John Natalie's season long quest for a second Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship ended two weeks ago when Chad Wienen won his third consecutive crown, so with the final round of 2014 on Saturday at Loretta Lynn's, Natalie now looks to reach the final podium.
It won't be easy.
Natalie took the runner-up spot to Wienen's championship win at RedBud with Joel Hetrick in third which could be a precursor to the final standings. Currently, Natalie is in fourth-place just five points behind Thomas Brown and 16 points behind Hetrick. Sweeping both Motos at Loretta Lynn's guarantees third-place for Natalie even if Brown sweeps second-place.
To jump into the second position Natalie needs Hetrick to have a bad day and place no higher than fourth in one Moto and lower than fifth in another. It's possible. Hetrick scored 34 or fewer points three times this season - the most recent in Round 7. Wienen is expected to race on Saturday despite having the title locked up.
(L-R) Thomas Brown, John Natalie and Joel Hetrick will battle for second and third place on Saturday. Photos: Ken Hill
The MotoSport-sponsored Natalie started the season off strong posing a decent threat to Wienen's third consecutive title run. However, starting in Round 4 Natalie faced suspension troubles, then motor issues and finally a broken shock. His three straight podium trips to start the season ended as he finished out of the Top 5 in three of the following four rounds before finally getting second in Round 8. Natalie has won two Motos this season but has never swept. His best race was Round 2 at Muddy Creek when he went 1-3 for second overall.
Though a trip to the final podium is ideal, it looks promising for Natalie to go home with the Holeshot Championship. He leads with 11 points, three over Josh Upperman.
RacerTV.com airs the final round of the 2014 ATV MX Championship series live at 3:30 p.m. (EST) Saturday. Loretta Lynn's is at 44 Hurricane Mills Road in Hurricane Mills, TN. See the full schedule and directions to the ranch.
2014 Mtn. Dew ATV MX Championship Standings
- Chad Wienen (383) - 2014 ATV MX Champion
- Joel Hetrick (306)
- Thomas Brown (295)
- John Natalie (290) - MotoSport rider
- Josh Upperman (266)
- Josh Creamer (242)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (220)
- Ronnie Higgerson (174)
- Tyler Hamrick (166)
- Sean Taylor (149)
Written By: AndrewT