(Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. August 15, 2021) –
For forty years running, Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, annually becomes the world capital of motocross racing. For a couple weeks in the dog days of summer, this iconic facility famously hosts the most prestigious amateur motocross event on the planet before then hosting the world’s most celebrated ATV racing series. Motocross all
around the world is halted for this yearly occasion, with the industry’s sole spotlight pointed directly at “The Ranch”. More motocross dreams are realized at this historic facility than anywhere else on earth, and, for Cody Janssen and his family, Loretta Lynn’s will always be remembered for the unforgettable joy and jubilation experienced on those hallowed grounds.
The last trip Cody Janssen made to west-central Tennessee may very well have been the highlight of his racing career, but it was simply the most recent on a long list of memories cherished at “The Ranch” for the now 29-year-old. His father raced there before he was born, but Cody’s first trip to Loretta Lynn’s came in 2004 when his family traveled down to the legendary facility just to watch. The following season, Cody realized a lifelong (to that point) goal by competing at the legendary facility. He wouldn’t return for a number of years, as he competed and won a WPSA ESPN2 ATV National Championship in 2007 before dialing things back to focus on the acquisition of additional support to help fuel his dreams and aspirations.
In 2012, with the support of a gracious man and his newly-formed race team, Cody Janssen got the chance he had been dreaming of for most of his almost 20 years of life. He made it count that season, with multiple podium finishes in the
absolutely stacked Pro Am classes, but he would need a special performance at Loretta’s to clinch the coveted top three position in the series standings. Well, as fate would have it, it came down to the very last corner at the Loretta Lynn’s season finale. In the final corner on the final lap of Moto 2, and just a stone’s throw from the finish line, Janssen made a last corner pass on his rival for third on the day and third in the championship – a moment that will live on forever in the minds of the Janssen family.
The next few years flashed by as Cody Janssen lived out his boyhood dreams of chasing the national series and rightfully earning a position on the starting line as a professional. In 2013, Cody outright dominated en route to an “A” Class National Championship before making his professional debut late that season. In 2014, Janssen was awarded AMA ATV Pro Rookie of the Year honours and in the seasons that followed he competed full-time as a solid top ten pro. Janssen’s AMA ATV Pro Class career, spanning from 2013 through 2017, was hampered by injury, but he capped his time amongst the greatest ATV racers on earth with a rock solid top ten finish at, you guessed it, Loretta Lynn’s!
In an attempt to save a little money and simply make it about having fun again, Cody Janssen transitioned out of the Pro Class for 2018 and into the 25+ division – arguably the fastest class on any given race weekend (excluding pro), featuring a number of fellow former pros who were searching for that same enjoyment that Cody was after. Janssen was perfect at Loretta Lynn’s that year, going 1-1 in 25+, but missing an event earlier that season (for the first time in seven years) created too much of a points deficit to overcome. Despite grabbing the dominant victory at Loretta Lynn’s, Cody Janssen finished as runner-up in the title hunt, losing the 2018 title by just nine points.
In 2019, Cody Janssen entered the gates of Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch with a very clear-cut plan of attack: win Loretta Lynn’s
and, in effect, clinch the National Championship. After a red-hot start to the season, a few tough breaks forced Janssen’s back against the wall in the chase for that 2019 25+ ATV Motocross National Championship. Unless he wanted to suffer the agony of close defeat once again, he would have to win-out down the stretch for a shot at the title. He did what he had to do at RedBud’s penultimate round of racing, and the goal was now clear: win Loretta’s and win the title. Even second would not be enough to clinch, but Janssen seems to thrive under pressure and showed just that by dominating each time he took the track en route to a perfect 1-1 finish. Cody Janssen clinched his third career National Championship at Loretta Lynn’s!
Last season Cody Janssen successfully defended his title by winning back-to-back National Championships in dominant fashion. The 2020 season was dream-like, as very few riders are able to successfully defend a national title – but one thing was still missing. Due to the global pandemic, the ATV Motocross National Championship was infamously forced to forgo its annual stop on the tour at Loretta Lynn’s. It was euphoric to celebrate winning back-to- back National Championships, pride that Cody will literally take to his grave, but it goes without saying that it would’ve been more special if it would’ve come at “The Ranch”.
As you’re now aware, Cody Janssen and his family have made some of their most cherished memories at Loretta Lynn’s – and the 2021 chapter would be no different! Inclement weather was a topic of conversation all weekend, but Cody Janssen seems to truly thrive in those conditions and would never let that rain on his parade anyway! He opted to use CST’s cross-country-style (XC) tires, the idea being that the bigger lugs and overall larger tire size would be an advantage on the muddy holeshot – which ended up paying off all weekend long! Janssen kick-started the day with a second place start in 25+ and ran in that position all the way to the finish. For Moto 2, conditions were arguably worse after overnight rain, but Janssen nailed the holeshot once again and was again runner-up from start to finish. Cody Janssen finished second in the 25+ class behind past pro counterpart Brett Musick, and ahead of the likes of past pros: David Haagsma, Zach Kaczmarzyk, and more. The big tires were key in Pro Sport as well, helping Cody grab a solid start before fighting his way up to second early in Moto 1. He would maintain that runner-up position for a bit, before suffering a slight malfunction and having to resort to “salvage mode”. Cody Janssen would ultimately finish sixth in Pro Sport.
“It was so great to be back at Loretta’s, there’s simply no place like ‘The Ranch’!” Janssen posted to his official social media accounts. “In typical Loretta Lynn’s fashion, it was hot and a little wet but we still had an awesome time! Managed to get two good starts in muddy conditions in 25+, went 2-2 for 2nd overall — I was really hoping to grab that Moto 2 holeshot and I think we could’ve made things interesting, but Brett just edged me out on the start and went on to take the win. Props to him on a great weekend! In Pro Sport, got a decent start in the first moto and made a couple quick passes to get into 2nd by lap two…then everything went a little sideways. The tear- off tab broke off my goggle lens, so I ended up having to throw my goggles and, as a contacts wearer who’s on an abbreviated schedule and not in the points chase, I wasn’t willing to risk my eyes to battle within that lead pack. In Moto 2, I had the gear to run with the top guys but I needed another gear if I wanted to get by them after a crappy start (6-6). All in all, I was pretty happy with the weekend. Most of all: as a 29-year-old man still doing what he most enjoys in this world, I was so stoked to be back at iconic Loretta Lynn’s with the people I love most. Awesome weekend, thanks to everyone who makes it possible!”
Forty-two national event wins to date, four National Championships (including back-to-back titles in 2019 & 2020) and all the happy memories made over the years is something unachievable alone – it’s thanks to the incredible support system that this back- to-back champ has behind him, support that has given him the opportunity to continue to chase his goals and aspirations in 2021 and beyond. Cody must thank all the loyal listeners and sponsors of his Digging Deep ATVMX Podcast, the #1 podcast in ATV racing! He must also thank the riders and families who continue to support the Cody Janssen Riding School. Huge thank you for the continued support to SSI Decals, CST Tires, Valvoline, Elka Suspension, FMF Racing, and All Balls Racing Group – without the continued support of these long-time believers none of this would be possible. Thank you to his family, girlfriend Brooke, mechanic Dan Binder, and the rest of the crew at Janssen Motorsports. Extreme gratitude continues to GPS Offroad Products, Ameriprise and the Hemauer Financial Group, the Kindrick Family and Kindrick Racing, E-Z Up Brand, Klink Equipment and Klink Hydraulics, Jay Gobel and Casey Greek of Impact Solutions, Hinson Clutch Components, Thor MX, Parts Unlimited, D.I.D Chain, Atlas Brace, the Stanfield family and Napa (of Peru, Indiana), Cliff Cox and Oshkosh Tattoo & Good Girl Piercing, Precision Powder LLC, Ride 100% Brand, Trimble’s Cycle Center, Pivot Works, Hot Cams, Hot Rods, Cylinder Works, Vertex, DT1 Filters, Larry Mills and DP Brakes, Rath Racing, Walsh RaceCraft, Fourwerx Carbon, Sunstar Sprockets, Works Connection, Renthal, the Reynolds Family and Reynolds Body Shop, the Dean and Pauline Janssen family, Pat McGuire, Energy Release, Pro-Tec Racing, Evans Waterless Powersports Coolant, Blenders Eyewear, First Endurance, Pro Moto Billet/Fastway, Nova Racing Transmissions, Rocket Machining and Design, Mountaineer Brand, Northern Chill, Rocky Mountain ATV MC, Dallas Janssen, and many others. Without such incredible support, continuing the pursuit of dreams and goals would never be possible. Photos courtesy of Tremellen Media House, PH3 Photos, Ken Hill, Ronda Kegler, and others.
Just like that, Cody Janssen’s ATVMotocross National Championship season has come to a close. As of the writing of this
article, Cody Janssen is still the reigning 25+ National Champion – but soon a new title holder will be crowned. As excited as Cody originally was to make a run at the 3-peat before it became apparent that that wouldn’t be an option this season, he’s
even more excited for a 2022 campaign that will feature some exciting new changes to his program! We look forward to sharing the news of these coming changes with fans and supporters alike very soon! Wishing you all the best and thank you for following along with Cody Janssen for yet another season. Until next year, God bless!