Ford Brothers Racing Survives Georgia Mud for Solid Day at Aonia Pass
(Washington, Georgia. April 16, 2022) – Racing with momentum on your side can feel like your engine features an extra gear that your competitors do not have. After a stellar performance on their native Texas soil, the Ford Brothers Racing riders, of Bryce and Cody Ford, rode into round three of the ATV Motocross National Championship series with their fair share of momentum. This would be a welcomed advantage for the team, as (much like the Daytona season opener) weather would not be on their side in the “Peach State”. But despite the bleak forecast, Bryce, Cody, and the rest of the Ford Brothers Racing crew approached the weekend with a positive outlook and a focus on maintaining that momentum into and through Aonia Pass.
Washington, Georgia, (home of Aonia Pass MX) located approximately 90 miles east of Atlanta, was briefly designated as the state capital during the American Revolutionary War. Under its’ original name of Heard's Fort, this is stated as the place where the Confederacy voted to dissolve itself – effectively ending the American Civil War. One hundred and fifty-seven years later, within those same city limits, the war that raged on was amongst the best ATV racers on the planet – and two of the fiercest warriors to go to battle were Bryce and Cody Ford of the Ford Brothers Racing team. For years, talk within industry circles and in ATV racing media has been that these are the most stacked fields of ATV motocross professionals in recent memory – but with all due respect to arguments from previous years, I believe this 2022 season features the most competitive lineup we’ve seen in over a decade. And despite all the craziness and unpredictable moments early in this highly competitive season, the Ford brothers have been two of the brightest stars standing out so far in 2022!
The beautiful Aonia Pass facility is typically a welcome sight for ATV motocross racers and fans, but this past Saturday was a completely different story. After beautiful conditions on Friday, things took a major turn when the pros were set to take to the track for Saturday’s racing action. Early morning rain showers saturated the track to its capacity and created some of the most treacherous conditions we have seen at a national event in years. The program was pushed back in an effort to give the track time to improve, but after a few attempts at amateur racing, most classes were suspended due to the nearly impassable conditions. As for the pros, they reduced their own schedule to just one qualifying session prior to going racing and most riders only circulated for a handful of laps. However, both Ford brothers logged good qualifying times ahead of the crazy motos that were looming. Youngest Ford brother, Bryce, qualified second-fastest while eldest brother, Cody, qualified in solid tenth place position!
Muddy conditions are the ultimate “X” factor. In such poor conditions, I hate to say the start is everything….but the start is everything. The mud, roost, and weight that a rider takes on in such poor conditions makes advancing forward something that even the best of the best struggle to do, but thankfully both boys executed beautiful starts in Pro Moto 1! Bryce Ford has been up front all season long, and that continued as he rounded the first turn in fourth place position. The now third-year-pro rode an impeccable race to maintain that position and survive the conditions for a strong fourth place finish in the day’s opening moto. For the first half of the race, it was looking like a Ford Brothers Racing team photo shoot as Cody Ford ran just one position behind his brother in fifth. I believe that’s where Cody, who has proved time and time again that he shines in subpar conditions, was going to ultimately finish Moto 1, but a mid-race get-off would cost him a couple positions. Thanks to a quick remount, “The Foreman” was still able to bring home a strong seventh place finish in the opening moto!
For Moto 2, conditions had somewhat improved but now the challenge came in the form of rough conditions and a one-lined racetrack; the start was going to be key once again. Bryce Ford started right where he left off, running fourth and quickly passing into third on lap 2. This is the position Bryce would maintain for the next nine laps to finish inside the top three in Pro Moto 2 – what a strong display of composure and maturity on this day for young Bryce Ford. His 4-3 scores would earn him fourth overall on the day as he has put himself solidly in third place in the series points standings after three events in 2022. As for Cody, he wouldn’t get the start he hoped for, but he was one of the few racers who was able to make a series of passes stick in the tough conditions. Cody Ford fought his way from the back of the pack up to 12th by moto’s end, and when you combined that with his impressive finish in the day’s opening moto, it would earn Cody a rock solid eighth overall finish on the day! “The Foreman’s” solid season continues, as he leaves Georgia in ninth place in the season points standings! What a weekend for both riders!
“Keeping the big picture in mind, [it] was a great day for being a mud fest.” The Ford Brothers Racing team posted to their official Instagram account. “The track, officials, our team and the racers all came through to make it work. [Bryce Ford] finished 4th overall and [Cody] with an 8th. We will always keep pushing.”
With Aonia Pass now in the rearview, the excitement for High Point already starts to mount! Though, as competitors, we ALWAYS want more, the goal of keeping “Uncle Mo” – better known has momentum – in our corner was maintained in Georgia despite the difficult conditions. Most importantly, the team just wanted to get through the day safely, and that goal was accomplished as well. On Easter weekend 2022, the Ford Brothers Racing team is simply grateful for the ability to do what we love to do as a family, everything else is a bonus. The crew will look to carry this momentum (yet again) into Rd 4, as the series heads nearly 600 miles north to High Point Raceway in just two short weeks’ time. See you in the great state of Pennsylvania on the weekend of April 30 – May 1! See you there!