John Natalie began the 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV MX National Championship on the podium and followed that with two more trips. But suspension problems started and bounced him from Top 3 overalls and then mechanical issues set in.

He now has three rounds remaining, with Round 7 on Saturday at Unadilla, and a lot of points needed to catch a very hot Chad Wienen, who has four overalls and seven Moto wins on the season. Natalie has the suspension issue figured out but now trails in third-place 59 points behind the two-time defending champion and 13 points behind Joel Hetrick for second. A surging Thomas Brown is also looking to take up residence in the third-place spot and is only seven behind Natalie.

Natalie's speed has never been a problem. In fact he leads in the Holeshot Championship Award with nine points. His suspension bounced him around so bad in past rounds he'd lose not only the lead but would fall further behind in the race. He finally changed the whole thing out for a new one after Round 4. In the following round, he encountered a motor issue in Moto 1 but took second in Moto 2 and then additional mechanical issues in Round 6 gave him a sixth overall after a 7-6 finish.

The focus this week is on Unadilla. Wienen is looking for his third straight victory at the "Home of Horsepower" and Natalie needs to end his streak of placing third there - five years long now - to have any chance of catching Wienen but to also stay in final podium contention. Josh Creamer and Hetrick, who took the overall in Round 3 at High Point, both have tasted victory at the legendary venue.

Unadilla, located in New Berlin, NY, is one of the oldest venues and has hosted Motocross events since 1969. It features high speeds and towering jumps. Moto 1 starts at 3 p.m. (EST) Saturday. Find directions here.

2014 Mtn. Dew ATV MX Championship Standings

  1. Chad Wienen (283)
  2. Joel Hetrick (237)
  3. John Natalie (224) - MotoSport rider
  4. Thomas Brown (217)
  5. Josh Upperman (198)
  6. Josh Creamer (177)
  7. Jeffrey Rastrelli (151)
  8. Ronnie Higgerson (148)
  9. Tyler Hamrick (119)
  10. Sean Taylor (105)

Written By: AndrewT