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Rev Up: Greatest Day of the Year

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This is a special week for the Rev Up, as a new author is taking over the reins. Suzie Isabelle has been a Washougal local her whole life and been a fan of the Rev Up since the first column hit the net. Last year I wrote the Rev Up about Loretta Lynn's and she felt cheated that her favorite national missed the cut. Suzie sent me an e-mail asking me if she could write the Washougal Rev Up, and now it’s her turn. You guys be nice to her at the bottom, I think she did a great job!

By Suzie Isabelle

  • Washougal is arguably the most scenic track on the circuit
Hello everyone and welcome to the Rev Up.  Round 8 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship comes to beautiful Washougal, Washington, this weekend.  There is something about this time of year and it never really hits me until a couple of days before.  As I sit here in my back yard I can feel it creeping up as my heart suddenly speeds when I hear the distant sound of the gates dropping at the local race track.  I get an uneasy feeling in my stomach and goose bumps just thinking about what is in store for me this weekend.  This starts to get me pumped up and the beer is starting to go back a little easier, so I proceed inside and dig through all my motocross movies to help me get a little more Revved Up               

I watch scene after scene of every video that I own. The Great Outdoors videos are my favorites; every one of them has amazing footage that gives me goose bumps that resemble hives. I pay special attention to all the Washougal footage just imagining that in two days I am going to be there, in person, cheering on the fastest and most talented guys and girls on the face of this planet, who are going head to head in a battle all the way to the finish line.  I turn up the volume on my stereo and can feel the anticipation of what is in store for me, with the prominent sound of that unmistakable growl pulsing throughout my body I begin to reminisce why this is the best weekend of the year for me.

The drive up to Washougal is beautiful.  About thirty minutes from Portland you are driving down country roads lined with old growth fir trees swaying in the breeze. The Washougal River is on your right, winding its way alongside the drive. As I get closer to the track that feeling in my stomach gets worse.  I am so excited for what lies ahead of me.  As I pull into the grass filled parking lot I get out and take a deep breath I can faintly smell the smell.  You know the smell I am talking about.  With the crisp morning dew glistening on the grass, sun rising warming your face and the scent of race fuel lingering.  Nothing better!  Looks are deceiving though as the track looks like a picture of a flower bed from a home and garden magazine early in the morning, but underneath the several inches of fluffy butter is hard-packed bullet-proof clay that can be treacherous and slick. This pristine track can turn into your worst nightmare and can take you out in a second.

  • Horsepower Hill
  • Ryan Dungey was pumped after beating Villopoto on his home turf last year
Washougal has taken it to the best of them. Just ask RC, he has been beaten straight up more than once here. In the 125 days he lost to a local by the name of Jason McCormick in one moto. He also got beat by Windham and Stewart for overalls on the day. Reed is trying to capture his first 450 outdoor title this year. It looks like he is going to take the title unless there are some serious mechanical issues from Suzuki that prevent him from riding at the front of the pack. I doubt that as he has Goose in his corner. He can and should be on the podium each and every week because he is willing to throw down a straight up fistfight until the end of the 12th. Right around the corner are three pretty bad dudes that believe they still have a shot at the title. Short has a fantastic record at this track, with four podiums and one overall in the last four years. Will he make it five and finally get his first 450 overall ever? Don’t count out Hot Sauce; he has an overall here as well and is riding at the front of the pack every week. Then there’s Grant. This guy has shown that he has the speed, endurance and balls to run at the front of the pack. If it was not for a few too many fourth gear soil samples he could possibly be in the driver’s seat in this series right now. 

Last week we finally saw Dungey get his first 50-point day this season. Unfortunately his rival went 2-2 and still has a three-point lead. Last year at Washougal, Dungey got his first outdoor victory in a hard fought battle with Villopoto that went down to the last two laps of the second moto. If he wants to get the red plate back he is going to have to try and repeat at a track that is notorious for leaving riders scratching their heads at the end of the day wondering what the hell jumped up and bit them. Behind these two there is a freight train of very talented riders that are thirsty for a taste of victory like a homeless guy looking for his next 40oz. Metcalfe is always fast, Barcia is flat out scary fast (and I can hardly wait to see him scrub the step-up before Horsepower Hill), and Weimer is always a threat to take another overall. Then again, maybe we will get to see one of the very fast Star Racing boys get a victory and come out on top.

It is going to be a great race this weekend and I hope you can make it out. The weather forecast calls for HOT temps in the upper 90’s. Whether I am at the races, cheering from home, listening online or playing fantasy league, the feeling never changes. The feeling that I will never be able to do what they do and I appreciate that. Knowing that for one weekend a year I get to hang over the fence and scream my heart out and honor these gladiators that put themselves on the line every weekend. The smell, the sounds, the people, the battles, and the start – everything that is and always will be motocross are what this weekend is all about. This year at Washougal will surely not disappoint, I hope to see you there standing on the fence cheering for your favorite rider. I am pumped up and ready to go. I will be up before the sun rises filling my system with as much coffee as I can drink, so by the time I get to the track at like 7:00 a.m. I will be ready to go. I have an obligation to assume my position on the fence, ice cold beer in hand, preparing to watch the gloves come off as the bare knuckle fistfights begin. Hope to see you there, on the best day of the year celebrating, saluting, and remembering what this sport is all about…

Thanks for reading, see you at the races.
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