So here we are ten years past Y2K, and we still don't have a name for this decade. Unlike the seventies, eighties, or nineties nothing has really stuck. The 00's, will essentially be defined by their impact rather than their moniker. There were many changes in the last ten years, but few had more impact than these. Without further ado, ATV Rider presents the "Game Changers" of the new Millennium.
Fox Shox: When John Natalie Jr. first signed with Fox Shox we all laughed. After all, who was Fox Shox, and why did they feel a need to reinvent the wheel? The laughter pretty much stopped for everyone (except maybe Natalie & Fox) when the #13 Honda annihilated everyone while gliding around tracks that were beating up his competition. The air shock was a game changer.
Barry Hawk's record beaten: GNCC racer Barry Hawk was the man to beat in the 90's, and his win streak was considered unbeatable. After all, Hawk won his seven Championships while the sport was still in its' infancy, and with factory support, and increased exposure the talent in the Pro ranks was on the rise and domination would be impossible. Luckily, no one told Bill Ballance that. Ballance has been the face of GNCC Racing, (and the podium for that matter) this decade, and he won an astounding eight titles in a row dethroning Hawk, and demoralizing the competition along the way. Ballance is a Game Changer.
Tes Sewell, & The 2005 Great Outdoor Games:
The first half of the decade was as politically charged for ATV Racing as any presidential race. Rider gripes were met with resistance, and a five-year period of all out warfare and finger pointing was at its peak. Enter Tes Sewell, and his promise to put ATV Racing on National Television via ESPN's Great Outdoor Games. Sewell with the help of Donny Banks, assembled an impressive list of industry leaders to help plan the event. On July 9th, 2005 the game was changed forever as the top ATV Racers in the World raced into Millions of households, while simultaneously stealing the show at the Great Outdoor Games.
High Lifter Mud Nationals: Highlifter hosts the largest ATV gathering in the United States in Jacksonville, Texas. The Mud Nationals draws in nearly 15,000 die-hard ATV enthusiasts each year and has recently kicked off an East Coast version in Doles, Georgia. This premier ATV event has evolved into the most sought out ATV gathering and has become an industry phenomenon.