ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Celebration Time!

Site Lap: Celebration Time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 | 11:55 AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 | 11:55 AM

The 2016 racing season is officially over for the ATV Racin’ Nation as this weekend wrapped up one of the richest ATV races in history with the 4th Annual Caleb Moore Memorial ATV Pro Challenge. Ken Hill spent some time there and has a nice wrap up in his contribution this week. The last order of business for us now is the year-end awards banquet in just a few weeks. 

The one thing that is certain is that this season has been one of the best racing seasons as a whole that I can recall in the past 20 years. It seemed every class had something special to offer, and that may very well make this years awards celebrations that much more unique. Another certainty is that the “silly season” started a lot earlier this year and much of the scrambling was done before the final checkers fell for the season. The word is there are already a number of changes in teams and classes and the look in 2017 will be a lot different than what we are accustomed to as of recent. 

Joel Hetrick grabbed the holeshot at the 4th Annual Caleb Moore Memorial ATV Pro Challenge. 
Joel Hetrick grabbed the holeshot at the 4th Annual Caleb Moore Memorial ATV Pro Challenge.  Photo: Ken Hill

There is still a lot to wonder about as far as how things are falling into place for 2017. The quick moves and changes may only be a prelude to the true madness that is to follow, and honestly I feel the banquet will shed some more light and open some doors to new possibilities. It can be a rather exciting night, so make sure you attend!

The ATVMX season may be over, but things have still not slowed down in the racing world. There are a handful of crossover riders that race GNCC as well, and this weekend will be a home race for the series. It is at a place called Marvin’s Mountain Top and it boasts possibly some of the most beautiful scenery on the tour. It is also located only minutes outside Morgantown, West Virginia, which is where the home offices for MX Sports and Racer Productions is located. Then only one week later the GNCC series will head to St. Clairsville, Ohio, for round 12, the Polaris ACE Powerline Park. I know many ATVMX racers live near these events and it would be great to see you all out.

There has been a lot of buzz lately about training. I know that training has been a big part of our sport, but recently we have seen it reach new levels and riders have been achieving amazing feats in the process. The Program is the most recent crazed results like what we have witnessed, it is hard to say it's not working. It's obvious it is working and even though it's a little untraditional in our sport it may be another missing piece of the puzzle to bring our sport to new levels. And now even GNCC’s former and six-time champ Chris Borich is on the The Program since late in the summer and he has already felt and seen some big improvement in his performance. 

Nick Gennusa rode to a second place finish on a Ford Brothers racing Honda. 
Nick Gennusa rode to a second place finish on a Ford Brothers racing Honda.  Photo: Ken Hill

Its no secret training is the key to being on top. I know last week I mentioned that the new era we are in began possibly with Dustin Wimmer and Chad Wienen, and even though I feel this is true, one has to admit that there were some that had it figured out before that even before it was the main ingredient to a successful program. Two stars you may recognize in our sport that had it figured out are Joe Byrd and John Natalie. The edge they carried gave them the advantage and to see these two racing head-to-head could rival some of the Wienen vs. Hetrick affairs. One may say the two could have been the true inspiration for today's top stars. It's what pushed Wienen and Wimmer to find the next levels and set into motion this new era.

As far as this weekends GNCC it will be live online at through Livestream. The stream will begin around 1:00 pm eastern during both Saturday’s Pro ATV racing and Sunday’s Pro Bike racing. We hope you tune in and check it out if you cannot make it.

That's it from me for now. Congrats to all the big winners the last few weeks at Soaring Eagle and this past weekends ATV Pro Challenge. Let’s check in with Gloop’s Loop and with Ken “Howdy Partner!” Hill. Till next time God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:


David Haagsma getting it done back home at the Worcs series.


Jeremy Ledonne making his comeback in the woods!

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Jump in the truck, drive 1,356 miles and attend the ATV Pro Challenge. It will be fun they said, you will have a great time they said. Hey, they were right! I climbed in the truck, put the miles down and attended my first ever ATV Pro Challenge. I wasn’t fully aware of what all this event entailed, but knew it was a solid payday for those who were able to find the podium and it hosted more than just ATV racing as Side-by-Side racing action took place immediately following the Pro race Saturday afternoon. Oak Hill MX was the location for this year’s event, which sits just outside Decatur Texas, so the food and hotel scene was on point after a day of racing. 

The track itself was pretty cool, and it has been awhile since I had the chance to shoot a track that gave me some serious action in regards to roost! Most of the national tracks get prepped to handle the numbers and seldom will a turn or berm hold up to allow that glorious flowing roost that adds so much to images! Now there weren’t any big jumps, but it reminded me of an old school motocross track that offered plenty of challenge due to the loose soil and length with lap times roughly coming in at 2 minutes. Passing would be tough but there were split lines in several sections, so that you could mount a charge and make a pass stick. I knew the pro race was going to be tough and the holeshot would probably determine the winner and I was correct as in both motos Joel Hetrick came out swinging and never looked back taking the heat and main win without any real challenge. This is what we have come to expect and Hetrick continued on his winning ways leaving Texas with some serious cash in his pocket.

Joel Hetrick (center), Nick Gennusa (right) and Chad Wienen (left) rounded out the ATV Pro challenge podium.
Joel Hetrick (center), Nick Gennusa (right) and Chad Wienen (left) rounded out the ATV Pro challenge podium. Photo: Ken Hill

The real battle shaped up between Nick Gennusa and Chad Wienen as Gennusa rocketed off the gate and soon found himself with the 5-time ATVMX champ on his grab bar. This was not the Nick Gennusa I was used to seeing and he wasn’t on his familiar Yamaha as he was riding a Ford Brothers Racing prepped Honda and he was making it look extremely fast! I kept waiting for Wienen to make something happen, but Gennusa was putting in a great ride and was not letting up giving him second and finishing the weekend on the podium aboard the Honda. Nothing official has been released so until he makes his 2017 plans public we can only assume he will be looking hard at making the switch and if he does, look out! Chad Wienen crossed the line in third and rounded out the podium where the season finally came to an end for these racers. Cheers, tons of thanks and gratitude flowed as emotions were high and so were the winnings, as over $15,000 was being cashed in, marking a great weekend for these three riders. 

Pro-Am was just as intense as the pro event as Nick Moser climbed aboard Joel Hetrick’s Honda and rolled out to claim the win, and some much needed cash. Moser did Hetrick’s ride justice as he streaked out front and never looked back giving him a much needed moral boost as well as a good weekend, which he desperately needed, as he heads back home to regroup and look ahead for 2017. Haedyn Mickleson powered his way to second and was joined on the box by Parker Wewerka who claimed a solid third. $8,500 was paid out to the top three marking another big day for the racers!

Joel Hetrick came out swinging in Texas for the ATV Pro Challenge. 
Joel Hetrick came out swinging in Texas for the ATV Pro Challenge.  Photo: Ken Hill

The racing throughout the amateur classes was strong throughout the weekend, and the event flowed really well with only the occasional break for some track prep. This late in the season most of the racers are ready to get tough, hammer down and power through the heat, which was noticeable, but not unbearable. I actually thought the youth classes would have issues in the loose soil, but even they rode in an impressive fashion making short work of a tough track. The fun continued as the racing ended and a huge team game of lawn pong got underway, which saw most of the pro riders join in on the festivities. However, attention quickly diverted from the pavilion to the impromptu BMX track set up for another fun race featuring teams where a pro rider was paired with a youth rider, and from what I saw it was a prison rules race! The competition was intense especially when you add in the flying water balloons and by the end, full on football tackles that added a new element to the race! It is not often you see Colton Moore throwing water balloons at Chad Wienen! If smiles and laughter were money we were all rich! 

The event is dedicated to Caleb Moore who tragically lost his life after an accident and has remained in everyone’s thoughts and prayers especially through the racing ranks. Colton and his father were on hand to help celebrate Caleb’s life and support the event though their attendance, and even had some fun racing in the Side-by-Side event. Another rider lost way too early was also honored at the event, Matt Bartosek would have celebrated his birthday, and his memory was included in almost every podium speech. Debbie Bartosek was awarded a special trophy to help honor Matt’s memory and with Joel winning aboard the 88 machine marked a fitting tribute to the Bartosek family. 

Caleb Moore's family and friends were on hand to pay tribute.
Caleb Moore's family and friends were on hand to pay tribute. Photo: Ken Hill

All in all it was a very good weekend for everyone, and I was happy I was able to attend. It was good seeing an event that is not bound by points and an emphasis placed on a big pay out to climax the end of another season of racing. Talk of the ATVMX banquet seemed to be in everyone’s thoughts as it is a mere weeks away so we all get one more chance to chat and hang out! I have to thank the Ford family for making this event possible along with TQRA and everyone behind the scenes who donated time or worked hard to make this annual event such a success. 

That is all from me this week, time to ruck up for the GNCC this weekend, which thankfully is fairly close to home. After a 2,700-mile road trip, a few hours will seem like a breeze! As a reminder, make sure you are registered for the banquet so you can attend our year-end celebration! As always, God bless you all and safe travels!