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Good article about Dirt-track Racing vs Road Racing with some history about the sport
Rednecks, In-breeders and Racing
By: Tim Buhler
Did you ever meet someone who feels obligated to slam something even though they have no
experience in the subject? I hate those people. For example, some clown learns you ride a
motorcycle and they feel obligated to tell you about every gory accident they have ever seen
involving a biker. Like I give a damm about that. Can it happen? Yes. End of story, they
generally neglect to learn that the accident was probably caused by a car turning left in front of
But this phenomenon does not include just people external of the bike scene. It happens among
our own kind. We all know about the Harley riders vs. the dreaded bikes thing. That's old as
dirt. But what I'm talking about is amongst racers themselves.
I met these guys that are roadracers the other night. At first they seemed like nice guys. Novice
racers and inexperienced but OK. Then they started bashing dirt track racers and calling us
In-bred rednecks. That me off. Normally I unload on stupid people but lately I'm trying to
be more tolerant of idiots. But I was deeply insulted that these two morons, who had NEVER
been to a dirt track race, felt that my sport was lower class. What a crock.
Let's discuss history for a moment, my favorite subject. Motorcycles as we know them were
invented around the1890's. The first motorcycle race was held the first day two riders met.
Probably about one week later! The first professional races were held on 1-2 mile Board tracks.
The bikes were small displacement, no suspension, and had no brakes, but reached speeds of 115
mph! Needless to say that many riders and spectators were killed and the boards tracks evolved
to dirt tracks.
Dirt tracking became a real sport in the 1920's. The bikes were big, fast, had hardtails with
springer front ends, but were still without brakes and capable of big numbers. By the late 1930's
racing had tapered off due to the depression, but a few dirt tracks were still out there. In the 40's
racing came back stronger than ever. With the exception of WWII, the racing was great. Good
bikes and skilled riders were the norm. Many guys would ride their bikes to the track, remove
the lights and brakes, and throw it sideways at 80 mph on the 1/2 miles. Meanwhile, racing on
streets had started to gain popularity and roadracing was born.
Some great racers evolved that would dominate racing for years. But the one common
denominator between the champions is that they all started as dirt trackers. This trend continued
on for years and is still true today.
Let's look at some famous in-bred rednecks of our time. King Kenny Roberts for example. Now
here is a guy with 2 teeth, 6 toes, and wears a rope for a belt. He was AMA Grand National
Champion during the time when the AMA series had 75% traditional ovals, a couple TT races,
and at least 2 road race events to win the GNC title. Then he went on to be the undeniable
World GP champion. He literally trounced the world's best in his rookie year and did so for
many years to follow. Now he runs a GP team and is a major influence in how the sport will
progress with his own designed motorcycle. What a redneck.
How about Mert Lawill, Cal Rayborn, Mann, what? Who are those guys these young
roadrace studs ask? OK maybe they are too old. How about Wayne Rainey, Bubba Shoebert,
Eddie Lawson, Freddy Spencer, Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Garderner, and Doug Chandler. Some
new kids, Jamie Hacking, Larry Pegram, Nicky Hayden, the current AMA Superbike champ
Ben "The Rostrum" Bostrum and his fast bro Eric. You know who else has done some dirt
trackin', Norick Abe the Japanese GP rider.
Some very famous tuners are inbred also. Rob Muzzy built Honda dirt trackers competing with
Ron Wood and O'Brian. Today some top road racers train on dirt trackers. Miguel
DuHammel was taking lessons from Mike Hale on the Honda team.
The funny thing is, many top roadracing champions can have their dirt track roots traced. The
same goes for Motocross racers. Arron Yates, Anthony Gobert, and Jean Micheal Bayle are all
ex-motocross racers. Funny how Dirt Trackers and MX riders can go on to be great roadracers
but no roadracers that I remember have gone on to become top Dirt Trackers or MX riders. I
guess it's because they are not in-bred.
Dirt Track racing is many things, but redneck and in-bred are not two of them. Dirt Trackin' is a
family sport where junior, Dad, and Mom can all go out and slide around. They spend more time
learning to go fast and less time worrying about how they look. Yes, we may not be Day-Glo
and fancy but we are great riders all the same. I challenge these rookie racers to come out on a
bullring short track and bang bars, or fight the bike, the track and the 70mph roost on a 1/2
mile. It takes BIG HAIRY ONE's to toss the bike sideways on the gas at 90 mph in the sand
while leaning on your buddy and inches away from hay bales.
Every racing venue has great riders. We need to remember that we are all professionals and we
each have a different emphasis. Dirt Track racing is cheaper, the bikes are older, the people are
nicer, and all in all it's more exciting to spectate than road racing. I grew up in Sturgis
surrounded by Dirt Trackers and it appeals to me more. But I will not stand for being called
in-bred. I won't trash on roadracers and I expect them to not trash on my sport. Maybe someday
I'll go roadracing myself again. But first I have to save up a TON of money and wash the bad
taste out of my mouth.
Views 572 Comments 1
|04-28-2005, 05:22 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tomball, TX
Feedback Rating: (0)
Re: Good article about Dirt-track Racing vs Road Racing
OMG !!! the first half of the article defines just about everyone I know.......... LOL ! good read Zapata Thx !
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits