Chad Wienen leads AMA ATV MX points chase heading into RedBud
July 26, 2012
Photo by Ken Hill
Pro ATV points leader Chad Wienen (above) holds a slight advantage over defending champion John Natalie as the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series heads to the penultimate ninth round at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich., July 28-29.
The Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft/Yamaha-backed points leader is very familiar with RedBud's loamy Midwestern dirt, as the Illinois native grew up racing the popular Michigan track. Wienen is coming off a two-race winning streak and a third win in his home region could put him in a favorable position for the final round at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., Aug. 11-12.
But two-time champ Motoworks/Can-Am's Natalie isn't about to let Wienen go unchallenged. Like Wienen, Natalie sustained a two-race win streak in Rounds five and six, preceding Wienen's current streak and there's no telling which rider will emerge on top.
The 2012 season has produced some of the best racing in series history and that's because of the deep field of talent in the ATV Pro class. Motoworks/Can-Am's Joel Hetrick holds an overall win and several podium finishes in only his second season in the premier class. Hetrick is perhaps the biggest threat to the veteran duo of Wienen and Natalie, but a couple of finishes off the podium will most likely hinder Hetrick's chances at a title this year
Baldwin Motorsports/PEP/Maxxis rider Josh Upperman and TBROWN Yamaha/Moto-X-Perts rider Thomas Brown have continued to finish inside the top five each weekend, sitting within 10 points of each other for fifth place in the standings. Both Upperman and Brown are looking to secure their first wins of the season in the final two rounds.
The pro riders will run Saturday as part of a full schedule of amateur racing, including classes for Youth, Women and Veteran riders. Amateurs will practice on Friday and race on Saturday and Sunday.