Wienen retains championship lead with runner-up effort
Perfect weather greeted the racers at the third round of the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing (ATVMX), held at Muddy Creek Raceway. The day was a dominant one for Hetrick Racing/Corrosion Specialties/Brownell Inc. Honda’s Joel Hetrick, who raced to textbook 1-1 moto finishes to secure his first overall win of the season.
Hetrick’s ability to keep three-time champion Chad Wienen at bay helped propel him just four points back of Wienen in the points standings as the season kicks into high gear.
Heading into the fourth points-paying stop of the championship, the Hetrick rider had collected two first-moto wins, but hadn’t been able to get that all-important second moto figured out. In Tennessee, Hetrick was able to do it again in Moto 1, leading every lap.
Behind Hetrick in the opening moto, current points leader Chad Wienen had a more difficult go of it aboard his Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft Yamaha. Wienen suffered from a mid-pack start and was forced to work his way through from eighth place. He needed every lap to eventually pass Thomas Brown for second place on the final lap. Wienen’s pass on the Maxxis Yamaha, powered by Moto-Xperts, rider dropped Brown to third. Motosport.com/Maxxis/FLY Racing Honda’s John Natalie, who scored the SSi Decals Holeshot Award, crashed on the opening lap and was unable to return to racing for the remainder of the day.
When the Moto 2 gate dropped, Hetrick added another SSi Decals Holeshot Award point to his tally, but he didn’t enjoy the runaway he had in Moto 1. Wienen put on a charge early, passing Hetrick on Lap 4. The intense battle went down to the wire with Hetrick posting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 10 as he got by Wienen for the lead. The move ultimately carried Hetrick to his first 1-1 sweep.
Hetrick’s 1-1 finish was followed by Wienen’s 2-2 moto result for second overall. Brown collected his second overall podium of the season with a 3-3 score. JB Racing Can-Am’s Jeffrey Rastrelli finished just off the podium in fourth (4-4), while Root River Racing’s Josh Upperman rounded out the top five (6-5).
Hetrick closed the gap on Wienen in the AMA Pro ATV championship standings and now sits just four points back of the three-time champion. Brown jumped several positions and moved into third.
AMA Pro ATV Overall Results (Moto Results) 1 – Joel Hetrick, Seneca, Pa., Honda (1-1) 2 – Chad Wienen, Galena, Ill., Yamaha (2-2) 3 – Thomas Brown, Sanger, Texas, Yamaha (3-3) 4 – Jeffrey Rastrelli, Palm City, Fla., Can-Am (4-4) 5 – Josh Upperman, Louisville, Ohio, Honda, (6-5) 6 – Ronnie Higgerson, Cutler, Ill., Can-Am (5-6) 7 – Tyler Hamrick, Cortland, Ohio, Honda (7-8) 8 – Nicholas Gennusa, Wall Township, N.J., Yamaha (9-7) 9 – Cody Janssen, Kaukauna, Wis., Honda (11-9) 10 – Vital Cazenave, Union City, Tenn., Honda (10-12)
AMA Pro ATV Championship Standings 1 – Chad Wienen, Galena, Ill., Yamaha – 156 2 – Joel Hetrick, Seneca, Pa., Honda – 152 3 – Thomas Brown, Sanger, Texas, Yamaha – 135 4 – Jeffrey Rastrelli, Palm City, Fla., Can-Am – 115 5 – John Natalie, Houtzdale, Pa., Honda – 103 6 – Josh Upperman, Louisville, Ohio, Honda – 97 7 – Ronnie Higgerson, Cutler, Ill., Can-Am – 97 8 – Nick Gennusa, Wall, N.J., Yamaha – 95 9 – Vital Cazenave, Union City, Tenn., Honda – 73 10 – Tyler Hamrick, Cortland, Ohio, Honda – 71