Wienen Wins a Scorcher at Sunday Creek
Hetrick Comes in Second; Ohio’s Own Upperman Lands on the Podium
April 19, 2013
By Jen Kenyon
Photos by Ken Hill
Wienen continues to hold the red plateRound 8 of the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series took to the hills of Sunday Creek Raceway where Chad Wienen and Joel Hetrick split moto-wins in the AMA Pro ATV division. Wienen’s Moto 2 win gave him the overall win, while Hetrick and Josh Upperman rounded out the podium.
Despite Friday evening’s severe storms that crippled much of southern Ohio, the crew had the track prepped and ready for qualifying Saturday morning. It was Motoworks/Can-Am’s Joel Hetrick who once again earned the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award after only one timed qualifying session—a result of the severe weather.
When the gate dropped for Moto 1, it was Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft/Yamaha’s Chad Wienen who grabbed his first SSi Decals Holeshot Award of 2012, with Hetrick, Baldwin Motorports/PEP’s Upperman and John Natalie in tow. Hetrick began applying pressure to Wienen early, before finally securing the pass for the lead on lap 3. Wienen began closing the gap on Hetrick by mid-race, but the young gun put in several quick and consistent laps, building a comfortable cushion all the way to the checkers.
Wienen crossed the finish line in second, while Motoworks/Can-Am’s Natalie came through in third after working his way past Upperman for the final podium position. Meanwhile, TBROWN Yamaha Racing/Moto-X-Perts Yamaha Thomas Brown spent much of Moto 1 chasing after Upperman and the lead pack, ultimately settling for a fifth place finish.
Things were heating up as the field made its way to the line for Moto 2. In a replay of earlier, it was again points leader Chad Wienen who rocketed out of the gate quickest to nab the SSi Decals Holeshot Award over John Natalie and Josh Upperman. Moto 1 winner Joel Hetrick was marred with a mid-pack start, and had his work cut out for him as he attempted to work his way to the front. 2011 Sunday Creek winner Josh Upperman overtook Natalie for second place in lap 2 and was glued to the rear tires of the leader Wienen for the first half of the moto ready to capitalize on even the slightest error. Hetrick was a man on a mission in Moto 2, moving up methodically as the laps wore on. Hetrick caught Upperman and engaged the Ohio boy in a battle for the runner up spot, where he eventually stuck the pass for a second place finish.
Upperman grabbed a podium position in his home state of OhioWienen took the Moto 2 win and overall victory, and will once again carry the red plate into the next round. Hetrick’s second place score gave him second overall for the day with 1-2 finishes. Much to the delight of his home state fans, Upperman finished third place in Moto 2, giving him the final podium position at Sunday Creek.
Natalie lost the momentum he had coming into this round with a 3-5 score for the day, finishing off the podium for the first time this season with a fourth overall. Thomas Brown fought hard and made a late pass on Natalie to grab fourth in Moto 2, which earned him another solid top five overall.
Rookie Mark Madl (HON) took home sixth overall with a consistent score of 6-6 for the day, while Ohio’s Adam Clark (HON) came in seventh. Rookie Jeffrey Rastrelli (SUZ) took eighth overall, while Iowa’s Jesse Barnes (YAM) came in ninth and Jonathon Venjohn (HON) rounded out the top ten.
The 2012 AMA ATV Motocross Championship heads to Unadilla in New Berlin, New York July 14 and 15 for Round 8 of the ten-race circuit. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.
AMA Pro ATV Results
- Chad Wienen, Yamaha, (2-1)
- Joel Hetrick, Can-Am, (1-2)
- Josh Upperman, Honda, (4-3)
- John Natalie, Can-Am, (3-5)
- Thomas Brown, Yamaha, (5-4)
- Mark Madl, Honda, (6-6)
- Adam Clark, Honda, (7-8)
- Jeff Rastrelli, Suzuki, (11-7)
- Jesse Barnes, Yamaha, (10-9)
- Jonathon Venjohn, Honda, (9-10)
AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings
- Chad Wienen, Yamaha - 327
- John Natalie, Can-Am- 303
- Joel Hetrick, Can-Am - 270
- Josh Upperman, Honda - 256
- Thomas Brown, Yamaha - 245
- Derek Swartfager, Honda - 182
- Mark Madl, Honda - 164
- Adam Clark, Honda - 163
- Jeff Rastrelli, Suzuki - 155
- Nick DeNoble, Honda - 152