One of my favorite things about the powersports business is the great friends I’ve made over the years. The talented photographers, writers, racers and team members never cease to amaze me with the work they produce. I’m making an effort to spread the word about their work in this series so that my network can see their work.
In this post, I’d like to share an article in the Canadian motocross magazine Motocross Performance (MXP) by Krystyn Slack. Krystyn was the 1st-ever female photographer and writer to Cover all 29 AMA professional supercross and motocross races in a season. She did it in 2017. This particular article is a look behind the scenes at the wives of some of the top racers in the sport. She provides an interesting look at their family life and the week in and week out struggles of a professional motocross racing family.
Here is a look back to 2006 and some coverage I provided to ATV Sport Magazine. The coverage was of the WPSA Quad Championship event held at Raceway Park in August 2006. The coverage ran in their December 2006 issue and I provided images and text for the 6-page spread.
This week I’ve been busy with drafting and distributing more press releases. The one for the Legends and Heroes Tour announcing Joe Burke as the Legend for the St Louis Supercross and the one below announcing the 43rd consecutive motocross season at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. The Raceway Park release was not only picked up by the motorcycling community but by several local news outlets including MyCentralJersey.com.
I’ve also posted a quick video announcing the 2018 schedule. It can be found following the release below.
Iconic New Jersey Track Opens for 43rd Consecutive Motocross Racing Season
Englishtown, NJ, March 15, 2018- Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey will open its motocross racing season on March 18th. The 2018 season marks the 43rd year that the facility has hosted motocross racing events making it one of the longest consecutively running race tracks in the country.
Famous for the annual Kawasaki Race of Champions held each October the Kawasaki Motor Corp and their participating dealers have supported the event for more than 40 years. The race has seen the whos who of amateur racing and the 2018 version will surely be a must to attend.
The iconic facility in central New Jersey has hosted a wide variety of activities on the premises and will continue to do so in 2018. Despite the closing of the drag strip portion of the property, Raceway Park will keep most of its operations. Events like the spring and fall auto swap meets, numerous car shows, both motocross racing and practice, kart racing, as well as drifting, a full schedule of road course activities, mud runs, monster truck shows, musical concerts, & festival events and more will all continue at Raceway Park.
The opener on March 18th will be the last event on the current racetrack. Following that race, all motocross operations will move to another portion of the property where a new racetrack is under construction. The move will enable the motocross operations to expand and provide a better racing and spectator experience. The newly built track will take advantage of a more substantial footprint providing a new layout suitable for racers of all skill levels. A rebuilt plunge and staircase will maintain the feel of the old track with a new updated flavor.
“Raceway Park has been such a big part of many lives over the years including my own,” said Raceway Park Track Manager Rich Trevelise. “I hope everyone that can make it out for the last race on the existing race track. So many top riders have rolled wheels through the gates at Raceway Park it is a privilege to be part of the facility. It will be sad to see the existing track demolished, but in the same breath, it’s exciting to make a move to take things to the next level. We have always tried to accommodate the racer, and with the new track and layout, it is going to be exciting. Moving the track will be a monumental task to accomplish during the early part of the season, but we are up to the challenge. I would like to thank the entire Napp family for keeping motocross alive and well in New Jersey, and also thank Ken Landerman and Jay Irwin for all they accomplished in the past that put Raceway Park Motocross and the Kawasaki Race of Champions on the map.”
Following the March 18th opener, the track will host an additional nine events for all two-wheel classes. Also included in the 9 season events are several unique races including the NJ State Championships in August and the 42nd annual Kawasaki Race of Champions in mid-October.
2018 Motocross Racing Schedule
March 18 – Opening Day
May 27 – AMA Pro-Am Event
June 24 – District 6 Henrietta Classic Series
August 26 – NJ State Championship
September 9 – District 6 Henrietta Classic Series
October 19-21 – 42nd Annual Kawasaki Race of Champions – 3 moto format
The track will also host a 6 round Youth MX and Quad series that will take place on Saturday mornings before many the other racing events.
2018 Youth MX & Quad Series
For more information on Raceway Park Motocross, along with all of the other activities available, visit them online: www.racewaypark.com.
About Old Bridge Township Raceway Park– Founded in 1965 as a drag strip the facility has evolved into more than 500 acres of motorsports and family fun. The facility contains a motocross track, a 1.3-mile road course, competition kart racing track, autocross, ride & drive site, airport and more. From March through November, Raceway Park hosts a full schedule of motorsports events including; AMA-sanctioned motocross racing, ATV racing, kart racing, road course events, corporate gatherings, the annual Englishtown Swap Meet & Auto Show, the largest monster truck shows in NJ and much more. Visit www.racewaypark.com for the complete schedule.
For the 2018 season, I have been writing and distributing the press releases and some social media content for the Legends and Heroes of Motocross Tour as they honor a different motocross legend each week. For the Atlanta Supercross, they have chosen Robert Neeley. Below is the press release for the event.
Legends and Heroes Tour to Honor Motocross Legend Robert Neeley at the Atlanta Supercross this Weekend
Atlanta, GA, March 2, 2018 – The Legend and Heroes Tour traveling moto museum is pleased to announce that they will honor motocross racing legend Robert Neeley this Saturday night at round nine of the Monster Energy Supercross series in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Tour stands behind the belief that “We Don’t Leave History Behind” and has kept the founding fathers, and mothers, pure in their thoughts by honoring the men and women that shaped supercross and motocross into what it is today. Each honoree receives a special commemorative plaque during a special podium presentation on the stadium floor before opening ceremonies.
About Robert Neeley:
Robert Neeley began racing in the early 70’s locally in and around his South Carolina home. Married and working a regular 40+ hour work week, Robert caught the eye of the new Team Green program at Kawasaki. He would become their go-to guy in the early days of Loretta Lynn’s, Ponca City and Lake Whitney.
From 1883 to 1990, Neeley didn’t miss a Loretta Lynn’s. He scored ten top-10 finishes including 5 Senior 30+championships. Robert came back again in 1994 and won the Senior 40+ crown. During that time frame, he also has four Ponca City and four Lake Whitney championships to his credit.
He began racing offroad at the age of 33 and had success there as well winning the 125 National Hare Scrambles Championship in 1988 and qualifying for the ISDE in both Germany and France. He even has five vintage national championships.
Today, Robert no longer competing himself but he serves as a mentor for his grandson GNCC XC2 class competitor Cole Mattison.
Join us this Saturday night in Atlanta as we honor this great racer.
With nearly 5000 square feet of display space, the Legends and Heroes Tour is a definite must-see during the Pit Party at a supercross near you.
The mobile museum features walk-through display videos that allow our guests the opportunity to take a trip back to back to where the sport began. The videos show the heroes of the sport from the beginning of their careers to the races that made them famous. New to the tour in 2018 is the Supercross Virtual Reality mobile experience (SXVR) where fans can experience the thrill of supercross via VR technology and feel like they are on the racetrack.
Fans are also encouraged to stop by early and pick up a complimentary copy of RacerX magazine while supplies last. And thanks to our local friends at each round, the Legends Tour features some of the best vintage motocross bikes on display in a single location. Featuring different vehicles at each round, our guests can relive the machines of their youth and show their family and friends the early days of motocross and supercross.
See behind the scenes footage and great vintage photos and stories by visiting our website and social media accounts.
About the Tour: The Legends and Heroes Tour is a professional, historical display and timeline of America’s greatest motorsports, motocross, and supercross. On-site, the tour encompasses nearly 5000 square feet of moto-history with bikes, gear and other memorabilia that transport our guests back in time through the history of the sport. Visited by more than 9 million guests during its previous seven years of existence, the Legends and Heroes Tour attends each stop of the Monster Energy Supercross Series and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series. Visit us in the Pit Party at a supercross or motocross near you or online at www.legendsandheroestour.org
The Legends and Heroes Tour would not be possible without great sponsors like: Feld Entertainment, Monster Energy Supercross, Food for Life Bakery, Dunlop, EZup Shelters, Wossner, Yuasa, Boyesen, Motion Pro, Engine Ice, Acerbis, Rockwell, Bell, KTM, Rich Designs, Moto X Roads, The Early Days of Motocross Museum, RacerX, MX Sports, Brad Whitworth Photography, Retro Moto, Cycle News, Pro Circuit and Renthal for help with our awards and Yamaha for vehicles for our SXVR program. Thank you all.
In an announcement made public last week Suzuki Motor Corporation confirmed that they were pulling out of MXGP and All Japan Motocross activities. Now, this may come as a surprise to many but the rumor has been floating around out there the last couple of month.
With an all-new RMZ450 for 2018, this announcement seems to come at an odd time. For most OEM’s racing is a large portion of their marketing of the brand. Not only for the specific models but for the brand as a whole. In the old days “Win on Sunday and sell on Monday” was a common marketing plan to get the brand out there, with this action what kind of marketing effort will the OEM put on the new machine in the global market? Without a presence in international racing will they instead rely on the success of the newly announced JGR racing effort to market the machine?
The other question will be in the development of a new RMZ250 and the continued development of the RMZ450. Traditionally the MXGP and All Japan series both allowed for a manufacturer to test and develop new technology away from the United States racing restrictions.
Suzuki Motor Corporation did something very similar several years ago when they got out of MotoGP to allow themselves time to regroup and then return to competition.
I guess time will tell if this is a similar move or a step away from racing.
Read the complete Suzuki announcement below.
SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION – MXGP AND ALL JAPAN MX STATEMENT
Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend the FIM World MXGP Championship and All Japan Motocross activities from 2018.
Suzuki Motor Corporation, having reviewed its Motorcycle operations to focus on the core business functions and restructuring of our motorcycle business, concluded to suspend the MXGP activities from 2018.
Suzuki will continue to produce RM-Z250 and 450 series and support those customers the entire world.
Suzuki expresses its great appreciation to sponsors and fans around the world for their strong support to its activities. The company will continue to provide valued products for its customers by utilizing the experiences earned through the Racing activities.
Posted at Lukaitis Photo are photos from the entire KROC 2017 weekend held at Raceway Park September 29-October 1. There are 2 separate galleries containing more than 1700 photos from the racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and another gallery from Friday night’s Whip Contest.
As always the images are in alphabetical order by the riders “last name” with all holeshot pictures labeled as “start.”
All images on Lukaitis Photo are keyworded by riders last name and have been since we began in 2005. By searching the site, you will be able to find all images ever taken under that keyword.
Images are available for purchase in print or digital forms for as low as $1.99 each. Please purchase the digital download if you are planning on using the image on your social media accounts.
Check out all of the images at the following link-