13 specialty awards presented at banquet
The best ATV motocross racers gathered this past weekend to Sandusky, Ohio for the annual ATV Motocross National Championship awards banquet. In addition to the AMA Pro ATV championship, there were 38 National Championships and 13 specialty awards handed out.
The AMA Pro Rookie of the Year Award identifies the first-year professional rider who shows the most improvement as they make their professional debut. Nick Gennusa took home this prestigious award after his Pro Am championship season, along with a fifth overall in the Pro ATV Motocross Championship division.
Paul Turner, mechanic for four-time AMA Pro ATV Champion Chad Wienen, was recognized as the Mechanic of the Year Award. Turner was able to vault Wienen to the top with his extensive skillset, never once suffering from an unfinished race.
In addition to finishing in the runner-up position in the Pro ATV Motocross Championship, Joel Hetrick also claimed the ATVRiders.com Top Qualifier Award and the SSI Decals Holeshot award.
The Sponsor of the Year Award was presented to Maxxis Tires, while the Manufacturer’s Cup was awarded to Yamaha Motor Corporation for claiming the most wins over any other manufacturer in the professional division.
The Award of Media Excellence recognizes the individual who went above and beyond throughout the entire season in regards to photography, press or social media. Series photographer Ken Hill was the honoree this year for his dedication throughout the entire ATV Motocross season in conjunction with the GNCC Racing series.
The Youth Rider of the Year Award goes to the youth rider who excelled in all divisions of racing. Texas native, Bryce Ford, took the top spot in championship points for the 90 Open Sr. (12-15) and 90 Shifter (12-15) classes, in addition to second in points in the Super Mini (12-15) division.
Westley Wolfe claimed top honors as the Amateur Rider of the Year. The Maryland native clinched both championships in the 450 A and Production A divisions, along with a College A (16-21) championship in the GNCC series.
The Team of the Year Award is based on the team with the most championships. This year ATV Motocross saw an increase in the amount of participating teams, many of which helped riders attend events that they would not be able to do on their own. In the end it was Media All-Stars who took home the prestigious award with a total of three championships.
The Special Achievement Award is designed to recognize an outstanding racer who overcame a variety of obstacles while chasing their dream of racing ATV Motocross. This year’s recipient was Tennessee’s Chris Furches, who claimed the championship in 90 Automatic Sr. (12-15) and fourth overall in 90 CVT (8-15).
The Sport Ambassador Award acknowledges an outstanding advocate for the sport of ATV Motocross. This year’s recipient was Rich Gillette, who was recognized for his overwhelming support in the sport along with his efforts at Root River Racing.
Each year ATVPG recognizes those whose lives were cut short, and this year former Pro Am racer Dalton Millican’s family and friends were presented with a special award in his memory.
The 2016 ATV Motocross Championship returns March 8 at Daytona International Speedway for the second annual ATV Supercross.