I look forward to 2009, and going into our 8th year with WORCS Racing. Since 2001, we have continued to see an increase of 20-23% in rider participation along with a huge following of fans along the way. Each year brings new venues and riders to the series where we seem to still open up the industry to new and exciting things with West Coast racing. I was happy to see almost a 30% growth in ATV racing in 2008. I always knew we could make ATV Racing big on the west coast and our numbers showed it this year. WE had around 615 entries at Lake Havasu and almost 530 at the final round in Taft. I congratulate the ATV group for their efforts in 2009. On the bike side, more continued growth as well along with huge factory contingencies and support behind our series. Kawasaki came in with an astonishing $440,000 in 2008 contingency money. I want to thank Jason Smigel, Sue Graff and the entire KMC off-road division for their support this year. Along with Kawasaki, Kurt & Antti at KTM, Donnie over at Yamaha, Webb, Suzanne and the folks at Suzuki, Honda, Polaris, and if I missed anyone I apologize, they all showed very large increases in 2008 with their bike and ATV programs as well. All of the manufactures presented the west coast with a massive off-road presence. Thank you again to our factories. I have enjoyed working with folks such as Antti, Webb, Donnie, Campbell, Sue, Suzanne, Derek, and more....you make it easy for us to bring the factories together with the riders and make our series that much more worth while.
Looking back at 2008, what a battle RD and Bondo gave us, in the end it was Bobby Bonds who surprised everyone and was able to capture his first ever #1 WORCS Pro plate. Don't count Dietrich out though, he has one of those Championships and I am sure we are in for a great season next year. Our series saw television for the first time. What a hurdle to get over and as Steve Achey says, "Its only going to get better, people need Moto and if they can't make it out to our races, at least they can catch it on TIVO after a hard days work at the office." We look forward to 2009 TV as we look to be going to more households reaching 74 million plus in 2009. More on that later... We are going to miss our past champion Kurt Caselli, as he moves out east to go for his first ever GNCC title, we welcome in Mike Brown. As for 2009, I'm anxious to see what Garrison, K-Sum, Woody, Timmy W., Brownie, Frederick, Eichner, Nelson, Baron and all the others have in store for us in both Bike & ATV. It was good to see Motoworks come in on the ATV side as they presented us with another awesome ATV season. Johnny Leach, his #1 plate holder Frederick and his crew down south put on a great battle with Nelson & Baron this year, '09 ATV is shaping up to be the best yet. We look to welcome more sponsors as well. Kalgard has signed on for 2009 and Kyle Lewis is very excited for the 2009 program. As ARC Gear line leaves, the new TUSK hardware line appears and what else can I say, Dan Thomas with Rocky Mountain will have us dialed in with the best line of off-road hard parts to offer with the new TUSK debut. It's still yet to be announced but a few will step on as well, and as soon as those are finalized we will be sure to keep everyone posted. Look for the WORCS sweepers to be in some "new" gear for 2009, with the support we have, there is nor reason 2009 won't be a big or bigger than 2008.
I want to thank the staff of WORCS Racing. Each and every member of our team is what keeps the wheels turning and keeps the drive going. They work very hard at what they do and each of their important roles is a key point in the reason this series continues to grow. From the ladies in scoring and registration, to the guys on the track and road, to the production and film crew for hustling, filming and editing, to Maria in the Seattle office, on behalf of myself Sean and Pepper I thank you all for making this such a wonderful staff to work with. The amateur racers both Bike & ATV, you are a top reason this series is where it is, the dedication you have, the willingness to chase this wonderful series and spend your hard earned money on a hobby you love is far beyond what the average person can realize. Your attendance is much appreciated by us, the sponsors and the Pro riders as well. Pro's you are top shelf in my book, I have developed strong working relationships with you all and believe me when I say this, you are the "Fastest Racers on the Planet" and your amateurs praise you often. They look up to you and you give them the desire and hope to one day be a top WORCS Pro rider. I appreciate the way you take time at each race to speak to them, teach them, and give them the attention they deserve. Thank you for that. To the sponsors of our series, What else can I say, you like the riders, keep this series running. Without your dedication, spirit and belief behind our series, none of this would be possible. This year proved how you stand amongst the best by sticking with us and helping to get through some difficult times and help to reach the end of another epic year. On behalf of Sean and Pepper, I want to thank you again for your support. As Sean always says in his riders meetings- "professionalism at all times." I can honestly say I never doubt what the outcome of that will be. Our riders and sponsors are by far the best in the business.
As for me, I will return to WORCS in 2009, as what I will be doing I will have to wait and see what Reddish has planned for that. I take great pride in the relationships I have established with everyone in this series from riders to fans to sponsors to team managers. You are all very good people. And while sometimes Public Relations isn't the easiest to deal with in certain problems and situations, in the end we all seem to find a plan to solve a certain issue and move on to making this the best off-road series there is.
Thank you and I will see you all in 2009. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me or call. Take care and safe riding!