by: Ken Hill
TimeThursday, May 18, 2023 | 10:05 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ironman ATVMX National Championship Race Report
Hetrick Continues Win Streak in Indiana
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (May 18, 2023) - The 2023 ATV Motocross National Championship Series, an AMA National Championship, made its way to the heartland of Indiana as Ironman Raceway served to host another round of competition. After last season’s rainfall that happened as moto two got underway, everyone was looking forward to a well prepped track to unleash on in front of the fans that arrived to watch the fastest riders on the planet soar high over some of the most technical jumps of the year.
Phoenix Racing Yamaha’s Joel Hetrick continues his domination of the series, and he was the odds on favorite as the gates opened and the pit chatter began. With Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Fly Racing/Yamaha’s Chad Wienen’s unfortunate accident at round two, the multi time champions quest to claim another title remains unclear as the rounds start to add up. Keeping Hetrick in check is proving as hard as reeling him in and numerous riders are wanting to just do that however the task is almost unsurmountable. Joining Wienen upfront so far this season has been Ford Brothers Racing/FXR/SSi Decals/CST’s Bryce Ford who continues to gather the speed needed and that of Rastrelli Racing/FXR Moto/Rocket Machine Design’s Jeffrey Rastrelli, both of which have the hunger and drive but have come up short on the task at hand.
The day started out as it has at so many rounds with Hetrick clicking off the fastest qualifier, once again asserting he was there to win and had his program and set up dialed as everyone awaited the first moto. Hetrick has been the only constant this season as those doing battle behind him haven’t been able to keep him in sight. The gate dropped for the first moto and the first turn was soon shredded as the familiar number one plate emerged with the holeshot as the class headed to the second turn. Launching hard, Musick Racing/Déjà vu/Kenda Tires’ Brandon Hoag quickly took the lead as the thunderous noise rose above the crowd cheering from the fences. Hoag’s lead was short-lived as Hetrick regained the lead and began to stretch things out. With Hetrick in the lead, his race became a series of hitting his marks and entertaining the fans as he rode to the moto win.
Behind the leader, Wienen was on the move knowing he needed to get on the box if there was going to be a chance on taking the field and slicing into Hetrick’s perfect day. Working through the leaders, Wienen soon found himself in second as the moto came to an end. Ford would clinch the final podium spot with third after an impressive effort. Hoag would drop to sixth as GennUSA Racing/SSi Decals/CST Tires/Corrosion Specialties’ Nick Gennusa powered his way to a solid fourth place effort. For Rastrelli, fifth was good but not great and his race was nowhere near the result he was looking for.
The battle lines were drawn as the moto two horn sounded and alerted everyone it was nearly go time. Smiles and excited nervousness filled every pit, except one. Rastrelli was showing his dismay over his moto one performance and headed to the line looking to vastly improve over what many felt was a solid ride in the first moto. For others, it was another chance to leave it all on the track and hopefully catch a break and pull down Hetrick who is appearing to be a dominant force this season. The top tier are racing one moto at a time and readjusting and the competition level is razor thin sans Hetrick who looks flawless and has so much confidence in his set up that he may prove to be unbeatable.
Moto two was soon gated up and the Pros were ready to pull the trigger on their final race of the day. The gate dropped one final time as a wall of roost was sent high as the first turn was about to get all the love. It appeared like the battle was between Hetrick and B. Ford, but it was Jeffrey Rastrelli sweeping the outside to take the second moto holeshot. When the riders appeared and scored the first lap, Hetrick had taken the lead and once again was doing everything right.
Ford was charging hard as he remained in second and doing all he could to keep Hetrick from leaving the zip code as the lead grew with each lap. Behind Ford, it was a fistfight as Rastrelli led Hoag and Wienen who was hurriedly trying to get back into a podium finishing position. Wienen would eventually make the pass on Rastrelli but wasn’t finished as now Ford was in his crosshairs and would soon find himself in third after an exceptional run up front. The damage was done however as the Phoenix backed Hetrick checked out leaving no room for anyone else out front. Hetrick would nearly claim the perfect weekend yet again if it weren’t for the moto two holeshot but rolled off the track with another 1-1 and even more steam as we head into “Wienen” territory.
For Wienen, another 2-2 on the weekend gets him a few extra points as he continues to claw his way out of the deficit created at round two. There may be no salvaging his season in his quest for another championship however there are many motos left and this is racing so being in a position to capitalize is paramount.
Ford had a very solid effort here at Ironman as he remained up front going 3-4. Ford is and has been becoming one to watch as he develops into one of the top riders. Experience is building with the young Texan moto after moto and when it all comes together, he could be the next talent everyone is hunting down.
Going 6-3, Hoag is still struggling and can’t seem to get a solid set of motos in for whatever reason. He has everything at his disposal to podium, just not the luck. Hoag’s second moto effort was strong, and we look forward to seeing him back up front at upcoming races.
Gennusa might not have had a spectacular weekend however he had a solid effort here at Ironman. Gennusa has been pushing hard and flying under the radar and rolls out of Ironman with an honest 4-5 finish for 5th overall on the weekend.
Sliding just out of the top five, Rastrelli went 5-6 for 6th after a pair of hard fought motoes. The upcoming rounds could play well into Rastelli’s deck of cards as he takes his frustration out on the track and his competition.
The series heads next to Sunset Ridge MX as the stage will be set for another intense round of ATVMX racing. This is Chad Wienen’s home track and one he defends heavily. With a huge family and fan presence, can Wienen put together a win or will it be another Hetrick dominated performance!
For more information on the ATV Motocross National Championship, visit the series official website at www.atvmotocross.com or call (304) 284-0101. Join the conversation on the series social media channels, along with receiving the most up-to-date news and exclusive content.
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Ironman Results and Points Standings
Round 5 of 10
Saturday, May 6, 2023
AMA Pro Class Event Results:
- Joel Hetrick (1-1)
- Chad Wienen (2-2)
- Bryce Ford (3-4)
- Brandon Hoag (6-3)
- Nicholas Gennusa (4-5)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (5-6)
- Max Lindquist (7-7)
- Westley Wolfe (8-8)
- Logan Stanfield (10-9)
- Kevin Saar (9-10)
Overall National Championship Standings:
- Joel Hetrick (214)
- Bryce Ford (181)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (169)
- Chad Wienen (156)
- Nicholas Gennusa (148)
- Brandon Hoag (136)
- Max Lindquist (120)
- Logan Stanfield (116)
- Westley Wolfe (105)
- Kevin Saar (87)
About the ATV Motocross National Championship:
The ATV Motocross National Championship, an AMA National Championship, is the nation's premier amateur and professional ATV motocross series, hosted at top motocross facilities nationwide. The 10-round AMA Pro and 9-round amateur series features the Nation's best racers, teams and sponsors, and is America's largest and longest-running ATV national motocross program. Since 1985, the series continues to expand and produce top talent from the amateur ranks, while premiering the professional class. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association:
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.