Club Name: Thursday Night Motocross
Year Founded: Track opened in 1967 on weekends. Thursday night racing began in 1970
Who Founded: Duane Wylder
Number of Members: 3 generations of families/riders
Home city: Portland, Oregon
Club Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Member dues: Gate and Race entry only
- Is Thursday Night Motocross a club for a rider to join or are you more of a racing league organizing body?
We are a racing league.
- What was the idea behind forming TNMX?
Racing at PIR on Thursday Nights began back in the early 1970's when a man named Jim Rockstead was watching flat track races on a Friday night and thought how cool it would be to race under the lights. "Rockstead" and my dad Duane Wylder met the first year PIR motocross opened and quickly became friends. Together they created what some might say is a "landmark staple" in the Portland-Vancouver dirt bike community and night time racing during the week has been a staple ever since.
- Do you host a season long race series or more of a sponsor of races held at your track?
We host a season long - sometimes 2-series race season.
- Can anyone get involved or is this more for the serious rider?
Anyone. We have classes ranging from 50cc to 450cc bikes. Unless you're an accomplished dirt bike rider we'd always suggest you enter the "beginner class" your first time out.
- If I am interested in racing but I've never ridden and don't own a dirt bike how can TNMX help?
We have information on our website that helps a new rider understand what to expect and how to prepare. Essentially, we require a helmet, riding boots, gloves, goggles and motocross riding pants. Have your favorite number on all three of your number plates and if we need to have it changed or modified we can do that on site quickly. Additionally, we also have extensive relationship with all surrounding motorcycle dealerships and a host of motocross riding experts/teachers.
- Any past or present professional racers get their start with Thursday Night Motocross?
Chuck Sun and Rick Burgett were staples at TNMX during their earlier careers. We've had everyone from Weston Peick, Ben Lemay, Josh Hill, Tommy Weeck, Tiger Lacey, Daniel Blair and a host of riders from outside the US race at our facility.
- Who are the members of the Thursday Night Motocross Race Team?
The genesis of the TNMX team was our way to give back to a sport that we believe is so cool and unique, and has been so good to us for so many years. We also believe it's a more meaningful and rewarding way to spend our advertising dollars in driving our track brand. The TNMX team is selected by my Brother (Ron) and I based on a number of things. We watch and talk to riders and their families every week during a season and get a pretty good feel for how we’d all fit together for the next season. We do accept resumes and have selected a few riders over the years based on their resume and follow up conversations.
In some cases our riders can compete against each other based on the class they ride - but in general, we like to have riders in different classes so they can encourage and support each other verses compete against one another.
In the past 6 years that we have done this program we've found the riders and their families bond, train, ride and a lot of times travel and hang out together on and off the track. Our goal is in helping to create and encouraging a community of good, responsible people that just happen to be MX riders.
- Does the track change from race to race or season to season and if so what's the process in deciding on changes to the course?
We have 10-plus different track designs we support and we change a couple of times each month to keep the rider interest and excitement.
- OK, I have to ask - why Thursday night?
In the beginning we didn't want to compete with the weekend venues. We also wanted to have something to do during the week day and Thursday night became available on the Park’s schedule. We’ve stayed true to our original mindset but have expanded our goal of making Thursday a recognized race day in the Pacific Northwest.
Written By: AndrewT