Joel Hetrick Sweeps AMA ATV Motocross National in Tennessee
April 18, 2013
Joel Hetrick swept both motos of the weekend April 13-14 to close the gap to only one point behind series points leader Chad Wienen in the AMA Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship.
It was the second round of the series, held at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn.
Speed and consistency paid off for Corrosion Hetrick Racing's Hetrick as he claimed his first overall win of the 2013 season. He put together two solid motos for the day, sweeping the overall against a stacked field of pros.
“I rode really smooth and was able to put a good distance between myself and the rest of the field early on. It took a lot of dedication to keep pushing each moto without pressure right behind me but I'm pumped for my first overall this season,” Hetrick said.
Wienen claimed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award in morning practice and set his Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer machine up for first gate pick of the day.
Hetrick exploded off the starting gate in the first moto and never looked back, grabbing the SSi Decals Holeshot Award. It didn't take long for him to pull a gap over the rest of the field. By the end of the third lap he had pulled a 10-second lead on second place.
Wienen didn't get off to a desirable start and worked his way through the pack from the start. He made his way up to the third-place spot halfway through the moto, where he engaged in a heated battle with teammate Thomas Brown. Brown came out of the first turn in third and made the pass into second early on. The Wienen Motorsports duo continued to battle for half of the moto until Wienen made a pass for the second place position with one lap to go.
“I am pumped with the weekend's race,” Wienen said. “I had a rough first moto and was able to regain myself after the half way point. I had an epic battle with Thomas and was able to make the pass with a lap to go.”
Baldwin Motorsports PEP Upperman Racing's Josh Upperman came out of the first turn in third and was able to work his way into second place before the end of lap one. After he battled with both Brown and Wienen, the Ohio native found himself back in fourth, where he was able to ride a comfortable pace although he was unable to catch the top three.
Veteran John Natalie grabbed a top-10 start aboard his MotoSport.com Motoworks DWT machine and had to battle his way through the pack for a majority of the moto. Natalie worked his way into the fifth place position before he went across the checkered flags.
“I didn't get the greatest of starts and I knew I had to stay consistent in order to salvage as many points as I could. We missed our set up a little but I'm happy with my finish and am ready to head to round three,” Natalie said.
Josh Creamer was able to salvage a sixth-place finish after he had a bad start off the gate and found himself in the back of the field.
“I didn't get the start I was looking for at all but I had to ride really smart to work my way through the field and make passes as there were limited places to pass out on the track,” Creamer said.
The sun came out for the second moto and it was once again Hetrick who snagged the SSi Decals Holeshot Award. With a clear field ahead, Hetrick put his head down and went to work. With only a little pressure early on, the Hetrick Racing rider was able to maintain a steady pace and make a comfortable gap between him and the rest of the field, securing the moto win and his first overall win for the 2013 season.
Wienen applied pressure to Hetrick early on but was unable to match the speed of Hetrick, remaining in the second-place position. Creamer had a better start in moto two, coming out in the top three. Creamer was able to tighten the gap on the second-place position but settled into third place and finished out the race in fourth.
Natalie, the 2011 champ, and Brown came out of the first turn in the fourth- and fifth -lace positions. After an intense battle in the first few laps, Brown was able to move into the fourth-place position but it wasn't until Natalie made a mistake that Brown was able to gain a comfortable lead on the veteran.
“I was able to make it through the first turn with a decent start and held my ground to finish in the fourth place position. I'm pumped to be up on the box again and looking to make my way higher up on the podium next round,” Brown said.
Veteran Joe Byrd and Never Sleep Designs Vechery Racing's rookie Tim Dettling battled the entire moto for the sixth-place position. The rookie was unable to make the pass for the position on the two-time national champion. The seventh-place position was Dettling's pro career best finish so far this season.
AMA ATV Pro MX Results, Blountville, Tenn.
1. Joel Hetrick, Honda, 2. Chad Wienen, Yamaha, 3. Thomas Brown, Yamaha, 4. Josh Creamer, Can-Am, 5. John Natalie, Honda, 6. Josh Upperman, Honda, 7. Joe Byrd, Honda, 8. Jeffrey Rastrelli, Honda, 9. Tim Dettling, Honda, 10. Ronnie Higgerson, Can-Am.
AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings
1. Chad Wienen (86) 2. Joel Hetrick (85) 3. Thomas Brown (78) 4. Josh Creamer (75) 5. Josh Upperman (70) 6. Joe Byrd (57) 7. John Natalie (56) 8. Jeffrey Rastrelli (46) 9. Nick Denoble (45) 10. Ronnie Higgerson (34).