MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 22, 2015) – The 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing (ATVMX), hits the homestretch this weekend with its penultimate ninth round of the season from one of American motocross’ most beloved tracks. For decades RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich., has been one of the most popular stops for riders and fans alike. Its dynamic and demanding layout provides a tough challenge for the world’s best four-wheeled warriors as they prepare to close in on the conclusion of the championship.
While reigning three-time AMA Pro ATV Champion Chad Wienen sits in an enviable spot atop the point standings, Hetrick Racing/Corrosion Specialties Honda’s Joel Hetrick is the series’ most recent winner and serves as the primary challenger to Wienen’s quest for a fourth consecutive title for his Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft Yamaha effort. The RedBud ATV National will get underway this Saturday, July 25, with an action-packed day of competition and 15 points separating the top two riders in the championship.
Hetrick has possessed arguably the most raw speed of any of the riders in the AMA Pro ATV field, as evidenced by his dominance in timed qualifying this season and his distinction as the winningest rider in the championship with nine moto victories. At the previous round from Unadilla, Hetrick was in a class of his own and cruised to a crucial 1-1 moto sweep at a pivotal point in the season. As a result, he sits within striking distance of Wienen with just two rounds and four motos remaining.
The biggest challenge Hetrick faces in his continued effort to catch Wienen is the unmatched consistency of the series champion. Through 16 motos this season, Wienen has not finished outside the top three and has finished worse than second only once. Alternatively, Hetrick has had to endure a few tough motos, including one finish outside the top 10 that could prove to be the difference maker in the final standings.
At Unadilla, although Hetrick was able to keep Wienen at bay in each moto, the champ minimized the damage with a pair of runner-up finishes. Should Hetrick be able to maintain his surge through the remainder of the championship and close out the season with six straight moto wins, Wienen simply needs to continue maintaining his incredible finishing average of 1.75 to keep his rival from overtaking him in the points and stealing the AMA Pro ATV title. While 15 points is a relatively small margin, the past results from each respective rider this season suggest Hetrick will need some luck on his side in addition to a dominant end to the championship.
Last year at RedBud, Wienen clinched his third straight AMA Pro ATV crown emphatically, going 1-1 to earn his sixth overall victory of the 2014 season. Hetrick challenged Wienen en route to a third-place finish, setting the stage for what could be another thrilling battle between the lead duo this weekend. While it’s unlikely Wienen will leave RedBud this season with another championship trophy on his mantle, he’ll be inspired to diminish the hope Hetrick still has in chasing this season’s title.
RedBud is one of the most anticipated rounds of the year thanks to the illustrious history of the iconic track. This is a world-class motocross facility that has hosted more historic racing moments than one can imagine. The facility offers racers and attendees the opportunity to experience something truly special thanks to a track layout that winds around three distinct areas, each offering incredible views for spectators and incredible challenges for competitors.
The soil consistency at RedBud can vary greatly, from hard-pack, to deep loam, to sand, and it all gets brutally rough. The jumps here are famous for a reason; big air is the name of the game, as riders fearlessly set sail to give spectators some of the best action of the year. The opportunity to see a 400-pound ATV soar through the air and tear it up in the legendary RedBud dirt makes for a truly remarkable experience.
The on-track action for Saturday’s RedBud ATV National kicks off at 11 a.m. ET with practice and qualifying. AMA Pro ATV motos get underway at 3 p.m. ET.