MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (June 25, 2015) – The 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing (ATVMX), is approaching its stretch run as just four rounds of competition remain. This weekend’s visit to legendary Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minn., will not only signify the seventh round of the season, but will also be the first of four of the most renowned tracks on the planet – each enriched in racing history – to close out the championship.
The gate drops on the Spring Creek ATV National this Saturday, June 27, as AMA Pro ATV points leader Chad Wienen looks to keep his Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft Yamaha in front of his two hard-charging championship rivals.
Wienen outlasted both Maxxis Yamaha, powered by Moto-Xperts, rider Thomas Brown and Hetrick Racing/Corrosion Specialties Honda’s Joel Hetrick at the previous stop of the championship at Sunset Ridge, earning his series leading third overall win of the season. The triumphant effort allowed the reigning three-time series champion to establish a little breathing room between himself and both Brown and Hetrick. Currently just 15 points separate Wienen and Hetrick atop the AMA Pro ATV standings, while Brown lurks 26 points back of Wienen in third, setting the stage for what should be a memorable afternoon of racing at one of the most demanding tracks in the championship.
This trio of riders has been at the forefront of the championship since the start of the season. What makes their success unique is that all three are making a run toward the title as a team owner/rider. Wienen has been at the helm of his own effort longer than Hetrick and Brown, both of whom are embarking on their inaugural seasons aboard their own bikes. The competition among the lead threesome has been exceptional, with each having at least one overall win to his credit. But as the season winds down perhaps the previous experience of owning a team will further work into Wienen’s favor as the tension and pressure increase with each passing round.
In terms of raw speed, it’s hard to argue Hetrick’s status as the fastest rider in the championship. He has his Honda firing on all cylinders and his confidence on the bike is at an all-time high. That’s why he has earned the ATVRiders.com Top Qualifier at all six rounds thus far and has a pair of overall wins. In fact, Hetrick surged past Wienen to take over the championship lead following round four, but some instances of misfortune each of the last two rounds has allowed Wienen to move back in front and open a double-digit advantage. Hetrick has no doubt learned from the adversity and will be one to keep an eye on Saturday afternoon as he looks to close the deficit.Thomas Brown, ATVMX, ATV
For Brown, his foray into team ownership came after learning under the tutelage of Wienen. It took some time for Brown and his team to start clicking, but over the course of the last three rounds he’s been as good as ever and a fixture on the podium. He broke through to claim his first-ever win as a team owner just two races ago and, thanks to a recent surge of consistency, has moved to within striking distance of the championship lead.
The key for Wienen this weekend at Spring Creek, where he is the defending race winner, is to stay out of trouble. Any hint of misfortune could prove to be very costly to Wienen’s hopes of earning a fourth straight AMA Pro ATV title, and both Hetrick and Brown are eagerly awaiting the chance to take advantage of any opportunity Wienen gives them.
With its dramatic elevation changes, great soil and collection of the most notorious obstacles in all of off-road racing, Spring Creek provides an ideal setting to host an event with so much on the line at such a critical juncture in the championship. It will be every man for himself once the gate drops Saturday afternoon, June 27, and it’s anyone’s guess who will emerge victorious after a heated afternoon of action.