Phoenix Racing Honda’s Joel Hetrick Sweeps Muddy Creek Pro ATV MX
Salisbury, NC (5/27/2019) – Phoenix Racing Honda Team Pro rider Joel Hetrick again swept both motos and finished first overall during the AMA Pro ATV Motocross National Championship event at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, TN. His second sweep in a row moves him up to second in points.
Teammate Grayson Eller padded his points lead in 450 A with another runner-up finish. Noah Mickelson was second in Pro-Am, while Haedyn Mickelson overcame mechanical issues to finish 12th in Pro.
The Muddy Creek track is widely known for its hard-packed surface and blue groove. Officials covered the track with sawdust prior to the race, making for a soft, ragged and rough racing surface, catching everyone by surprise.
Despite the unexpected conditions, Hetrick was ready. After winning the top qualifier award, he easily won the first moto. In the second moto, he fought it out with two other competitors to score the close victory. It marked his second consecutive moto sweep and moves him to within 17 points of the championship lead.
“The track was really rough, but it still worked out for me,” said Hetrick. “With the rough conditions Impact Solutions had the Elka suspension dialed in. They really
made a difference because I was able to run solid laps and I had two good starts thanks to the DASA motor and Maxxis tires. It’s crunch time now, so it felt good to do this.”
Haedyn Mickelson was working his way up to sixth in the first moto and battling hard for several laps when a mechanical issue slowed his charge. He struggled to get into a groove in the second moto and settled for a 12th overall finish.
“We had a pretty good setup going into it with our Elka shocks and Maxxis tires so the bike was handling awesome all weekend,” said Haedyn Mickelson. “We’ll get ready for the next race. Sunset Ridge has a sandy racing surface and that’s what I’m more used to, so we’re looking to better results there.”
Noah Mickelson went 1-2 in the Pro-Am motos to finish second overall. His best finish this season also marked his third podium. He’s now in a numerical tie for second in points.
“It was a rough track, and it was hot, but my training really paid off,” said Noah Mickelson. “The Elka suspension did its job in taming the conditions. The Maxxis tires hooked up phenomenally. I don’t think there’s a better setup available.”
Eller continued his dominance in the 450 A class, going 1-2 for a second-place overall finish. Marking his fourth consecutive podium in the class, Eller now leads the title chase by 10 points.
“Brandon and I had a really good battle going on Saturday,” said Eller. “I didn’t get the best start on Sunday, but I still got on the podium. I’ll work on the weaknesses before we get to the next two tracks, which are both strong for me.”
In Open Pro Sport, Eller finished sixth overall on the merit of a 5-6 in the motos. He enjoyed the rough track and was pleased with the top-10 finish. He now sits fourth in that championship, just 16 points out of the lead.
“I learned a few things, including that I need to focus on getting better starts,” said Eller. “It was nice to get to a rougher track because I excel in those conditions.”
The Phoenix Racing Honda team next heads to Walnut, IL for round six of the ATV Motocross National Championship being held at Sunset Ridge MX June 15-16.