Points Lead at Budds Creek
Natalie dominated the day at Budds Creek
Jeremy Lawson finished a season-best 2nd
Josh Upperman had a rough 2nd moto but
managed 4th overall
Photos By: Dave Smith - Raceday Pix
Mechanicsville, Md. (April 16, 2011) - It
wouldn't be springtime in Maryland without a
good old-fashioned mud race. Mother Nature made
a bold statement this weekend at the Motoworks
Budds Creek National, round four of the AMA ATV
Motocross Championship Series Presented by DWT.
East Coast native John Natalie prevailed through
the muddy conditions as he swept both motos and
took over the points lead from Motoworks Can-Am
teammate Chad Wienen.
"I usually do pretty well in the mud. Being
from Pennsylvania it's basically all we're used
to riding in so I was really happy with it
today," said Natalie.
Chad Wienen took the $100 Fastest Qualifier
Award with an impressive 1:47.193. Natalie
grabbed the $125 SSi Decals Holeshot Award in
both motos, banking a total of $250 for his
impressive starts. Good holeshots weren't the
only thing Natalie was winning, though. The
Can-Am rider used his starts as leverage to
separate from the pack early on, which is
especially important in muddy conditions.
"I got really great starts all day and once
you get a holeshot it's a lot easier to deal
with the mud because you get to throw it all
over everyone else instead of them throwing it
all over you," Natalie joked.
Wienen found out the hard way that the fastest
lap times don't always claim the lead,
especially when mud, wind and rain is involved.
The previous points leader got hung up in the
first turn, leaving him to work his way up from
Ballance Racing's Thomas Brown got off to a
great start aboard his Yamaha and settled in
behind Baldwin Motorsports JB Racing PEP Honda's
Josh Upperman early on. Upperman put a charge on
Natalie for the lead but ran out of passing
opportunities as he battled with lapped traffic
late in the race.
After struggling with bike problems all
season long, Brown finally put his Ballance
Racing Yamaha with a well-deserving podium
position in moto one. Walsh Race Craft Fox Shox
Maxxis FMF's Jeremy Lawson put his Suzuki up
front right away in moto one and after throwing
off his goggles midway through the moto,
finished with a fourth place behind Brown.
"My starts were actually pretty good today
about fourth or fifth, which is really good for
me. It's important to get up there right away
because I know I can work from there; I only
have to make up a couple spots to get on the
podium," Lawson said.
The track crew was hard at work to keep the
track in the best shape possible as the rain
poured down throughout the day. Prior to the
start of moto two, the crew took the time to
scrape some of the excess mud off the track in
order to provide better race lines and
all-around track conditions. In fact, they did
such a great job on the track that the riders'
lap times actually dropped by nearly seven
seconds from moto one.
Natalie went to work right away in moto two
grabbing the SSi Decals Holeshot Award once
again. Harold Goodman and Nick DeNoble latched
on to Natalie's pace on the first lap but after
a couple laps Natalie opened up a gap and
capitalized on the clear track ahead. DeNoble
wasted no time getting around Goodman for the
second spot and Honda rider Travis Moore slipped
into the third spot before beginning his battle
with fellow rookie Chase Snapp. After finishing
tenth in moto one, Snapp redeemed himself with a
solid top five performance in moto two, giving
him seventh overall for the day. Moore finished
with a career-best sixth overall, coming in as
the top finishing rookie of the day.
Nick DeNoble had a season-best ride in moto
two, finishing an impressive second in the
stacked field. DeNoble got off to a great
holeshot and rode the wheels off his Janssen
Motorsports Honda to secure his place on the
podium for the first time this season.
"I was actually praying for the rain this
weekend because I'm usually a pretty good mud
rider," DeNoble joked. "I was pretty nervous at
first, but I just settled down and rode my race.
I'm really happy with the third place overall,
hopefully you'll see me more consistently on the
podium from now on," he added.
Florida native Jeremy Lawson grabbed the
podium position he was looking for in moto two
after working his way up from mid-pack. Lawson
finally made his move around Travis Moore on lap
nine, giving him the final podium position and
securing a season-best second place finish.
Lawson now sits only seven points behind Josh
Upperman in points.
"It's going to be a tight battle between Josh
and I this year but I feel like our team is
going to prevail and move into that third spot.
We're just taking it one step at a time; our
goal is definitely to be in the top three at the
end," Lawson said.
Natalie now tops the point standings by
seventeen points over teammate Chad Wienen. Josh
Upperman sits in third with Jeremy Lawson only
seven points back and Joe Byrd rounds out the
The AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series
heads to Sunset Ridge in Walnut, Illinois on May
7 and 8, with Pro class racing starting at 1
p.m. Saturday, supported by 37 amateur classes
throughout Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, please visit
AMA Pro ATV Results
1. John Natalie (CAN)
2. Jeremy Lawson (SUZ)
3. Nick DeNoble (HON)
4. Josh Upperman (HON)
5. Thomas Brown (YAM)
6. Travis Moore (HON)
7. Chase Snapp (CAN)
8. Harold Goodman (HON)
9. Chad Wienen (CAN)
10. Derek Swartfager (HON)
AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro
1. John Natalie (188)
2. Chad Wienen (171)
3. Josh Upperman (151)
4. Jeremy Lawson (144)
5. Joe Byrd (110)
6. Chase Snapp (108)
7. Nick DeNoble (108)
8. Travis Moore (97)
9. Harold Goodman (86)
10. Thomas Brown (82)
About the AMA ATV Motocross Championship
Presented by DWT
The AMA ATV Motocross
Championship is the nation's premier amateur and
professional ATV motocross series, and competes
at top motocross facilities nationwide. The
11-round series features the Nation's best
racers, teams and sponsors, and is America's
largest and longest-running National ATV
Motocross series with more than 20 years of
competition. The series continues to expand and
produce top talent from the amateur ranks, while
keeping close to the grassroots fun that makes
people love to go to the races. For more
information, please visit