Our contributor was at Southwick to witness the crowning of the 2010 450 National Champion – Ryan Dungey.
Before attending Southwick Motocross Race I’d never been to the East Coast race. However, it’s now one of my favorite and most memorable experiences. The racing was awesome and I’ll get to that, but first let me tell you a little about the people who host this race. The Parks and Recreation Department was out and about collecting bottle and cans from the parking lot for low income scholarships for the local youth in addition to playing parking lot directors. The Lions Clubs booth was the first one you ran into and across from them was the local Marine Corps booth. Southwick is one racing venue that still has a grassroots, locally run feeling that made a small town girl like me immediately feel at home.
From the time I drove into the parking lot to the time I left, the people at Southwick were extraordinarily helpful and hospitable. There were guys insisting on carrying my trunk full of heavy boxes, guys in golf carts offering me rides and, of course, offering me free drinks. One might think these courtesies were offered because I am a woman and was all by myself but, hold on wait a minute, there were women offering to loan me their shoes cause I said my feet hurt. (Note to self: choose practical shoes over cute shoes next time). Another woman who randomly noticed I was starting to get a little sunburnt rubbed sunblock on my shoulders. A female security officer who saw me give a guy five made me use hand sanitizer stating, “Honey, you don’t know where that guys hands have been and I don’t think you want to.” Not only were the people of Southwick nice but smart and humorous as well. You gotta love that.
During the first Women’s Motocross there was a crash during the holeshot causing a major pile up involving well-known rider Jessica Patterson who would recover and made a great come back finishing second behind Ashley Fiolek. Lindsey Palmer was another rider who was caught up in this crash and then in the second moto blew her engine. I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsey who had a lot of heart and gusto, even when it seemed the deck was stacked against her. This is one of the reasons I love motocross. Through the wrecks, with bikes breaking down and hearts being broken as a result, good riders still have an intense love for the sport.
It was awesome to be there when Ryan Dungey won the 2010 Motocross Championship and sprayed the crowd with champagne! That guy is an amazing rider and has a certain charisma that makes you smile. When Patterson and Fiolek took the stage for their win it was quite the contrast. JP Money has the look and posture of a tomboy who just climbed off a tree (or the seat of a bike, lol) while Ashley looks like the modern version of the girl next store, pink hair extensions and all. Looks and style aside both of these girls are always competing to stay ahead of the other and are kick ass riders who made me proud to be a fan of WMX.
Sincerely from Southwick,