Photo by Ken Hill

First it was Daytona, now the Ironman.

The Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, IN, a longtime venue for the Grand National Cross Country series, hosts this weekend for the first time, a round in the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship series.

John Natalie got the honor to win the inaugural event held at Daytona to start the season but though he's an ironman himself, he'll be skipping this round to continue healing from a devastating crash earlier this month for Round 3 ay Muddy Creek when he suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a bruised lung and a bruised heart.

Natalie, a MotoSport rider, said he is feeling a lot better but still has some fluid on one of his lungs.

"I am not cleared for this race but I will be cleared for the next race in Illinois," he said.

Natalie has dropped to eighth in the standings and upon returning has five rounds to make up some ground and possibly fight for a spot on the Championship podium but more realistically a Top 5. Despite his absence he's only two points back from Joel Hetrick for the Holeshot Championship Award which shows how dominating Natalie is at the start.

Speaking of Hetrick, he won for the second straight time last round with a sweep at High Point and now leads the field though he's neck and neck with three-time defending Champion Chad Wienen who sits just two points back from Hetrick. For the year, Hetrick has six Moto wins and four podiums for 202 points. Thomas Brown is a bit further back in third with 175 points and way back from him is Jeffrey Rastrelli with 138 points. Despite his absence, Natalie is just 27 points back from Josh Upperman in fifth-place.

Ironman is Round 5 but the sixth race in the 2015 series as Echeconnee served as the official Round 1 to the season occurring two weeks after the Daytona ATV Supercross race which counts in the overall point standings. Racing starts at 3 p.m. (EST) Saturday.

2015 ATV MX Championship Standings

  1. Joel Hetrick (202)
  2. Chad Wienen (200)
  3. Thomas Brown (175)
  4. Jeffrey Rastrelli (138)
  5. Josh Upperman (130)
  6. Ronnie Higgerson (128)
  7. Nick Gennusa (127)
  8. John Natalie (103) - MotoSport rider
  9. Vital Cazenave (94)
  10. Tyler Hamrick (93)