Can-Am Race Report: Apr. 21-22

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney
John Natalie ATVMX

Can-Am ATV and UTV racers continue to find success this season and this past weekend was no exception. Team Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 racers John Natalie and Joel Hetrick finished second and third in the Pro class at round two of the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series held at Muddy Creek in Blountville, Tenn., while Can-Am X-Team ATV and side-by-side racers also had a successful weekend, winning several classes at races held in Texas and Iowa.

“We were excited to have both John and Joel reach the AMA Motocross Pro class podium at Muddy Creek,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “Although we didn’t get the overall victory, both of our racers rode well, despite the slick conditions, put themselves in contention and ultimately earned a trip to the podium. John has led motos at both rounds and is currently second in the Pro class points race, while Joel has been the fastest qualifier twice, so they definitely have the speed and skills to win every race they enter.”


Joel Hetrick ATVMX

In moto one, Natalie started the race in the top three and then led during the third lap. The reigning AMA ATV MX Champion then began pulling away from the competition. Then the rain fell hard during the final four laps and the conditions became very slick. On the final lap, Natalie slid too wide in a corner and was passed by the eventual moto winner. Natalie had to settle for second. Hetrick, who was the fastest qualifier for the second time in two rounds, started in seventh place, but charged hard in to third after only a few laps. Once the rain hit, Hetrick chose to ride safely and smartly, rather than risk losing his moto position with an attempted charge at the leaders. He finished third.

“Qualifying was great, the track was dry. I was hoping the rain would hold off and it would stay that way, but it didn’t,” says Hetrick. “I learned a lot in the past year riding with all these guys and I just laid low and just tried to hold third place.”

Natalie came out of the second moto in the fourth spot, while Hetrick was in fifth. Both riders pushed forward and eventually battled for second place. After briefly swapping the second-place position with Hetrick, Natalie regained the spot and then aced ahead in attempt to catch the leader. He ran out of time and finished the day second overall. Hetrick’s 3-3 moto scores were good for third and his first Pro class podium with Motoworks / Can-Am.

“We got out where we wanted to be for moto one, but I didn’t get the start I wanted in moto two and then got tied up; I closed in and took second, so not too bad,” says Natalie.

In other AMA ATV MX series action, Can-Am X-Team racer Cole Henry took third overall in the Pro-Am Production class. Former Grand National ATV Champion Travis Spader rode his Can-Am DS 450 to three class wins, earning the top spot in the Veteran 30+ A, 4-Stroke A and Junior 25+ classes. Merrill Crose, who also competes on a Can-Am, won both the Open A and 450 A classes.

Other Can-Am Racing Updates

At the third round of the Texas Off Road Nationals (TORN), Cody Miller held off his brother Hunter to win the ATV Pro class and extend his class points lead aboard his Louis Powersports-prepped DS 450. Hunter later drove his C an-Am Commander 1000 X to victory in the UTV Unlimited class and is the current points leader.

At the District 22 Series MX race in Iowa, rider Zach Harris won all four motos he entered aboard his CR21 / Hicklin Powersports-sponsored Can-Am DS 450 on his way to winning both the Quad A and Quad A Production classes.

Round five of the 2012 Can-Am / Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series is scheduled for April 28 at Park Mammoth Resort in Park City, Ky.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including,,,,, and many more.

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