Patrick Brown Wins Inaugural AMA Pro ATV Open
There's a first time for everything and Yamaha's Patrick Brown took his first-ever win at the first-ever AMA Pro ATV Open at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. Twenty hand-picked invitations went out for this one-off event, adding fuel to fire for Round 10 of the AMA/Toyota Motocross Championships. The level of commitment for the Pro ATV racers astounded even the Pro dirt bike racers, and once the four-wheelers started flooring the uphill triples, the stage was set for this jaw-dropping event.
The track at Steel City offered a little something for everyone. "[The triples are] a little separator for everybody to do," Patrick Brown said. "It's not just the same old everybody jumps everything."
Kawasaki's Josh Creamer turned the fastest qualifying lap time with around 2.29, with riders like Gust, Wimmer, Pelchat and Ellis inside the top 5. Wienen held sixth fastest lap time, though some riders relaxed the pace in practice. Not trying for fast laps, "I had to make sure I got the track in my head ready to go," one rider said.
Factory Cernic's Honda Pro ATV Team Michael James Brown pulled the first gate pick. "That's the first time I've ever done that," he said.
Second pick went to Patrick Brown. “The gate pick was good," Brown said after winning the race. "The gate was pretty equal, so it wasn't a huge, huge advantage, but it definitely worked out in my favor," Brown said.
Last-minute entry Cale Downen caught 10th gate pick, along with his first glimpse of the track behind the rider's seat. "I've never ridden here before," Downen said. "I wrenched here last year for Sage Baker."
The holeshotting Honda of Keith Little drew gate pick number 18, and figured the familiar holeshot to come from his days of flat track racing. "The track was kind of mushy [in practice,]" Little said. "[We are] so excited, and willing to go out there and push the limit to get our name out there as much as we can."
Pat Brown picked the closest gate to the starting box, which soon came in handy. When the gate dropped, Patrick Brown and Travis Spade blasted into the first corner; the two Yamahas almost touching side-by-side for the $500 ATV Riders holeshot award.
Brown had the line on the inside by a hair, and the 199 machine never looked back. Travis Spader held second over the sea of yellow Suzuki's of Doug Gust and Chad Wienen. Brown busted out with an eight-second lead after the first lap, clearly running away from the battle behind him. Gust and Wienen passed up Spader, ahead of Keith Little and the three-way battle between Russell Shumaker, Josh Creamer and Dustin Wimmer clogging up the top ten along with Richard Pelchat.
Wienen caught Gust in second, who shut the door on Wienen until Wienen made the pass and quick getaway. "Downtown" Patrick Brown stayed smooth, gauging his lead over Wienen, and turning the fastest lap of the race with a 2:18.123 on lap two, followed by the hard-charging Wienen who put down a 2.19.911 on lap three. Brown boasted a ten-second lead by the white flag, completely out of sight from the pack. Brown crossed the finish line with the checkers; his flawless style flattening the field at the first-ever AMA Pro ATV Open Invitational.
"It's amazing," Pat Brown said on the podium. "I came out here and wanted it real bad. I put my heart to it and got it done."
Along with the win came the $500 ATVriders.com holeshot award for Pat Brown. "Yea, I really wanted it so, it was nice to get one finally," he said. "I got my bad luck out of the way at the last couple of rounds. Hopefully I can carry this momentum into next season. I’m just stoked. The bike worked so good out there."
The Suzuki rides of Chad Wienen and Doug Gust rounded out the podium, and Wienen took to the microphone. "I came out with gate six or seven," Wienen said. "I had a bad gate choice. The track was nice out there; [it was] kind of tacky and one-lined, but we made it happen."
Wienen was full of thanks after the special event, especially for the first time event and Wienen's first-ever dirtbike national. "It's great being the first generation for this, and special tanks to the AMA for inviting us," Wienen said. "It’s a great opportunity. I can’t think them enough for letting us come here. It was a good time you know, considering the weather they had. I feel we put on a pretty good show and hopefully we can do it again next year."
After two decades of ATV racing, Gust grinned for all time well-spent. "Yeah, I've been in it for 20 years. I started in '86 or '87," he said. "I went through when it went through its lull, and now it’s big again, and I’m really excited."
"The track was great," Gust continued. "I got a decent start; I think I came out third or something. The second lap, I cased about every jump out there. I got my wits together and started riding smooth. I’m happy with third."