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Published on March 25th, 2012 | by Joe


Wienen Edges Out Natalie in Georgia ATVMX Season Opener

Meanwhile, Natalie and Wienen combated back and fourth in an intense battle for lead. Wienen chased Natalie for most of the race, slipping past his former teammate in a few spots, but the most famous line was through the whoop-section and into the final corner before the finish, where Wienen showed his front tires to the leader several times. On the final lap, Wienen made the move on the defending champ just one turn before the finish line, giving Wienen the overall win and the points lead after the first round of racing.

“This is definitely a moment for me right now,” Wienen said. “To come back like this and just being able to walk and to come out here and do what I love, this is the greatest moment. We’re taking it one race at a time, super excited to start the season off with a (1-1) sweep. I’ve been dreaming about this day (first race back from injury) and it’s finally coming on. This is going to be a story for the books this year.”

John Natalie (left), Chad Wienen (center) and Josh Upperman (right) are top 3 point leaders

Natalie finished out the day with second overall, while Josh Upperman took the final podium position and third place in the championship points standings.

“I didn’t get tired out there at all today, just a couple issues there on the last lap not being able to shift but we’re going to go back and fix it to be ready for round two,” said Natalie. “I really liked the track today but I like the rough and tumble bumps, so I’m ready to go to a rougher track where it really separates the men from the boys.”

“I’ve really taken my training program to another level this year and it’s starting to show,” said Upperman. “It’s boosted my confidence a lot, because I know what I can do now from last year to this year and I’m ready to make it happen.”

Thomas Brown (YAM) finished with a (4-5) score to take fourth overall, just ahead of rookie Mark Madl (HON), who took an impressive fifth overall in his first-ever pro race. Nick DeNoble (HON) ended the day with sixth place, ahead of Derek Swartfager (HON) and Joel Hetrick went (14-4) to salvage an eighth place finish for the day.

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