Oil City, PA – 03/04/2011: The word colossal might be a little much when describing Joel Hetrick’s Pro debut. A more appropriate description would be…Impressive…Very Impressive!

When a rookie can run with veterans for twenty minutes plus two laps, averaging to within a second of the leader’s lap times, that rookie has made a statement. “I’m here…deal with it.”

Thus was the case of Hetrick Racing/Makson Construction’s pro rookie Joel Hetrick. Living up to all the hype that surrounded his entrance into the professional ranks of AMA ATV Motocross National Championship racing, Hetrick proved he’s the real deal at Round 1 of this year’s series opener held at Aonia Pass Motorsports Park in Washington, GA the last weekend of February.

After exhibiting some Pro class “first timer’s jitters” in the opening moto, where Hetrick took third around the holeshot and spent the entire moto looking back over his shoulder to see who was closing, he settled down in the second moto and exhibited the classic Joel Hetrick ride everyone had become accustomed to in years past. He finished sixth in moto one just behind veteran Joe Byrd, who admittedly made Hetrick nervous when he realized Byrd was behind him and closing.

Moto two was a different holeshot story. Hetrick came off the gate and around the first corner sardined back in the pack, approximately 13th. But, that’s when he realized that he could either show his Pro worthiness, or slack. Since Hetrick is not known for “slacking” in any form or fashion, especially when he’s on an MX track, he started a charge for the front reminiscent of National Champion Josh Creamer. With his hinnie off the seat and his throttle pinned, he worked his way methodically and patiently past racer after racer. When the checkers fell, Hetrick was back where he finished in moto one, in sixth place. His moto scores of 6-6 gave him a sixth overall just behind Pro veterans Byrd (5th), Lawson (4th), Upperman (3rd), Natalie (2nd), and Wienen, who won the event.

In a post race interview with ATVMotocross.Com, Hetrick put his performance this way…”I started off the first moto in third place and lost three more spots after I tensed up,” Hetrick stated.  “Second moto I got a bad holeshot, like thirteenth, and I worked my way up just trying to stay calm and race.

When asked what his plans were for Round 2 in Pell City, AL on March 19th., Hetrick put it in plain and simple English. “My goal for the next round…To get in the top five.”

Joel Hetrick knows his sponsors play an important part in his racing program and never forgets to thank them. “I especially want to thank my sponsors: Hetrick Racing, Makson Construction, JB Racing, Maximum RPM, Fly Racing, Elka Suspension, Walsh Race Craft, MotoWorks, Easton, Maxxis, Lone Star Racing, Tiger Racing, Pro Graph-X, Quad Tech, Rage ATV, Rath Racing,  Luke Nixon Racing, Precision Racing Products, DWT, Oury ATV Grips, DP Brakes, Fuel Customs, PowerMadd, Outerwears, Rebel Gears, Kal-Gard, Intense Fabrication & Design, Hinson Clutches and Pafford EMS…Without them, none of this would be possible.”