June 12, 2014

Riders will swarm Murray County track

— Not many motocross dirt tracks have the chance to host an MX Sports Southeast Regional.

Lazy River MX, in southwestern Murray County, will have that opportunity once again.

The track will host youth and women’s competition in the regional event for the third time as hundreds of riders take part this weekend in the MX Sports series, part of American Motorcyclist Association competition.

The top seven in each division advance to the 2014 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship. That competition is July 27 through Aug. 2 at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

Vickie Roberts, her husband Greg and their son Gregory own Lazy River MX, at 4325 Brown Bridge Road. Vickie Roberts said nearly 900 riders will compete this weekend in 18 different divisions at the track.

“There will be people from all over the country and even people from other countries,” said Roberts, who said she expects the event to boost the local economy for the next several days.

Qualifiers for regionals begin in February and continue through May. Top racers advance to one of the seven regional qualifiers — Northeast, Southeast, Mid-East, North Central, South Central, Northwest and Southwest — with all regional events finishing in June.

“This is a huge event,” Roberts said.

All tickets purchased provide entry throughout the week. The cost is $35 for adults and $15 for children if purchased today, $25 for adults and $15 for children if purchased Saturday and $15 for adults and $5 for kids if purchased Sunday.

The facility was open for registration and practice Thursday. Registration continues at 8 this morning, and the track will be open for practice from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today. Racers have another chance to practice at 8 a.m. Saturday, with the last chance for registration at 7 a.m. Races begin at 9:30 a.m., and Sunday’s schedule follows Saturday’s, minus registration.

Riders will race in three heats, with the combined score resulting in their final tally. Vickie said around 70,000 total riders compete in the series, while only 1,400 reach nationals.

The youth regional is for ages 4-17, with 11-and-younger divisions co-ed and 12 and older split between boys and girls. The men’s regional took place at a different venue, but the women’s regional will run this weekend at Lazy River.

Roberts knew of three riders from the area set to compete this weekend — Dalton’s Avery Bryant, 10; Crandall’s Colton Kendrick, 9; and Rocky Face’s Gage McBee, 12.

Colton started racing four years ago and has qualified for regional races each year. He called the Lazy River MX his “hometown track.”

He has qualified twice for the national event.

“It’s really cool making it to nationals,” he said. “You get to race against a bunch of really fast kids.”

Lazy River hosts qualifiers for regionals each year in the same series and has since 1997. It previously hosted regional competitions in 2004 and 2009. Anyone who is an AMA-registered competitor can compete in a qualifier for regionals.

“It’s a family event and has been in our family for a long time,” Roberts said. “We’re just fortunate to have a prestigious track to hold this event.”