Motoworks / Can-Am teammates John Natalie and Joel Hetrick ended the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross Championship series with a bang, finished 1-2 in the season finale at Loretta Lynn’s motocross track in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
“I was pleased with the outstanding effort put in by John Natalie and Joel Hetrick here in Tennessee. Having them go 1-2, and also seeing Josh Creamer finish fourth, at the final round was awesome. Unfortunately, we came up a little short in our attempt to repeat as champions, but finishing second and third overall in the AMA ATV MX Championship points for 2012 is also something to be very proud of,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “We also had four AMA ATV MX National Championship amateur titles this season aboard Can-Am machines, as Travis Spader won three titles and Ries Parvin earned another.”
The first moto belonged to Hetrick, who also earned the weekend’s Fastest Qualifier award, came out of the gate in second and quickly passed for the lead. Hetrick continued to pour it on and ended up winning moto one by more than 13 seconds. His Motoworks / Can-Am teammate Natalie started the race in fifth, but was stuck in a heated battle for the rest of the moto. He eventually worked his way into fourth place before the checkers flew. Creamer (BCS Performance / Can-Am) was in the same clump of racers as Natalie in moto one, but unfortunately his ATV had a loose electrical connection and sputtered a few times, slowing his push. He dropped back from Natalie and ended the moto in sixth.
Moto two started out average for Natalie, as he came off the line in seventh. However, by the end of lap one, he had moved into the top three. One lap later, Natalie had picked off another racer and set his sights on the leader, Creamer. Natalie powered around the outside of Creamer in a wide right-hand sweeping corner to take over the lead. From there, the 2011 AMA ATV MX Champion didn’t let up as he went on to win the moto. His 4-1 finish outpaced Hetrick’s 1-5 scores, and earned Natalie his third overall win of 2012. His victory secured second place in the overall points championship with 428 points.
“This was the first time I have won an overall at Loretta Lynn’s,” says Natalie, “and this was really special for me; almost like winning a championship. I have to thank everyone at Can-Am, Motoworks, and my mechanic Casey Greek. We had a good season. We didn’t have a DNF and we were on the box every round but one.”
Hetrick ended his second professional season in third place in the Pro class points standings with 382 points. Creamer, who raced the final three rounds of the AMA series, earned one podium and two top-five finishes, including fourth at Loretta’s.
“This was a great year and I am really happy to be up on the box as much as I was and I finished in the top three at the end. That’s what I was aiming for. Next year I will be going for the championship,” says Hetrick.
In the amateur ranks, Can-Am-mounted racers won four titles and had several others end up in the final top-three of their class. Travis Spader wrapped up a total of three national championship titles this season aboard his BCS Performance-prepared Can-Am DS 450. Spader won the Junior 25 Plus, Veteran 30+ and Open A class championships. Also, Ries Parvin had a successful weekend at Loretta’s and he notched an overall win in the 450 B class and finished second overall in the Open B class. The latter finish helped the young Ohio racer earn the Open B national championship aboard his Can-Am.