Getting to the corner first is sometimes the whole race. If you are one of these guys in the middle it may be your start and end of this race within a few hundred feet. If you are out in front, you never see this. If you are behind you have to dodge this mess and you get a first hand view of the action, but if you are in this mess chances are you are having a bad day. I have been in all these positions before and believe me in front is best. Staying there is another task altogether.
I race ATV's. I am 62 and I love the sport, the camaraderie and the smell of Race Fuel in the Morning. I must be Crazy.
What draws the crowds? For the most part it is action like this above. It is having the perfect spot to watch the tight battles, watching someone pass, fighting for the lead where there is not a clear path, seeing ATV's fly over jumps that eliminate gravity. Just the sight of seeing a 350 lbs vehicle fly over 100 feet and make a perfect landing on the downward side of a triple jump is a spectacular sight to see.
I race because of the challenge, the competition, the unknown. I race in a series called the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS). It is timed off road type race with an MX track incorporated into the race. Usually it is about 5 to 7 miles in length and lasts for an hour through all types of terrain and conditions.
When you arrive at the track, you only have a chance to walk the course. The off road section is unknown to the racer until you are racing. Usually there is an unclassified race first thing in the morning that you can enter where you have a chance to ride the track and course. Most of the time I never enter that race. I like the challenge of not knowing what is next, it keeps you on your toes and tests your abilities and endurance.
This particular race series started off with a few ATV racers racing on the same day and track with motorcycles. The bikes were drawing several hundred riders. As the event grew so did the ATV population until in 2006, WORCS gambled and split it up into to different events on separate weekends, usually on the same tracks. Now the draw is over 500 ATV entries each race date and there are about 8 to 10 events a year. Races are held in the West Coast states of Washington, Utah, Idaho, California and Arizona.
The ATV community of racers is the best. Everyone is friendly and eager to help the fellow racer or spectator. Racers range from 4 years old to older than dirt like me, male and female. There is a racer that comes over from England once a year to race. He is over 65 and kicks butt when he races and goes home till the next year. There are many top Pro's from all areas. If you haven't seen a pro race you can click here to watch a WORCS Video.
This sport is not just limited to the United States but is also popular in England and Ireland . The biggest ATV racing organizations are the GNCC and AMA Pro Motocross Series that hold most of their races in the midwest to eastern US.
The ITP/Yamaha QuadCross Championship Series is another popular ATV race series held in Southern California. It is diffucult to deliver in this page what it is like first hand racing or watching one of these events. If you haven't done it then you owe it to yourself to watch a PRO ATV Race in person first hand.
Here is a link for another good article on Quad Racing by my brother.