Dirt Series returns to Lake Elsinore
Friday, August 23rd, 2013
Issue 34, Volume 17.
Motocross motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs could all be seen making high jumps and racing along the long and winding dirt track between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The 12-round competition has been one of the many well-received and heavily attended events to happen since this yearís series began; it was the second of the eight-round series to take place at Lake Elsinore and also one of the two biggest with 130 registered entrants, according to series founder Scott Burns.
Other venues for the series were Cahuilla Creek, Milestone and Perris among other places.
While rounds in this yearís series have received good turnout and positive reception, Burns said many individuals were at first puzzled by the idea behind the dirt series when it was first started in 2012.
"Basically the concept behind the series is that if it goes in the dirt you can race it," he said.
This is a contrast to other dirt racing seriesí, which tend to be vehicle-specific, according to Burns.
In spite of this difference in structure, the series continues to grow and Burns and Series Manager Steve Wilson maintain a great rapport with many of the competitors at each of rounds of the series.
"Ninety percent of the people at the event we can just walk up to and talk to and they know us," Burns said.
Riders of all skill levels from beginners to the very skilled can find a competition that fits them, with open, intermediate and expert competitions for each class of vehicle.
Thatís been a big draw for people like ATV rider Adam Torres, who competed in both open and intermediate level events and placed second in both.
The 30-year-old rider explained the distinction between open and intermediate by explaining that open competitions are those where ATV riders of all skill levels can participate whereas the intermediate level requires riders to have some level of experience as well as an ATV with a larger motor of 450 CCs.
For each competition, riders engage in a series of two "heats," or races and their scores are averagedtogether for a final score. Riders in two competitions like Torres engage in four races altogether.
Torres has been riding since 2006 and racing since 2007. Between then and last year he competed in 44 races.
This year the racing enthusiast plans on competing "very seriously" and hopes to compete in 24 races before everything is said and done.
Torres said that he has more than just a few reasons for why he enjoys ATV racing.
"It stimulates me as far as my competitiveness," he said. "Itís a very competitive sport and it requires a lot of dedication as far as eating healthy and exercise."
The ATV rider said he also appreciates how ATV riding and other dirt sports have become family events.
"The sport has become very family-oriented," he said. "And as for the kids, it teaches them confidence and independence because once they pass the gate their parents arenít there with them."
That appears to be the case for brothers Christian Maldonado, 12, and Jerry Maldonado, 14.
The two brothers began riding motocross bikes over eight years ago and have stayed actively involved with this pastime since.
For 12-year-old Christian – who has been riding since he was four – the sport has become more than just a pastime. Heís currently involved with two different series and hopes to eventually have a career in motorsports.
"I hope to become pro and move back east to race," he said.
Christianís brother Jerry is also a motocross enthusiast and said he was excited to ride a 450 cc bike for one of his competitions.
The brothers ride over 16 motocross bikes between themselves in different races, according to their mother Christie Martin.
Martin explained that the boys became involved with motocross because of their dadís business, Triumph Motorsports. She and her husband, Anthony Martin, would frequently work as vendors during meets like the one in Lake Elsinore and the boys would race during that time.
So whatís planned for the future of the series?
Burns said that with the seriesí increasing popularity, talks are underway for a ten run series, with three runs being in Lake Elsinore.
The next meet in the series will be Sunday, Sept. 8, at Pala Raceway in Pala, Calif.
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