Updated: Oct 25, 2022
NEWARK, OH - Chad Wienen would become the 1st ever 8-time ATV MX National Champion Saturday at BriarcliffMX in Fallsburg, Ohio. Gary Denton won a series 8 times, but from 1985 to 2001 the series was called the Grand National Championship (GNC) Series. That series included both motocross and dirt track events, not MX only. In 2002 the series was split into two separate championships.(*1) Wienen is the first person to ever win the ATV MX series 8 times after the series was spilt. Jeremiah Jones has the second most ATV MX overall series wins with 3.
Saturday, Wienen would get off to a fast start and pull the holeshot for both motos. But he would finish only 2-2 for a 2nd place spot on the podium. However the overall win at BriarcliffMX wasn't needed for him take the 2021 ATV MX series championship. Wienen was far enough ahead in the points that a 9th place finish would have still given Wienen the the series win.
Wienen led the Pro-AMA Class with 396 points going into the 10th and final round of the series. With his 2nd place 44 point finish at Briarcliff, Wienen earned the points he needed to secure the series victory. Wienen would finish the series with 440 overall points. Wienen finished 18 points ahead of the series 2nd place finisher Joel Hetrick and 127 points ahead of the series 3rd place finisher Bryce Ford.
With no real chance Saturday of winning the overall series Joel Hetrick would still go 1-1 on the day. Hetrick took both motos decisively proving he is still hungry to be the champ. Wienen pulled the holeshot in the 1st and 2nd motos, but Hetrick was on his heels each moto until he was able to make a pass on Wienen. After he made each pass Hetrick would said goodbye to Wienen.
Nick Gennusa went 3-4 at BriarcliffMX and took the 3rd place spot on the podium. Gennusa would finish 5th overall in the series with 299 points, right behind Jeffrey Rastrelli who took 4th place with 307 points.
For the moment I think the final tally of series points makes it pretty clear. There weren't any other real contenders for the top spot of the series this season other than Hetrick or Wienen. There just wasn't another rider in the class that rides at the caliber of those 2.
I guess we wait and see who puts in the time and work during the off season. But one has to wonder: Will Wienen be back next season to defend his title and claim his 9th ATV MX National Championship? Will Hetrick dominate the competition all next season like he did Rd. 10? I anticipate Bryce Ford's 3rd place finish will make him hungry but will that hunger be enough to make Ford a real contender next season?
However it goes, it all makes me excited for next season. Only time will tell.
Great work and congratulations Chad on the series win and making history. You're now a living legend.
(*1) MX Sports, Inc. , "Past Champions", ATV Motocross [website], https://atvmotocross.com/page/past-champions, (accessed September 4th, 2021).