ATV Motocross

Site Lap: The Season of Hype

Site Lap: The Season of Hype

Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 11:20 AM
Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 11:20 AM

The 2016 ProX ATV Motocross National Championship presented by CST Tires, an AMA National championship was hyped to be one of the best championship seasons in recent history. There was a hype that the “new era” of racing was upon us, and how the year may produce more stars and present new challenges. In the end it is likely safe to say that the season lived up to all the hype it was given. A simple look through the standings prove the point with not only the tight battles but new names that are starting to emerge as top national athletes. One may even say this year was the dawn of that “new era” and the sun is only starting to rise. 

A scan of the year-end results after all the tallying is done is a rather interesting read. The championship point battles yielded everything I thought it would in many classes. I was surprised at the number of championships won by only a slim margin. It is one of those seasons where many may be able to look back and recognize the exact moment that ultimately won or lost their position in the championship. 

The future of our sport is in this young kids. 
The future of our sport is in this young kids.  Photo: Ken Hill

Starting at the top of the list with the AMA Pro ATV is possibly the most evident to the race fans of the “that one moment” that changed it all. It was Joel Hetrick’s big first round crash that proved the age old cliché’ of you can’t win the title in the first round but you can lose it.” Meaning no disrespect to the challenger as he will be the first to admit it but one has to think on some levels it may have been the most maturing moment of his career. It was after that we witnessed a rider on a mission that even though he came up short on this year may be propelling himself to even bigger things next year. The flip side of that is that he may have woken a sleeping giant in Chad Wienen, as he knows title number six will be an even bigger challenge to achieve.  Which leads most to the Question of what level will Chad step to next season to stay ahead of the field? I can't wait to see.

As exciting as the pro racing was this season the rest of the classes had their excitement as well. In the Pro Am class Brett Musick was able to clinch the title early with some strong and consistent rides. The battle for second ended up being the one to watch. Parker Wewerka and Westley Wolfe each had their fair of struggles and in the end it came down to a tie breaker for the second spot in the Pro Am class. Each scored 172 points but it was Wewerka getting the spot. The class yielded some fierce competition this year and several riders are even moving up to AMA Pro ATV class next season. A few even tested the waters at the season finale’ and more are expected to next year. 

Hill was preparing himself for battle at Loretta's.
Hill was preparing himself for battle at Loretta's. Photo: Ken Hill

The next class that catches the eye, as far as competitiveness, may be the 450 A class. Alan Meyers who ended up capturing this class title and the Production A title was faced with a stealthy under the radar attack from Sky Volkamer. Volkamer ended the season in second but showed amazing speed and talent as the season pressed on. Meyers ended up winning the 450 A class by only two points over Volkamer but the fire was lit for Sky and he will be one to watch in the future if he continues on pace. 

The 450 B class was another exciting match up riders to watch. The field on this one may be deeper than the points indicate but the end results pitted two former youth standouts against each other in this class. Cody Ford and Noah Mickleson finished the championship 10 points apart but anyone watching knew this was a close one to the wire. Noah Mickleson was able to capture the title and produced some the smoothest racing we seen all season. Both Noah and Cody adapted very well with the bigger machines and if riding style, confidence and show of talent is any indication of the future holds we are in store for some real treats again next year in the A classes as they move up. 

The 450 C class and the Production C classes spotlighted many talents but top riders were without a doubt Rian Smittle and Logan Tremellen. Each rider showed early in the season they came to win. It was the fire in both burned bright and hot. Each rider found the center of the podium on several occasions and battled to the bitter end. Only five points separated both of the classes, and Smittle was able to come out the victor in both. This is another championship rivalry I feel will be moving up the ranks of ATVMX and we should remember their names. You can listen to a late season interview with Logan on as he talks about this season and more.

Coming into the corner hot at Loretta's is David Haagsma
Coming into the corner hot at Loretta's is David Haagsma Photo: Ken Hill

Cody Ford found himself in another heated championship battle in the Production B class. This time with Logan Stanfield who is a 969 Motorsports teammate of Alan Meyers. Stanfield was able to best Ford by only five points in this class as Ford had his work cut out for him in this class too. It was another situation where each rider pushed the other to new levels and brought an excitement to the track that made you stop and watch.

The classes mentioned were some of the tightest of the season. It was obvious by looking at the points but some class points do not reflect the true story of the competition. Even though those were not mentioned they too were plentiful, it all lends itself to wondering about the future and begins to stir the excitement for 2017 and we still have the banquet to go in a little over a week which will be the official end to 2016 racing. The banquet should yield some excitement with some big announcements as well as surprises. 

That's it for me for now. Let's check into Gloop’s Loop and with Ken “Hot Pepper” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vatal Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:



Keep us updated throughout this off-season by posting all you can on Social Media and don't forget tag us, you could be featured in Site Lap! @atvmotocross #ATVMX

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Holy cow it is indeed Wednesday already! This is usually my slow down time of the racing season with the ATVMX complete and the GNCC season every few weeks, but not this year! Adding the run to Texas for the Pro Challenge seemed to have really cut into my kick back and chill time, but I sure enjoyed it. And then, the ISDE schedule was worked around for the GNCC series giving us two back to back rounds, which puts everything wide open until after this weekend, or does it? Nope, we have the ATVMX banquet that should be here in the blink of an eye so be sure you have all your reservations made so we can all have one more weekend of having fun before slipping off to our “normal” lives.

We can't wait to celebrate with everyone at the banquet this year, make sure you've made your reservations!
We can't wait to celebrate with everyone at the banquet this year, make sure you've made your reservations! Photo: Ken Hill

Now add in that I have been sick for weeks and the stress of son number two rolling out to basic training and this fall has been a whirlwind of craziness, not to be unmatched by the usually hectic schedule we all face at the beginning of each season. It is enough to make a man want to just take a step in front of a speeding bus! No, it is not that bad just life wide open and we all face it at times. I reckon the biggest advice I could give myself is to slow down, embrace the suck and keep moving forward because what will happen is going to happen and worrying won’t change a single thing! The down side to all this insanity is that unless it had to do with the homestead, the race I was heading to or the family, I haven’t paid attention to much and with good reason I suppose. One advantage I get with Site Lap is I read Rodney’s portion before it is made public just to see what he has come up with regarding his into of me each week, it cracks me up! Some of you get it and some have no idea what he is talking about but its all-good fun as it should be. I took hot peppers and tomatoes to the last two GNCC races where they made fresh salsa and boy was it ever good, a tad bit hot but good! I have talked before about the food we all make at the track and it is one thing I miss in the off-season.

Rodney mentions many of this years champions in his segment and it would appear that Yamaha may be getting another at this weekends GNCC as Walker Fowler is just a decent ride away from gaining another XC1 Pro championship. I know the forever-ongoing Honda versus Yamaha thing may never end but you have to give credit to the entire Yamaha team for getting the job done. Those of you who have won championships at any level understand how much work, dedication and support is needed to make it happen and at the pro level the stress is off the charts. It will be very interesting to see what 2017 brings and I will be very excited to see it. 


That is all from me this week, short and sweet but I will be back on track here shortly when life slows down enough for me to dive into some interviews. I hope and pray everyone remains safe in your travels and of course on the track, God Bless you all and do not forget to get things dialed in for the banquet!


Be sure to check out the ATVMX Show from RedBud MX this Saturday, October 1 at 5:30 p.m. on MAVTV! If you won't be home, set your DVR.