Tony Miller of Freestone Raceway invited Holeshot Magazine along with the Navarro County Times to get a first hand look at the track that will host Round 3 of the AMA Outdoor Motocross Nationals on June 6th. Tony walked us around the track and pointed out all of the changes that were made to improve the facility for the race fans. Also on hand was Freestone's new Title Sponsor Flagstar Bank. Michael Baker gave us a little insight on their role with the national and the opportunities of being involved with motocross. After the track walk a few invited riders gave us a little demo on what we can look forward to come raced next week. All of the riders came off the track and said it has improved from last year and had good flow. There is a new double before the sand whoops that will get your heart rate going! Once the demo ride came to a close I was able to sit down with Tony and ask him a few questions about his race and what he has planned for the future at Freestone County Raceway.
Tony, after holding two nationals prior, what have you learned from the past years events and how have you used the information moving forward?
We must continue to improve our facility and implement change with the help and the input of our riders and our industry. Texans have great pride in their sport and want us to stand tall in the Nationals.
It has been said that you wanted to improve spectator viewing. What has been done to accomplish this?
We have relocated fences closer to the starting and finish line areas and have created big new areas in the middle area of the track. Also a new jump in the middle of the track allows spectators to flow up and through from the finish line to the parking lot.
Some racers have dubbed this track as one of the toughest on the circuit (heat, ruts, roughness and multiple line choice). Did you design your track that way on purpose to get that reputation or did it just develop that way naturally?
Sandy loam allows a track to develop really deep ruts and rough corners making Freestone a very challenging track. We don't have big hills but we make up for it in roughness. When Clayton and I laid out the track we wanted the track, to have speed but develop into one of the roughest tracks on the circuit. All of the national tracks get seriously rough. During the national there will be lines from one side of the track to the other allowing for plenty of passing opportunities.
Flagstar Bank's VP Michael Baker explained to us their new relationship with Freestone County Raceway and being involved with Motocross.
Tell us about your new sponsor that has come on board.
Mike Baker, Vice President of Flagstar Bank came on board this year as Title Sponsor. The event is the FlagStar Bank Freestone Motocross National presented by Yamaha, Berkey's Plumbing and Kicker Audio. Mike has a son, Gaines who races, and also is sponsor to rider Michael Royal from Houston who is making his national Pro debut in the 250 class at Freestone.
What is the weather forecast supposed to be like on race day?
Ah, the weather: The weather forecast for Saturday, June 6, is set to be in the low 90's to 94 degrees. Cool night temperatures will help hold down the heat through most of the day with a partly cloudy real feel of 89-90 degrees. Humidity should be moderate for a really great race day. Last year it was reported that we had a record 103 degrees and that was not correct. We had a cheap temperature device that gave us that reading but it really was 94 degrees officially from the Weather Channel.
So what all is going to be happening over the race weekend at Freestone?
The race weekend is full of activity starting with Friday night June 5th the last Round of the North Texas Night Series. It is also combined with Round 2 of the Big Tex Night series. Starting at 4pm thru 7pm is the Fan Fest at the Amateur track. Pro riders will be there to sign autographs and the band Ten Man Push will be playing while the races are running. There will be three pit bike Demo races with industry and pro riders participating. Saturday, June 6th is the Flagstar Freestone National Motocross day with great racing action. Sunday, June 7th is the AMA Amateur Day at the Nationals; Great amateur racing with a $3000 Pro/Am purse.
Tony, thanks for your time, I know you have a busy week coming up. Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thanks MxSports for taking the National Motocross series under their wings and bring such a great program together. Lucas Oil, Toyota and all of the great companies who are sponsoring the Outdoor Nationals. In addition Mike Baker and Flagstar Bank for being our title sponsor. Thanks to the great staff of employees and volunteers that we have. Thanks for the encouragement and support from family, friends, racers and spectators who support and make Freestone what it is.
With 1 week left until the big one, everything from mowing, to track work, is well underway at Freestone.
Tree trimming for improved track viewing, and plenty of shade.
Flagstar Bank's VP Michael Baker, Freestone's Tony Miller, Holeshot Magazine's John Willis & Shand Garcia, as well as some Lone Star state racers, set up for the lens of Holeshot Mag & TXMOTOCROSS.COM's Aaron Remkus under the beautiful Texas skies.
Spectator fencing has been added where the group of people are standing. This opens up the entire grass section for plenty of Fan flow, allowing the fans an up-close view of the 1st and 2nd turns off of the Start area.
In previous years this right hand turn has been flat. An outside Berm has been added with a middle BERM as well giving the racers 2 distinct options for the right hand turn.
Freestone County Raceway has added more Texas sized culverts allowing more air for the riders, and giving spectators even more flow areas.
Holeshot Magazine's Shand Garcia and the "Viking" stand where the old spectator fencing ran through. To their left (small section) was where the spectators were able to go last year. This year it has been opened up another 30 yards to the fence on their right......allowing for you guessed it....more spectator flowing.
This huge hit is in development...and we hope it stays! This gap double has been added just after Cemetery Hill (tabletop that flows next to the Miller Ranch cemetery), and just before the notorious Texas 12 Pack (sand whoops). It is a slowdown, big-air gap double that looks to keep the speed through the Texas 12 Pack down, but still allowing for enough speed faster than you and I would know what to do with. This section will be a hotbed for the Fans!
Long time Texas pro, Ty Conner sizes the gap.
Tony Miller discussing track-flow feedback with some Texas aces to make sure the course is spot on.
Calm before the storm....... June 6th Freestone County Raceway will have the entire motocross nation focused in for Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Motocross Championships.