Busco Beach hosts ATV Extreme Dirt Track Series
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on July 13, 2013 11:36 PM
License plates from Washington State, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, California and all points in between told the story.
ATV racing isn't just a sport, it's a passion and a way of life.
Riders and fans from across America gathered at Busco Beach on Saturday to witness the ATV Extreme Dirt Track National Championship Series' annual stop in Wayne County.
Rain throughout the day did not deter competitors and spectators from sticking around as weather forced event organizers to push back the day's scheduled events.
Practice sessions and qualifying events were supposed to begin at 9 a.m. but Mother Nature had other plans. Heavy rains left standing water on the track and tractors were brought in to roll the track as officials hoped to begin practice sessions late Saturday afternoon. The first series of races was scheduled for early Saturday evening. Busco Beach has no curfew so racing as long as necessary Saturday night or resuming at 8 a.m. this morning both remained options.
"The rain has been very spotty," event promoter Kyle Pritchard said. "With an AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) sanctioned event like this people come from all over the country. The show will go on as weather permits all the way through (Sunday). If the show does not happen tonight the show will happen tomorrow. I've been talking to a lot of people out here and they've said if we can't get the show in tomorrow they'll stay and do it Monday."
Pritchard noted that 2,000 fans were expected to show up to watch Saturday evening's races before the wet weather arrived. Just how the weather would impact the size of crowds later Saturday evening remained to be seen. Pritchard estimated another 1,200 drivers, crew and family members were also on the property.
"We were expecting around 2,000 fans to come to Busco this weekend," Pritchard said. "There's probably 1,200 to 1,600 hundred people out here right now so we were expecting about 3,000 people total."
Pro and Pro-AM series points leader Harold "The Bumblebee" Goodman, the winner of the last two Pro Series titles and a four-time champion overall, traveled from just south of Detroit, Michigan to Busco Beach. Goodman spent the extra time Saturday performing maintenance on his two ATV's while making adjustments to compensate for the wet track.
"Our set up will change some and our tire choice will change some," Goodman said. "We groove our tires and our grooving patterns will change some for a track that is as sticky and damp as it is. The last couple of years Busco has gotten really hard packed and tacky and it's really hard on tires. With all this rain it's going to be interesting because the track is going to change constantly the whole time we're out racing."
Goodman entered Saturday's race with a six-point lead in the Pro Series over Michael Coburn. Turning in a solid run at Busco Beach and sealing a championship over the final two stops of the season in Ashtabula, OH and Batavia, N.Y. would be worth all the time and travel for the 27-year veteran. Goodman estimated traveling to an event like the one this weekend at Busco Beach normally cost him between $4,000 and $5,000 with a good portion of those expenses covered by sponsors.
"It's a good family sport and like any time of motorsport it's kind of an addiction," Goodman said. "The whole racing community is pretty much a family so we're all buddies and hang out. It would be nice to win three championships in a row, that would be a pretty big accomplishment for me."
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