12 Hours of ATV America 2005

Moments from the gun-shot-start, John Natalie gets ready to resume Team Honda's lead in the second session.

Moments from the gun-shot-start, John Natalie gets ready to resume Team Honda’s lead in the second session.

2005 Maxxis 12 Hours of ATV America
Valley View, PA
Oct 29, 2005

Photos by: Rapid Image Photography

After being held in Ft. Dodge, Iowa for the first three years, the Maxxis 12 Hours of ATV America made the trip to the east coast for its 4th annual running. Ft. Dodge was the perfect location to tip off the inaugural 12 Hours of ATV America due to its central location. The first two years were held at the Midwest Off Road Park, only a few short miles from downtown Fort Dodge. The venue featured ideal terrain for the event. Unfortunately, before the running of the 2004 event, the Midwest Off Road Park was converted into a car track, forcing the event to quickly find a temporary 2004 location. It was moved only a mile away on the other side of the Des Moines River. According to Fast-Trak Promo President John Pellan, “We appreciate all the help from many great people in Iowa. They certainly did their part to help build this event into the success that it currently is. The event’s roots are and always will be smack dab in the middle of the country in Fort Dodge, Iowa.”

Team Devil Dog (Tommy Bowling, Jason Perry and Brian Bonney), all proud members of the US Marine Corp, were a major part of the opening ceremonies. Here they presented the US flag and soon after lit the 12 Hours Torch, a fitting addition to the only ATV event in the U.S. of Olympic proportions.

Team Devil Dog (Tommy Bowling, Jason Perry and Brian Bonney), all proud members of the US Marine Corp, were a major part of the opening ceremonies. Here they presented the US flag and soon after lit the 12 Hours Torch, a fitting addition to the only ATV event in the U.S. of Olympic proportions.

As for the 2005 event, Fast-Trak spent months searching for a new venue to hold the event. After much deliberation the decision was made to hold the event at Rausch Creek Motorsports Park in Valley View, Pennsylvania. “The venue, its hard working ATV savvy staff, their past GNCC experience and its location in the heartland of ATV racing made Rausch Creek an easy choice”, said Pellan of the move.

 

Maxxis sponsors the 12 Hours in case you haven't noticed.

Maxxis sponsors the 12 Hours in case you haven’t noticed.

Track Comparisons
One of the biggest complaints about the 2004 track in Iowa was the way it broke apart as the race progressed. Half way through the day, the virgin terrain had turned into five miles of whoops. This took its toll on rider and machine alike. This year’s six mile course utilized just about every bit of Rausch Creek’s impressive motocross track along with a few miles of fast wooded sections. Like the 2004 track, the 2005 track definitely had some rough terrain as well. While everyone hoped this year’s track would hold together better than last year’s, the big question on everyone’s mind was Rausch Creek’s infamous rocks. Many remember the two challenging years that the GNCC series stopped at Rausch Creek. It has been said that the reason Rausch Creek is no longer on the GNCC schedule is because of the abuse its rocks had on the racer’s equipment. Because of this, many people assumed the treacherous rocks found on the Rausch GNCC course would also be present on the 12 Hours course. This was not the case however.

It has become a tradition to decorate your pits at the 12 Hours. Above is home turf for youth team "The Next Big Thing". The team finished second in the new Youth class.

It has become a tradition to decorate your pits at the 12 Hours. Above is home turf for youth team “The Next Big Thing”. The team finished second in the new Youth class.

You see this year’s 12 Hour’s course was held at Rausch Creek’s motocross area and not in the same area of the prior GNCC events. And every effort was made to stay clear of quad-breaking rocks as much as possible. All in all, the 12 Hours track at Rausch Creek accomplished that, but no matter what terrain you run on, 70 quads running the exact same trail that winds through the generally rocky PA area is going to result in a rough course. But 12 Hours of America endurance riders are always up for a challenge, after all that’s why they do what they do.

2005 Statistics
Machines:
(23) Honda TRX450R
(18) Yamaha YFZ450
(6) Polaris Predator
(3) Suzuki Z400
(3) Honda TRX250R
(3) Honda 400EX
(2) Kawasaki Prairie
(2) Kawasaki Brute Force
(2) Yamaha Raptor
(1) Kawasaki KFX700
(1) Suzuki LT250
(1) Honda 300EX
(1)Cannondale
(1) Yamaha Blaster
(1) Kymco Mongoose
(1) Honda Rincon
(1) Bombardier Outlander
Riders:
Riders came from Canada and 23 different states in the USA

16 traveled West of the Mississippi River 194 traveled East of the Mississippi River
146 called Cross Country racing their specialty
64 called MX and/or TT racing their specialty
Have you race the 12 Hours of America in the past?
YES 53% NO 47%
Will you race the 12 Hours of America next year?
YES 95% NO 5%
Next Time..
Add more MX 1% Add more CC 66% Dont change anything 33%
Should the 12 Hours be ATVA sanctioned?
YES 22% NO 78%

 

Team FD Racing represents the roots of the 12 Hours of ATV America - Fort Dodge, IA. Here anchorman, Jason Mickelson charges through a wooded section in route to victory during the final hours of the second session.

Team FD Racing represents the roots of the 12 Hours of ATV America – Fort Dodge, IA. Here anchorman, Jason Mickelson charges through a wooded section in route to victory during the final hours of the second session.

POW! Run, RIDE!
The start is the coolest part of the race, and that’s why they do it twice at the 12 Hours of America. After everyone lined up for the first session Lemans style start the gun was fired and all seven classes rumbled into the first turn. The team that led the field from the very first lap was no surprise, Team Honda. The team consisted of GNC champ John Natalie, GNCC runner up Chris Borich and the rookie addition of the team, Cyle Chislock of Murrietta, CA. Chislock currently leads points in the Best in the Desert Series and calls the ITP QuadCross Series his main form of competition. “I like him a lot. I sort of took him under our wing and I’m glad he’s part of the team now”, said Natalie of their new rookie.

natalie12hrspodium While there were lots of other stories during the twelve hour race, Team Honda was definitely the team to watch. Honda was setting a blistering pace and almost won by leading the entire event wire to wire. There was however a time that they were not in the lead. It was when John Natalie had a nasty get off, which resulted in a broken wrist. “We fell about seven minutes behind when I crashed. We lost another seven minutes while we made repairs to the machine but fortunately we were able to catch up and come away with the win”, said Ironman Natalie. Amazingly, after repairs were completed, John rejoined his teammates by sharing saddle-time and helped bring home the win. Natalie explained, “I broke one of the bones in my wrist. I just took some pain killers and kept going.” Wow, now that’s determination!

Team Hertz Racing (Tom Hertz, Rob Hertz and Sean Neidlinger) rode a steady-mistake-free race to finish runner up. “We won’t make any team changes in the future, we have fun together. Next year we need to just go faster”, said the three GNCC riders. Finishing up third was the Lost Creek Cycle team of Jason Dunkelberger, Jason Luburgh and Matt White. The three GNC pros had some mechanical problems but worked past them to put Lost Creek Cycle on its first 12 Hours of America podium.

Team Honda riders, mechanics and pit crew members celebrate their much disserved 2005 12 Hours of ATV America victory.

Team Honda riders, mechanics and pit crew members celebrate their much disserved 2005 12 Hours of ATV America victory.

_MG_9906 More Accomplishments and Survivals
Besides Team Honda taking the overall win despite Natalie’s broken wrist there were other stories of interest. With twelve hours of duration and such a mayday of activity involved, it is nearly impossible to keep track of all of the happenings at this event, so unfortunately we don’t have them all for you. Here’s what we do have…

For the first time the 12 Hours of America event (along with the 6 Hours of America events) featured a new Youth 13-15 year old class. The inaugural class was won by Team SBC Racing of Florida, which consisted of Matt Bremer, Mike Cram, and Ricky Stair. _MG_9899

_MG_9949 FD Racing took home the gold for the second consecutive time in Utility Class. After the 12 Hours controversial departure from Ft. Dodge, Team FD Racing was able to take the first place trophy, and more importantly bragging rights back to Ft. Dodge. “This year’s machine was the best one that we have ridden in one of these events thus far. It was prepped by C&D Racing out of Omaha and there wasn’t another thing that could have been done to it. It ran hard all day long and we did not have one mechanical failure”, said Jason Mickelson of their Kawasaki Brute Force winning utility quad.

While they didn’t win any trophies, Team Kymco once again attended the 12 Hours. This year the team was led by 2005 Kymco racer Jack Moore, father of Angela Moore. Amazingly this was the second year that Kymco ran this same machine with virtually no maintenance in between.

While attendance was down a bit this year due to high gas prices and pre-assumed rock-infested terrain, many teams we talked to say they are either long time 12 Hours of America racers, or teams that recently raced a 6 Hours of America event and got hooked on ATV endurance challenges of this type. Fast-Trak Promo’s president John Pellan remains extremely optimistic about his unique ATV endurance series and plans on continuing to work vigorously to improve it. As for what changes that may come about, and where the race will be held in 2006, we will have to wait and see, but one thing is already known, it will be a definite good time for all who attend.

For more coverage from this event check out the rider interviews in our “Pit Talk” feature on the next page, the results and photo gallery from the 2005 Maxxis 12 Hours of ATV America at Rausch Creek are also on the next page.

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