WALNUT, Ill. (June 14, 2015) – After retaking the points lead at the previous round, Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft Yamaha’s Chad Wienen cemented his status as the red plate holder on Saturday with the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, (ATVMX) stop from Sunset Ridge MX. Wienen enjoyed a solid afternoon at the front of the field, parlaying 1-2 moto finishes to his third AMA Pro ATV win of the season and claiming a big triumph in front of his hometown crowd.
Once again the afternoon started with a familiar trend as Joel Hetrick, who has arguably been the fastest of his career this season, emerged with the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award. Hetrick has put his Hetrick Racing/Corrosion Specialties Honda, which was pink this weekend in honor of the event’s theme in support of breast cancer awareness, at the top of the timing charts at all six rounds in 2015 and that raw speed is a major reason why he’s been in the thick of the title fight since the start of the year.
As has been the case for much of the season, Hetrick converted his first gate pick into the SSi Decals Holeshot Award for the opening AMA Pro ATV moto, with Wienen and Maxxis Yamaha, powered by Moto-Xperts, rider Thomas Brown in tow. Wienen applied the pressure on Hetrick early and was able to make the pass for the lead on the opening lap. The early pass did nothing to deter Hetrick’s confidence as he stuck to Wienen’s rear fender the entire moto. Hetrick never sat more than a second and a half behind and even posted the fastest lap of the moto in pursuit of his rival. On lap nine Hetrick closed down the deficit to mere bike lengths and made a run for the win in the late stages of the moto. However, he high-sided while attempting to make the pass and lost valuable ground. Hetrick kept the bike going, but Wienen went on to lead all 11 laps of the moto and put himself in the drivers’ seat for the overall win. Hetrick was second in a moto that saw the lead duo check out on the field, sitting nearly 30 seconds ahead of Brown, who finished third.
Brown got the upper hand in moto two, leading the AMA Pro ATV field to the line to claim the SSi Decals Holeshot Award in front of Wienen. With a clear track ahead of him, Brown was able to establish a torrid pace out front and sprint out to a multiple-second lead on the opening lap. With Brown pulling away, Wienen settled into second, knowing the overall would be his with a runner-up finish. That put the pressure on Hetrick, who had to fight his way forward from a fifth-place start. Hetrick and JB Racing/Can-Am/Liquid Wrench’s Jeffrey Rastrelli battled for third during the first half of the moto before Hetrick got the upper hand. Once in third, Hetrick couldn’t catch the leaders, while Rastrelli fell into the clutches of a hard-charging Haagsma Jr.
While the gap over the field dropped to just a couple seconds in the end, Brown was able to claim a comfortable moto win, with Wienen second and Hetrick third.
Wienen’s 1-2 scores gave him the edge over Brown’s 3-1 effort to secure his third overall win of the season. Hetrick rounded out the overall podium in third (2-3), followed by Haagsma Jr. in fourth (5-4) and Rastrelli fifth (7-5).
Wienen’s win moved him out to a 15-point lead over Hetrick in the AMA Pro ATV championship standings with four rounds remaining on the schedule. Brown sits 26 points out of the lead in third, with Upperman fourth (-99) and Nick Gennusa fifth (-110).
The 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship continues in two weeks, with round seven from legendary Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, on June 27.