The AMA ATV Motocross National Championship silly season may now be in full swing as things are finally starting to wind down. This year we crowned Joel Hetrick as the new AMA Pro ATV Champion, Team USA took their first-ever win with Thomas Brown winning the individual overall on an international stage in the QXoN, and this past weekend Joel Hetrick and his new bride Carlie shared their nuptials. A huge congratulations to everyone on all the great achievements this year. It has been a stellar season, and to see it all coming to a final close is a bit sad. However, the flipside to that is that we will soon be looking ahead to what 2018 has in store. The thing I wonder most is the same thing I have wondered the past few years, “how are we going to top that season?”
Right now plans are being made for the upcoming year end celebrations and awards ceremonies on November 18 at Kalahari Bay Resort and Indoor Waterpark. It is one of the biggest indoor parks in the country and it offers something for the entire family. If you have not gone the last two years you are missing out. Details and booking information is available on ATVMotocross.com.
Most racing championships are nearing completion, and as we have mentioned in recent weeks D-6 has a nice event coming up this weekend if you’re looking for a little ATVMX racing. You can check out their Facebook Page to find out all the details on the big money Pro-Am purse and more. If you are in the area, you should try and support this great grassroots program.
GNCC will be back in action this weekend for anyone near the Saint Clairsville, Ohio area. The Powerline Park GNCC is the penultimate round of competition. The XC2 Pro Am title is up grabs on the quad side of racing, and the XC1 Pro motorcycle championship hangs in the balance as well. It should be a great weather weekend and if you want more details you can go to GNCCRacing.com. Also if you are looking for something to watch at home this weekend, you can catch the race on RacerTV.com and through Livestream on your Smart TVs and other electronic devices as well. While there you can check out all the archived ATVMX races including all the MAVTV broadcasts.
The race this weekend will begin around 1:00 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday. You can watch for fellow MX racers Westley Wolfe in the heated XC1 Pro class. He has finished top five at the last two rounds and is in search of a podium this weekend. Also former ATVMX racer Ries Parvin is looking at four straight wins in the highly contested Junior 25+ class and is hoping claim the title in the class. He is the only multi-race winner in the class this season and looks to wrap the championship up if things fall in his favor. It could as well go down to the wire to the famous Ironman GNCC at the end of this month.
As far as the silly season thing goes, with as much that has been going on, everything is starting to quiet down. Our focus off the big race in Italy, off the big wedding of Carlie and Joel and now with time left to wonder starts to make us.....wonder. What is going on behind the scenes right now? Who is making moves and shifts in teams and sponsors and what does the future hold for next year. Who is moving up? Who is moving out? And where are we headed for next season. Though these questions can not be answered today, the answers to those and all of our questions are coming.
I talked with Tommy Vossman this past weekend at Joel’s wedding. If you have followed anything recently on him from social media then you may be aware he is likely done with racing for good. Tommy suffered some concussions over the years and the most recent one gave him more problems than expected. Long story short is that he ended up in the hospital with a bleeding brain and the reality that he may have to look to another form of adrenaline release. He hopes to keep as many options open as possible to stay in the industry and sport but is still searching for the right place to make that happen. The good thing is that Tommy has a good head on his shoulders and this is only a minor setback in his young life.
I spoke with Thomas Brown yesterday in an interview I conducted for Quad Radio which will be out soon. He told me things were going great and that he was getting things closed out for the year. He was prepping bikes and things to sell and was rather up in the air about what next season holds. He also talked about the recent experience in Italy at QXoN and what that was like for the team. He simply stated he wasn’t sure though what next year held and he wasn’t alluding to something big on the horizon but more of a “I don’t know what’s going on!” Hopefully like he said in years past it will work itself out but said he was looking at the possibility of this could have been the last big dance. Let’s hope not because he would leave a big hole in our sport.
The “Almost Evil” Ronnie Higgerson has fallen rather quiet as of late so I dropped him a line this morning. The good news is he said this is the norm for him as he goes to work as soon as the season is over to try and save money so he can race the following season. So far, so good according to Ronnie.
Ronnie said to me, “things are going pretty good Rodney. At this point the goal from now until January is to do nothing but work and save up money for next season. I haven’t even rode once since Loretta’s but I have been focusing more on staying in shape throughout the offseason. More so than years in the past.
The game plan for next year is similar to this past season, I will be with Ford Brothers Racing again in 2018. I’m super excited about next year as the team has bigger plans, we learned a ton this past season and it’s the first time I have ever ridden for a team more than 1 season so that only means my machine will be more tuned up and ready to go for next year instead of starting from square one like years in the past. Overall it’s looking pretty good for next year, here’s to hoping I save enough money in the offseason!”
Speaking of Ford Brother’s Racing. They have been around and working behind the scenes for a lot of riders in recent years but a kudos to the team this year for the major support program they brought to the table. It was a lot of hard work but thankfully “Momma Ford”, Robin survived all the chaos and held together a great team of competitors. I asked Robin this morning how things were going and she replied, “even though it’s off-season for quad nationals, there is still never a dull moment for the Ford Brothers racing team.
Good news for our racer, Gage Scalleti. He underwent a very serious heart operation to repair his heart valve in late September. After a few days in ICU and the hospital, he is back home and getting stronger every day. He will move forward repairing damage to his hand that was broken in the spring while training for the 2017 season. Once these two surgeries are out of the way, Gage will focus on the “B” classes in 2018.
Almost Evil, Pro Ronnie Higgerson is working on clearing land and having Randy Poulter build a Pro Quad track for him in Illinois. This will in turn give Ronnie and the team a place to train after the ground thaws in the spring and put them in close proximity to the national races during the summer months.
Bryce Ford is on the mend from his early season crash in 2017 and moving forward with practicing on the Foreman’s Baldwin built 450. He won’t be old enough to enter the class until after the 2018 season begins, but is chomping at the bit to race the Amateur classes. Bryce is back to his non-racing sports - playing basketball. Something that after his crash we didn't think he would be able to do. But he's pretty headstrong and as you know, youth has an advantage to healing.
Cody was fortunate enough to join Team USA in Italy at the QXON race and be a part of the epic win as the only American racer at the race not competing. This amazing experience offered Cody a glimpse into the world of pro racing and a memory that will last a lifetime. It’s back to reality and school for Cody. He’ll finish up the local series racing with TQRA, take a few weeks off then join the team at Green Acres where they will work on their 2018 season goals.
Jacob Stevens, Ryan Korody and the other riders are back to their jobs and school until January 2018 and we are all looking forward to the banquet at Kalahari where we can enjoy ourselves, be together as a team and brainstorm for the 2018 season.”
That’s gonna do it for me for now. Let’s check in with Gloop’s Loop and with Ken “reload” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.
In The Loop With Gloop:
Keeping Up With Ken Hill:
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t congratulate Joel and Carlie Hetrick on getting hitched last weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed watching their social media as they shared their special day with all of us. Two amazing people that should have an incredible life as they go through the world hand in hand. Watching these two grow up at the races makes it feel more like the circle just getting tighter and they sure seem like a really good fit so here is to you guys, good luck in your future and may God bless you both! Add Joel’s championship season and the Team USA win and you have a year that no one will forget, simply amazing. I really don’t see anyone topping all that anytime soon!
Then just like that, our country was turned upside down with the tragedy that struck Las Vegas. First, I know all of you will join me in sending our prayers to the victims and their families. The days following this tragedy had me ready to turn off social media as the “what ifs” and “computer experts” ran wild with every theory imaginable. Usually I am right in the middle of something like this but my two cents just wasn’t needed. As I read replies and watched the news for any information, I had to turn to what many tell me all the time and that is to try and find the positive in everything, so that is what I started to do. I saw regular people turn into heroes and once again our law enforcement and first responders charge into a situation that meant death for some of them. Our country is very divided and being so involved with social media for the different series I can’t seem to avoid the negativity but I am trying and would ask that you do the same. It really shouldn't take a tragedy, especially one of this nature, to unite or further divide us. We are one, our voices should be one and our actions are of one and that is how we became the greatest country on earth. I can only pray for all of us and those affected by such events as well as the natural forces that rip into the country, that we stay united and work to be better people and stop all this non sense.
Now the burst of posts from many of you had me smiling because if I could get you all to be as avid and active when it comes to sharing information about the races, I would be a happy camper! For all the negative social media brings to the world, it is still at this time the best vehicle to spread information so once again I ask you all to share the series posts and remain active in assisting us in getting the information out there. I know right now it is the off season and for many, a break away from the bars is needed and I feel the same way, however we need to keep it flowing as much as we can. So if you have information you would like shared, please send it in to the series via email [email protected] or [email protected].
That is all from me this week as my time of year is moving in and I become a camp wearing hunting machine. There is only two more rounds of GNCC left, so come on out if you can to race or just watch as both remaining rounds are usually pretty good and with championships wrapping up the racing is not only intense it can get down right funny as the pressures are removed once the number one plates have been earned! As always, God bless you in all you do and please be safe out there!