ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Coming To A Close

Site Lap: Coming To A Close

Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 12:30 PM
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 12:30 PM

It all began six months ago and now it has finally come to a close. The 2016 ProX AMA Pro ATV Motocross National Championship wrapped up this past weekend at The Edge of Summer MX at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. It was a long way from Daytona International Speedway and we all had a long road to get there. Congratulations to Joel Hetrick on another impressive win and congratulations to Chad Wienen for his fifth consecutive AMA Pro ATV Motocross National Championship.

There is no doubt the “new era” of ATVMX is upon us and Chad Wienen is leading the way. Actually you may say that it all started several years ago with former champion Dustin Wimmer. When Wimmer and Wienen began there rise to fame they brought with them a whole new style and dedication to training and pushing limits no one had realized needed to be achieved. A new standard was set and ATV racers now needed to be well-conditioned athletes more than ever before. It brought everything to a new level that has continued to rise since that time.

Joel Hetrick took the win, but Chad Wienen earned his fifth-straight championship.
Joel Hetrick took the win, but Chad Wienen earned his fifth-straight championship. Photo: Ken Hill

Chad Wienen is without a doubt one of the most finely conditioned athletes our sport has ever seen. He is not only in great shape he is one of the wisest riders on the track. Chad has somehow been able to a program and build a near unstoppable force. The record speaks for itself. The number of wins is not as impressive as the number of podiums at this point and that’s only since 2012. Five solid seasons Chad has been able to end the race day on the overall podium. It has been the key to his success in winning championships. He is also very good at winning too. He knows when to pour it on and he knows when not to. He is not only fast but very calculated and this is something no one has been able to match to date.

The finale’ being held at Soaring Eagle this season put a different feel in the air but yet brought lots of anticipation for where ATV racing is going. It has been a long road to get to venues such as this and the treatment given by the organizers and the resort were second to none. Chad said “It was very cool and they had a nice party afterwards.” I am sure he didn’t expect the royalty treatment he would get from everyone and I am sure it made if feel a little more special.

The aptly nicknamed “Kid Dynamite” Joel Hetrick is leading the next wave of the new era.  Joel amassed an impressive season himself. Joel was able to capture an amazing eight overall wins on the season.  The one big difference for he and Chad was the opening round in Daytona when Joel crashed and injured his knee, which was an injury that actually hampered him for a few rounds if not the entire season. Regardless Joel must be commended on the fight he put up and the effort to try and claim the title. In the end, Chad showed Joel just how costly momentary lapses in reason can cost you it all. Chad was able to gain a point cushion and hang on to it the entire season. It really came down to just three more moto wins for Joel or one bad moto for Wienen.

Joel Hetrick grabbed the holeshot at Soaring Eagle right ahead of Chad Wienen. 
Joel Hetrick grabbed the holeshot at Soaring Eagle right ahead of Chad Wienen.  Photo: Harlen Foley

The championship may not have turned out in his favor but Joel told me “I’m looking forward to next season! It was an awesome year and I’m happy with all the wins so all in all it was my best year yet.” Honestly how could he not be looking forward to next season? He feels more confident than ever and had he not crashed in Daytona would things have been different? It looks like that the way things turned out but we must keep in mind, Chad isn’t a 5-time champion for no reason. He is not only fast, he is smart and Joel knows this. He knows he learned a lot this season and is excited to put it to practice next season.

As the dust settles from the hoopla of the national championship there is still one more round of racing before the racing season will be really over for many. The 4th annual Caleb Moore Memorial ATV Pro Challenge will be held this weekend being held for the second time at Decatur, Texas’s Oak Hill MX Park. A $51,100.00 purse is featured and will include pro purse $23,800.00 as well a $11,300.00 payout to the pro am class and thousands of dollars in gift cards to amateur riders. It is without a doubt a must attend event. It appears that all the stars are headed that way including Chad Wienen. Thomas Brown is the defending champion of this event and has staked his claims in his home soils of Texas. It will be exciting to find out how this one plays out.

The amateurs took to the track at the Edge of Summer MX at Soaring Eagle as well. 
The amateurs took to the track at the Edge of Summer MX at Soaring Eagle as well.  Photo: Harlen Foley

The ATV Pro Challenge is hosted by the TQRA and promises to be another amazing weekend of racing as well as a great way to wrap the season up with nothing on the line but good times and maybe a little extra pocket change. Pros to amateurs stand to do well here this weekend and if you haven’t made up your mind yet, you best get be getting packed up and rolling that way. It’s going to be another big time in Texas. If you want more enticement all you need do is check out the information page here with all the payout information including $100.00 holeshot awards for amateur classes.

One last thing before I go this week on the reminder front. If you haven’t made reservations for the banquet coming up on October 8th you need to do so. It is going to be a great time and if you finished top ten in your class you should really plan to come and celebrate with all the ATV Racin’ Nation. Details can be found on the webpage.

That’s it for me for now. Let’s check in with Gloop’s Loop and with Ken “A Real American” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:


Yes Cody, Soaring Eagle was indeed a blast!


Looks like Nico Cavi is doing great at home!

Keeping Up With Ken Hill:

And that’s a wrap on the 2016 season! It sure doesn’t seem like its over, but it is and we have crowned our champion Chad Wienen for the fifth consecutive time which is quite an accomplishment. I know many feel Joel Hetrick deserves to be the champion, but this is how it played out after a great battle all year long and the points are what they are. I stated a few seasons back Hetrick had some growing to do and he has done it and came about as close as you can to being the champion without actually taking that number one spot! His domination was incredible to watch and no one can deny that 2017 will more than likely be his for the taking. As a fan of ATV racing, it was a thrilling season that featured close competition and I couldn’t ask for much more. Chad should revel in his glory and then get back to work, because I believe he knows Hetrick aims to chew his rear end next season and I can’t wait to watch it. Congrats to both of those guys, you gave us an ultra close season of great racing!

Everyone seemed to have a blast at the Edge of Summer MX in Michigan.
Everyone seemed to have a blast at the Edge of Summer MX in Michigan. Photo: Harlen Foley

I was bummed I had to miss the Soaring Eagle event as I was at the Unadilla GNCC, so hopefully next year the championship is decided before the final round or they get the schedule sorted out… or maybe I shoot it and drive all night to cover the GNCC. I saw the video of Upperman going down and he sure ate it! I know he is ok, but holy cow that was a hard hit! No one outside the series or industry fully understands how much goes in to all this for little return and maybe that will be one of my goals for 2017 is to try and show that through my images. In any event, I was glued to social media as the day played out and enjoyed the series posts as well as those from the folks that were there keeping us all updated. We are already testing and working on some things for next season that will help show the weekend a bit faster. 

Don't forget to register for the banquet, HERE!
Don't forget to register for the banquet, HERE! Photo: Harlen Foley

This weeks contribution is going to be short as I am literally writing this as my truck is running so I can leave to go cover the Pro Challenge in Texas. I have never been to this event so it should be a ton of fun and a lot of driving, but I get to say hey one more time to many of you before we all go back to normal living for a few months! I hope and pray you all remain safe in your travels and racing and God bless you all!