Yamaha bLU cRU Racers Secure Multiple National Championships in 2020 Podium-Proven YXZ1000R, YFZ450R, and YZ250FX Racers Claim Victories Nationwide
MARIETTA, Ga. – December 15, 2020 – Yamaha Motor Corp., USA’s Side-by-Side (SxS), ATV, and off-road motorcycle bLU cRU racers wrapped up the 2020 racing season, locking in several national championships and finishing on the podium across numerous series, including Championship Off-Road, ATV Motocross (ATV MX) and the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) racing series.
The Championship Off-Road series’ inaugural year capped off with bLU cRU racer, CJ Greaves, finishing the season in his Greaves Motorsports / Yamaha / Monster Energy / Maxxis YXZ1000R with multiple championships after taking both the Pro Stock SxS and Pro Mod SxS titles for a combined $25,000 in bLU cRU bonuses. Battling with Greaves in the Pro Mod SxS class and keeping the standings close all year, Powersports 1 / Beyond Redline YXZ1000R driver, Rodney VanEperen, finished the season strong with a first-place finish at the final round, enough to secure second overall, just shy of Greaves by a mere six points.
In the second-annual SXS Sports “King of the Elements” three race series, featuring closed-course tracks held on dirt and ice, the pure sport YXZ1000R secured both the Pro Stock and Sportsman championships with drivers VanEperen and Dylan Marquardt, respectively.
In the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series’ Production 1000 UTV class, Brock Heger secured eight podium finishes and three first-place finishes over the course of the season in his BH Motorsports / Maxxis / Weller Racing YXZ1000R for second overall.
GNCC’s reigning XC1 Pro ATV champion, Walker Fowler, clinched his sixth-straight title and the $10,000 bLU cRU championship bonus following his podium finish at round 11 on his Mark Notman-prepared WFR / GBC / Fly Racing YFZ450R, leading with 301 points and six first-place finishes – one of which included his 60th career win. Fowler was also awarded GNCC’s prestigious “ATV Rider of the Year” award at the series’ year-end banquet. Fellow Yamaha bLU cRU YFZ450R racers Brycen Neal and Cole Richardson secured a podium sweep for Yamaha, finishing the season in second and third, correspondingly. Between Fowler, Neal, and Richardson, the YFZ450R solidified its podium-proven prowess in the GNCC series, finishing first in all but one round, aiding in Yamaha capturing the GNCC’s ATV Manufacturer’s Cup for 2020.
BABS Racing’s Becca Sheets also clinched the GNCC’s WXC Bike championship at the 11th round, with six class wins on her YZ250FX. AmPro Yamaha Racing’s Rachael Archer captured her first WXC Bike win on her YZ250FX at the eighth round, along with the next four thereafter, finishing 2020 in second overall, even after missing the final round due to a season-ending injury incurred while capturing her fifth win. AmPro Yamaha Racing’s YZ250FX racers, Mike Witkowski and Cooper Jones finished second in XC2 and 150B, respectively. After taking a few races off and switching to Yamaha late in the season at the ninth round, AmPro Yamaha Racing’s Steward Baylor Jr. started and finished strong with all podiums on the new setup, mounting four overall wins and a second-place finish on his YZ450FX in the XC1 Pro Bike class. Baylor aims to be a solid GNCC championship contender for the bLU cRU in 2021 and already secured his place with the AmPro Yamaha Racing team for the next two years, alongside the returning Layne Michael, Witkowski, and Archer.
In support of GNCC’s annual “pink race” at the Yamaha Racing Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana, raising breast cancer awareness and funding local breast cancer care and research, Yamaha once again returned as a major contributor to the effort, committing $50 for each class win on a Yamaha, and an additional $50 for each 2020 Yamaha championship. This year, with 29 national championships and 35 race-day wins, Yamaha donated over $3,000 supporting the local Faith Alliance Fund, held at the Montgomery County Community Foundation.
Closing the season at this year’s virtual GNCC banquet, Yamaha awarded payout and prize opportunities to eligible bLU cRU racers competing in the majority of the XC2, Junior A, College A, Junior B, and College B ATV class rounds. Yamaha’s bLU cRU contingency for the overall winners of these GNCC classes were as follows:
- XC2 ATV:
- Second- $1,500, Drew Landers
- Third- $750, Branden Owens
- Fourth- $500, Wyatt J. Wilkin
- Fifth- $250, Ronnie Rusch
- Junior A: First- $500 ShopYamaha.com gift card, Nick Davidson
- Junior B: First- $500 ShopYamaha.com gift card, Jacob Albaugh
- College B: First- $500 ShopYamaha.com gift card, Caden Rine
In the American Motorcycle Association’s (AMA) ATV MX series, second all-time winning champion, Chad Wienen, secured his seventh AMA Pro title, in addition to the $10,000 bLU cRU racing bonus on his Wienen Motorsports / SSI / Fly Racing YFZ450R. Wienen also won the Pro Stock class for the second straight year after the category’s inception in 2019. Fellow bLU cRU YFZ450R racer, Thomas Brown, announced his retirement from ATV MX racing after another successful and consistent year on the podium, finishing third in the AMA Pro class and second overall in Pro Stock. Additionally in the ATV MX series, Andrea Berger secured the women’s championship in the WMX class on her Proven Off-Road YFZ450R.
For the 2020 ATV MX season, Yamaha’s bLU cRU racer support program offered payout and prize opportunities to eligible participants competing in the majority of the Production Stock rounds. Awarded at the year-end banquet in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Yamaha’s bLU cRU contingency for the overall winners of the 2020 ATV MX season’s Production Stock classes included:
- Production Stock Premier:
- First- $2,500, Chad Wienen
- Second- $1,500, Thomas Brown
- Third- $750, Max Lindquist
- Fourth- $500, Michael Allred
- Fifth- $250, Jacob Stevens
- Production Stock: First- $500 ShopYamaha.com gift card, Blair Miller
- Production Stock C: First- $500 ShopYamaha.com gift card, Rueger Orr
- WMX: First- $500 ShopYamaha.com gift card, Andrea Berger
In addition to the bLU cRU payouts, eligible GNCC and ATV MX bLU cRU racers were entered to win a brand new YFZ450R. Through random selection during each series’ awards banquet, Mason Hunt won the ATV MX giveaway, while Cory Vandelinder won the GNCC giveaway.
Every Yamaha SxS and full-size ATV is proudly Assembled in the USA at Yamaha’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Newnan, Georgia, for worldwide distribution.
For more information on the bLU cRU program, including all guidelines and requirements for ATV and SxS racing, visit YamahabLUcRU.com. Follow Yamaha Outdoors on social at Facebook.com/YamahaOutdoors, Instagram.com/YamahaOutdoors, Twitter.com/YamahaOutdoors, or by searching the following hashtags on all social platforms: #YXZ1000R #YFZ450R #YZ250FX #YZ450FX #Yamaha #YamahaRacing #bLUcRU #ProvenOffRoad #REALizeYourAdventure #REALizeYourPodium #AssembledInUSA
About Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (YMUS), is a recognized leader in the outdoor recreation industry. The company's ever-expanding product offerings include Motorcycles and Scooters, ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles, Snowmobiles, WaveRunner Personal Watercraft, Boats, Outboard Motors, Outdoor Power Equipment, Power Assist Bicycles, Golf Cars, Power Assist Wheelchair Systems, Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and Robotic Machines, Unmanned Helicopters, Accessories, Apparel, Yamalube products, and much more. YMUS products are sold through a nationwide network of distributors and dealers in the United States.
YMUS has a corporate office in California, two corporate offices in Georgia, facilities in Wisconsin and Alabama, and factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. Additional U.S.-based subsidiaries include Yamaha Marine Systems Company (YMSC) with divisions Bennett Marine (Florida) and Kracor Systems (Wisconsin), Skeeter Boats (Texas), with division G3 Boats (Missouri), and Yamaha Precision Propeller (Indiana).
Scott Newby – ATV & SxS Sr. Communications Specialist
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA
Mike Ulrich – Off-Road Motorcycle Sr. Communications Specialist
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA