One of the reasons that SDR won the award is that they have been throwing Mother Natures creations all over the club owned property for the past 72 years. Yes, it has been a member owned, volunteer club since 1937 and every year since the first they have had a series of mud and snow races that have drawn mass amounts of riders form all over the North East.
Two days after Club President Gary Homanich received the award in Vegas, 150 riders showed up to the annual toy race. This is the one race a year that the riders bring a new kids toy to be donated to a local children's charity for the Holidays. In return for the toy the club waives the riders sign up fee. When club VP Andrew Balmer announced the news of the award at the riders meeting, the response was overwhelming. Riders and fans alike couldn't stop talking about it all day long.
It was nice to hear the stories throughout the day as people reminisced about their history at the club. Big Harry Boorum was telling a spectator how proud he was of his daughter Kayla out on the track. "She's the 3rd generation of Boorum's to be racing this series." Harry and his Daughter are one of the many club members that compete at SDR all year long. Yup, along with the Winter Series, SDR has a world class short track on the property that runs about 7 races a year plus the Larry Weiss Memorial, which is a vintage flat track national that draws competitors from across the nation.
Craig Estelle (Former national number 51) heads up the flat track series. He's proud that they draw some of the top district riders to the clubs events. (The last flat track event of this year-The Aaron Creamer Memorial- signed up 214 riders, from the pee wee's to the pro's on both 2 and 4 wheels) Even prouder that when the GNC pros have some time off they show up at the lightning fast 1/4 mile to keep their skills sharp. Craig, a second generation club member said "The vintage race has become a home coming race of sorts in the past 6 years we have had it. All the elder states men along with long time spectators make sure they don't miss this race." Members Don & Peg Miller handle the promoting while the regular crew handles the racing activities. And what activities they are. Vintage races have included some very special guests. Factory Triumph and Yamaha racer Don Castro attended the first one, followed by Gary Nixon, David Aldana, Woody Kyle and Jay Springsteen!
Life members Boots Oakley, Spud Williams and his son Mike were standing around a commonly seen barrel fire in the swampy part of the track this past Sunday watching more mud than snow fly when I asked them what the award meant to them? Second generation member Oakley said, " It's a proud honor we all can lay claim to. Everyone works as hard as the other to make the average of 17 races run perfectly each year. And knowing our members they are gonna step it up a bit to see if they can make it two in a row. After all, it's a not-for-profit organization run by racers. And when you throw a challenge at a bunch of racers, what else would you expect?"
Watch the club's web site www.squaredealriders.com for the schedule and info. If you are in the area, make sure you stop by and see just what made them the AMA's club of the year.