The Last Flat-Track Race in the World
I had been regularly getting an invitation from some flat-tracking friends to attend the races at Queen Creek, Arizona. I put that on the back burner and made a mental note to check out what the racing was all about. Then, I got this email stating that this was the last flat track race that would ever be held. Period. Now this was interesting.
I contacted the folks who ran the racing here locally, and with a chuckle they mentioned that the world was supposed to end on December 21 and therefore they would hold the last flat track event probably anywhere in the world should this come true. Well, I couldn’t hold it off a longer and decided to go and see what this bizarre event was all about.
As it turned out, this was not just your ordinary little flat track that you may be used to seeing. The racing is held in a $25 million state-of-the-art covered arena that is normally used for horse shows. The racing is all part of a flat-track series and this perfect racing setup is held on red clay in a covered track (virtually) with a marquee out front and room to roam.
The area was spectacular, to say the least. As I drove in the rather impressive grounds, it looked totally professional and I expected to see a smattering of big-time flat track race bikes. Wrong. Even though the facility looks like it handles stuff that rides at Daytona, the competition is suited for that ordinary fun play racer. This means that you can show up just about any kind of a bike and they’ll find some sort of class in which you can race at this two-day event.
Each Saturday throughout the summer, Queen Creek’s Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre has served as home to the QC Flat Track Summer Racing Series. QC Flat Track was started in 2012 as a summer race series for Flat Tracking Motorcycles at the Horseshoe Equestrian Centre in Queen Creek, Arizona.
It’s affordable fun. Spectator fees are typically $6 for fans ages six and older, $10 for fans ages six and older who would like to enter the pit (in addition to the stands), with free admission offered to ages five and under.
To give you an idea how loose the racing is, take a look at the various classes available to racers:
Mini Bikes Under 12 - Knobbies OK
Mini Bikes 12 and Over - Knobbies 0K
Fun Class - Adults on Minis Knobbies OK
Mad Dog - 150 Maximum 150cc Knobbies OK, Air Cooled OnIy
Classic Flattrack - Brakeless Pre 1967
Senior 50 - Riders 50 & Older, 1979 and Older bikes
Super Senior - Riders 60 & Older, 1979 and Older bikes
Vintage 250 - 1979 and Older, Air Cooled, Twin Shock
Vintage 600 - 1979 and Older, Air Cooled, Twin Shock
Vintage 750 – 1979 and Older, Air Cooled, Twin Shock
Open Amateur DTX - Modern, Run Whatcha Brung
Open Pro - Run Whatcha Brung
Fun Class - Under 70 CC
If you can’t find something that fits into one of these categories, you’re just not trying. I walked through the pits and saw an almost bewildering variety of machinery. Old Triumphs, Beezers, Nortons and the like were all on display and ready to be raced. There was also a staggering amount of older custom frames with special motors stuffed in them and set up for flat-track racing. The things you thought had disappeared 40 years ago were there in evidence.
The track was near perfection, with the dirt being groomed perfectly between races. The only thing that seemed strange were these enormous stands with only a handful of people in there to witness the great racing. Oh sure, some of the classes were runaways, but there were some really tight racing in some of the other classes. You name it – mini bikes, quads, or iron from 45 years ago, it was all there.
They even had a RUN WHAT YOU BRUNG class that covered most anything. So even if you had a modern bike with knobby tires, you could run this race. The whole name of the game was to get as many people and as many bikes as possible involved in the racing. And to this end, the Queen Creek folks did a fantastic job.
It’s sort of made me want to get out an old DT one, shorten up the suspension a little bit and mix it up with some of the folks. The track was small, the traction just about perfect and the racing was more fun than should be allowed. I recommend that you go out to this race and even if you don’t participate, just grab a seat and watch the fun go on.
As the end of 2012 draws near, QC Flat Track has been making some inroads within the community, not just with the race crowd, but with corporations who are interested in marketing. It looks like 2013 is going to be an exciting season, with over 20 races already planned and others being added at new facilities in various stages of planning.
Oh yes, a side note. The world did not end as it was supposed to in December 2012, so we can probably look forward to at least another year or two before doesn’t. So put this racing scene on your bucket list.
For details about QC Flat Track, visit http://www.qcflattrack.com/ or call 602-577-1483. For information about Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre, visit QueenCreek.org/HPEC or check at www.facebook.com/horseshoepark.