Rev Up: High Point

June 12, 2008 3:09pm

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. Round four of the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championships presented by FMF will mark a very special weekend in American Motocross. First and foremost, June 15 is Father’s Day, and that is a big deal in the life of a motocrosser. Secondly, we’re going out to High Point Raceway, baby. There isn’t a track in the world that carries the flag for the old school, yet harnesses the best of modern motocross better than High Point. As you drive up that winding road off of I-79 you can feel a benevolent presence guiding you towards the track. The road just twists and turns and about a half-mile before the gate there is a clearing that overlooks the front side of the facility.

I remember seeing that clearing for the first time. I was riding alongside my Pops on a dark and smoky night back in 1995. It was our first trip to Mount Morris and we just wanted to go check out the track we had heard so much about. Back then, overnight camping was encouraged and there were campfires spread out across the mountainside. It was a site that made your heart beat faster and your mind immediately begin thinking about racing.

Today, the campfires are long gone. For most of you reading this that will be attending the event, the first time you lay eyes on the facility will be under the warmth of the morning sun. The green grass will be sparkling and the churned up soil will be steaming. It’s a sight that’s greeted racers for 32 years. In that time, nothing has changed, yet everything has changed.

High Point always delivers with dramatic racing action. The jumps are bigger, the dirt is better, and the tension mounts. Let’s get revved up for High Point, folks!


It’s no surprise that Ryan Villopoto is squeezing the life out of the Lites class. He’s the man, pure and simple. Ah, but there is a snarling pack of pumped up tiddler pilots that are ready for their taste of victory. Wild things always happen in this class at High Point. I can’t even come close to remembering that last time a rider went 1-1. I don’t think it’s happened that much at all. On the contrary, it has produced insane inconsistency out of the division. The horsepower-robbing uphill start stretch bends to the left and more often than not, bends a few fork guards. If you aren’t in the top ten when you reach the top of the hill, you better get out the whip.

In addition, there is always a new star that emerges in the Lites class at the High Point National. Ask Kevin Windham and Branden Jessemen about that business.


We have been spoiled for the past few seasons in this division. The world waited for the day they would get to lay eyes on the battle between Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart. The wait was worth it. Time stood still in 2006 as the two went faster than any racers in history. Then last year, we saw the GOAT offer his final High Point charge. He was shifting into fourth gear on the down hills and launching 100-feet to the flats over the finish line on his way to victory. It’s in the wake of that performance that the boys push to the line this weekend. The great ghost of the motocross GOAT’s past should light a fire in several of the contenders.

Can anyone stop Stewart? If they can, High Point is the place to do it. It’s the track where many motocross dreams began and ended. Scott Sheak had his first and only win there. Damon Bradshaw won his final race there. And don’t forget where #800 and RV Park earned their first outdoor wins. High Point. I can already hear the sound and the fury of the 450s climbing up the start hill when the gate drops.

We are all so stoked to be hosting this weekend’s race. The haulers have been filling up the hotel parking lots and all of the tell tale signs of race week are popping up. Morgantown has become Mototown. It’s kind of a trip to sit here behind my desk and imagine that tomorrow there will be dozens of industry folks standing here in the office. We’ve all made a big effort to make this weekend go well. Bad Billy went out and tested out the new jumps yesterday and when he came back I asked him how it was and he just smiled.

High Point is here. Father’s Day is here. If you aren’t with your Pops this weekend, give him a call and tell him thank you.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.