REYNOLDS, Ga. (April 28, 2007) -- John Natalie, Jr. proved his injuries from last season had healed, Dustin Wimmer showed veteran's poise, while Adam Vaughn, Jesse West and Hans Luenger were the class of their respective Pro fields during qualifying Saturday for the ITP Tires Southern Open Championship. The event, Round 1 of the 2007 WPSA PowerSports ATV Tour, is being held this weekend at Silver Dollar Raceway.
Natalie (No. 13 ELKA, Maxxis/Honda) won his heat in Round 1 Qualifying for tomorrow's SuperQuad Pro 450 final. After taking the holeshot, the Houtzdale, Pa. resident never let up, and dominated the event.
"I got a little winded out there, but I'm getting back up to speed," said Natalie, who, after dominating the early part of last season, suffered a severely broken thumb. "I know I'm not in the shape I was in last season, but I also know I'm competitive. I'll eat a good dinner tonight and I'll be ready for tomorrow."
Wimmer (No. 191 MSR, Yoshimura, Pro Taper/Suzuki) completed a three-wide move on the second lap of the second heat, going from third to the lead. He wasn't challenged from there.
"I got some good lines, but the track was tough," said Wimmer, who finished second in points last year before joining Suzuki's factory team this season. "The track definitely changes, but it changes for everyone. So, we need to go out there tomorrow and make it work."Ê
Vaughn (No. 83 Warnert Racing/Can-Am), who joined the Factory Can-Am team this year, dominated the first heat of Pro Stock QuadTerrain Challenge competition. West finished first in the second heat, riding the No. 888 ITP Tires, Oil Boyz/Arctic Cat. Luenger (No. 179 HMF/Yamaha Rhino) won the first Moto of SuperSport side-by-side competition.Ê
The ITP Tires Southern Open Championship concludes tomorrow with SuperQuad Pro 450, QTC Pro Stock and SuperSport qualifying finals, as well as finals for Pro Am, Amateur, Women's and Junior classes.Ê
About the PowerSports ATV Tour
The PowerSports ATV Championship Tour is North America's premier professional ATV racing circuit, featuring QuadMX, QuadTerrain and SuperSport Pro series action as well as more than 20 amateur classes for adults, women and children. The Tour is sanctioned by the World PowerSports Association, North America's most respected snowmobile and ATV sanctioning body, and a promoter of ATV and snowmobile racing on both the regional and national level. For more information, please visit www.PowerSportsTour.com.