The 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship could very well be decided this weekend - with one round remaining.
Championship points front-runner Chad Wienen leads his closest competitor by 64 points and if he finishes Round 8 on Saturday at RedBud in Buchanan, MI more than 50 points ahead of the runner-up he'll secure his third consecutive championship. Mind you, Wienen has yet to finish a Moto off the podium this season.
But that doesn't mean he can mail in Saturday's race.
MotoSport rider John Natalie who started the season riding right alongside Wienen encountered troubles in Round 4 that booted him off the podium for the first time of season. Once he got the suspension figured out, he ran into motor troubles and then last week a broken shock left him in 12th place for Moto 1 and his worst overall of the year. Speed has never been an issue for Natalie who leads in points for the Holeshot Championship.
John Natalie needs some wins to get on the Championship podium - Photos: Ken Hill
Natalie is still in the championship hunt albeit by a thread. His once solid hold on second-place in the point standings is now a grip on fourth-place. Thomas Brown's mid-season surge gives him an 11 point lead over Natalie for third and Joel Hetrick's consistent season-long racing puts him in second. Unless Wienen really bombs in the next two weeks, it's going to be a fight for the final two spots on the podium.
However, adding to Wienen's favor this weekend is his success at RedBud. He's won the last three of four years and looking for his third straight. However, with the championship still available and final podium spots yet to be decided, fans can expect Natalie, Hetrick and Brown to make Wienen race next week to clinch his championship. A shake-up on the podium this week can change who sits in second- through fifth-place in the standings.
Moto 1 for ATV Motocross Round 9 starts at 3 p.m. (EST) Saturday at RedBud MX Park, 13638 N. Redbud Trail in Buchanan, MI. Check out the full schedule and directions.
2014 Mtn. Dew ATV MX Championship Standings
- Chad Wienen (333)
- Joel Hetrick (269)
- Thomas Brown (259)
- John Natalie (248) - MotoSport rider
- Josh Upperman (232)
- Josh Creamer (212)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (189)
- Ronnie Higgerson (148)
- Tyler Hamrick (141)
- Sean Taylor (125)