Rev Up: Mini Os

Rev Up Mini Os

November 22, 2013 1:00pm
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. With Thanksgiving right around the corner it can only mean one thing: The 2013 Thor Winter Olympics presented by Pro Circuit have arrived. Throughout the weekend families will migrate by the thousands to Gatorback Cycle Park in Gainesville, Florida, to compete in one of the oldest traditions in amateur motocross, which is quite a bit removed from the early days of the event where participants battled trough a TT course and a grueling Grand Prix scramble. I used to love the TT track because if you got the holeshot, you pretty much won, but the old Grand Prix course was as nasty as it gets. It ran through a Christmas tree forest and had sand whoops that were killers. In fact, the GP event mimicked a mini GNCC course and would just eat guys up. The structure of the event has changed to five racing-packed days of supercross and motocross to compete for one of the four sought after division awards, which are very, very cool.

Although, the greatest aspect of this annual event is the fellowship of the families. If you are an amateur prospect or industry entity you celebrate Thanksgiving with friends from all over the country at the gigantic pot luck that takes place at the facility. It really is one of the more special motocross races in all of the sport.

The Fox Racing Bronze Boot is awarded to the Youth division.
Fox Racing photo

Fox Racing’s Todd Hicks offered: “Mini Olympics has always been one of my most favorite events of the season. Some consider it the last event of the year and others consider it round one of the new year. It is truly amazing to see the families of all racers come together on Thanksgiving day at the race track. The folks enjoy cooking the turkey in their RV's and sharing all the fine fixes with their neighbors and other racers' families. Our sport doesn’t have a lot of camaraderie between the athletes, but this event is special because the holiday brings everyone together.”

Fox Racing produces the Bronze Boot which is awarded to the Youth division, while other awards like the Scott Golden Goggles and Dunlop Silver Tire go out to the B and A riders, respectively. Meanwhile, the Pro Circuit Silver Pipe award is handed to the best overall rider (most points scoring) through the entire event.

Ken Essex spoke to us on behalf of Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green and Pro Circuit: “The PC Platinum Pipe award is specially crafted in Pro Circuit's pipe shop every year leading up the Mini Os. Since Mini Os is often regarded as the first race of the 2014 season, many riders aspire to achieve this award and set the bar for the rest of the upcoming year. Kawasaki Team Green will have 13 riders at Mini Os battling for the top of the podium from the 65 class to the top A classes. In the A class Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green's Thomas Covington and Darian Sanayei will be gunning for wins as they have both been running away with titles locally, while this year's Monster Energy Cup Super Mini Champion Austin Forkner will look to continue his dominance of the Super Mini class on his new KX100. Also making their Kawasaki Team Green debut will be young stars Jett Reynolds and Ryder DeFrancesco on the KX65.”

The Pro Circuit Silver Pipe award is handed to the best overall rider.
Pro Circuit photo

Meanwhile, title sponsor Thor offers perhaps the coolest award of all in the Thor Outstanding Achievement ward.

My family made our first trek to this event in 1987, and I still have my event t-shirts. Traveling to Florida entailed a visit to Daytona Beach where we saw the ocean for the first time, and made sand doubles on the beach for our BMX bikes. For over a decade every Thanksgiving our group was celebrating by being a part of the motor home city within the Gatorback facility. Motocross icon Bevo Forti would always hangout and help cut the turkeys and it was a great way to grow up at the race track. Over the years I threw away a lot of trophies, but we always kept the ones from this event. Thinking back about all of the memories is really great. It was the first time I saw Damon Bradshaw race and I remember standing along the fence line as a 65cc rider and just being in awe of his trademark skull and cross bones helmet. Through the years there have been thousands of similar instances and next week will be no exception.

The Dunlop Silver Tire award is awarded to the best A class rider. Jeremy Martin won the award in 2011.
Dunlop photo

I want to wish safe travels for all of the families on the road, and good luck to all of the racers who will be making their first, or last race of the season. Whichever way you want to look at it, all of the new 2014 riding gear and motocross bikes will be in action and an amazing week of racing is a few days away. Make sure to click over to RacerTV as they will be broadcasting the action on and off the track live all week long!

Thanks for reading, see you next week.