ATV Motocross

Site Lap: The Pace Quickens

Site Lap: The Pace Quickens

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 | 3:55 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 | 3:55 PM

The pace quickens, and so do many of the heart rates as the preseason heats up and we race toward the first round of the 2017 season. There really seems to be a lot of concentration as the many changes folks have made are destined to elevate our sport and the competitiveness of the championship to even higher levels. It seems nearly impossible to be thinking this after what we have seen in recent history, however the progression of what we have seen seems to be reaching a fever pitch. To win any championship this season will be an even bigger honor to those who do. 

As far as the AMA Pro ATV Racing aspects of the off-season are concerned, we are beginning to hear more and more from the many training areas as each rider prepares their programs. Cole Sepesi and Jeffery Rastrelli both recently purchased new property in Florida for training purposes. Thomas Brown has been busy bridging gaps this off-season with another MX vs. ATV video featuring a quad and bike on a Supercross track. Joel Hetrick is busy down on the bayou at the Greg Pafford Compound, while Chad Wienen is fresh from the Caymans. 

Off-season is dwindling down! Whose excited for the first gate drop?
Off-season is dwindling down! Whose excited for the first gate drop? Photo: Ken Hill

That's right 5-Time AMA Pro ATV Motocross champion Chad Wienen is preparing an exotic non-ATV related affair. Anyone thinking he may be getting lax this off-season, you may want to think again. Chad told me this, “Preseason training has been going well so far. Weather in Florida has been mint. Going to be diving into some testing next week when we get back from Danica's sisters wedding in the Grand Cayman Islands. Some good weeks are ahead as they are working to further improve our program. Nothing too exciting going on that pops out, but I am enjoying being back on my Yamaha YFZ450R.” 

Chad is busy training near Daytona Beach only a few minutes from the site of the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. He has been continuing his normal off-season training with former 6-Time GNCC champion Chris Borich, Johnny Gallagher and rising star Kenny Shick. Chad also told me, “I have had a rider named Rolf Reider at my place for the last week helping him out with some training and shadowing what I have been doing. I'm also looking forward to seeing T-Brown who will be making his way east and will be joining me to ride soon.” 

Chad Wienen has been training hard this off-season, but he also knows how to kick back!
Chad Wienen has been training hard this off-season, but he also knows how to kick back! Photo: Ken Hill

Joel Hetrick as mentioned is in Louisiana for his preseason ritual training, and he tells me things are great in his camp too. He said, “Right now it's just me and Carlie, but Troy Hill will be here soon. We have Randy Poulter coming in this weekend to touch up the track a bit; I'm really pumped for that. Harlen Foley from will be coming the 16th for a photoshoot with the team. Other than that I'm just training hard with The Program and riding as much as possible!” 

As we mentioned, Thomas Brown has been busy this off-season. We know he has made a few changes in his program and things will be different on a few fronts. One thing that remains the same will be his mechanic Brain Johnson who joined T-Brown last season. Brian is a former fast guy himself who made the switch to the mechanic side a few years ago. Thomas told me he was currently en route to Florida to “focus on riding and training.” 

Thomas worked hard on getting his program together for the off-season and some how found a way to bridge the two-wheel and four-wheel community once again as Blake Shipman put together another MX vs ATV edition. This time on the SX track and Thomas told me this, “Blake Shipman put it together for me to try SX, and to see how we compare to a bike. Two-wheeled rider Jimmy Albertson stepped up to do some filming and now I have even more respect for the SX riders. The track was gnarly and it's not like riding MX. It's way more timing and less flow. I couldn't do the rhythms that jimmy could do, but I had a blast riding SX though.” 

Thomas Brown has been busy, make sure you check out the new MX vs ATV video! 
Thomas Brown has been busy, make sure you check out the new MX vs ATV video!  Photo: Ken Hill

Thomas also said how cool it was and added, “We all wanted to try and get the hate out between bike and quad riders. We wanted to show we can moto together and we both have our strong suits. We all see the bike guys dissing us on the Internet, but Jimmy says he gets tired of hearing crap talking from quad riders. He likes quads, but the only reason he had a bad taste for quad riders is the keyboard warriors. He was super cool with me and we had a good time filming and riding.” 

As far as the actual track Thomas said, “Compound77 was a bike place only, but let me come in and ride the SX track for the video. After seeing me ride they allowed me to come out more and they now have quad practice days on there awesome out door track!” That to me is great to hear and a gap has been bridged between the worlds and hopefully it will help unite the sport as a whole. If you want to check out the MX vs ATV SX video, just click here

That sounds like a lot and we are just getting started. Next week we will hear from Jeffrey Rastrelli, Cole Sepesi, Ford Brothers Racing and more. So, be sure to follow Site Lap as there will be plenty to talk about in the coming days. Let's check in with Gloop's Loop and with Ken “My suitcase is already packed” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:


Sam Rowe is down in Texas getting a jump start on 2017 training.


Blommel Motorsports has been putting in the work over this short off-season.

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Counting down the days seems to be engulfing my life these days. Between the run up to the GNCC and ATVMX series, my kid coming home and leaving for preseason photo shoots it has been a non-stop rush of numbers! It all equates to the simple fact that we are going racing and in short order. The training videos are starting to pop up as the top riders clear any cobwebs that may be lingering and the weather; you cannot watch the videos and not take notice of that southern warmth and sunshine! It is really hard to not ruck up and roll out as I sit here watching it snow and feel the sting of a winter blast that most of the country has been dealing with for the past week. I can’t thank the Tremellen crew for really throwing out the videos and making the single digit temps really sting! In all seriousness, it is indeed time to get ready because Daytona will be upon us in very short order.

ATVSX is coming up sooner than we think! Have you signed up yet? Register HERE!
ATVSX is coming up sooner than we think! Have you signed up yet? Register HERE! Photo: Ken Hill

Last seasons early trip down south was awesome for me however this year is going to be a bit different. I cannot say I did not enjoy being down there for what seemed like forever, but with the youngest kid still in Army training, I cannot afford to be away from the homestead as long so it will be a whirlwind trip instead of a few weeks of bumming about Florida. Recalling the highs and lows of what I witnessed last year was eye opening as I watched the riders struggle and succeed showing the stark differences between those with a bigger budget, better planning and in some case just plain better luck. That is life though, no sure thing, no ticket to the top, just hard work. I can only hope that those who suffered can get on track early and stay there so we can see a season of competition at all levels. I saw Ronnie Higgerson getting input on his social media regarding shaving off his beard and my advice to him is to leave it! Once shaved you have to keep it shaved and razors cost money, money that buys quad parts and race fuel. I have a sharp knife if we need to hack out a place for his chinstrap!

The wife was kind enough to put the schedule together for me showing both the GNCC and ATVMX series dates and wow, just wow! I guess things will all work out as usual, but between the two series it appears I will be staying on the road non-stop for the first few months. Now I am really a homebody, I enjoy staying right here and working but sometimes you just have to roll with things and get the job done and that is exactly what will happen. Cameras and gear are off being serviced, the truck will need a going over and I even got a new 12-volt electric blanket for the chilly nights when I am stuck sleeping in the hotel Dodge! It all goes back to planning and preparation, which is usually in short supply and the cause of most issues we run into in life. I do intend to take two things with me this season that I have missed while on the road, my metal detector and a fishing pole! I am not sure if I will find time to use them but having them at the ready might help if I find myself in an area where pirate treasure and big fish happen to be! It is tough watching you all sneak off with a pole in your hand at some rounds so I intend to beat you to the fish and the bounty! If I get rich I can buy a helicopter to fly around in have crab and shrimp shipped in so I can feast trackside! Ok, so maybe I find something worth buying me a drone and having a water airlifted out to me while I am shooting but I prefer to dream big! My luck I will get a ticket for not having a fishing license and the batteries will die on my detector just a foot away from a gazillion dollars in gold, the story of my life!

Dylan Tremellen has been sharing videos of his preseason training! Keep us up-to-date by using the hashtag #ATVMX. You could be featured on our social media or in next week's Site Lap. 
Dylan Tremellen has been sharing videos of his preseason training! Keep us up-to-date by using the hashtag #ATVMX. You could be featured on our social media or in next week's Site Lap.  Photo: Ken Hill

So, it seems that a few riders are really sharpening their business skills as they market themselves and their sponsors. One name pops up this week and that is Nick Gennusa. You can’t bring up social media without seeing Nicks posts that seem to be posted with good timing so not to be over done and the content is a great mix of promotion and insight into his racing world. Do yourself a favor and check him out and see if you can figure out your own way to use social media to propel your program and give the sponsors who support you the proper exposure they expect. Another rider to check out is GNCC XC1 pro Adam McGill. Adam has a crazy streak, a wild side as it were and has managed to create a very loyal following with his fans, sponsors and does it in a way that is entertaining as well as promoting the products he depends on. You don’t have to copy what these two are doing, but you really need something going on to showcase why you deserve the support you are getting. I know that companies are now including social media in their contracts, and for the foreseeable future it will remain this way until someone comes up with the next great platform to get people to interact and connect. 

Ok, that is all from me this week, time to get the warm clothes on and get outside in this icy, wet, white mess that is falling and get work done. 69 days until spring, less than that to Daytona so get cracking! Be safe in all you do and God bless you all!