First, I know we all wish John a fast recovery and will be praying for him and secondly, again! When I first read the post on social media his wife had released and the images, I was like oh my, again! I am pretty sure he was still feeling the effects of his last big get off that nearly took John way out of the racing game forever and now he faces another battle with recovering, but if anyone can do it the Ironman can! 

This may have been Luke Shepherds favorite podium interview at Loretta's. Photo: Ken Hill
This may have been Luke Shepherds favorite podium interview at Loretta's. Photo: Ken Hill

Now I hate opening Site Lap with an injury but lets face it, any motorized sport can be dangerous and motocross especially has a way of setting you down and showing you who is boss. With the advent of social media, the word spreads fast and far to often these days so be as careful as you can! After Loretta’s, we also found out that a wreck on the track is not the only way one can be taken from us as the news of Steve Wotring’s passing. I know I am not alone in expressing our deepest sympathies to the Wotring family as the deal with the stress that loosing a loved one brings. Life is indeed short so try your best to celebrate it with family and good friends and enjoy the time we all have together.

Speaking of time and family, the past few weeks have been insane around here as we finished up the main garden season and prepare for winter and a big wedding! I thought the stress would be on the brides side but for some reason it has made itself known to our side. The weather looks great, the wedding is simple, small and should move along just fine but I’ve learned to expect the unexpected and try to prepare for the worst so hopefully being a nervous nelly will just be pent up anxiety. It seems like yesterday my oldest son was at many ATVMX races with me taking images, now he is Specialist in the Army and on the cusp of being a married man. The time flies by but the memories we made at the races seem to be among the most cherished. I recall when the internet forums were filled with action that many thought he could go pro or do well but we never even considered anything beyond having fun and just being part of it all. We went to race of course, but when it started getting out of hand and leaning more towards all out work we decided to just chill and have fun again. I hope that many of you in that same spot can take a breather and enjoy what you are doing each weekend as it will all be over before you know it! The memories and friends you make racing may be the biggest trophies you take away from it all. 

Loretta's is always a good time, we hope everyone there had a blast!Photo: Ken Hill
Loretta's is always a good time, we hope everyone there had a blast!Photo: Ken Hill

I had to find a few images for a rider and it dawned on me that we have had some sucky weather here and there this season. I don’t think it has been the worst we ever faced but quite a few rounds were hit and it sure made for some messy action. I bring this up not to dredge up the misery that comes with a mudder but how determination and focus help guide those who fought to the end managed to overcome everything and find their way to a number one plate for the season. I saw it all as I watched behind the scenes the issues that were overcome and it is inspirational as the excitement and outpouring of emotion finally boils over when the goal is met.  It is the uncontrollable smiles the shouts of joy and the feeling of relief that it is finally over and you did it! Turning around at the podium to see those that helped in so many ways share in the moment is just incredible. Sometimes I walk away just a bit to catch those that stand away from the main group and observe them taking in every word knowing that they had a hand in the success but were too modest to step forward. Enjoy your success, learn for the failures but never give up! 

Social media is still a buzz as riders wrap up district or regional races and continue to discuss the 2016 season. Many of our younger riders are heading back to school and while the news feeds blow up with back to school posts it is always great to see the personal side of everyone away from the track. I hardly recognize some of you dressed in that weird attire that non-racers don in daily life! Be a sponge, take it all in during your time at school and have fun which I know most of you know how to do! I give it until about early November before social media really starts to get hit with the homesick feeling of no racing and the throw back posts ratchet up!

Congrats to all our ATVMX Champions! See you October 8!Photo: Ken Hill
Congrats to all our ATVMX Champions! See you October 8!Photo: Ken Hill

And on to Soaring Eagle! The official round to end the 2016 Pro season should be epic and I will be eager to see who pulls out the win. Keeping the actual championship out of it, Joel Hetrick is and has been on fire so expect to see him taking out 2016 with a big performance. It has been one wild year and the show the pro class has been very cool to watch. The calculating champion Chad Wienen has had to fend off some great competitors in his career and while he appears to be closing in on another number one plate, the pressure is still on and he is the man to tackle that pressure and the stress that comes with it. No matter what happens, thank you guys for a great season of very close racing! 

That is all from me this week and it is not as full as I would have liked but we do have quite a bit of time to get into some interviews during this long off season so keep on the look out for a message from me as I gather Intel about your season and 2017 plans! God bless you all, be safe out there!



Tune in Saturday, September 3 for an all-new ATVMX feature show at 5:30 p.m. ET on MAVTV from Spring Creek in Millville, MN, round 8 of the 2016 ProX ATV Motocross National Championship presented by CST Tires, an AMA national championship (ATVMX).