Morgantown, W.Va. (May 15, 2012) - The 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series is well underway as the schedule heads to Sunset Ridge MX for Round 4 of racing this weekend, May 19 and 20, where the series and racers will go "pink" for breast cancer awareness. Points leader Chad Wienen will have the hometown advantage as he grew up racing at the Walnut, Illinois facility. The local boy usually has a full house of fans to support every year at Sunset Ridge MX.
Photo By: Ken Hill
Joel Hetrick is going for a second win at Sunset Ridge
Although Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft/Yamaha's Chad Wienen broke his five-race winning streak at the last round in Maryland, Wienen still holds the coveted red number plate heading into round four this weekend in Illinois. There's no doubt that Wienen has the consistent speed to continue winning races, but in a ten-round series there are many challenges before taking home a championship at the end of the year.
Defending champion John Natalie got his first race win of the season in Maryland and the Motoworks/Can-Am rider now sits within striking distance of Wienen's points lead. Natalie is one of the most consistent racers on the circuit and he knows that steady finishes on the podium will keep him in the running for the end-of-the-year title. But Natalie's young teammate, Joel Hetrick, nabbed his first overall win of the season last round and isn't slowing down any time soon.
Hetrick doesn't have the all-around experience that Natalie and Wienen have in the professional ranks just yet, but the young gun does know how to go fast. Hetrick finished outside the top five in the opening round, but with a podium finish and an overall win most recently, Motoworks/Can-Am's newest rider is putting himself back in the running for a championship title.
Photo By: Ken Hill
Wienen will race in front of his hometown crowd in Illinois
Baldwin Motorsports/PEP/Maxxis' Josh Upperman tops Hetrick by only three points in the overall standings as the series moves to Round 4 this weekend. Upperman began the season on top of the podium with a third place finish, but since then he's finished just outside the top three. TBROWN Yamaha powered by Moto-X-Perts' Thomas Brown has been contesting Upperman and the rest of the front-runners as he sits only six points away from Hetrick in the fifth place position in points. Brown has yet to finish on top of the overall podium, but the Texas native put himself inside the top three in Moto 2 in Maryland, giving him fourth overall for the day.
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. Tickets on Saturday are $20 for spectators ($10 for ages 6-11), and admission includes full pro-pit access and an autograph session.
The 2nd Annual Susan G Komen Breast Cancer track walk will take place Friday, May 18 after practice is over. Sunset Ridge MX invites all racers, spectators and sponsors to "go pink" for breast cancer awareness by adorning their clothing, gear and pits in the color pink.
To get to the track, take I-80 to Route 40 (Exit 45); take 40 North, 4 miles; turn Right on Manlius Rd, just after the school. 1 mile to CR1100; turn Left on CR1100; go approx. 4 miles on CR1100. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.
About the AMA ATV Motocross Championship
The AMA ATV Motocross Championship is the nation's premier amateur and professional ATV motocross series, hosted at top motocross facilities nationwide. The 10-round series features the Nation's best racers, teams and sponsors, and is America's largest and longest-running ATV national motocross program. Since 1985, the series continues to expand and produce top talent from the amateur ranks, while premiering the professional class. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.