Defending champ earns 1-2 moto finishes at Steel City Raceway
Though it was four weeks since the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship series last held an event, Chad Wienen certainly didn’t look rusty. The defending champion raced to 1-2 moto finishes at Steel City Raceway to earn his fifth straight overall victory.
Pennsylvania native John Natalie grabbed the moto 1 holeshot as the field came roaring into the first turn aboard his MotoSport.com Motoworks DWT machine. Natalie led the tight field until halfway through Moto 1.
“I had a good jump off the gate and was able to run a good moto, leading up until halfway when I made a mistake and fell back into second. I knew I had to ride smart but I was happy to be able to get a good result in front of all my hometown family and friends that came out to support me this weekend,” says Natalie.
Wienen came out of the first turn in third place on his Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer’s YFZ450R, pressuring the front two riders until he was able to make a move into second by lap five. Wienen then set his sights on the first place rider and was able to make a clean pass with five laps to go. Wienen created a comfortable lead between him and the rest of the field as he took the first checkers of the day.
“I’m really pumped on the weekend, I was able to grab my sixth overall of the season and extend my lead in the championship points chase. It was really great racing and we were finally able to give the spectators a good show with some great racing,” says Wienen.
Natalie was able to maintain the number two position until the checkers flew in moto 1. Despite pressure from behind, Natalie was able to ride a calm and smooth race in front of his hometown crowd and family. Thomas Brown was the man on the move in moto 1 coming from a start just inside the top ten, the Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer rider had his work cut out for him to find the front of the field. Brown put his head down and was able to move his way into fifth by the end of the third lap but had more than a seven second gap between himself and the front of the field. Brown continued to pressure on and with two laps to go was able to make a pass into the third place spot.
Corrosion Hetrick Racing’s Joel Hetrick was eager off the gate and came out of the holeshot in second. Hetrick back to the field healthy was able to hold on to second until Wienen made a pass in the fifth lap. Hetrick tried to make a pass back into second but jumped off the track and entered back on in forth. It took two laps but Hetrick was able to move back into the third place position. With two laps to go Brown made a pass and Hetrick crossed the checkers in fourth. Josh Upperman got off to another rough start coming out of the first turn just inside the top ten. With determination, Upperman was able to battle his way up through the field aboard his Baldwin PEP Upperman Racing machine. Upperman was able to secure the fifth place position before the checkers flew.
“I had a lot of fun on the track this weekend. It was fast and a little technical and made for great racing all day. I was really happy I was able to put in a good ride in front of all my family and friends that came out to support me this weekend, always gives me extra motivation to do well,” says Upperman.
Josh Creamer got off to a good start on his BCS Can-Am machine and started moto 1 in the top five. Creamer was settled into the fourth position by the end of the first lap was able to pressure the riders in front of him and moved into third by the end of the seventh lap. Luck was not on Creamer’s side when a rock hit his machine’s key and brought him to a stop. Creamer was able to get the machine back up and running but pulled back into the race in sixth and stayed there until the end of moto 1.
“I’ve been running into some bad luck lately and am really looking to come off of this and beable to pull my program together to get back up to the podium. I’ve been training really hard and am hungry for that top spot,” says Creamer.
Moto 2 came around and it was Hetrick who was back and ready to go as he snagged the moto 2 SSi Decals Holeshot Award. Hetrick was a man on a mission and had an eight second lead on the field by the halfway point. Hetrick continued on to win moto 2 securing his first podium since he broke his collarbone in May.
“I’m really happy I was able to get back up to the podium this weekend. I got two good starts and was able to push through to a moto 2 win. It feels great to get back up on the box and I’m looking forward to getting to the top spot,” says Hetrick.
Wienen had another good start in moto 2 and came out of the first turn in third. With the field still tight, Wienen was able to contain his third place position as he worked on moving up in the field. Wienen was able to move into second by lap six, but was unable to gain any time on the front-runner. Wienen secured his fifth consecutive overall win of the season this weekend. Brown found himself in fifth by the end of the first lap and once again had to work his way up through the field to find a podium finishing position. Brown put a good charge on the field and was able to move into third before halfway through the moto but was unable to make any more advances on the field. Brown took his sixth third place finish of the 2013 season.
“I really had my work cut out for met his weekend. I got off to two bad starts and had to work my way through the field but was able to find the speed to make my way up to the front of the field. I’m happy with my third place overall finish but am really looking forward to moving my way up to the top of the box,” says Brown.
Creamer rode a consistent race in moto 2 coming into the first turn in fourth and riding smooth and collected all the way to the checkers. Creamer made a pass to finish moto 2 in fourth by halfway through the moto. Creamer took fifth overall for the weekend and still sits third overall in the championship points chase. Natalie didn’t get as good of start as he did to moto 1 but was able to move his way into sixth by the end of the first lap. Natalie had a lot of work ahead of him and was able to move into fifth by the end of the moto.
Tyler Hamrick made his way into the top ten this weekend with a 9-9 finish for ninth overall. Hamrick had a top ten start in moto 2 and was able to maintain his ninth place position until the checkers came out. Hamrick sits just outside the top ten in overall championship points and is looking to break into the top ten by the end of the season.
|Steel City MX||2013 ATV Motocross Pro Class Standings|
|1.||Chad Wienen||Yamaha||1 – 2||1.||Chad Wienen||Yamaha||313 (6 wins)|
|2.||Joel Hetrick||Honda||4 – 1||2.||Thomas Brown||Yamaha||268|
|3.||Thomas Brown||Yamaha||3 – 3||3.||Josh Creamer||Can-Am||249|
|4.||John Natalie||Honda||2 – 5||4.||John Natalie||Honda||238|
|5.||Josh Creamer||Can-Am||6 – 4||5.||Josh Upperman||Honda||227|
|6.||Josh Creamer||Can-Am||6 – 5||6.||Josh Upperman||Honda||227|
|7.||Jeffrey Rastrelli||Can-Am||8 – 7||7.||Nick DeNoble||Suzuki||172|
|8.||Nick DeNoble||Suzuki||7 – 8||8.||Jeffrey Rastrelli||Can-Am||169|
|9.||Tyler Hamrick||Honda||9 – 9||9.||Joe Byrd||Honda||167|
|10.||Casey Martin||Honda||10 – 10||10.||Casey Martin||Honda||133|