Yamaha’s Elite bLU cRU Athletes Win Multiple Pro Championships in 2022
Yamaha Racers to be Honored at Wall of Champions Ceremony
at Barber Motorsports Park
MARIETTA, Ga. – November 2, 2022 –Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, bLU cRU racers brought home several championships to cap off another successful 2022 racing season. Riders aboard the YFZ450R topped the podium in multiple race series, and the YXZ1000R SS (Sport Shift) continued to impress with multiple championships captured on a multitude of tracks across the country. Yamaha will honor this year’s bLU cRU titleholders during the 2022 Wall of Champions ceremony at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama this December.
In the Championship Off-Road Tour, Yamaha racers dominated the series once more, sweeping the Side-by-Side (SxS) classes in the pure sport YXZ1000R. After starting the year off as the top-placing YXZ at the famed and grueling King of the Hammers race, Yamaha factory-supported racer, Brock Heger, returned to short course in the Championship Off-Road Tour and once again took home the championship and $15,000 bLU cRU bonus in his BH Motorsports / Weller Racing / Maxxis / Yamaha YXZ1000R SS. In the PRO TURBO SxS class, New Zealander, Hamish Kelsey in his Kelsey Construction / Powersports 1 / DLP / Yamaha YXZ1000R SS secured the championship and bLU cRU bonus. Led by Colin Kernz, the YXZ also captured the top three positions in the PRO AM SxS class, as well as the top four spots in the Sportsman SxS class, with Jacob Blemke edging out the competition by only four points.
In the AMA ATV Motocross (ATV MX) circuit, Yamaha racers ruled the track on the podium-proven YFZ450R, finishing in four of the top-five positions in the AMA Pro division. After trading overall wins throughout 2022 with each other, Phoenix Racing’s YFZ rider, Joel Hetrick, capped off the season with the $15,000 bLU cRU bonus and his third ATV MX championship, followed by eight-time champion Chad Wienen (Wienen Motorsports / Maxxis / Walsh / SSI / Fly Racing / Yamaha YFZ450R).
The Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series showcased multiple battles this year, several of which came down to the final round. Although seven-time champion, Walker Fowler, won the Yamaha Racing Ironman finale on his WFR / GBC / Fly Racing / Yamaha YFZ450R to close things out and tie for overall points in the class, fellow bLU cRU racer, Brycen Neal, secured the $15,000 bLU cRU bonus on his Magna1 Motorsports YFZ450R and was crowned the new XC1 Pro ATV titleholder from more overall wins in 2022. Hunter Hart rounded out the year’s podium for another YFZ450R sweep. Also at the Yamaha Racing Ironman GNCC, Yamaha held a special retirement ceremony for bLU cRU racer, Johnny Gallagher, in honor of his 27-year career racing pro.
In the XC2 Pro-Am ATV class, Yamaha riders dominated the field, winning the top nine positions with Action Off-Road’s Jay Shadron clinching a definitive championship win and the $2,500 bLU cRU bonus. Claiming the $500 bLU cRU bonus for each of their classes were James Glauda in Collage A, Andre Williams in College B, Jeremy Ledonne in Junior A, and William Wallace in Junior B.
In support of the GNCC’s annual “Race for the Cure” at the Yamaha Racing Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana, raising breast cancer awareness and funding local breast cancer care and research for the Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF), Yamaha returned as a major contributor to the effort, committing $50 for each class win on a Yamaha, and an additional $50 for each 2022 Yamaha championship. This year, with 33 national championships and 35 race-day wins, along with additional fundraising efforts onsite, Yamaha donated over $5,500 to MCCF, which will use the funds to continue their efforts to provide free mammogram examinations in the surrounding region.
With the aid of bLU cRU racers, Yamaha also held a special All Kids Bike activation in Indiana, assembling bicycles benefitting a local elementary school in Crawfordsville. Yamaha continues to support All Kids Bike through multiple grants and bicycle deliveries to schools across the nation, with more activations planned in the future.
All 2022 pro-class bLU cRU champions will be further recognized during Yamaha’s Wall of Champions induction ceremony at Barber Motorsports Park this December alongside Yamaha employees. Their achievements will be emblazoned on a custom plaque that will be proudly displayed at Yamaha’s global headquarters in Marietta, Georgia.
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 further information on the bLU cRU program, visit YamahabLUcRU.com. REALize Your Adventure and learn more about Yamaha’s 2023 Proven Off-Road line-up at YamahaOutdoors.com, or by visiting your local Yamaha dealer. Connect with Yamaha on social media via @YamahaOutdoors, tune in to the Yamaha Outdoors podcast on listening apps, or search the following hashtags on all platforms: #Yamaha #YamahaRacing #REALizeYourPodium #REALizeYourAdventure #ProvenOffRoad #bLUcRU #AssembledInUSA #YXZ1000R #YFZ450R
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), Kracor Systems (Wisconsin) and Siren Marine, Inc. (Rhode Island), Skeeter Boats (Texas), with division G3 Boats (Missouri), and Yamaha Precision Propeller (Indiana).