IMPERIAL – The loud, roaring sounds of motorcycles and ATVs nearly drowned the cheering of the crowds as the Imperial Valley Expo Arena hosted IV League Flat Track Races Saturday night and Sunday morning. Bobbyâ€™s Territorial, Harley Davidson and K & N Filters sponsored the event.
As racers started and revved their engines, the wind addedÂ dust from the newly-flattened 3/8 of a mile banked clay track. Participants, ranging from young to old, from new racers to veteran racers, all were welcomed and their faces beamed excitement in participating in the renewal of the flat track race in the Valley.
According to the events handout, the idea for the new IV League Flat Track began when Brian Bell, a former flat track racer, moved to El Centro and saw the potentialÂ to host races in the Imperial Valley at the Expo track.Â Bell hopes to gain more interest from the community with the goal of re-popularizing the sport.
“We would like to have 4 to 5 races a year, but that all depends on the local bases,” said Bell about having multipleÂ races at the local track.
With over 30 different racers enrolled in the event, riders raced anything from small 50cc dirt bikes to large ATVs, while a small crowd filled the stands of the stadium to watch the race.
“I came out today to watch the races with my family,â€ said Thomas Villegas, Jr., an El Centro resident. â€œI just wish the price was a little lower. The Valley loves this kind of stuff.”Â
Prices for the flat trackÂ raceÂ general admissionÂ wasÂ $14.00 for Saturdayâ€™s race and $8.00 for Sunday’s race, while $3.00 was reduced from the admission ifÂ the guest was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle. One dollar from every ticket went to a charity to help previously injured riders and their family members.
Historically, flat track racing has been an on-going favorite past time, since the early 1950s. The American Motorcyclist AssociationÂ began the Grand National Championship (GNC)Â competition, which featured flat track riders from all over the United States, Â and the GNC race is still in full effect today.