Archive for racetracks

Interview: Shand Garcia of BERM Motorsports

Shand Garcia photoIf you have more than a passing interest in Texas motocross you’ve probably heard of Shand Garcia. In fact, you’ve probably heard Shand Garcia doing the play-by-play commentary at a Texas track. He’s written the only book on Texas motocross history, has a suspension accessory company, serves as assistant editor of Texas’ only motocross magazine, and now he’s co-promoting his own night-racing series. We had the chance to sit down with Shand and ask him a few questions about the business behind the business of motocross in Texas. This is an in-depth interview. If you prefer offline reading here’s a PDF.

The 2nd Annual BERM Pro Showdown series at Village Creek MX Park starts next week. You’re the title sponsor and actually co-promoter. Tell me how the series came about.

The BERM Pro Showdown Series Presented by MOTOREX is a five round Saturday night series at Village Creek MX Park in Ft. Worth Texas, with one round (round #4) stopping at Freestone County Raceway. The series is for amateur and Pro motocross racers.

Obviously with our title, we definitely gear it to highlight Saturday night professional motocross racing in the DFW market. The series came about by having conversations with Village Creek MX Park owner, Mr. Terry Cordray. Mr. Cordray has been a staple in north Texas motocross for many years, and at various tracks, dating back to the mid 70’s.

Mr. Cordray and I agreed that north Texas professional motocross had seen better days. There are a couple of key elements that we both understand…

  1. We understand the passion for amateur riders wanting to turn local Pro,
  2. We understand the need for local Pro talent to try and earn a buck racing. Read More…

Terry Cordray of Village Creek MX Park

Terry Cordray is a man on a mission – a mission to rebuild his business, to have one of the most successful motocross tracks in Texas, and to make it easier and safer for new riders and families to get into the world of motocross.

Cordray is the owner/operator of Village Creek MX Park in Ft. Worth, Texas. He’s been a track operator and promoter for more than 30 years. And today I had a fascinating, 90-minute telephone conversation with him. Read More…

The business behind the business of motocross

If you have visited this site periodically over the years you know there are a lot of articles with a business or industry slant. I’m a business writer and consulting analyst by trade, and an avid motorcyclist and racing fan — particularly motocross racing.

One area I’ve never covered is the essential business of running a motocross track. Though rarely discussed — except when there’s a legal brouhaha of some sort or someone is complaining — track owners, operators, and promoters are absolutely essential to the health, growth, and preservation of motocross. Read More…

Growing the American MX Nationals via track rotation

A while back I read something, probably in Racerhead, about the unfortunate reality that in order to get a new venue into the outdoor National series an old one has to go away. This is what happened when Broome-Tioga sold its event rights to Tony Miller and Freestone in TX, and more recently, when Glen Helen lost its rights to make way for Pala (which subsequently lost them to Lake Elsinore.)

Then, in a December Racerhead, Davey Coombs was lamenting how hard it is to find a National venue in the southeast, and how even when he found one he had to get a current track to drop out of the series to make room.

That “lose one to gain one” thing struck me as a real barrier to growth. It’s a throw-back, one of the last remaining vestiges of the good ole’ boy power and politics around which motocross was built in the ’70s. How can you really grow a series, and grow the audience for a series, when you have to permanently take a race away from one location to try a new one? And when certain promoters essentially get a lifetime contract — like a season ticket holder at Lambeau Field?

When you’re talking about just 12 races a year, you need a compromise — a way to try new venues, new cities, new tracks, new locations — without abandoning or bringing undue harm to the ones that got you where you are. It’s another way of growing the pie.

So I thought, “Why don’t you just do a planned track rotation?” I did a little spreadsheet to see how a simple rotation would work and it turned out you could easily expand the AmericanMX National series to 18 tracks with a little planning. And luck. Rotation is easy. Finding new tracks is really, really hard. Read More…

Houston, TX is a motocross mecca

Last night on Pit Pass Radio one of the guests was Larry Hughes, district manager for Parts Unlimited. Larry was on to talk about the upcoming Parts Unlimited AMA Allstars Amateur National and WMA Cup that will be held at the end of the month at Freestone MX in Wortham, TX.

One of the interesting things Larry said was that within a 1-hour drive of Houston there are 10 — count’em, 10 — motocross facilities, many with multiple tracks on the property. With the reopening of the legendary Rio Bravo facility early next year there will be 11.

To my knowledge, there are only three tracks within an hour of Atlanta, and that requires that you live on the same side of town as the track because it takes an hour to get from one side of the metro area to the other. If you live on the wrong side of town it’s two hours to the closest track.

I’ve been planning a move back to Texas for a number of years. Now there’s another good reason to get back to the Lone Star State.

Catch Larry’s interview here.

Monster Mountain MX Park for sale

The following was posted on RacerX today:

Monster Mountain MX Park, one of the premier facilities in the Southeast, is for sale. Built into the beautiful rolling hills of Central Alabama by MX legend Mark Barnett and Glen Bates, the facility offers MX, Lighted SX, GP, Pit Bike, and seven miles of trails spread over its 200 acres. Concession stand, bathrooms with showers, and a newly constructed 4000 square foot steel building containing a 1500 square foot residence. Serious inquiries only please. Contact us at 334-799-5931 or Andy@MonsterMX.com

This is a very cool facility. I’ve had the chance to ride a couple of vintage events there. I hate to see it go on the block again. I know it’s changed hands a couple of times already since it was built. The maintenance costs of a facility like this are enormous and, being in the deep south and not close to a major population center (the greater Montgomery area has fewer than 350,000 people) I’m sure it’s hard to make a go of it.

That’s the tragedy of our time — you need to be close to a population center with about 1 million people to support a facility like this, but you can’t find or afford the land in those areas. It’s the kind of track where you could hold a national, but the facility would need lots of upgrades. And the population just isn’t there.

I wish the owners good luck. I hate to see another fine facility bite the dust.

Ground control

I didn’t really start this site to write about specific races or do race reports, but I watched the last two SX races – Anaheim II and San Francisco – and noticed something. Anaheim II was the retro night, with a track modeled after the ’86 track where Bailey and Johnson battled.

The track was far more technical than today’s tracks. The jumps were steeper, causing the riders to slow down, and the result was the riders stayed on the ground more. Amazingly, the racing was actually better with the riders on the track instead of flying through the air for 60% of the lap, seeing who could soar the farthest as if it was a jumping contest.

San Fran was a mud bath and the track deteriorated to the point that almost no one could do the triples. And those who did only cleared one triple per lap. Again, the racing on the ground was much better. The crashes were more frequent but less severe. The racing was actually pretty good, with numerous lead changes and lots of battles.

I’m sure the Powers-That-Be will put the DirtWorks crews back to the normal space-shuttle style tracks for the rest of the season but, for my money, we’d be a lot better off if they’d go back to the technical tracks of the ’80s and let the riders actually race instead of play Evel Knievel all night.