Seventh win of season for three-time series champ
Having already secured his third straight ATV Motocross National Championship two weeks earlier, Chad Wienen ended the 2014 season on a high note by securing his seventh win in the nine-round series at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. on Saturday, August 9th.
Rain was intermittent throughout the afternoon in Tennessee, but enough moisture fell to make for extremely challenging conditions on the Loretta Lynn’s layout.
The opening moto wasn’t without some drama on the opening lap as Wienen (Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Yamaha) put himself in control early, grabbing the SSi Decals Holeshot Award over Motosport.com/RRR/Ford/DWT/Walsh Honda‘s John Natalie. Moments later Natalie made contact with Wienen while going for the lead, which forced his ATV to flip. Wienen emerged from the incident unscathed and just ahead of his teammate Thomas Brown. Once out front, the Yamaha duo never looked back and maintained about a two-second gap over the field, while mere bike lengths separated them from one another. Brown kept his boss and mentor honest, but was unable to make a move. The action behind them, however, was exciting.
Upperman (Baldwin Motorsports/PEP/Upperman Racing Honda) fought his way to a third place start, but he came under fire from JB Racing/DWT/Mtn. Dew Live Wire Can-Am‘s Joel Hetrick and BCS Performance Can-Am’s Josh Creamer. Hetrick put the pressure on Upperman throughout the first four laps and on Lap 4, forced a mistake by the Honda rider which allowed Hetrick and Creamer to make the pass. With open track ahead of him, Hetrick was able to keep Creamer at bay.
Wienen took the win by a little over a half second over Brown, with Hetrick a couple of seconds back in third. Creamer finished fourth with Upperman holding on to fifth.
Track conditions for Moto 2 were the toughest they had been all afternoon and proved to be the difference maker. Creamer was able to put his Can-Am into the lead out of the gate with the SSi Decals Holeshot Award, bringing JB Racing/Cheerwine Can-Am’s Jeffrey Rastrelli with him. Creamer opened a multiple second lead on the opening lap and as he looked to solidify himself into second, Rastrelli became one of the first victims of the muddy track, dropping to the tail end of the field.
Rastrelli’s misfortune allowed Wienen to assume second ahead of Brown, but neither had anything for Creamer. Behind the podium players, Natalie rebounded from his Moto 1 incident to battle Upperman for fourth.
Creamer cruised to his first moto win in his final attempt, finishing over eight seconds ahead of Wienen and Brown. Natalie got the best of Upperman for fourth, making the pass with two laps remaining.
Wienen’s 1-2 results were enough to ensure him of the overall win. The champ closed out the season with a five-race winning streak en route to the title and finished no worse than third in a single moto the entire season. Creamer’s triumphant effort in Moto 2 vaulted him to second overall (4-1), while Brown completed the overall podium in third (2-3).
“We definitely had our work cut out for us today with the weather, but it feels great to get another win to finish out the season,” says Wienen. “I just tried to stay out of trouble and no rider over my head. I was able to get good starts in each moto and that just made life a little easier in navigating through all the mud. I’m so happy to end the season with a win.”
Wienen finished the 2014 season with a 91-point advantage over the AMA Pro ATV field. Despite a tough eighth-place finish in the final moto, Hetrick was able to hold on to second over Brown, who missed out putting Wienen Motorsports 1-2 in the final standings for the second straight season by just two points.