With championship pressure mounting, Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura Suzuki
's Defending AMA Pro ATV MX Champion Dustin Wimmer made a major statement by grabbing two come-from-behind moto victories and the overall win at round eight of the 2009 ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship presented by Parts Unlimited. Tennessee's Muddy Creek Raceway hosted the event, which also served as round seven of the ATVA amateur tour.
Dustin Wimmer returned to victory lane after battling a shoulder injury for several weeks.
"I felt great," said Wimmer, who also grabbed the ATVSource.com Top Qualifier Award. "I want to show these guys I can come back and be number one."
Wimmer's dramatic return to victory lane 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. In Tennesse, he started moto one in 11th place but charged through the pack. He began the last lap in third place, but got around his teammate Gust for second, and then pressured Can-Am's Jeremy Lawson for the lead. Wimmer nailed an inside line in a hard left-hand turn to get the lead from Lawson and win the moto by less than a second, with Gust right behind them in third. Current series' leader Chad Wienen, also suffering from a bad start, took fourth on his Monster Energy/Kawasaki ahead of Can-Am rider Cody Miller.
The technical Muddy Creek track offered up great racing.
Veteran Honda rider Joe Byrd, also a title contender, grabbed the MotorcycleUSA.com holeshot award in the first moto, but he eventually dropped to eighth. Byrd led the points standings mid-way through the season, but he is now struggling with an injury.
In moto two, Wimmer started slightly better in fourth, with Harold Goodman grabbing the MotorcycleUSA.com holeshot award ahead of Josh Upperman. Wimmer soon passed his teammate Gust for third, then tracked down the lead Honda riders to snag the top spot. He then cruised to his fourth win of the year, with teammate Gust making it a 1-2 Suzuki sweep.
"I've been training hard at home, and each race I get a little better and better," said Gust. "The whole team is working hard, we have an engineer here from Japan, he has really helped tune the bikes. Also, my girlfriend and my family came out, they helped me go."
Jeremy Lawson led until the last lap of moto one before yielding to Wimmer's charge.
Wienen had another bad start and fought to another fourth-place finish. "I call it a salvage weekend for me," said the series points leader. "My jumps out of the gate were good, the first moto I kind of wheelied out of the gate a little. I got really lucky to not get hung up, I was locked in with people both times, but we came apart. I had to put my work in, it was tough with the hot conditions."
Now with just a five-point lead over Wimmer, Wienen is prepared for the stretch run. "I'm more than confident I can put this together," said Wienen. "If I start near Dustin, it will come down to who wants it more, and I believe that with my team behind me, I think I have the upper hand, for starting where I did and coming through like I did this weekend, I think it shows I want it pretty bad."
Wimmer can hold his comeback from injury up as proof of his desire, and expectations are high for a dramatic championship battle between the two riders over the final three rounds.
riders Harold Goodman and Josh Upperman controlled the second-moto start.
Lawson took fourth overall on the day, following his runner-up ride in moto one with a ninth in moto two. Upperman's 9-3 landed him in fifth.
Frenchman Jermie Warnia took fifth in moto two, landing him in seventh overall behind Goodman. Cody Miller was eighth on his Can-Am, followed by Byrd's 8-8 scores, and Yamaha
's Thomas Brown rounded out the top ten.
Cody Grant topped Cody Gibson and Bobby Ross in the Pro-Am Production class.
The series continues on July 18 and 19 with the Pleasure Valley National produced by Cernic's Racing in Armagh, Pennsylvania.
Scott Southern ATV Nationals
Muddy Creek Raceway
) Wimmer will not give in or give up in defending his AMA ATVMX Title.
) A pair of bad starts dealt Chad Wienen third overall, but he maintains the series' lead.
1. Dustin Wimmer 1-1 (Suz)
2. Doug Gust 3-2 (Suz)
3. Chad Wienen 4-4 (Kaw)
4. Jeremy Lawson 2-9 (Can)
5. Josh Upperman 9-3 (Hon)
6. Harold Goodman 6-6 (Hon)
7. Jermie Warnia 10-5 (Can)
8. Cody Miller 5-10 (Can)
9. Joe Byrd 8-8 (Hon)
10. Thomas Brown 7-12 (Yam)
(After eight of 11 rounds):
1. Chad Wienen (290/2 wins)
2. Dustin Wimmer (285/4 wins)
3. Joe Byrd (271/1 win)
4. Doug Gust (250)
5. Josh Upperman (242)
6. Josh Creamer (224/1 win)
7. John Natalie (203)
8. Jeremy Lawson (201)
9. Cody Miller (169)
10. Thomas Brown (159)