ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Let The Preparations Begin

Site Lap: Let The Preparations Begin

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 | 6:20 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 | 6:20 PM

The 2017 ProX ATV Motocross National Championship presented by CST Tires, an AMA National Champion is still a few months away, but already many of the contingents are in preparation mode. The deals are all coming together for many and a number have sealed the deal on next season. It is again an exciting time in our sport and the future is limitless. The strides achieved in recent years must not only be maintained but we must continue pushing forward to keep our sport thriving. So as a challenge this off-season continue the amazing social media stances you have stated and maintain a positive presence for your sponsors, the sport and yourself.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned many of the team changes and how different we could expect some things to be. Though there have not been any major announcements yet, I feel there is some things to have light shed on them in the coming weeks. I feel the excitement is building and there may be some shockers on the horizon. 

We can't wait to hear about our ATVMX riders 2017 moves, let us know by tagging us on social media @atvmotocross #ATVMX.
We can't wait to hear about our ATVMX riders 2017 moves, let us know by tagging us on social media @atvmotocross #ATVMX. Photo: ATVMX Archives

Some things I do know though are probably not any surprises but do carry some major weight. There may be some obvious effects but honestly I think a lot of the things we see happening will have deeper and bigger impacts that we mot even recognize what actually triggered it. 

I chatted with John Natalie in recent weeks and asked the obvious. Are you racing next season? Given recent crashes and injuries it is a legit question. Realizing we are talking about the “Ironman” it may seem a little odd but he is human so the question was asked. I didn't get the answer that I was hoping for but I got one that signaled hope. John said in a nutshell that he certainly hoped to but the biggest issue would be what it is for everyone at this level. It all boils down to finances.  That may not be the overwhelming yes we hope for but there is hope and it is likely he will find all he needs.

Joe Byrd’s retirement is earns was extended. Joe who is a life long Honda rider will fly the factory flag one final season as he says farewell. His intentions were for 2016 to be that season but do to an injury and surgery on his neck he didn't make a number of rounds and Joe said, “I'm not going out like that!” As mentioned in previous times Joe has been one of the sports biggest ambassadors reaching places all around the globe with his riding schools and racing. It will be an honor to see Joe lined up on the line one final season. At 43 years old he has had a majestic career spanning national and international ATV competition, which included the Mickey Thompson quad series and much more. To hear Joe’s stories is a treat and we can only he hope he shares some memories in a book some day soon.

Whose ready to see the gates drop in 2017!?
Whose ready to see the gates drop in 2017!? Photo: Ken Hill

As mentioned there will be changes in some teams. Some I'll expand while others will change things up. One of the big expansions this year will come from Ford Brothers Racing. If you were at the banquet then you may know a lot of that already. But if you don't, Robin Ford sent this note me to let everyone know, it is great t see this expansion and should bring things to new levels again next year.

In years past, Ford Brothers Racing has literally been “the Ford Brothers” consisting of Cody and Bryce Ford.  However, in 2017 the Ford’s are expanding their family.  Noah Mickelson, Ryan Korody and Jacob Stevens, all of whom have earned ATV MX championship titles, will join National ATVMX champions, Cody and Bryce Ford. 

Winning isn’t everything and being a good sport plays a major role too.  Ford Brothers is focusing on helping riders in 2017 that are superb ambassadors for the ATV community on and off the track.  Along with Mark Baldwin of Baldwin Motorsports, the “Ford” team will work on creating future role models and competitors on a national level that have experience with the highs of winning and the lows of defeat.  

The Fords have opened up their sponsorships and personal track, Green Acres MX, to many riders this year in hopes of growing the sport of quad racing.  As we all know, it takes a lot of family effort and time to compete, and it’s a total commitment by everyone involved.  With the return of Nick Gennusa and Ronnie Higgerson to train at Green Acres as well as help from John Natalie, these YOUNG GUNS should be right where they want to be in 2017. 

This is good news for the racing community as the new riders on the team are without a doubt great role models and good examples of our sport. It's great to see things growing and hope for continued success as well as all new and expanding teams for 2017 and I hope we hear from you as well. 

Now that's a mouth full of dirt...
Now that's a mouth full of dirt... Photo: Ken Hill

On a side note, you may have read that Noah Mickelson is part of the team now and you may wonder about big brother Haedyn. It is my understanding he may be racing under the Maxxis/Liquid Wrench/Ella team with Joel Hetrick, Davie Haagsma and Grayson Eller. I will try and get full details. I do feel that it is a great move for both parties and it is showing very positive and strong growth for that team as well. I am anxious to see what this teams let's out of the bag before Daytona. I do feel whatever it is there will be a surprise or two. At round one.

That’s it for me for now. Let's check with Gloop’s Loop and Ken “the deer harvest has begun” Hill. Till next time God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs, 

In The Loop with Gloop:


Trevor Thatcher is looking comfortable on the new quad!


Texas photographer, Leo Loera with the cool shot of Jeffrey Rastrelli.

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Have you ever been hard on the gas, really charging into a corner and then your rear end starts swapping and you dump it or almost dump it? Well that has been life for me the past few weeks! I, like you, know about the chop and braking bumps, but in the split second it registered that carrying way too much speed was not the best idea and the damage was done! We have been wide open here as the racing season really cranks up before it winds down and I seem to be catching every rut and bump life can lay down but hey, we all know that’s life in general, but thankfully I hasn’t dumped it yet. I mean you race with brakes and I can just slow down, but we still end up going over a berm every now and then, so I reckon it’s how you get things back on track that matters. Now there is nothing bad going on, just life at warp speed where time seems to go into hyper-speed and no matter how hard you work you just can not seem to make any headway. I suppose it may be worse when you can’t make it happen on the track and then the same fate waits for you in your daily life but giving up is not an option! 

Whose excited for the weekend? Just two more days!
Whose excited for the weekend? Just two more days! Photo: Ken Hill

I am pretty sure my dilemma is based on trying to remain as busy as I can be so I do not think of my youngest kid being away in the Army. Staying busy keeps my mind off it, or so I think anyway, but you hit a wall and realize no matter how much busy work you make it is just a blurring of reality until you take a few minutes break and it all comes rushing back that you are trying to hide from something instead of facing it head on. Ok, I can admit as a parent I am hiding from my fears and I suppose that is natural or at the very least normal, but I wonder if we do that as racing parents at times. I think back to spending almost every waking hour worrying and stressing about the next race. I worked on the quad, prepped the quad, got the gear ready and tried to stay super focused on the next event, as our rider was busy with school, homework and being a typical kid without much of a care in the world! There has to be middle ground between being that kid and being that adult and many of us probably need to find it! Now don’t tell me you don’t see it at the races, the stress, the super focused attention in the pits, the thrashing late into the night when it probably is not warranted, but a way of dealing with stress! I now see it in the faces as riders get ready for the gate and when the race is over, the kids are off playing and the parents are back to doing it all over again! And now with social media you can see it in posts and feel the angst in the writings. Just remember people, life is short and our kids grow so fast that actually making things slow down may be the hardest thing you have to tackle in our fast paced world! 

So the GNCC season is about to go down at Ironman Raceway for the season ending “blowout extravaganza finale grand exit hoopla” filled race fest! Yes, it is usually just that, a blowout that is probably one of the most enjoyable events of my season. It kind of ties into what I stated earlier as the series is usually split with half there to put the wrap on a season while the other half is in high stress mode as championships are down to the final round. Last year was insane with the XC1 Pro ATV class coming down to the last round and Walker Fowler wrapping it all up but this year, it is all over as far as their points go so the stress is pretty much gone and the pro class should be a two hour race that will be more for fun and bragging rights which makes for an awesome time when you have several thousand fans scattered about cheering them on. The entire event is fun as long as the weather cooperates which is par for the course as we all know how the weather plays into things including adding to that stress thing. So if you are in the region, come on out and have some fun and see what GNCC racing is all about and hang around Saturday night for the festivities! 

Who remembers the ATVMX National at Ironman? We head there this weekend for the GNCC Season Finale! Come on over if you're around, ATV Racing is Saturday. 
Who remembers the ATVMX National at Ironman? We head there this weekend for the GNCC Season Finale! Come on over if you're around, ATV Racing is Saturday.  Photo: Ken Hill

 Now the GNCC series is in a quandary as they try and sort out the start of the 2017 season and put out a survey for input from the racers. It was really cool to see the responses that surrounded the issue and how many mentioned the Daytona ATVSX as being important to them in regards to when the first two rounds are held! As someone who tries non-stop to promote TV racing, it makes me incredibly happy to see one series support another and it is harder than you think to get that to happen so when it does, I usually jump up and cheer. So keep doing what you are doing as it is having an impact on how we are viewed by others.

That is all from me this week as I tackle laundry and gearing up for the weekend of what will hopefully be a great and relaxing time! Be safe in your travels and racing and God bless you all!