Pete Middleton #12 Press Releases
Daniel, Ian and I had flight tickets booked, itinerary set and 3 weeks before we leave for Loretta Lynns we hear Luke Nixon has broken his collarbone going for the lead in a race at Redbud. OUCH!! Although disappointed there would still be plenty of racing to watch and plenty to do.
Arriving at Loretta Lynns Dude Ranch ( yes that's its name) in Hurricane Mills Tennesee in 40 degree heat and 90+% humidity we meet a couple of legends, Rich and Michelle Hetrick of Hetrick Racing. Rich has been building some of the fastest 90cc motors around the world and we saw first hand how quick they are. Some of Hetricks mod 90cc quads could give a 300cc a run for their money! Rich also builds some seriously fast 4 strokes.
Luke Nixon has been travelling with Hetrick Racing for the later part of the race season and is overjoyed to see us. Luke introduces us to Joel Hetrick, his mechanic Patrick and Joels sidekick Jered. Joel is not quite what I expected as far as a professional quad racer goes being compact in size , not overly muscular with a very humble nature. I later learn Joels training consists of McDonalds, riding with friends in Walmart and heaps of quad riding.
Thursday is all about setting up massive rigs, pit garages and prepping quads for Fridays qualifying and racing. Get your race rig to the track early or you will not fit a mini van into the pits come Friday morning. Everyone drives around the pits in highly modified golf carts or on , you guessed it Pitbikes. Now I know why they are called pitbikes. No helmets, no shoes, kids 8 yr old driving and riding and no accidents. Its unnerving to start with but after a day or 2 you get comfortable with the traffic, its what they do.
Friday dawns and you realise the amount of rigs, motorhomes, winnebagos, semi trailers with 40 foot double decker trailers etc go on for literally kilometres in the pits. We could have done with a golf cart as by the end of the weekend legs were tired. Scrutineering consists of riding through a quad width guage on the ground and checking the kill switch. THAT'S IT. You take responsibility for what you are riding to be safe.
This is a true family sport with kids that could hardly sit on the seat of their quads otherwise their feet lifted off the pegs right up to age 50 + riders. There would have been 600+ riders at this event.
Racing- Pro Am is the class under Pro. To ride pro you must score 150 points in the season in the Pro Am classes. All riders qualify through heats and last chance qualifiers for a spot in 2 motos. The moto points are added together for an overall.
Pro Am Unlimited- Highly modified 450cc hybrid (eg Lonestar chassis/ CRF450 power) and production based quads run together
Pro Am Production- Highly modified 450cc production based quads only eg KFX450, Can Am DS450
Pro Am Unlimited and Joel Hetrick qualifies well and is set for a start.
Moto 1- A bad start sees Joel Hetrick on the Hetrick Racing / Luke Nixon racing Kawasaki KFX450r almost last but as he settles in he carves up the field very quickly and puts an outside move on race leader Chase Snapp who has no answer for Joels speed and smooth / aggressive riding style. This kid can ride! As the races were cut down to 1 moto Joel took the overall for the day and the series. What is unique about Joels win he was using Luke Nixons KFX450 as he was saving his own race bike for Sundays Pro Am production race. Jeremiah Jones wheeled his way up to the Hetrick Racing rig after the race and commented to us how fast Joel had ridden. High praise indeed.
Sunday morning and the heavens opened up and literally flooded the track. All races were cut to 1 moto and Joel lined up in Pro am production. Another bad start and another inspiring ride sees Joel make it to 4th place. Jeffrey Rastarelli (Suzuki) wins the day and with a 2nd place finish Chase Snapp (Suzuki) wins the series with Joel (Kawasaki) taking 2nd
Joel and Chase will both be moving up to Pro class in 2011.
Pros- These guys are very very fast and ride to win.
Moto 1 and Baldwin Motorsorts Honda mounted Josh Upperman pulls the first corner holeshot but by the holeshot line 2 corners later it's the Makita Yoshimura Suzuki mounted Josh Creamer who takes the money followed closely by Thomas Brown (Yamaha), Dustin Wimmer (Yoshimura Suzuki) and Motorworks Can Am DS450XMX mounted Chad Weinan. These guys go at it lap after lap swapping places, paint and tyre rubber. Brown slowly moves backwards as the Suzukis and Can Am pulled away. Half race distance and Chad Weinan moves into the lead and is never challenged taking a very popular win. 2 round wins (Redbud and Lorettas) in a row and the CanAm team are very happy.
A delighted Josh Creamer took the overall series win with Wimmer 2nd and Weinan 3rd.
Aussies at Lorettas
Blake Waldmann riding a Honda TRX450r qualified well and with a couple of impressive rides placed 9th in 450A and 5th in college 16-24. Well done Blake.
Chris Boz had a weekend he and family would like to forget althogh it will probably stick in their minds for a while with Chris race engine letting go in qualifying and problems with the engine in both his heat races and LCQ.
Chris Brentons KTM developed engine noises and rather than risk an expensive repair bill Chris spectatored for this round.
The weekend at Lorettas Lynns was fantastic with Joel Hetrick winning races and the series, Luke Nixon introducing us to just about every pro rider as they all know him and what about Chad Weinan on the Motoworks Can Am DS450XMX winning the last race of the AMA MX series!!!!!!!!!1
If you ever get the chance to go to one of the AMA Quad MX rounds take it. It will blow your mind with the amount of riders and machinery as well as the amount of money families and sponsors invest in those riders. Go and introduce yourself to Rich and Michelle Hetrick and ask Rich to tell you a few jokes. He'll have you in stitches.
Huge thanks to Michelle, Rich and Joel Hetrick, Patrick, Jered, Luke, Carlie and Roxy for your hospitality and a very memorable trip to the USA.
On the way home we stopped in at Glen Helen Raceway and mixed with the likes of Ryan Villipoto (soon to be here for Super X) , Levi Sherwood (kiwi freestyler), the Jagermeister KTM team, and the owners of Hinson clutches testing a prototype Hinson clutch in a Suzuki LTR450. You arrrive with your quad or bike, sign an indemnity, pay a fee and ride all day. The 450cc bikes are out with the 65cc bikes.
We also visited Berts Motorcycles, Chapparal, Pro Circuit and had a few days in Las Vegas.
It was good to get home for a rest.
After a 12 hr road trip the KP Racing / Can Am X Team transporter arrives at Tooleen Central Victoria Raceway. After all the rain in the week leading up to this race meeting the track surface was surprisingly good and only extrememly muddy in the low lying shaded areas. A quick rip of the surface by track maintenance on Saturday afternoon and its ready for racing.
Sunday sees blue skies and after practice its on to racing.
3 Can Ams lined up behind the start gates along with a mix of other brands. Can Am X Teams Rick Beer again proved he was the one to beat with 3 straight moto wins. 3x second place finishes for myself and the ever consistant Can Am X Teams Rob Van Vliet with 3 straight 3rd place finishes.
Results for the round and series couldn't have been better for the Can Am X Team
Round 3 - 1st Rick Beer 2nd Peter Middleton 3rd Rob Van Vliet
Tri State Series Final Placings - 1st Rick Beer 2nd Rob Van Vliet 3rd Peter Middleton