BUCHANAN, Mich., – It’s been more than 20 years since local southwestern Michigan motorcycle shop owner Oscar Azevedo, "Mean" Gene Ritchie and RedBud referee Drex Akin came up with a fun race to end the Michigan MX season – what’s now morphed into the 21st annual Throttle Jockey RedBud Grass Race Weekend, Oct. 16-17, at the region’s premier motocross facility.
Over the years the event’s become a right of passage for the preceding competition season, a way for guys who bang bars all summer long to, well, bang bars one more time before hunting rifles and snowmobiles take center stage ahead of their dirt bikes.
"One last big throw down for the RedBud and GLMX family – a weekend to create motocross memories that will tide everyone over to next spring," said RedBud’s Amy Ritchie. "Oscar’s event became an instant classic in these parts … something that now gives us proper closure to the season before the winter snows come barreling in."
For this weekend track designer/builder Tim Ritchie says to expect a "tighter" track with the direction headed down the classic RedBud MX National Ski Jump towards the vineyards. The weather’s supposed to be spot-on perfect, sunny and in the lower to mid 60s. "We added a few twists and turns that’ll make the Grass Race a bit more technical than in the past, but for certain every bit as fun," added Tim Ritchie.
Also, what’s pretty much recognized as one of the original ‘Pit Bike’ races is the Grass Race’s annual XR Championship. This (supposedly) just-for-fun event on the cusp of Halloween combines XR75 and XR80 mini bike racing with Trick-or-Treat costumes. Names like Stanton, LaRocco, Wagner, Akin-Wagner, Rose, Borcherding, Flickinger and Sodetz have all contested the XR Championship in the past. In fact, one year LaRocco was awarded a custom pumpkin light for his XR Championship podium finish – the weekend after winning $100,000 at the Las Vegas U.S. Open of Supercross! Add to that names like Burleson, Bowen, DeHoop, Feist, Grewe, Smith, Wey and Witmer and you never know what Michigan Mafia names might show up in the starting gate next to you!
RedBud’s Grass Race brings competitors back to the roots of the sport, re-creating how tracks used to look – natural terrain churned black for a weekend by hundreds of knobby tires. Racing memories laid to rest over the winter months return as new grass in the spring. The final weekend of competition for long-standing rivalries in the region that culminates in a party of sorts, celebrating the great sport of motocross and another successful year of competition in the Midwest.
Grass Race Information
What: 21st annual Throttle Jockey RedBud Grass Race
When: Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 16-17
Time: 12pm-6pm Saturday; 8am Sunday
Where: RedBud, Buchanan, Mich.
Format: Open Riding on the pro track & KTM Kids Track Saturday. Racing on the Grass Track Sunday. **50 Jr. & 50 Sr. classes race on the Grass Track Sunday.
For the Kids: Trick-or-Treating and pumpkin carving in the pits Saturday night.
Prizes: Throttle Jockey, Mechanix Wear, Dunlop, Skullcandy, No-Toil, Graphics Lab, Factory Connection and Renthal
XR Championship: Sunday at intermission. XR 75 or 80 frame, engine and wheels. All mods are legal! Twin and Single shock classes. Qualifiers, if needed, will run on Sunday morning.
Further information: www.redbudmx.com
RedBud supports the sport of motocross and has since 1972! The region's most prestigious amateur events and Round Six of the AMA Lucas Oil Motocross Championship are held in the beautiful rolling hills of southwestern Michigan. A state with an affinity for off-road recreational vehicle use, RedBud owns the bragging rights to the highest attended U.S. motocross race year after year. Just the right soil mix, lots of passing and the BIGGEST jump on the circuit (LaRocco’s Leap), the track provides for some terribly exciting motocross racing. Definitely a top motocross destination in a region that loves its motorsports.
Great Lakes MX supports the sport of motocross. With seven of the Midwest's premier motocross facilities on the GLMX team, amateur racers from all over the Great Lakes region stand to benefit now more than ever. Featuring everything from track safety concerns, streamlined organization and registration, more lucrative contingency programs and prizes and a grand scale awards banquet - along with membership fees that are invested back into the events and series - the GLMX team is stepping up to further the great heritage of Michigan and Midwest motocross racing for both bikes and ATVs. On the web at www.greatlakesmx.com.
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