As the 2019 ATV Motocross National Championship tour crested the halfway point, two newcomers to their respective disciplines have been so solid that it’s hard to believe they are still new to this level of racing. These two riders both share the same last name and both ride for the same team. They are Cody and Bryce Ford of Ford of Ford Brothers Racing, of course. For Cody, he entered the AMA ATV Pro Class this season and has looked every bit the part each step of the way. He has solidified himself as a top ten pro against the best ATV racers in the world, a tall task as a rookie. For his younger brother Bryce, he has transitioned directly from dominating the youth ranks to dominating the top amateur classes without any transition period whatsoever. The dominance from the youngest Ford brother in his first year on full-sized machines is unlike anything this sport has seen before. The Ford Brothers Racing Team had impressed all season long, but the boys saved their best performance yet for this past weekend at Sunset Ridge Mx.
Set in the rolling hill of Illinois surrounded by white-painted fencing and meticulously maintained greenery, Sunset Ridge is one of the most beautiful facilities a motocross enthusiast will ever lay eyes on. It’s sandy soil and rough terrain typically makes for some of the best racing of the season, but Mother Nature had another curveball up her sleeve. Multiple inches of rain before Pro Moto 1 resulted in deluge conditions with sections of the track being completely under water. Knowing a good start was paramount, Pro Class Rookie Cody Ford executed just that and found himself in the runner-up position early in the first moto. He is known as “The Foreman”, and apparently, he doesn’t stop working due to weather because on lap two he took over the lead following a mistake by Jeffrey Rastrelli – CODY FORD WAS NOW LEADING MOTO ONE OF THE PRO CLASS AT SUNSET RIDGE! After leading a handful of laps, Cody surrendered the lead to eventual winner Joel Hetrick. He would ultimately finish third behind the two most recent Pro Class champions after defending champ Chad Wienen snuck by on lap 7. Cody Ford’s monumental podium finish in Moto 1 was just the first in a trio podiums on the weekend!
The Sunset Ridge track crew had the track much improved for Pro Moto 2 having worked their magic in-between races. The track was still deep and saturated, but the standing water on the course had become far more scarce. The 19-year-old eldest Ford brother couldn’t replicate his incredible start from the first race, but the end result after where he started Moto 2 may be the most impressive part of his glory ride. Cody found himself near the top 10 on lap one and then began his march towards the front. On the final lap, he made a lap pass for 6th that would ultimately be a VERY meaningful one. His third place finish in Moto 1 combined with his 6th in Moto 2 was enough to earn him a spot on the podium with 3rd overall. Cody Ford had earned his first Pro Class podium in just his sixth attempt, the first rookie to do so since 2011! A lifetime of work, dedication, and sacrifice were all proven worth it on this Saturday in June at Sunset Ridge.
You’re probably questioning the mention of a trio of podium appearances, let me explain. Cody Ford was: 3rd in Pro Moto 1, 3rd Overall in the Pro Class, and again 3rd overall in the Production Stock Premier class aboard an unmodified Yamaha YFZ450R behind Chad Wienen and, fellow Texan, Thomas Brown! Just icing on the cake to conclude a surreal weekend for this rising star. Stock in the #52 has never been higher has never been higher.
A team representative referenced the Brian Deegan quote “it takes 10 years to be an overnight success” before stating the following:
“Cody has been training and preparing for this opportunity for 12 short years. All that work for one moment, this moment, is an example of dedication and determination at its finest. Enjoy what you worked for, Cody Ford. These moments are rare and the first is always the sweetest. Your work ethic is exceptional.”
On a weekend where Cody Ford shocked the world, younger brother Bryce was not to be outdone. He went a perfect 4 for 4 on the weekend scoring an unblemished 1-1 in both the Pro Am and Open Pro Sport classes. It was the youngster’s 4th consecutive overall win in Open Pro sport, and though the result was the same, he won in a multitude of ways in the Pro Am class at Sunset Ridge. In Moto 1 the #44 flexed his muscles by defeating the field by nearly 20 seconds. While in Moto 2 he passed essentially every rider before eventually grabbing the lead and cruising to victory. Bryce Ford has another gear right now, that the competition just doesn’t have. He now sits atop both classes in the championships point standing following the Sunset Ridge national event.
Ford Brothers Racing support riders grabbed solid finished as well at Sunset Ridge. Brandon O’Neill finished 2nd overall in the 450A class (3-2) and 8th overall in the Open Pro Sport class (8-DNS), while Cash Harsche finished 3rd and 4th respectfully in his 70 Open and the 70 Automatic classes. Next, we head northeast to upstate New York and Unadilla Mx where the Ford Brothers Racing crew will look to top this incredible weekend once again! See if they can do it at the next round of the ATV Motocross National Championship Series on the weekend of June 29-30. See you there!
THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT THIS SEASON!!!
Current Series Overall Positions
Cody Ford - 9th Overall Pro
Bryce Ford - 1st Overall Pro Am
Bryce Ford - 1st Overall Pro Sport