Title up for grabs at season finale
After a month long break the 31st Annual ProX ATV Motocross National Championship (ATVMX) presented by CST Tires, an AMA National Championship picks back up and travels to Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, this Friday, September 9, for the twelfth and final round of the 2016 season.
With the fight for the 2016 National Championship coming down to the wire Wienen Motorsports/Yamaha/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Walsh Racecraft/FLY Racing’s Chad Wienen and Maxxis/Liquid Wrench/Elka Suspension/Honda’s Joel Hetrick will be racing possibly the most important race of their careers this Friday. With only 16 points separating the pair, the National Championship could be bestowed to either rider at the conclusion of the second moto.
After a disappointing opening round, Hetrick has been putting in the work throughout the season to gain points on Wienen. With points being awarded per moto, the odds have been against Hetrick where he currently has seven overall wins compared to Wienen’s four overall wins. However, in the sport of ATV racing anything is possible, and all it would take for things to be in Hetrick’s favor is for Wienen to have one bad moto.
However, Wienen’s consistency has played a major role in the four-time champion’s success. After coming together with JB Racing/Root River Racing/Gold Speed Tires’ Jeffrey Rastrelli at the previous round, Wienen managed to work his way from outside the top-15 to second by the conclusion of the 20-minute moto. Hetrick will need some luck on his side to overtake the impressive performances of Wienen.
While the main focus this Friday will be for the National Championship, Rastrelli will be looking to change that and outshine the rest of his competitors. ATV’s invaded the Soaring Eagle Resort property last year, but 2016 serves as the first year that the race has been added to the ATVMX circuit. Just one year ago, Rastrelli walked away from the event victorious and will use that as momentum heading into this weekend to earn his first professional career win.
A mere two points separate Root River Racing/Hoosier Tires/Rage ATV’s Josh Upperman and Maxxis/Liquid Wrench/Elka Suspension/Honda’s David Haagsma who are currently holding the fourth and fifth place position in the points championship. With a total of three podium finishes behind him this season, Haagsma will be a man on a mission as he aims to secure fourth in the championship chase in his rookie year.
A host of other awards will also be decided this Friday. The ATVRiders.com Top Qualifier Award is a season-long battle to determine which rider walks away with a $1,000 bonus for laying down the quickest lap each weekend during the timed qualifying season. While Hetrick leads the competition, Wienen sits only one point behind and could possibly tie with Hetrick this weekend.
Additionally, the SSi Decals Holeshot Award is a season-long fight for a $2,000 bonus. Once again the fight for the respected award is between Wienen and Hetrick with only one point separating the pair. With two gate drops remaining in the 2016 season the SSi Decals Holeshot Award championship is still anyone’s game.
Friday’s race schedule is as follows: practice at 10 a.m. followed by a timed qualifying session at 11:30 a.m. Pro motos are at 2 and 4 p.m. with an autograph session taking place at 4:30 p.m. For a complete schedule of the weekend’s activities, please visit the Edge of Summer MX ATV National event page on the series website by clicking HERE.
Friday spectator passes run $25 for adults and $15 for children (6-11), with kids five and under getting in for free. Each pass includes pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. A highlight show featuring the event will air on MAVTV Saturday, October 29.
Amateur racing will take place throughout the day alongside the AMA Pro class, and local riders are invited and encouraged to compete in the event, as Edge of Summer MX offers classes for riders of all age and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is only $35 and riders can pre-register or sign up at the event.
Local racers expected to compete Friday will be: Cole Sepesi (Pro-Am), Kierstin Keane (Women 16+), brothers Haedyn (Pro-Am) and Noah Mickelson (Open B), Jacob Hill (Open B), Mike Snider (Veteran 30+), Ryan Korody (450 A), James Hardy (Veteran 30+) and Mason Jackson (90 Open Jr. 8-11).
For more information on the 2016 ProX ATV Motocross National Championship, visit the official series website at www.atvmotocross.com.
2016 National Championship Standings
- Chad Wienen (490)
- Joel Hetrick (474)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (337)
- Josh Upperman (319)
- David Haagsma (317)
- John Natalie (307)
- Nick Gennusa (305)
- Ronnie Higgerson (247)
- Brett Musick (220)
- Thomas Brown (215)