With the ATV Rd#1 getting underway in two weeks, we look ahead to our 2009 season. The WORCS ATV series will open up Jan. 25th at Speedworld Raceway in Phoenix, AZ at Rd#1. The 2008 season saw Motoworks/Can-AM’s Josh Frederick capturing his back to back ATV Pro championship and toping new comers in 2008 ahead of Dustin Nelson & Beau Baron. As we leave 2008 behind us, we look ahead to 2009, with rider team changes, riders changing brands, it’s sure to be a good one.
#1 Josh Frederick- "The Animal", Josh Frederick is showing why he is the west coast ATV champ. Josh is consistently showing domination in this series and no one has argued that over the past two years. Patience, professionalism and sportsmanship have contributed to a lot of his recent success over the past two years. Look for the #1 plate holder to come out swinging at Phoenix.
#2 Dustin Nelson- "Mr. ITP" Dustin, a former National caliber MX guy, former 2-time ITP Quadcross champ on the Factory Yamaha/Red Bull ride came in with high hopes for the 2008 season and that is right where it started. Dustin kept close eye on Frederick all season, but a DNF at Phoenix and a couple of off races was just enough for Frederick to edge him out. This season just could be the breakout ride for Nelson and his first ever WORCS National ATV Championship. Nelson will be strong in 2009 for sure.
#3 Beau Baron- "Cinderella story" Beau Baron, former and current test rider for Honda Motorcycles has made a move this year and will be riding for the Mike Cafro team out of southern California. Baron, who had a win at Hollister this year, showed constant consistency (say that 3x’s fast) and proved to the ATV world that he can run with the boys as well. I expect Baron to put in some good rides for 2009.
#4 Brandon Smith- "Too tall", unfortunately we won’t see Smith this year. Brandon will be competing in the ATVA Mx National tour back east for the new Motoworks East team. We wish Brandon the best of luck as he chases the ATVA title and will miss him in the WORCS series.
#5- Doug Eichner- "Mr. WORCS” need I say more? This man is by far the all time winningest ATV WORCS rider, something like 32 Pro wins to his credit and counting. Doug will be the first to admit his 2008 season was not his best, but don’t count him out. He has his program back, the new Polaris is dialed in and I would think Doug will give Josh a run right out of the gate when Rd#1 comes around.
#6- Mike Machado- "Macho Man", I’m still trying to come up with a nickname for this guy. After an ugly get off in Washougal 2 years ago, Mike made his return last year on his Holz Racing Honda 450, he was one of two riders that completed the whole season without a DNF, DNS or DNQ and finished strong enough to grab the #6 plate. Good luck this year Machado.
#7- Robbie Mitchell- "Mr. Quiet/Holeshot". Robbie will return to the Dats Racing crew, Robbie is a strong starter and charges quick, if he can pick up his pace for the full new 2 hour race time, he could just see a few podiums if not wins as well. Robbie still looking for that first win and he has the potential to do it. Look for the Dats/Kawasaki/Maxxis rider to launch off the pad at Phoneix.
#8- Brandon Brown- "Brown, has been around the off-road scene for years. He has win credits in many different series. Brandon had the #2 plate in ’06 and had a phenomenal first ever ATV Endurocross win in Oklahoma in 2007 and always runs consistent in WORCS as well. Brandon was the second rider last year along with Machado to complete all 8 rounds. Brown is always fired up and nothing will change for 2009.
#9- Tim Shelman- "TPQ" Where do I start, the ever confident, and self promoted, hyper active Timmy Shelman. I will make this simple, his statement for 2009. “All I want to do is finish my home state races. I like to give him a hard time, that he can run flat out in the mud, rain, sleet and snow, but he DNF’d both Washington rounds last year. Simply look for Timmy to come out firing and don’t worry he will have his lifetime supply of sharpies to sing everything from a jersey to your driver’s license. A great guy, great family support and a list of sponsorships that are similar to a Ricky Carmichael resume. Get it done TPQ.
#10- Jory Williams- I don’t know much about this guy, but I do know that Jorey is competitive and shows up to race. By that statement we should see Jorey do really well in 2009.
New sponsors to the series will be Kalgard as they come in as a new series sponsor. AXO will join forces with WORCS in 2009, with all the new gear being worn by the WORCS track staff, rider contingency and series involvement. ITP joins the WORCS series this year with full trackside support and rider contingency. Randy & Ralph at GPR return as long time series sponsors, Farmdawg at Maxxis will be at every round working out of the famous Orange rig. Pirelli tires returns. Aceribis & SCOTT based out of Idaho will be back. Motoworks, the series presenting sponsor will return. Johnny brings in a professional presented team and they bring in the trackside exhaust support as well. Finally Dan Thomas and his crew out of Payson, UT, who has been with us since the start will return as our prestigious title sponsor of the 2009 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WORCS Racing series.
All the brands will be back Can-AM, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki & Honda with full WORCS off-road contingency for all classes.
WORCS series kicks off in three weeks and if your anywhere but in Phoenix on Sunday, Jan. 25th your going to be missing out on the start of another successful season. We will see everyone in 3 weeks. For more information on the series, please visit www.worcsracing.com