Defending champion John Natalie easily won the first moto, but had to come from behind in moto two after crashing in the second turn. He ended the day third overall and kept his title hopes alive with one round remaining in 2012.
“It was a challenging weekend at the Red Bud MX facility in southern Michigan this past weekend. Defending national champion John Natalie came out strong, taking the moto one holeshot and earning a convincing victory. However, he crashed at the start of the second moto and had to come from dead last. He truly earned this trip to the Pro class podium,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “We’re not out of this championship race yet, so we’re going to give it everything we have at the series finale at Loretta’s.”
In moto one action, Natalie grabbed the holeshot aboard his DS 450 and held the lead until a rare mistake on lap two put him in second. Two short laps later, Natalie regained the lead and then cruised to the moto one victory. In turn two of the Pro class moto, Natalie crashed after his ATV connected with another racers’ vehicle. Natalie was not hurt and immediately got back aboard his DS 450, but was more than 15 seconds behind the leaders. Natalie put his head down and sliced through the field on his way to a sixth-place finish. His second-moto efforts put him in third place on the Pro podium. Natalie is 36 points behind the points leader (Chad Wienen) for the Pro class title heading into the finale on August 11 at Loretta Lynn’s in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
“I was going for one line and got shut out and ended up going down. I was pretty fired up after that and tried to charge as hard as I could and I was able to get up to sixth place,” says John Natalie. “I felt good out there and I felt like I had another moto win in me, but that just didn’t happen. There’s still one more round left and anything can happen. I am going to go out there and give it everything I have and hopefully take the final win of the season.”
Joel Hetrick’s ATV experienced an intermittent electrical issue in moto one, but the Motoworks / Can-Am racer soldiered his way to a sixth-place finish. In moto two, Hetrick came out of the gate in fifth. He then posted the fastest lap of the entire race on lap four and soon after passed his way into third place. His 6-3 finishes were good for fifth place and also helped him maintain control of the third-place position in the Pro class points standings.
Team BCS Performance / Can-Am DS 450 Pro racer Josh Creamer, the current NEATV-MX series Pro and Pro-Am class points leader, also competed at Red Bud and came away with two fifth-place moto finishes which were good for sixth overall.
In the amateur ranks, Can-Am DS 450 racers earned several class victories in Michigan. Leading the way was former GNC champion Travis Spader, who won two classes (Vet 30+ A, Open A). Can-Am X-Team racer Chase Henry won the Production A class with an impressive 1-1 sweep. WORCS racer and Can-Am X-Team member Collins Webster entered four classes at Red Bud and earned one podium. He finished second to Spader in the Open A class and was fourth in his other three classes. Open B class racer Ries Parvin increased his class points lead with another overall victory on his DS 450.