TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (May 8, 2007) -- The top names in professional ATV racing will converge at South Fork Dirt Riders this weekend as the WPSA PowerSports ATV Tour readies for its second round of the 2007 season. The Jack Link's ATV Championship is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the facility, located just outside Springfield, Ill. The event will be telecast on ESPN2 on Saturday, June 23 at noon EDT.
The racing weekend will feature the nation's top Pro riders, competing in three Classes: SuperQuad Pro 450, QuadTerrain Challenge Pro Stock, and SuperSport Side by Side. The SuperQuad Pro 450 Class features big air, motocross style racing. QuadTerrain Challenge features larger, utility-type ATVs, competing on an obstacle course that includes log jams, mud bogs, rock crawls, as well as high-speed sections. The SuperSport Class comprises four-wheel utility vehicles piloted by a driver and co-driver, sitting side by side. The purpose-built racing machines compete on a modified course that includes both big air sections, as well as obstacles.
The race weekend will also feature nearly 20 other classes for Pro Am, Amateur, Junior and Women's classes.
SuperQuad Pro 450
John Natalie, Jr. (No. 13 Elka, Maxxis/Honda) returned to winning form two weeks ago at the season opener. After dominating qualifying and the final, Natalie, who returned to competition this season after suffering a severely broken thumb last year, came out of the event with a four-point lead in the season ending SuperQuad Pro 450 Riders'Championship.
Just behind Natalie is veteran rider and defending WPSA champion Doug Gust (No. 55 Team Rockstar, MSR, Pro Taper, Yoshimura/Suzuki) and sophomore sensation Dustin Wimmer (No. 191 MSR, Pro Taper, Yoshimura/Suzuki). The factory Suzuki teammates welcomed Chad Wienen (No. 44 Team Rockstar, MSR, Pro Taper, Yoshimura/Suzuki) to the team at the opener, making for a nearly unstoppable combination of experience and talent.
Other riders to watch include: Joe Haavisto (No. 75 Lost Creek Cycles/Suzuki), Harold Goodman (No. 708 American Honda/Honda) and Keith Little (No. 12 Lonestar/Honda).
The Kawasaki factory team of Josh Creamer (No. 9 Monster Energy Drink/Kawasaki) and Jason Luburgh (No. 8 Monster Energy Drink/Kawasaki) will also be in contention, as will many others.
QTC Pro Stock
Veteran Snocross and ATV racer Jesse West came out of the box with a victory at the season opener, riding Arctic Cat's newest quad. The rider of the No. 888 ITP Tires, Oil Boyz/Arctic Cat will certainly be a force here.
Also in contention is longtime rider and defending WPSA titlist Daryl Rath. Riding the No. 67 Jack Link's/Arctic Cat, Rath will put his experience to the test here on what has been traditionally a tough QuadTerrain course.
Can-Am factory team Warnert Racing will bring its full force to bear here as it welcomes longtime terrain competitor Chris Borich to its already impressive squad. Warnert's other riders are Scott Kilby (No. 207 Warnert Racing/Can-Am), Josh Frederick (No. 245 Warnert Racing/Can-Am), Adam Vaughn (No. 83 Warnert Racing/Can-Am) and Anthony Baker (No. 4 Warnert Racing/Can-Am).
SuperSport Side by Side
The PowerSports ATV Tour unveiled the new SuperSport Class as a professional class at the season opener. Fans and racers alike were in awe of the capability of these race-bred machines and their riders. Based on utility vehicles--like the Yamaha Rhino, the Arctic Cat Prowler--these machines are built from the ground up to race and will certainly be a highlight of the weekend.
All Pro Class Riders will be vying for one of the richest purses in ATV racing here. The Tour will award $22,500 in purse monies this weekend for the SuperQuad Pro 450 and QuadTerrain Pro Stock Classes. The purse pays to 20th place in the QuadMX Series and to 15th place in QuadTerrain Challenge. The purse structure awards $4,000 to win in QuadMX and $2,000 to win in QuadTerrain Challenge, with $15,000 and $7,500 available in each Series, respectively.
The Jack Link's ATV Championship kicks off Friday, May 11, with a full card of qualifying and finals for the Pro classes, as well as Amateur, Pro-Am, Youth and Women's classes scheduled for the weekend. Tickets, which start at $10 per day for adults and $5 for kids 6-12, will be available at the gate.
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.
Media Members who have already applied for credentials should report to the main gate to sign the waiver and receive their credentials. All media is then required to report to the Media Center, which is in a trailer adjacent to the track, to check in with Director of Communications Justin Anderson. Please contact Justin at 704-589-2100 if you have not sent in a credential request. Credential request forms can be downloaded at www.PowerSportsTour.com.
The Media Center, which will open at 8 a.m. each day, will be staffed all weekend and will feature high-speed Internet access. Media resources guides will also be available.
Additionally, a MANDATORY photographers meeting is being held Saturday morning at 8 a.m. This meeting is required for all photographers wishing to cover the event.
SOUTH FORK MEDIA TIPS:
BORICH RETURNS...The name Chris Borich has long been associated with professional terrain racing. Borich will return to WPSA competition this weekend, riding a factory Can-Am out of the Warnert Racing stable.
ATV ON ESPN2...For the second consecutive year, the PowerSports ATV Tour will be featured on ESPN2. This weekend's event will be telecast on Saturday, June 23 at noon EDT.
INSIDE DIRT...The PowerSports ATV Tour and ATVScene.com have partnered to bring fans an inside look at the Tour with the unveiling of a Podcast this weekend. "The Inside Dirt presented by ATVScene.com" will premiere Sunday night, following racing action.
FEEDING YOUR WILD SIDE...Jack Link's is sponsoring this weekend's race at Taylorville. Jack Link's is also the Official Meat Snack of the PowerSports ATV Tour. Its "Messin' with Sasquatch" commercials will again be part of all Tour telecasts. Jack Link's isn't made up of a bunch of button-up, corporate types. Like our beef jerky, we believe in being authentic and genuine. Life's too short to be artificial. We've never done things the way everyone else does. Over the years, it's always been more than just a way of doing business. It's a way of life. We push hard and take risks--with the unwavering passion to get done what we've set out to do. All backed up by an unflinching eye on quality. So when you picture the people who make North America's best-selling brand of beef jerky, you'll find we're just a bunch of regular folks, inspired to make the finest beef jerky possible, every single day. We're just lucky enough to have the whole world asking for a taste.
HARD CHARGERS...ATVSource.com, the ATV world�s source for up-to-the-minute news and information, will sponsor the �Biggest Mover� Award during this year�s WPSA PowerSports ATV Tour. The award, given in the SuperQuad Pro 450 and QuadTerrain Pro Stock classes, will give $500 the rider who makes up the most positions in the final from their qualifying spot at all 10 races during the 2007 season.
LIVING THE DREAM...The WPSA PowerSports ATV Tour, American Suzuki Motor Corp, ATV Scene.com, and Isoaxis Creative Consulting, in a unique partnership, have unveiled the Fantasy ATV Racing.com Contest. The free contest is now live at www.FantasyATVRacing.com and is also linked through the PowerSports ATV Tour's web site, www.PowerSportsTour.com. Contest players can win many great prizes, including a race-prepared Suzuki LT-R450. To play, participants simply need to go to FantasyATVRacing.com, enter a valid email address, and submit podium picks for each SuperQuad Pro 450 race on the Tour.