Dirt track motorcycle racing returns to I-37 Raceway
April 20, 2011 | 1081 views | Post a comment
PLEASANTON -- The legendary Giacomo Agostini had 122 Motorcycle Grand Prix wins and 15 World Championships, with 68 wins and eight titles in the 500cc class, the rest in the 350cc class. But, at his peak, he once commented that it was harder to win the U.S. National championship than a world championship.
Asked why, he pointed out that the world championship races were all on paved road courses, while the U.S. Nationals were contested on paved road courses, cross country courses, and flat tracks, and on pavement and dirt. The winner of the U.S. Nationals or the AMA Nationals had to be a very versatile rider who could race on a paved road course or on a flat track dirt oval in the middle of a fairground.
The Vintage Dirt Track Racers Association (VDTRA) brings some of that that spirit to I-37 Raceway at Newsome Motor Park this Saturday, April 23. It will be the fourth race of the season, with the most recent stop on the Waco half-mile the first weekend in April. (Left are stops in Sherman, Bullard, Waco, and Boyd.)
The racers come not just from Texas, but also from states as far away as Washington and Ohio. Flat Track (or Dirt Track) is the oldest form of motorcycle racing in the world. In the United States, this kind of racing originated on dirt and later evolved to steeply banked board tracks made from laying two-by-fours on edge that measured up to a mile. After numerous fatalities, the board tracks became part of history and Flat Track again moved to the dirt tracks. Many tracks are at fairgrounds, on local dirt ovals and car tracks, and even on kart tracks.
Unlike other forms of motorcycle racing, Flat Track began here in the United States and is considered to be the grass roots of all motor-cycle racing. In the early days, competitors rode their bikes to the race, taped the headlights so broken glass wouldn’t fall on the track, raced, then removed the tape and rode the bike home.
The VDTRA primarily holds races for older motorcycles from before the 1980s, though there are some modern classes. The VDTRA is also one of the few racing series that gives local racers the chance to be on the same track with Grand National Level racers. Many racers in the VDTRA are former Grand National level competitors who no longer wish to keep up the travel required to compete at the Grand National level. Other competitors raced in their younger days and have returned after raising families.
In some classes, having one rider hit the brakes in a pack going into a turn could be disastrous, so dirt track rules often require the brakes be removed. VDTRA holds classes for a wide variety of classic and modern bikes, which makes for a heck of a show.
The VDTRA riders come to I-37 Raceway this Saturday, April 23, with spectator gates opening at 5 p.m. and the racing action due to start at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are the same as for the regular stock car program, $10 for adults, eight bucks for seniors and active duty military with ID, and five dollars for kids be-tween six and 12. The concessions will be open as usual.
|Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post comments:
| Boosting SS checks (May 22, 2013)
Feral hog workshop scheduled (May 22, 2013)
Floresville, Stockdale plan summer sports camps (May 22, 2013)
Hall of Fame inducts Don Denson (May 22, 2013)
In the end, the facts don’t support the gun-control... (May 22, 2013)
TPWD creates Marine Investigations Unit (May 22, 2013)
UIW opens fencing center (May 22, 2013)
Beaverette softball team falls to state’s No. 2 team (May 15, 2013)
Goalball team seeks athletes (May 15, 2013)
La Vernia baseball team drops area playoff... (May 15, 2013)
Pro boxing comes to Event Center (May 15, 2013)
Register for golf tourney (May 15, 2013)
Register now for Stockdale youth tackle football... (May 15, 2013)
Snakebites a concern as weather warms (May 15, 2013)
State issues fish warnings (May 15, 2013)
Stockdale Junior High tennis team wraps up... (May 15, 2013)
Technology helps elderly stay home (May 15, 2013)
Vanessa Espinoza will be two-sport athlete at TLU (May 15, 2013)
Wildlife banquet set for Thursday (May 15, 2013)
Yoakum to host softball, kickball tourneys (May 15, 2013)
Bears win bi-district with fourth-inning effort (May 8, 2013)
Beaverettes win region track title (May 8, 2013)
Brittani Dear signs with UIW (May 8, 2013)
Buy tickets for TDA Sportmen’s Night Out (May 8, 2013)
Church fest seeks volleyball teams (May 8, 2013)
Correction: LV golf (May 8, 2013)
East Central falls to Smithson Valley (May 8, 2013)
Falls City Beaverettes advance with win over Harper (May 8, 2013)
How health insurance exchanges can help (May 8, 2013)
Lady Bears fall in extra innings (May 8, 2013)
Morgan Mills bound for Hardin-Simmons (May 8, 2013)
Poth sets records at regional (May 8, 2013)
Stockdale Junior High tennis recap (May 8, 2013)
Valarie Moehrig to play for A&M-Corpus Christi (May 8, 2013)
American Hero relay May 26 (May 1, 2013)
AREA SOFTBALL & BASEBALL SCORES (May 1, 2013)
Athletic physicals next week (May 1, 2013)
Hibbett Sports coming soon to Floresville (May 1, 2013)
Houston to host NRA meeting (May 1, 2013)
Jackson signs with Mary Hardin-Baylor (May 1, 2013)
Jaguars season ends with loss to Gregory-Portland (May 1, 2013)
La Vernia track team competes at regionals,... (May 1, 2013)
Lady Hornets advance to second round (May 1, 2013)
Leinneweber to play for UIW Cardinals (May 1, 2013)
Lifegate Falcons receive championship rings (May 1, 2013)
Local wildlife association plans first banquet (May 1, 2013)
LV sports scholarship deadline is May 7 (May 1, 2013)
Stockdale seniors play faculty teams (May 1, 2013)