Salisbury, NC (3/12/2019) – Phoenix Racing Honda rider Joel Hetrick put several years of bad luck behind him and dominated the Pro-only season opener for the AMA Pro ATV Motocross National Championship at Daytona International Speedway. Haedyn Mickelson also competed in the Pro ATV class for the team, while Jace Owen rode in the 250SX Supercross motorcycle portion of the racing week.
Hetrick has been singularly focused during the offseason to starting the season off with a victory. He’s been close several times, but bad luck always seemed to show up. Not this time. After taking the holeshot, Hetrick led every lap of the main event.
“Everything was just working today,” said Hetrick. “I had felt like I had edge on everyone. Every year I’ve had bad luck here so this feels good. I was leading by nine seconds one year and wrecked. I was battling for a top three spot and blew out my knee. Last year, I just didn’t have it. I wanted to win the race so badly so it’s nice to finally do it.”
Riding his DASA-powered Honda, Hetrick was virtually unstoppable during the weekend. With Elka suspension and Maxxis tires under him, he rode a smooth and consistent race. The team is also welcoming new sponsors Moose Racing, Bell Helmets, and 100% goggles.
“Jay Gobel and Doug Roll with Elka worked with us on the suspension and it was perfect in the race,” said Hetrick. “The Maxxis Razr Plus tires gave me superior grip on a difficult racing surface. The DASA engine just pulled out of the gate. The bike was flawless today.”
Mickelson is running his first full season in the Pro class this season. After a making it as high as fourth in the race, Mickelson fought his way through arm pump to finish 11th.
“The bike was working really well,” said Mickelson. “The DASA engine got me off to a great start and the Maxxis tires hooked up in that weird dirt there. The Elka shocks were flawless. They got me through the mogul section no problem and the jumps were really smooth. I’m pumped for Joel. It’s good to see him pull it off and did what he was set out to do.”
Owen was competing in his second Supercross race of the season in the 250SX East Coast Championship. The team installed a new engine in his Honda and he was off and running. After qualifying for the main, he was up to eighth when he crashed in the whoops section. He sustained a back injury, but plans to take next weekend off before returning to racing in April.
“The weekend started off great,” said Owen. “I qualified eighth and was fifth in my heat. Unfortunately, I had a pretty bad crash in the main. I should get healed up pretty quickly and I’m looking forward to the next race.”
Hetrick and Mickelson will join up with the rest of the Phoenix Racing ATV team when the ATV Motocross Series holds its next race April 6-7 at Underground MX in Kemp, TX. That event will feature all of the ATV classes. Owen will be back in action for the Supercross Series on April 6 in Nashville, TN.
Courtesy Phoenix Racing Honda