ATV Motocross

The ATV Open: Thanks for your support!

Friday, August 31, 2007 | 12:00 AM

The first-ever AMA Pro ATV Open Invitational is in the books, and from all angles, the event proved to be a success. All of the ATV racers played the role of rookies at Steel City, so to them this event was a big deal. It wasn’t a circus act, a laughing stock or a sideshow. No, this event was for real.

A whopping $5,000 was up for grabs in one main-moto format, along with the $500 holeshot award. To make matters even better for the Pro ATV riders, they parked their factory ATV semi-trailers on vendor’s row, which meant the general public had an all access pass to the ATV pits and a great look at the racers and their machines. The riders were just as excited as the fans, because a handful of them were experiencing their first AMA/Toyota Dirt Bike National, ever!

The ATV riders enjoyed the races from their VIP suite in the announcer’s tower, with a catered lunch on Sunday and a multitude of Monster Energy drinks on ice all weekend.

As for the riding, the track seemed slightly under the weather before the weekend thanks to a heavy dose of rain, so Friday’s Amateur Day was canceled in order to save the track for the Pros. The ATVs were the first to hit the track on Saturday, after the weather decided to hold off. The crew stepped up the track maintenance to help the quads, and the quads stepped it up on the track. Jaws dropped at the sight of an ATV clearing the triple jumps in practice, on the hot lap, and during the race.

There were more fans on the fence than ever on Saturday morning for the first glimpse at the AMA Pro ATV riders on the track. The 20th Annual Monster Energy Kawasaki Steel City Motocross National looked bigger and better than ever with the ATV riders in attendance.

The fun didn’t stop there. The ATV racers stuck around on Sunday morning to sign autographs before the bike races began, which gave the riders a chance to meet-and-great with every fan, both new and old.

Then during Intermission on Sunday, H-Bomb Films showed up for some ATV freestyle action with the Bomb Squad. Fans always love tricks like the back flip, but how often do you get to see a four-wheeler upside down?

Perhaps the ultimate proof that this first-ever event passed with flying colors was when Pennsylvania’s own Broc Hepler said that, after riding the track in practice after the quads, he would have never known they were out there. While veteran motocrossers like Kevin Windham and Ivan Tedesco looked in on the ATV race on Saturday, none of the bike racers mentioned it on Sunday, which means their track and their race went on just like it always does.

With this recent foray into the world of AMA motorcycle racing, the ATV riders marked the beginning of unprecedented popularity for their sport. Thanks to everyone who made it a success!