BUCHANAN, Mich. (July 29, 2020) – At the RedBud ATVMX National, round six of the 2020 ATV Motocross National Championship, saw Wienen Motorsports/Yamaha/Maxxis’ Chad Wienen would find success at the legendary Redbud Motocross facility as he scored 1-1 on the day to take the highly coveted win which now marks back to back overalls as we head into the final rounds of the season.
The momentum Wienen had coming into this round was a very optimistic sign for the embattled champion as he set out to reclaim the number one plate as the 2020 season began. Standing in his way was one of the toughest competitors to ever leave the gate as Phoenix Racing Honda/Maxxis/Elka’s Joel Hetrick has found his way to the elite and intends to remain dug in as the fight fired its opening salvo in Daytona. The season has been a struggle for many and it quickly appeared we would face another blistering battle between the two riders who have become synonymous with the first two positions in the win column. With Wienen scoring the win at Pleasure Valley, a race most thought would easily fall to Hetrick, the multi time champion exclaimed they had found some speed and were looking forward to bringing the points battle to a razor thin margin right to the very last round. Hetrick’s misfortune in the first moto at round five indeed opened the door for Wienen however it was Redbud where we would see if that speed was hyperbole or hard facts as we have seen this points chase come down to the wire for several seasons.
Redbud has long been a race that Wienen has enjoyed success at as the track gets brutal and works to Wienen’s advantage. The track itself did not disappoint as moto after moto whipped it into an incredibly challenging course that would fully test both man and machine. While the temperatures soared, the riders would catch a day of racing in non-gear melting conditions that Redbud has been well known for. With the stage set, the days racing was about to write its chapter into the 2020 season.
The fastest qualifier award would fall to Ford Brothers Racing/Baldwin/Maxxis’ Bryce Ford after putting in a very impressive set of laps that continue to show what the rookie pro has in his ever growing bag of tricks. Ford had found his first pro podium at round five and while remaining cool and collective, was bursting with enthusiasm to get the race underway as he continues to prove he is indeed learning the lessons being taught in every moto.
With moto 1 on the gate, all eyes turned towards the row of talent that had amassed here in the Michigan sunshine. With the points weighing heavily and the nerves that come with competition, the stars of the ATV Motocross championship series were seconds away from breaking the seal on this rounds racing. Brandon Hoag would get a great start as he streaked into the first turn and exited claiming the moto 1 holeshot. Just off his grab bar was the series front runners as Wienen and Hetrick were looking eager to make things happen. It was quickly becoming obvious that Hetrick was not able to open up as Wienen took the lead as the pair headed back out for lap two. TBrown84 Training/CST Tires’ Thomas Brown looked very comfortable in the practice sessions although he did not get the start he was looking for here in the first moto. Brown was having to work through several riders before claiming the third position. Watching Wienen pull an ever slight gap on Hetrick showed that this was going to be his race as Hetrick continued to race the conditions versus working on the leader. The moto would come to conclusion with the running order locked, Wienen, Hetrick and Brown.
The hustle between motos was a bit more mundane this round as no huge mechanical issues faced the top three, only the unanswered questions of what could be done to throw the breaks on Wienen and his near flawless moto one performance. Through the pits the feelings were mixed and emotions ran a wide gamut as riders found successes and failures during the moto. As second guessing and set up changes kept mechanics busy, others were looking in the mirror and pondered what they could possibly do to get things back on track even though there was no apparent train wreck. This season has played on the minds heavily as the restrictions, shutdowns and lack of seat time continues to be problematic for many teams and privateers. The stress would not lighten up as the second moto began loading the gate.
The gate dropped on the second moto to a thunderous exit as near a full gate of the world’s fastest ATV racers launched for the final time of the day. Ford would claim the moto two holeshot as he led the racers into the opening lap. Fords speed is increasing and so is his endurance however he sits just below the line he needs to cross in order to start taking the fight to the checkered flag however those races are coming at a frightening speed. Wienen would strike as the field began separating and the running order sorted itself out as the blue Yamaha claimed the lead and once again appeared fully in control of the race. Hetrick was stronger this moto but something just wasn’t clicking as he fought hard to take the fight to the leader. Ford began losing positions as the Wienen, Hetrick and now Brown held the top three spots as the moto was run.
The fanfare for Wienen from the fences showed the approval of his huge fan base at these Mid-West rounds as cheers went up. Wienen was in a zone, lap after lap as he hit all his marks and would roll to the win with zero issues plaguing the victory. It was a fight he wanted and looked eager to take the win and prove the work his team has been putting in was no fluke. The speed he had found and the conditions that favored this win were satisfaction and the sense of a job well done melted into the days excitement. The win added a few more points to those that separate him from Hetrick.
For Hetrick, the day came as no surprise and he was happy to have finished second and leaving Redbud healthy with plenty of racing left to keep things incredibly interesting. Joel was already looking ahead to the next round that will be held at Lake Sugar Tree in Virginia. This facility is taking place of the cancelled Loretta Lynn’s round and will be a new venue for the series and its competitors. Usually an eastern handpicked track gives the odds to Hetrick, however with Wienen’s newfound speed and the elation that the championship is within his reach opens up pandoras box as it were. The racing between these two should once again be epic and a round you do not want to miss.
Brown has had a rocky start here in 2020 all of which falls on his own program that was turned upside down as the season started, then stopped and re-fired yet again. Brown is a scrapper and put in the work needed to keep him out front and in another podium finishing position as he secured the third spot. If Lake Sugar Tree allows good passing options, it could prove to play into his hand for a winning weekend which would surely help the mental side of his game.
Ford put on a show during the opening laps of moto two and would finish just off the podium retaining P4 on the weekend. His speed is coming, his endurance is building and the experience he gains after each moto is being consumed and then turned into the skill set he needs to continue his march through the pro ranks. The 2020 season is already proving to be a monumental season to build on and the 2021 season should see his rise into the top three nearly every round.
GennUSA Racing/CST Tires/Corrosion Specialties’ Nick Gennusa continues to feel he has hit the struggle bus with no way to get off as he rolled out of Redbud holding P5. The New Jersey native has been a fantastic role model for this sport and many feel his pain as he struggles to stay top five or better. It doesn’t outwardly appear he has any lack of speed and his veteran status in the pro ranks has him fully capable of running well into the top three so his problems are a bit more complex as the mental side of racing continues to chew on him. Gennusa is falling into the gap of having to fend off up and coming racers forcing him to run a race that is filled with work before he can even consider going after the leaders and that makes things triple tough as todays ranks are filled with rising talent. Gennusa is no quitter so look for him to continue to put in the work to keep himself up front.
RedBud ATVMX National
Round 6 of 10
July 27, 2020
2020 AMA Pro Class Event Results:
- Chad Wienen (1-1)
- Joel Hetrick (2-2)
- Thomas Brown (3-3)
- Bryce Ford (5-4)
- Nick Gennusa (6-5)
- Alan Myers (4-8)
- Brandon Hoag (7-6)
- Westley Wolfe (8-7)
- Wes Lewis (9-9)
- Troy Hill (11-11)
Overall National Championship Standings:
- Chad Wienen (255)
- Joel Hetrick (242)
- Thomas Brown (203)
- Brandon Hoag (179)
- Bryce Ford (179)
- Alan Myers (164)
- Westley Wolfe (152)
- Nick Gennusa (148)
- Wes Lewis (117)
- Troy Hill (114)
For more information on the 2020 ATV Motocross National Championship, visit the series official website at www.atvmotocross.com or call (304) 284-0101. Join the conversation on the series social media channels, along with receiving the most up-to-date news and exclusive content.
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