Team Rockstar/MSR/Pro Taper/Suzuki/Yoshimura
Dominates Kentucky WPSA
Suzuki's Rod Lopusnak congratulates #44
after second win
Brea, CA – June 18, 2007 – Team Rockstar/MSR/Pro
Taper/Suzuki/Yoshimura headed down to London, KY
for the Blue Ridge Open Championship
doubleheader of the World PowerSports ATV
Series. Coming off of a stormy weekend at the
last race in Oklahoma, the team (and the fans)
were happy to see bright sunny skies and 90+
With two main events crammed into Sunday
afternoon, the weekend was jam packed with two
practices and two sets of heat races both Friday
and on Saturday. This intense schedule gave
little downtime and mechanics and riders went
nonstop the whole weekend.
Friday's heat races were for Round Four and
the weekend started out well for Doug getting a
third in the first round and second in the next.
Chad not only got the holeshot but pulled first
place in his first heat and third in the second.
Wimmer was having difficulties that left him
with an 11th and a DNF. He used a provisional to
get into the main.
Saturday's heat races for Round Five fared
better for Dustin winning his first heat and
coming in second in the next round. Dustin got
the fastest time of the day with a 1:31. Doug
placed 5th in his first and third in the next.
Wienen got stuck in the first turn of the first
moto and ended up fourth. The second round of
heats had Natalie and Wienen battling it out for
a neck and neck race with Natalie beating Chad
to the finish.
Sunday's first main event was for Round Four,
and it started with a bang, literally, as
several collisions resulted in a chaotic 5th
lap. Race officials threw a red flag and ordered
a total restart from the beginning.
At the restart Keith Little led, followed by
John Natalie and Chad Wienen. Doug Gust gated
6th while Dustin Wimmer was mired back in 8th.
Natalie and Wienen made quick work of Little
and then the race was on. Chad "Wide Open"
Wienen was all over Natalie in a replay of their
last heat race. About five laps in, Wienen went
around Natalie at the top of the track and that
was it. The Suzuki QuadRacer R450 set sail and
Wienen was gone.
In the meantime, a tremendous race set up
between Doug Gust and Little. Lap after lap
Little held off a hard charging Doug Gust. While
all of this was going on, Wimmer, worked up from
his bad start and was fast closing on the
Chad Wienen on his way to double wins in
Gust finally set Little up in the whoops and
past the fading rider into 3rd. Later that same
lap Wimmer also made it past Little and started
closing on Gust. Gust looked like he had third
in the bag, but on the last lap, he hit a hole
and bobbled just for an instant. Teammate Wimmer
pounced and was past. Gust recovered right away
and the final finishing order at the checkers
was Wienen in a commanding win, Natalie in a
fading second, Wimmer, then Gust.
Wimmer was happy with the third. "I got hung
up with some guys on the restart and to be
honest, I'm really happy to get a third. Another
lap and Doug and I would have had Natalie, but
that's the way it goes."
Chad had said before the race that he was
motivated to get in the same position with
Natalie and finish what he started. "I knew I
could do it, I just needed some more time.
Today, Natalie was holding back to have reserve
to last the whole race and I was able to sneak
around him in a clean pass and then just go from
Round Five of the WPSA got underway late in
the day. The heat and humidity had intensified
and no matter how much water they tried to get
on the track, it was still very dry and dusty.
The race started with Goodman and Natalie
leading the pack with Doug and Wienen behind.
Wimmer trailed in 7th position. Goodman was
quickly passed and it was Natalie trailed by the
two Suzukis. Wimmer make short work of the rest
of the pack and by the middle of the first lap
it was Natalie and a trail of yellow. This was
the scenario for the next six laps – Natalie,
Gust, Wienen and Wimmer. In the seventh lap
Wienen got around Doug and started to put some
serious pressure on Natalie.
The four top riders pulled away from the
pack, setting an incredible pace that had
spectators shaking their heads. With about three
laps to go, Chad turned up the pressure even
more and passed Natalie mid air. With only a few
laps remaining, Wimmer really started pressuring
Gust hard. Going through the series of jumps
called the "six-pack" Dustin put on a huge
charge that saw him pull even with Gust, neither
rider would let off as they flew into the corner
that a fading Natalie was negotiating slowly.
Wimmer went to the left, Gust to the right, as
the pair tried to split around the second place
rider. The speed differential was too much and
Doug hit the slower rider sending both of them
to the outside of the corner. Wimmer snuck by
the melee to capture second while "Digger" Doug
recovered, coming out in third.
All Suzuki Podium.... again.
At the checkers it was Wienen, Wimmer, and
Gust – another Suzuki sweep.
Wienen was happy with the day. "This was a
tough track to pass on, you just have to be
smart and patient and wait for an opportunity to
get around someone. It's all about the training.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears have allowed me
to still be strong at the end of a race... which
is when you really need it. The QuadRacer R450
was also a big advantage for me today, I could
take tight inside lines and set up the other
guys... there was nothing they could really do
about it, it was great. Our Suzukis seemed to be
finding traction in places where the other quads
struggled. I've got a few wins under my belt
now, things are really clicking for me. I'm
looking forward to many years with Suzuki."
Suzuki's Operation Manger Rod Lopusnak was on
hand to join in the celebration. "Watching these
guys work so hard out there and win makes me
really proud to be a part of this great team.
The QuadRacer R450 is definitely the dominant
machine out there and days like today prove it."
Next stop on the tour another doubleheader at
Petersburg, VA June 29 – July 1.