We look forward to A Day in the Dirt more than any other race during the year. For us, the comradery and nostalgia of the event is second to none. At no other time can you have the same vibe emanating through such a wide range of racers. Professionals, vintage racers, novices, intermediates, and slow-pokes all line up on the same track, sometimes at the same time. Team races, long-ass motos, super rough track, crazy gear and costumes, one-off helmets and bike graphics, bench racing around the campfire; these are the things that make A Day in the Dirt the most unique, and fun, race you will ever be a part of.
Always the weekend of Thanksgiving (starts Friday after the big turkey day), ADITD welcomes everyone to a three-day moto fest with an incredibly fun track layout. Elrod Racing’s Kenny Alexander is the man behind A Day in the Dirt, and we caught up with him at Pala while he was putting in some laps with ADITD mainstays Rick Johnson and Troy Lee. Traditionally held at LA County Raceway, A Day in the Dirt is making the move to Pala this year, and we asked Kenny a little about it.
Tell us about the move to Pala Raceway in San Diego County.
Unfortunately this year, LACR (Los Angeles County Raceway) was closed down because they could not get their lease renewed. We found out about it three months ago and, obviously, freaked out. So I drove around southern California trying to find the place that would best suit A Day in the Dirt. I came out and rode Pala Raceway and thought it was a great area with beautiful country. It has the casino right down the street, as well as the Fire Department in case anyone has a big get-off. It just felt like the place; we had a good vibe.
How much will the A Day in the Dirt track differ from what people ride at Pala on a regular basis?
We are going to try to use the whole facility, except for the vet track. We are going to have a little off-road; not very much because it is considered a motocross race. We are just going to change it up a bit and provide some surprises.
We actually have a map that we plan on releasing in a couple days, but it is always subject to change. When we start building, we may want throw in something here or there.
To this day, some still believe that ADITD is an invite-only event. Has that proved to be a roadblock?
We’ve always had that problem, and I think that’s because we send out these invites, so it seems like it’s an invitational. But it’s open to everybody. It’s kind of cool having that stigma, though, but we do want everyone to come out. It’s a big moto family.
The film stunt community is a driving force behind ADITD. How has the move away from LA County affected the stunt guys?
The stunt guys are still going to come out swinging. We are all bummed that it’s two hours away from where we live, but we have always had a strong base of riders from down here that have made the trip to LACR for years. We are just going to flipflop it, and give these guys a chance to drive a little closer to home. And we get entries from all over the United States, but we do have a strong base from Arizona and the Las Vegas area, too.
We noticed there has been a few minor tweaks to the race schedule. What do we have in store?
We have a huge beginner class, and they have been bummed in the past about having really only one day to focus on, so we gave them two races. We actually shortened some of the vet races as well. A lot of the guys like to race three races a day, but it gets pretty hard when they are 45 minutes long. For example, the senior vet is now a 30-minute race. After 20 minutes, everyone is looking for the white flag anyway (laughs). There are just a few subtle changes to keep it safe. We don’t want anyone to get too tired and wreck themselves.
The Vintage GP is still there, though, right?
From day one, we’ve always started Saturday out with the Vintage GP, and it’s one of the crowd favorites. Last year, David Knight put on a show in the Vintage GP. I’m not sure if he finished, because his bike was in pieces.
There is something new on Friday to look forward to as well. What can you tell us about it?
This year, on Friday, we are going to have a So Cal Reunion race. Everyone who used to race at Indian Dunes, Saddleback, or Carlsbad Raceway are going to line up here at Pala. We already have 40 plus entries, but we are hoping for 60 or so. Right now, we got Ron Lechien, Jeff Ward, Jeff Matiasevich, and a list of novice and intermediate guys. It’s going to be our kick-off and I think it’s going to super cool.