The next stop in the series is the newly renovated Pleasure Valley Raceway in Armagh, Pennsylvania for the Suzuki Summer National. Owner Jeff Cernic has made several improvements at the track, cutting down trees to increase visibility around the track, building a new a pro pit area and expanding the parking lot. The track is technically challenging and takes advantage of the terrain, with strategically placed single, double and triple jumps. This includes several table top jumps, whoops, and sand sections.
After a shoulder injury at mid-seson bumped Wimmer from the top of the point standings, he came roaring back on top at Muddy Creek, taking home 1-1 moto wins. Wimmer’s dramatic return to victory came less than two months after he dislocated his shoulder in a practice crash, and then lost the points lead while fighting to come back. Wimmer’s teammate Doug Gust took home the second place win with Wienen, who suffered from bad starts, finishing in third. Veteran Honda rider, Joe Byrd, who finished in 9th at Muddy Creek is third in the point standings, 14 points behind Wimmer.
The pro class will feature two 20-minute races on Sunday, taking place at noon and 3 p.m., with the combined scores of both races determining the overall winner.
The pro riders will run as part of a full schedule of amateur racing, including classes for Youth, Women and veteran riders. Amateurs will practice on Friday and race on Saturday and Sunday. Pros will practice on Saturday and race on Sunday.
Not only is the championship on the line between current point leader Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Wienen and Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura Suzuki’s Defending AMA Pro ATV MX Champion Dustin Wimmer but so is the Manufacturer’s Cup, which also features a tight race between the Suzuki and Kawasaki OEMs. But while Kawasaki’s Wienen leads the riders, Suzuki leads the Manufacturer’s Points and has the most overall wins. Suzuki has 332 points, leading over Kawasaki’s 318 points.
“Suzuki is extremely proud to be leading the Manufacturer’s Cup,” said Pat Alexander, Sports Promotion Manager at American Suzuki Motor Corp. “The competition this year has been tough but the hard work that the Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura team has put in is really showing in results. Dustin is just five points out of the Championship and is really coming on strong after his brief layoff from a shoulder injury and Doug’s results have definitely proven that he is still just as competitive as he has always been for so many years.”
“The Monster Energy Kawasaki team has worked extremely hard the past three years and to be in a position to be fighting for the championship and Manufacturer’s cup this year is very rewarding,” said Reid Nordin, manager of Kawasaki Team Green. “Having a solid platform like the KFX450R was a great start to our effort and the team was built for success around that machine.”
Team Honda and Can-Am are also close behind with 308 points and 273 points, respectively. While Kawasaki and Suzuki lead right now, with three rounds and six motos still to go, according to AMA ATVMX Series Manager Harv Whipple, all four brands that could still win the Cup.
“So far this season, five of the six brands participating in this ultra competitive AMA Pro Racing division have had a competitor put their machine in the top five on more than one occasion with all six brands having scored championship points,” said Whipple. “It goes beyond saying that all of the OEM’s are going above and beyond to see to it that their brand is what the consumers want to purchase.”
“In recent years both Honda in 2007 and Suzuki in 2008 claimed the Cup prior to the end of the season,” Whipple said. “But just like the championship itself, the Manufacturer’s Cup could come down to the last moto of the year.”
To get to the track: From Pittsburgh, Take RT 22 East to the Johnstown RT 403 Exit (this is the 2nd Johnstown Exit).
Turn Right 1/4 of a mile. PVR is on the right in Armagh.
From Harrisburg or the east, Take Pa Turnpike to the Bedford Exit. I-99 North to Exit 28 (RT 22 west / Ebensburg /Johnstown). Take RT 22 East approx 40 miles to the Johnstown RT 403 Exit (this is the 3rd Johnstown Exit on RT 22 West). Turn Right onto 403 South 1/4 of a mile. PVR is on the right.