A Day in the Dirt 14 is in the record books, and what a weekend it was! Held at Pala Raceway in Pala, California, the much-anticipated event drew a massive turnout of riders and spectators on Thanksgiving weekend for three days of racing, bench racing, and visiting old and new friends. Promoter Kenny Alexander and his team did an amazing job as usual, and a great time was had by all. Here are some of the highlights from ADITD 14, plus some other news from around the industry! Photos by Steve Emter.
Along with Red Bull, Troy Lee Designs is the largest sponsor of the A Day in the Dirt Grand Prix. A motohead through and through, Troy Lee himself enters multiple classes throughout the weekend, including the oh-so-brutal Coupe de Grace endurance race. Here, Troy and promoter Kenny Alexander share a laugh after the final race of the weekend.
Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs/Honda rider Christian Craig showed up with his mechanic and brother, Jeremy Coker, by his side. CC entered a few races and looked blazing fast wearing his new number 43. Coinsidentally, his father Mike Craig also wore that number during his illustrious pro career.
Naturally, the ADITD pits were filled with lots of stuff to see. The ARMA girls were out in full force.
New Jeff Ward Racing team rider Josh Grant debuted his new Kawasaki KX450F at Pala. Grant told us that he wasn't even sure he could ride before he took to the track for his first laps of practice, as he sliced the tip of his left ring finger off while loading his motorcycle only a few days earlier. From the looks of it, JG's severed digit didn't slow him down much, as he looked like his normal speedy self, save for the reversed numbers. Because ADITD is first-come, first-served when it comes to numbers, Timmy Weigand was assigned the number already. Grant's solution? "Flip it backwards!"
Last year, Doug Henry was set to enter his first ADITD event, but he lost his home in a tragic fire only days beforehand. This year, the former 125 and 250 National Champion was back, and made a huge impression on eveyone in attendance. Partially paralyzed from the waist down, Henry races a specially modified Yamaha YZ450F that sports a unique pivoting seat, as well as a protective roll cage. Believe us when we say that Henry absolutely rips on his special bike! Seeing his huge smile each and every time he took his helmet off made many people's weekends; that's for sure.
Here's a closer look at the pivoting seat on Henry's Yamaha. The seat allows him to keep his weight centered on the bike when it's leaned over in corners. It's definitely a radical departure from the set up we've seen on Ricky James' machine. There is also a small shock under the seat, which helps absorb landings and bumps.
Many racers at ADITD did a double take when Henry raced past them on his Yamaha YZ450F.