2014 Mtn. Dew ATVMX Championship kicks off this Saturday at Aonia Pass MX in Georgia
March 19, 2014
The following is an industry press release...
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (March 19, 2014) - In just a matter of days, the 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA (ATVMX), season will begin its nine round journey to crown a champion. This Saturday, March 22, reigning back-to-back AMA Pro ATV Class Champion Chad Wienen will lead a highly talented field into action at Aonia Pass Motocross Park in Washington, Ga.
The stage is set for another dramatic ATVMX season in 2014.Photo: Hill
Wienen and his Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Yamaha effort have established themselves as the most formidable team ATVMX. Wienen raced to eight overall victories en route to the title last season and finished no worse than second overall in 10 rounds of competition. Adding to the success of Wienen Motorsports was a runner-up effort in the championship by Wienen's up-and-coming teammate Thomas Brown. In his first year with the team, Brown captured the overall win at the season finale to cap off an impressive campaign in which he finished on the podium in eighth of 10 rounds.
While Wienen and Brown are the pair to beat coming into 2014, the field of challengers that will attempt to unseat them is filled with veterans that bring a wealth of championship experience in addition to rising stars full of raw speed and youthful exuberance.
While some moving and shaking has taken place during the offseason, the bulk of the top 10 riders from a year ago are returning with their same program, albeit with months of preparation and improvements.
Reigning back-to-back champion Chad Wienen is in search of a third straight title for his self-owned team. Photo: Hill
#1 Chad Wienen - Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Yamaha
Wienen and his Wienen Motorsports Yamaha team are poised and ready to defend his championship, as well as look for title number three in the process. A lot of time has been spent in Florida since the first of the year for Wienen, training with GNCC Champion Chris Borich and all eyes will be on the champ come Saturday.
#2 Thomas Brown - Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Yamaha
Brown returns to the Wienen Motorsports Yamaha effort as the world number two. He has reportedly spent the entire winter training at his home in Texas and reports of Brown at some local events suggest he is a fast as ever and looking to challenge his boss for the title in 2014.
#3 Josh Creamer - BCS Performance Can-Am
The 2010 series champion finished third in his first full season of competition since winning the title. He's maintained his talents over the years by racing at home in New England, and most recently has been in Alabama with teammate Ronnie Higgerson, training at former champion Keith Little's home. Creamer knows what it takes to win at the elite level and will surely be better in 2014 with a full season of competition under his belt.
#4 Joel Hetrick - JB Racing/DWT/Mtn. Dew Live Wire Can-Am
Hetrick is one of the riders that made a move in the offseason, and will pilot a factory Can Am ride for the 2014 season. He has been training in Louisiana, reportedly at a purpose built training track for him and a few select riders in preparations for the new season. After showing some incredible speed last season, highlighted by being the only non Wienen Motorsports rider to claim an overall victory, Hetrick is ready to win a championship.
#5 John Natalie - Motosport.com/RRR/Ford/DWT/Walsh/Fox Honda
The former two-time ATVMX champ is more than ready for the 2014 season to begin. Natalie's program for the upcoming season has him brimming with confidence and thanks to some strong rides last season, including three overall podium finishes, he'll be one of the riders to keep an eye on when the gate drops on Saturday.
Mtn. Dew returns as title sponsor of ATVMX for the 2014 season.Photo: Hill
#6 Josh Upperman - Baldwin Motorsports/PEP/Upperman Racing Honda
Upperman is no doubt one of the hardest working riders in the pits, doing whatever it takes throughout the year to get him to the races. For 2014, Upperman brings great support from Baldwin Motorsports and has been training near Tampa, Fla., with former ATVMX legend Tim Farr. Upperman put himself on the podium at one race last season but will no doubt be looking for more starting on Saturday.
#7 Nick Denoble - SSi Decals/123 Customs/Walsh Racing
After unexpectedly racing the 2013 season thanks to a deal that came together just a couple weeks before the season began, Denoble returned from an injury-plagued 2012 season to post solid results and finish seventh in the championship. He will scale back his efforts in 2014, racing just select events for the Walsh Racing effort.
#8 Jeffrey Rastrelli - JB Racing/Cheerwine Can-Am
Rastrelli will be back on a Can-Am with the JB Racing squad in 2014, and will establish a promising young tandem with Hetrick at JB Racing. Rastrelli has spent the winter training at home in Palm City, Fla., and is excited about the opportunity to build on his results from the 2013 season.
#9 Joe Byrd - DASA/Joe Byrd Quad Riding Schools Honda
Byrd is a former two-time ATVMX champion as well as one of the most recognized names in the sport today. He will turn 40 during the 2014 season and is expected to be as much of a threat as ever. Byrd has spent plenty of time working all over the world with his Joe Byrd Quad Riding Schools program and has spent the closing weeks of the offseason training in Florida.
#10 Tyler Hamrick - Baldwin Motorsports/PEP Honda
After earning top rookie honors in 2013, Hamrick is ready to mix it up with his more experienced counterparts for the 2014 season. He has spent the bulk of his offseason in his home state of Ohio, but has recently worked on getting in his program in order in Pennsylvania. A late trip to Louisiana has allowed Hamrick to put the finishing touches on his Honda and his own physical fitness so he can prepare for an all out effort in his sophomore campaign.
Aonia Pass MX Park has served as the opening round of ATVMX since the 2011 season. The 1.5-mile track features a mix of mulch and the famous red Georgia clay on a layout that showcases high speed, a lot of traction, and airtime. It serves as one of the most challenging tracks thanks to its collection of obstacles, but is always a favorite for both riders and fans alike.
On-track AMA Pro ATV Class action for this weekend's opening round begins at 11 a.m. ET with practice and qualifying. Opening Ceremonies kick off at 2:40 p.m. ET, with opening motos scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. All the action can be followed via Live Timing and Scoring through the official series website.
Catch all nine rounds of AMA Pro ATV Class racing action, plus a special pre-season preview show, on MAVTV. For more information on the series, visit www.atvmotocross.com and join the conversation on the series Facebook page or follow on Twitter @ATVMXdotcom and #ATVMX.
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