MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Just a matter of days remain until the 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA (ATVMX), begins with its inaugural visit to legendary Daytona International Speedway, for the first ever ATV Supercross on Tuesday, March 10. While this one-of-a-kind event signifies one of the most historic moments in ATVMX racing, it's also the beginning of one of the most anticipated seasons in the championship's 29-year history.
Leading the way in 2015 is Wienen Motorsports Yamaha rider Chad Wienen's continued pursuit of history. Last season, Wienen became just the second rider ever to win three-consecutive AMA Pro ATV championships and just the fourth to win three titles in his career. He'll look to cement his legacy even further by becoming the second rider to achieve a four-peat and win four championships, joining the iconic Gary Denton, who won an incredible eight titles from 1986 to 1994. Perhaps what makes Wienen's accomplishments the last three seasons even more impressive is the fact that he's been dominant in what is arguably the sport's most competitive era.
As he has been throughout his recent reign, Wienen will be challenged by some stout competition and his rivals are more than ready to bring the Yamaha rider's streak to an end. Change is in the air for many of these top title contenders heading into 2015, with several joining new teams for the upcoming season.
Joel Hetrick, last season's AMA Pro ATV runner-up, will switch from Can-Am to Honda, embarking on his own effort at Corrosion/Hetrick Racing. He's feeling incredibly comfortable on the new Honda and optimism is swirling. Joining Hetrick in the ranks of owning his own team is Thomas Brown, last year's third-place finisher. Brown has learned everything there is to know about winning under the tutelage of Wienen at Wienen Motorsports and he'll stay aboard blue with his Maxxis Yamaha, powered by Moto-Xperts.
Several other prominent names have found new homes. Veteran John Natalie is the newest rider for Baldwin Motorsports Honda and will be in search of his third AMA Pro ATV title with one of the sport's most prominent and respected teams. Natalie is taking the place of fellow veteran Josh Upperman, who will be the lead rider at Root River Racing. The blossoming Root River effort has been gaining strength with each passing season and now it has an experienced rider to push it to the forefront of the division, while Upperman has the tools to potential win his first title.
Jeffrey Rastrelli, who enjoyed a breakout season last year the AMA Pro ATV class and won the Pro-Am division, will lead the way for Can-Am, spearheading the JB Racing Can-Am effort. He'll look to build on his first career overall podium last year at Unadilla and become a consistent threat in the premier class. Despite the loss of Thomas Brown, Wienen Motorsports will still have a second rider under the tent as up-and-comer Brett Musick, the 2013 Pro-Am Champion, will look to bounce back from a season-ending injury a year ago and take advantage of the opportunity with the defending champion team.
One rider missing from the starting gate in 2015 is former AMA Pro ATV champion Josh Creamer. The Connecticut native had to make the tough decision to step away from the sport that brought him so much success and made the difficult announcement to the racing world just a few weeks ago.
While the championship will miss one of its most beloved competitors, the lineup of contenders set to do battle for the title this season is impressive and all the shakeup during the offseason is sure to result in a memorable year of racing in 2015. There's no better way to watch it all get underway than at the hallowed grounds of Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday afternoon. All the action can be seen live on RacerTV.com with ATVSX Live beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
The inaugural Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship race at Daytona International Speedway will commence on Tuesday, March 10. Classes for this groundbreaking event are filling up quick and some classes are already sold out. For more information on available classes, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.
For more information on the 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, visit www.atvmotocross.com. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow on Twitter @ATVMXdotcom and Instagram @ATVMotocross, and be sure to always hashtag #ATVMX.