MuddyWatersMX.net

An unconventional look at the world of moto

MuddyWatersMX.net header image 2

RIP Lake Whitney Motocross Park

July 7th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Politics of Riding, Racing

Be Sociable, Share!

It appears that storied Lake Whitney Cycle Park — the site of numerous National, International, and amateur motocross events since 1972 — has finally succumbed to economic pressures after years on life support.

This report is unconfirmed and based on this RacerX article. I also found this post from June 2006 and this LinkedIn profile for Bruce Whitehead.

Based on these sources the property on which the track sits is part of WB Ranch, a property owned by a limited partnership with Bruce Whitehead listed as General Partner.

Whitehead is a hunting enthusiast and investor and it appears the property is being converted into something that can make more money — a managed hunting preserve, corporate retreat, and housing development.

Whitehead does not feel that motocross is compatible with these activities. The track, races, and blue-collar RV camping are probably putting a crimp in his ability to sell  $200,000 housing lots. Well, it is America and we are not (yet) communists here.

It looks like Whitehead’s group has run the ranch since 2000 and allowed the track to remain operational under the supervision of Dave Martin (of Honda of Houston and managing partner of Moto-Mgmt. LP) until 2006.

In June 2006 the track operating lease was transferred from Martin’s Moto-Mgmt. group to Allan and Jamie McWilliams of Millcreek Race Promotions.  Millcreek operated Lake Whitney MX, along with other racing facilities, from 2007-2010.

I haven’t been to Whitney since the late ’80s but am told the facility had suffered from economic neglect for the last several years and was in serious need of modern upgrades. Some riders indicated this was just the last nail in a coffin built 10 years ago when Whitehead took over the property.

That’s unfortunate as Whitney was Mecca for Texas motocross racers in the ’70s and ’80s. I personally witnessed John Banks hammering the lower section of track by the river bank on a thundering CCM at a Trans-AMA race in ’76 or ’77. I also attended a number of AMA Nationals there.

My high school friend Tom Holtan (AMA #516 in the early ’80s) got blown off the track by Kent Howerton during practice at one National at Whitney and was never quite the same afterward.

I hate to see this change, especially given that the heir apparent track is Freestone County Raceway which qualifies as a motocross track only under the broadest, most wildly optimistic definition of the word. But time moves on.

Lake Whitney Cycle Ranch may no longer exist, but the memories will live on. And who knows, some corporate fat cat may still hear the rumble of John Banks’ CCM as he putts his little golf cart along the river where the Men of Motocross once ruled.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: ··

10 Comments so far ↓

  • Robert Bergman

    too bad another legendary mx track is going away. I raced at Whitney back in the ’70s and watched most of the great racers of that era..Americans and Europeans.

    Even raced a couple of mountain bike races up in the hills on the same property in the ’90’s.
    RB

  • terry dugan

    sad to see it go…..i raced 125 class there 1979…..

  • Geoff

    It hurts to know that they are shutting it down, I was there for the last national I drove 7 hours and slept in the truck all week. Loved every secod of it I miss it already my favorite track of all time!!! Lake Whitney will always have a place in my heart! I hope they are haunted by the sounds of 125’s runnin up the hill!!

  • Steven

    Sad. I raced at this Track from 88′ – 2003′ From 60’s to 250’s (2-stroke) Whitney was by far the best track in Texas with Tyler running a close Second. I remember Kevin Windham, Robbie Reynard in the Early to Mid 90’s. This track shouldn’t have been allowed to die. I don’t see how it could have with the massive amount of bikes I remember seeing at each race. Will there ever be another track that can replace Whitney in this area of the country?

  • steve tanner

    really hate to hear of closing. I attended Joshua High, probable one hour from track, and raced 125 inter. Great memories.

  • Kelso King

    Sad indeed. Best track in Texas, must have been victim of poor management, especially considering Freestone got a National. I used to race my Elsinore 125 there in 1973. The track seemed intimidating then but continued to improve and ultimately encompassed the hill climb. I saw Roger DeCoster race there (and got his autograph), along with his Suzuki team mate Gerrit Wolsink, plus Marty Smith and all the hot shots from that time. Last race I went to there was probably 10 years ago. It was always awesome. Sad to hear that The Cycle Ranch is no more, I had always hoped to catch another race up there. Those were the days my friend!

  • riley

    i will never for get the sound of my screaming 80 going up the hill

  • Collin

    i raced 85’s at whitney it was hands down the best track i have ridin. sucks that the owner let all those good years of racing fall down the drain like it was nothing.
    R.I.P J. Masterpool
    R.I.P Lake Whitney

  • erin

    What a damn shame..!!!! My dad raced there,I raced there,but now my son wont be able… I hope, whoever and makes it a whatever,gets what they deserve…Crap on the little guys..It’s bad enough fuel prices hamper us to go 60+ miles just to find a track my son can grow up on..
    Thanks a lot….

  • james duke

    Persoanlly I will not miss the yahoos driving up and down 2960 like it is a racetrack, parking overnight in peoples’ driveways and cursing at the homeowner when asked to move their rig. RIP Lake Whitney Motocross. Enjoy Freestone County!