Spangler in the 125 A Mod class at Loretta Lynn's in 1988
“Growing up, I was always racing with Mike LaRocco, Fred Andrews, and the Beckingtons brothers,” Dale says. “Those guys would beat me most of the time, but it really pushed me to improve as a rider. I had to work really hard to keep up with them.”
Spangler’s first pro race was the national motocross at Lake Sugar Tree in Axton, Virginia, in 1988. He didn’t qualify, but he would go on to be a regular top-twenty finisher in motocross and even finish as high as sixth overall in the 1989 East Region 125 Supercross Series. His best moto finish was a third at Red Bud that same year aboard a Tuf Racing Suzuki. It would end up being his last season of full-time competition.
“My dad and I always talked about a time line of opportunity,” Dale explains. “We said that if I didn’t have a factory ride by a certain time, then it was probably best that I try doing something else. I earned national #41 for the 1990 season, but I never used it once. I quit racing and became a regular working guy. I got married and went to a two-year trade school for computer drafting. My marriage only lasted a few years, though, and about that time I really got the itch to ride again.”
Broome-Tioga in 1988
Spangler hit the road with a bone-stock Honda 250 to race some nationals in 1994. The following year he even put together a pretty solid deal with F&S Suzuki, a prominent dealership out of Ohio. But shortly after the Charlotte Supercross that year, Dale broke both of his wrists in a bad crash and hung up his boots once again.
After bouncing around for a while, he took a job with Smith Optics in 1999. Out of a rental car, he prepped goggles for Greg Albertyn as he made his championship run that year.
The job at Smith took Dale to Boise, Idaho, where he still lives; he currently works for Pro Moto Billet/Fastway Performance. In addition to working full-time, he is working on a four-year degree with an English major. He plans on graduating this May.
“I still follow the sport very closely,” he says. “I love it. It’s something that will always be in my blood. I sold my bike until I finish college, but I’ll buy another one pretty soon. I really think that racing taught me a lot about how to be successful in life. The same principles and work ethic transfer right over to daily life. I’ve had to work so hard to keep up with my credits at school and my hours at work, and without the competitiveness that I learned racing motocross, I don’t know if I would have been able to do it.”