Motocross may speed-off into oblivion

Craig's motocross track will once again hear the roar of engines come July 8, when it is the site of the last race of the year, and even perhaps in its history.

While the track, which was voted the best in Colorado last year, has a five-state draw, it lacks volunteers to keep it running efficiently. Many times finding only Yampa Valley Sports Riders Club members Gary and Dan Zulian are the only ones grooming the natural-terrain course for two days before races.

"We've tried to get more support, and the city and Snare Equipment have help us out," said Gary Zulian, president of the club. "There's been times were its just been Dan, a city water truck and I working on the track for the race. It's just hard to do for so many years."

The lack of community support for motocross races has been the primary set back to keeping the track running, and may bring to an end a racing tradition which has run since 1979.

The track has been the site of three to four sanctioned races a year for the past 22 years, with thousands of participants and spectators passing through in a season.

Despite the chance of motocross folding in Craig, the July 8 race is still expected to be a huge draw.

More then 350 riders from the Front Range, Wyoming, and Utah among other places are expected to descend on Craig for the Rocky Mountain Motocross Association sanctioned race.

Every class between the junior's 80 cubic centimeter (cc) to the open's 500 cc will be whipping around the track.

Many nationally-ranked riders will be in the lot attending the race, among them Dan Zulian's son, Chad.

Chad, who last year was ranked second in 125 cc and fourth in 250 cc, will ride Craig as his comeback race from knee surgery.

"We'll have a good field of riders, like we usually do," Zulian said. "Though most of the larger names in the sport will be from the Denver area."

The Denver metro area racers actually also encompasses Chad Zulian as well, since he now attends the University of Northern Colorado, and races out of Longmont's Twin Peaks Sports.

Twice as much can be expected from this last race of the year, since it's Craig double-points race.

Double points means twice as many ranking points can be accrued by a racer, and a 200 percent prize payback is awarded to those who place. The increase of money and points always brings big names out to compete, according to Zulian.

The professional riders do not get a monopoly on the top-ranked track. Amateurs will be racing along side, and neither should have any real fear of serious injury. Since the track has been also ranked among the safest in the state.

"The biggest thing we want to do is put on a good race and get everyone home safe," Zulian said.

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