This great piece of written editorial content is presented by Freestone MX, host of the JS7 Spring Championship going down in Wortham, Texas March 15-19. We’ll be there in full force, doing what we do best. Get more info here.
I’m going to start out and say I’m not some huge motocross history buff. I’ve personally been around the sport since 1998 and I made my switch from racer to video guy at the end of 2002. That being said, I have a very good recollection about the races, places, and things I’ve been involved with, but to say I can spout out facts from the 1970s about Lake Whitney, Mosier Valley, or our sport in general would be highly inaccurate. But I reckon it’ll be fun to tell the tale, about the parts I know anyways, of the “Texas Two-Step” that largely coincides with the history of vurbmoto.
I arrived on the Texas scene for the first time in 2003, loaded up in Richard Crosby’s F350 Dually. This incredibly nice fella had seen some of my (very limited) video work from Goat Kreations and the Georgia scene in late 2002 and decided to call me up after reading and watching some of my posts to his GA-MXracing.com message board. He’d recently bought a Sony VX2000 and wanted to make a movie based around minibikes and the amateur nationals.
“Wes, this is going to be big, I’m telling you… We’ll call it PeeWeeMania!” I remember him telling me on our first phone call.
Not sure that I was ever in love with the name, but he offered me, a 16-year-old kid at the time, an opportunity of a lifetime to tag along to Texas for a two-week stint. After somehow convincing my 10th grade teacher, and my mom, that it was a good idea to let me out of school for that time period, I was on I-20 W munching on some Arby’s 5-for-5 with my Crosby Family companions.
I could continue to type for days about my first experiences of filming and becoming infatuated with the amateur scene, but that’s another story for another time that likely no one even cares about. But that brief story gives you a glimpse of where this all began for me and my limited historical knowledge.
The amateur national “series” today is much different than was it was in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Back then, the year would kick off in Texas, with every racer in the country forming a 9-mile line to get into Lake Whitney, and as soon as the checkers flew people would head over to the Mosier Valley GNC. It was the most badass two-week spring break imaginable.
In April, everyone would then converge at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the World Mini Grand Prix. The calendar would then cool down to allow for regionals [Ed. Note: Mammoth in July was always big for the West Coast crowd] and push into another back-to-back stint in July/August of Ponca City straight into Loretta’s. After that, some people would hit up Branson, but most would save their end of year squeeze for Mini O’s. Sure there were many other notable events one could attend—Kawasaki Race of Champions, Team Green National, Suzuki RM Cup, Top Gun Showdown, etc.—but those were the Big 6.
With very little information on the world wide web, even Ask Jeeves can’t tell me much about the history of our sport, and after spending way too long digging through video clips, photos and flyers, I’ve come to the conclusion the Texas Two-Step started in 1994.
Without laboring into too much detail, this is a brief history of how some of the changes transpired:
- 2004: Mosier announced it was being shut down and acquired by the city. The second step of Texas and the new home of the GNC would then live at Oak Hill, a few hours north of Whitney.
- Ancillary note, in 2008 we titled sponsored Oak Hill. Just a few short months after our official launch. We literally wrote a check for every penny in our bank account to do that.
- 2009: the rights to the Lake Whitney Spring Classic were taken over by the McWilliams family, the owners and operators or Millcreek in Alabama.
- 2009: MX Sports launches the inaugural Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross, a one-day event allowing racers to compete on the prestigious Daytona course.
- 2011: After the extremely unfortunate passing of Jesse Masterpool in 2010, Lake Whitney decided it was time to shut the doors on the racing facility. The McWilliams family would then move the Spring Classic to their home facility, Millcreek.
- 2011: In effort to keep the Texas tradition alive, Freestone MX announced the Spring Championship. With the Daytona Amateur SX expanding to a two-day event, the March schedule begins a year’s worth of push, pull, give and take.
- 2012: All four races decide to run subsequently, allowing for the insane people, including myself, to complete the Glam Slam on the Amateur Racing Circuit: Daytona, Millcreek, Freestone, and Oak Hill.
- 2013-2017: Freestone and Daytona seemingly take charge as the leaders of the Spring Circuit, growing into huge turnouts as Millcreek and Oak Hill lose steam.
- 2018: Millcreek runs its final Spring Classic event and MotoPlayground starts Spring A Ding Ding at Underground MX in Texas, ultimately sealing the fate of the Oak Hill GNC.
- 2020: Freestone MX is shut down due to COVID.
- 2021: Everyone can’t wait to get back to Freestone, including us.
While we’re still saying all roads lead to Freestone, as it’s officially the final candle of the March amateur circuit, we’re very excited to return to our roots and spend a few days in Daytona before heading to Texas for 10 epic days of amateur racing AND supercross.
Viva la amateur motocross!