If 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…
- We understand the passion for amateur riders wanting to turn local Pro,
- We understand the need for local Pro talent to try and earn a buck racing. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
I saw a little announcement at Motocross Action Magazine titled HRPSports is Accepting Resumes. HRP. The lightning bolt. Immediately I recalled hearing Bob Hannah say during some interview that his wife Terri was running HRP again. I also thought about the Jimmy Weinert Training Facility and the Jimmy Weinert Racing team that’s competing in both AMA Supercross and the American MX Nationals this year. I bet I’m not alone in thinking, “Is Hannah getting back into the sport in some way?” Continue reading
Update 1/30/2012: My friend Reese just notified me the Washougal ’80 pics are no longer online. He said he’s put up some Inter-AM and early Trans-AM pics instead.
Got a great email from motocross historian, CZ aficionado, and all-round good guy Reese Dengler. Reese attended the very first AMA MX National at Washougal, WA in 1980. In honor of the 2010 National he dug through his personal archives and pulled out some great photos. Here’s what Reese had to say:
On the occasion of the 2010 Washougal national I’ve dug thru my old slides and posted a few of my shots, (34), from the first Washougal national in 1980. You can see the shots on this web page,
Some of these shots have never been seen before except by me and a few of my old moto-cross buddies.
There’s some great pics here. There aren’t any captions but if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer to view the thumbnail page you’ll see a title/description pop-up (this doesn’t work in Firefox.) Click the link above or click the photo to visit Reese’s photo page.
Announcement at RacerX Online regarding a new cooperative program between Mayo Clinic of Rochester, MN and Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, MN to study motocross injuries – specifically concussion.
For more detail read the entire post at the link above, but here is an excerpt:
In an unprecedented move Spring Creek MX Park, home to the Millville National Pro Motocross race, has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic of Rochester to study motocross injuries – specifically concussions. In a study done at the Mayo Clinic last year, it was discovered that roughly thirty percent of the injuries in motocross are concussions. The goals of the study are to study concussion occurrence and set up protocols for returning to racing safely. The factor that makes this so ground breaking is the fact that this study team consists of an old but avid motocross racer, orthopedic surgeons that are interested in the sport, and one of the countries’ leading concussion specialists…
This is great news. For far too long we — riders, racers, managers, promoters, and fans — have simply accepted injuries in the sport and, it seems to me, purposely avoided looking at them too closely due to a misguided fear of liability.
I just don’t see how that’s a viable approach in this day and age, given all the technology and tools available to us. I’m very excited to see this new effort launched. Let’s hope there are more.
As I have done for the past few months, I worked track safety at Swan MX Park this past weekend for Round 1 of the Texas Lone Star Series. The weather for Saturday practice and Sunday’s MX race was awesome. But those “scattered t-storms” predicted for Saturday caught up with us about 4:00pm and put a halt to the night races.
It looked like we’d get the track back about 5:30 when a break in the rains came, but no sooner did they get it back in shape when another cloud burst hit and had rivers running through the course again. The red clay that makes up all the night track just doesn’t do well when you get that much water at once, and the night race had to be canceled. Continue reading
MXA wrecking crew rides, races, and compares Yamaha YZ250 and YZ250F.
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. Continue reading