Defending champion Chad Wienen took home a victory and extended his series points lead as the 2013 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA, visited Balance Moto X in Kentucky for the Maxxis Bluegrass National.
Wienen (Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer ) earned his first SSi Decals Holeshot Award of the 2013 season in Moto 1. With a clear track out front, he charged ahead and found a pace that created a three-second gap on the number two position by the end of lap one. Wienen never looked back and had a 25-second gap on the rest of the field when he took the checkers and the Moto 1 win.
BCS Can-Am rider Josh Creamer found his rhythm off the gate coming into the first turn in the second place position. Before the end of the first lap, Creamer slid out in a big 90-degree turn and came out in seventh. Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer rider Thomas Brown capitalized on Creamer's mistake and put himself in the second place position. Brown charged the field and was able to put a comfortable distance between himself and battle unraveling behind him.
"I was really happy about my Moto 1 start, we had a really great mud set up on our machine and our Maxxis tires really hooked up coming off of the start giving me a great jump to help me find the front of the field," says Brown.
Pennsylvania native and Round 2 overall winner, Joel Hetrick had a top-five start and found his way into the third place spot before the end of lap one. Hetrick settled into this position until about halfway through the race when Creamer found his way up to fourth and started to apply pressure. Hetrick and Creamer had an intense battle the remainder of the moto but it wasn't until there were a few laps to go when Creamer came along the long straight stretch and was able to make a pass on Hetrick.
"I really had to put my head down and work all the way through the moto to keep in the front of the field," says Creamer. "My machine was really working great out there and allowed me to put the final charge for that third place position."
Last year's overall winner at Ballace Moto X, veteran John Natalie was able to secure a top five start on his MotoSport.com Motoworks DWT machine and finish out the moto in fifth. While rookies Kyle Fix and Casey Martin, aboard his PRP DASA T&T Racing machine, battled out the moto for the sixth place position.
As the Moto 2 gate dropped, Natalie came off the line with a vengeance to get to that top spot and that's what he did as he grabbed the SSi Decals Holeshot Award. Natalie had pressure early on in the moto from the second place rider but was able to hold his lines and make for his first moto win of the 2013 season.
"Heading into moto two I knew I had to get a good holeshot and really concentrated on my start," says Natalie. "After pulling out of the first turn in first I knew I just had to ride smooth and not make any mistakes. It felt really good to get my first moto win of the season and to land on the podium."
Josh Upperman had a much better start to moto two after his tenth place finish earlier in the day aboard his Baldwin Motorsports PEP Upperman Racing machine. Upperman came out of the first turn behind the leader and pressured Natalie for a majority of the moto. Unable to make a move on the leader, Upperman comfortably settled into second as the checkers flew. Wienen had a bad start coming into the first corner toward the back of the field, but he made quick work and found himself in seventh by the end of the first lap. After battles with Creamer and Denoble, Wienen was able to make his way into the third place position before the final lap and secured the overall win for the weekend.
Nick Denoble had his best moto finish of the season aboard his Walsh Race Craft machine. With a fourth place start, Denoble was able to make a pass into third early on in the race. After being ill at Round 2, Denoble was able to dig deep and find the drive to keep his machine at the front of the field settling into the fourth place position by the end of the moto. Joel Hetrick also had a rough start to moto 2 finding himself toward the back of the pack coming out of the first turn but was able to climb his way up to eighth by the end of lap one. Hetrick was able to battle his way up to fifth before the end of the race, salvaging crucial championship points.
"I'm really excited I was finally able to get a good jump on the gate and was able to come out of the field toward the front," says Denoble. "I knew I was in a good position and was able to ride my own race. My Walsh Race Craft machine was really powerful out on the track and helped me get that fourth place finish."
Josh Creamer and Thomas Brown each had a rough start to Moto 2. Creamer found himself sitting in the fourth place position midway through the race but was unable to hold his position and fell back to a sixth place finish. Brown had to work his way up from the very back of the field and was able to salvage a seventh place finish for Moto 2.
|Ballance Moto X National||2013 ATV Motocross Pro Class Standings|
|1.||Chad Wienen||Yamaha||1 - 3||1.||Chad Wienen||Yamaha||131 (2 wins)|
|2.||John Natalie||Honda||5 - 1||2.||Joel Hetrick||Honda||119 (1 win)|
|3.||Thomas Brown||Yamaha||2 - 7||3.||Thomas Brown||Yamaha||114|
|4.||Josh Creamer||Can-Am||3 - 6||4.||Josh Creamer||Can-Am||110|
|5.||Josh Upperman||Honda||9 - 2||5.||Josh Upperman||Honda||104|
|6.||Joel Hetrick||Honda||4 - 5||6.||John Natalie||Honda||97|
|7.||Nick Denoble||Suzuki||8 - 4||7.||Nick Denoble||Suzuki||76|
|8.||Casey Martin||Honda||6 - 12||8.||Jeffrey Rastrelli||Can-Am||69|
|9.||Adam Clark||Honda||11 - 8||9.||Joe Byrd||Honda||61|
|10.||Jeffrey Rastrelli||Can-Am||10 - 9||10.||Casey Martin||Honda||52|