By: ATV Motocross
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (June 15, 2016) – Wienen Motorsports/Yamaha/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Walsh Racecraft/FLY Racing’s Chad Wienen leads the way into Walnut, Ill., this Saturday, June 18, for the Sunset Ridge ATVMX National. This weekend serves as round seven for the 2016 ProX ATV Motocross National Championship (ATVMX) presented by CST Tires, an AMA National Championship.
While Wienen maintains the points lead with a 22-point gap on the rest of the field, Maxxis/Elka Suspension/Liquid Wrench’s Joel Hetrick comes into this round with a four-race win streak. The two competitors have had their fair share of battles thus far in the season, and the fight for the National Championship promises to continue this Saturday.
Just two weeks ago, ATVMX race enthusiasts witnessed intense racing take place between Wienen and Hetrick after a run-in during the second moto at Monster Mountain. Wienen will be charging hard for redemption this weekend. The defending champion grew up a mere two hours away from Sunset Ridge MX Park and will be looking to earn his third win of the season on his home turf.
Maxxis/FLY Racing/Baldwin Motorsports’ John Natalie moves into this weekend ranked third. With five top-five finishes behind him, Natalie has been one of the most consistent competitors thus far this season. After leading multiple laps he has yet to capture a moto win and will look to do just that this Saturday.
After finishing just off the podium two weeks ago in Alabama, JB Racing/Root River Racing/Gold Speed Tires’ Jeffrey Rastrelli is eager to earn his first win of the season. Rastrelli has had his fair share of issues throughout the year between illness and mechanical issues, but has continued to push through, proving he belongs in the elite group of professional ATVMX racers.
Root River Racing/Hoosier Tires/Rage ATV’s Josh Upperman was well on his way to a podium finish at Sunset Ridge in 2015, but ran into issues in the second moto, which ultimately took him out of podium contention. This year, Upperman will be looking to put it all together to earn his first overall podium.
Maxxis/Root River Racing/JB Racing’s Thomas Brown and AGX Designs/Walsh Racecraft/Maxxis’ Nick Gennusa head to Illinois tied for sixth. The two riders have showcased great speed and skill this year, but both lack an overall win. In 2015, Brown took home a silver medal at the Sunset Ridge ATVMX National, and the Texas native will aim to repeat his success this weekend.
This season marks the first year that Maxxis/Liquid Wrench/Elka Suspension/Honda’s David Haagsma has traveled the full ATVMX circuit. Haagsma made a guest appearance at last year’s Sunset Ridge ATVMX National where he finished an impressive fourth place. Now that the California native has more than half a season under his belt, he will be a rider to keep an eye on as he looks to put it all together and land a spot on the box after the second moto.
Koster Racing/Blommel Motorsports/Walsh Racecraft’s Brett Musick and Savage Motorsports/Maxxis/Walsh Racecraft/Elka Suspension/BCS Performance’s Ronnie Higgerson round out the top 10 heading into this Saturday. While Higgerson was able to grab his first career podium this season, Musick is still looking to earn a podium. Musick was able to run a solid ride at Monster Mountain and will look to use that as momentum this weekend.
Saturday’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 Sunset Ridge ATV National event page on the series website by clicking here.
Saturday spectator passes run $20 for adults and $10 for children (6-11), with kids five and under getting in free. Each pass includes pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
Amateur racing will take place throughout the weekend alongside the AMA Pro class, and local riders are invited and encouraged to compete in the event as ATVMX offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is only $40 and riders can sign up at the event or pre-register here.
In addition to the racing action this weekend, Sunset Ridge MX Park will also host its sixth annual Susan G. Komen Track Walk for breast cancer awareness. This event raised more than $10,000 last year for the Quad Cities and Memorial Affiliate. The walk will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 17, at the conclusion of the practice sessions for the race event. The cost is $25 and participants can sign up at the track where they will receive a t-shirt and gift bag. Local participants who come out for the walk on Friday will receive a half-price coupon to return to watch the world’s fastest ATV racers converge on the same track on Saturday, June 18.