As the points race tightens in the AMA ATV Pro Motocross class, the racing action does as well, leading round four of the series, the Trianglcycles.com ATV National at Birch Creek Motorsports in Danville, Va., to produce the best battle of the season. In the end, series’ leader Dustin Wimmer managed to edge Honda’s Joe Byrd and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Wienen for the victory via 2-1 scores in the motos, giving the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider his third win of the season. The Birch Creek event also marked round three of the amateur portion of the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship presented by Parts Unlimited.
“That was a pretty crazy moto,” said Wimmer of his intense second-moto battle with Byrd and Wienen. “The start wasn’t too bad, I got up into that first turn and there was a bunch of bumping. I got hung up a little bit and a couple people got around me but I worked my way up through and caught up to Chad. My shocks were working great so I was able to out power by him over a jump and just stick it.”
The win also pushes Wimmer’s points lead up to six, as Byrd had closed the gap to one point coming into the race.
Wienen started the day by collecting the $100 ATVsource.com Top Qualifier Award. Under overcast skies that made for perfect racing weather, Byrd and Wienen drag raced to the first turn first in moto one, with Byrd snagging the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award and Wienen coming out right behind the two-time champion. Cody Miller, Clay Holmes and Wimmer tucked in behind the lead duo, and soon Wienen made a pass on Byrd to take the lead. Wimmer also moved around Byrd and chased Wienen. Wimmer pressured Wienen all the way to the finish, but Wienen
ultimately held on to win his first moto of the season in a close battle. While Byrd settled into third, Warnert Racing Can-Am teammates Miller and John Natalie battled for fourth and fifth position with Natalie making way to grab the higher of the two.
Heading into the second moto, the stage was set for a race few have seen in years. Wienen was the man to beat, but a wheelie on the start gave the edge to the rest of the field. Byrd grabbed his second $250 MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award for the day and lead for much of the moto, but he had zero room for error with less than a second lead over Monster Kawasaki’s Josh Creamer, who suffered a mechanical problem in the first moto. Creamer led a pack of hungry riders behind Byrd including Greg Gee, Miller, Natalie, Wienen and Wimmer. Both Wienen and Wimmer stayed with each other as they moved through the group to fall in behind Byrd. In dramatic fashion, Wimmer finally made the move over Wienen and Byrd in the same lap to take the lead, and he pushed his gap out to two seconds to take the moto and overall win. Wienen rode smart to the checkers to take third behind Byrd. His 1-3 score still netted him second overall over Byrd’s 3-2 score.
“I was just thinking to stay close to everyone so they didn’t run away with it and we did,” said Wienen. “My setup was really good the first moto, but the second moto, I was getting beat up a little bit, but we made the most of it and we got up on this box so I’m really happy about that. It was bar-to-bar really. You know everyone just put it in and I gave it everything I got. The biggest thing the fans, I can see the fans waving their arms out there and that really gets me motivated to going and do my best.”
“I got a good holeshot both motos,” said Byrd after taking home a $500 bonus for both MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Awards. “The first moto I just didn’t have the setup, but the second moto we did and I just made a mistake and [Wimmer] got around me and then I was trying to charge back but ran out of time.”
Byrd’s machine began smoking almost immediately even though he spent nearly the entire moto in the lead. “We had the power, but it was just in my mind and I didn’t want it locking up over a jump,” said Byrd. “We had a vent line pop off on the hot lap and we tried to patch that before the race so luck was just on our side that moto.”
Natalie, who has suffered an onslaught of mechanical problems recently, finally showed he hasn’t slowed once things click and pulled a consistent fourth for both motos collecting fourth overall. Teammate Cody Miller grabbed a 5-7 taking home a top 5 for the weekend.
Clay Holmes went 7-9 for sixth after dueling with veteran Doug Gust, who fought his way through the pack to gain positions he lost on his starts. Gust took 6-10 scores for seventh, while Jeremy Lawson snagged 12-6 finishes for 8th overall. Privateer Greg Gee is proving the change from last season has little affect on his program taking another top 10 and finishing top 10 in both motos with 8-10.
Rounding out the top ten was Creamer, who rallied from trouble in moto one to take 14-5 scores and finish tenth overall.
The Pro-Am Production class featured yet another exciting race with the young guns vying for the title. Although Cody Gibson took both moto wins for the overall, Devin Heimes applied as much pressure as he could. He took second in moto one and pressured Gibson again in the second moto until a crash ended his weekend. Kentucky riders Casey Martin and Cody Grant rounded out the overall podium, though neither picked up a top three for their motos.
ATVision powered by Quad Magazine brings you high quality coverage of the Trianglecycles.com ATV National at Birch Creek this coming Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. on www.atvmotocross.com and www.quadmagazine.com.
The ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship continues May 2 and 3 with the Sunset Ridge National in Walnut, Illinois.
Round 4 – Birch Creek
April 19, 2009
AMA Pro ATV Results:
1. Dustin Wimmer (Suz) 2-1
2. Chad Wienen (Kaw) 1-3
3. Joe Byrd (Hon) 3-2
4. John Natalie, Jr. (Can) 4-4
5. Cody Miller (Can) 5-7
6. Clay Holmes (Hon) 6-10
7. Doug Gust (Suz) 6-10
8. Jeremy Lawson (Can) 12-6
9. Greg Gee (Hon) 10-8
10. Josh Creamer (Kaw) 14-5
Pro-Am Production Results:
1. Cody Gibson (Kaw) 1-1
2. Casey Martin (Hon) 4-5
3. Cody Grant (Suz) 6-4
4. Travis Moore (Hon) 9-2
5. Joseph Bruening (KTM) 8-3
6. Josh Williams (Suz) 5-6
7. Bobby Ross (Kaw) 3-8
8. William Cottage (Hon) 7-9
9. Devin Heimes (Suz) 2-15
10. Jonathon Ven John (Hon) 11-12