On his way to another victory, Chad Wienen gets down and dirty on his K&N Filters equipped ATV.
For Chad Wienen, 31-year-old resident of Galena, Illinois, riding ATVs started as fun as he rode with his cousins on his grandparents' farm when he was 10 years old. Later, it turned more into a hobby as he rode trails with friends, and it is now his profession as he races ATVs throughout the United States.
His first ATV was a Kawasaki. However, through the years he has owned as many as 25 ATVs including a Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Can Am, and Yamaha.
He started racing when he was 16 years old in 2001 on an impulse. "There were motocross races being run locally, so I thought I'd give it a go," said Wienen. "I won the first moto and crashed in the second, but I was hooked and have been racing ever since."
He started racing pro as a privateer on a Honda in 2006 and signed on to the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team in 2007 and finished third in his class. He suffered a shoulder injury midseason in 2008 and had to drop out of competition, but still finished in sixth place in his class. He was again forced out of competition when he sustained a back injury while practicing in the second half of the racing season in 2011.
He has raced for a number of teams including Monster Energy Kawasaki, where he was instrumental in getting its very first overall win, and Motoworks Can-Am before starting his own team, Wienen Motorsports, in 2012.
Chad Wienen negotiates through the twist and turns of another ATV racetrack.
His team includes racer Manuel Andujar, mechanic Nathan Hibbs, and truck driver Gabriel Watkins. His older brother Matt, who used to race ATVs, also serves on the crew periodically as does his father, grandparents, wife, and his wife's parents. "They all like to travel to events. It's a family-oriented sport," he said.
Wienen volunteered that his wife also does the marketing and bookkeeping for the team. She, along with some of Wienen's friends, make videos of races as well as his training sessions for publication on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. According to Wienen, he contributes one to two reports a day about the team and also promotes upcoming races on Twitter and Facebook.
Since its creation, Wienen Motorsports has won four consecutive AMA ATV national championships, has 46 consecutive podium finishes and 24 wins. So far this year, he has won two and finished on the podium five out of five races and leads his class with 28 points. "We haven't had this kind of point lead this early in a year ever," he said.
His race season starts in March at the Daytona Bike Week at the Daytona Speedway in Florida and ends in August. He races in nine states around the country including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
K&N Engineering has been sponsoring Wienen off and on during his career and has been sponsoring the team since its inception. "They make the best parts," he claimed. "They give us a budget to work with every year and we've done some R&D work for them. We've done R&D on some racing air filters concerning size, material, and weight. We're always trying to help them get things lighter."
Going airborne is another one of Chad's talents.
His other sponsors include Walsh, 7240, SSi Decals, Maxxis, Yamaha, Fly Racing, FMF, Shoei, Acerbis, Fox, Hinson, Scott, Maxima Racing Oils, Malaska Motorsports, Renthal Roth, EVS, Vortex Ignitions, CP Carrillo, UFL Customs, Antigravity Batteries, VP Racing, RPM Dominator, Tireballs, Quad Tech, GYTR, Trek, WPC Metal Surface Treatment, TM Design Works, GPS, NGK Spark Plugs, Streamline Performance Braking, Evans, CWI, Works Connection, Alpinestars, Lonestar Racing, WebCam, Stratus, Precision Racing Products, D.I.D., FourWerx, and Eringer.
Chad's Wienen's accomplishments include:
- 2015 AMA ATV MX National Championship
- 2014 AMA ATV MX National Championship
- 2013 AMA ATV MX National Championship
- 2012 AMA ATV MX National Championship
- 2012 Montreal Supercross Championship
- 2012 New Zealand ATV MX Pro Championship
- 2010 DWT World Motocross Championship
- 2009 Montreal Supercross Championship
- 2008 AMA Pro Invitational Championship