Winners and Water Carriers!

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Motorcycle paintings and news., Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

In less than a weeks time the eyes of the sporting world will be on the start of the Tour de France, where riders will push themselves above and beyond what a human body can stand to achieve glory or even just a stage win.  Pro-cycling is a team sport where each team’s leader, such as Lance Armstrong,  is protected by his loyal lieutenants who marshall the domestics often known as “water carriers” to go back to the team vehicles , where they stuff their shirt full of drinks bottles, then cycle back up to the leaders to keep them in the race.

Last weekend across the Atlantic, I got to witness the brutal sport that is AMA National Motocross, held in the cauldron of a blazing hot humid Maryland summer day where Budds Creek Raceway hosts some of the world’s fastest racers, almost within earshot of the White House lawn,  a mere 50 miles to the North.

Like the corridors of power up on Capital Hill, some of the fittest athletes suffered almost as much as the beleaguered BP executives at the congressional hearings.  Set in sweeping valley bowl location underneath the imposing Red Amish Barn this circuit is thought of by many to be a real life version of  Motocross Heaven that lies beyond the Pearly Gates. But looks are deceiving, the manicured dirt, a mix of loam and wood chippings is just waiting to be torn up into motocross hell, where only the strong survive.

Promoter and owner of Budds Creek is the giant of a man Jonathon Beasley,  who cuts an imposing figure astride his quad, head phones on directing the action and fire fighting any problems.

Author Rob Kinsey with Jonathon Beasley

Jonathon’s father, a retired Navy officer bought the farm when he saw a small hand written sign on the roadside and shook on a deal with the Amish farmers who originally owned Budds Creek.  Jonathon recalls what sold it to his dad, “there was a herd of 21 deer grazing in front of the barn and with ponds and woods he thought it would be a great hunting, fishing and shooting venue!”

A young Jonathon was never into field sports and soon got and old bike to blast around the trails on. Jonathon’s dad died in front of him of a heart attack when he was only 9 years old, so mom and family looked for other ways to raise income as farming was and always has been a labour of love.  Soon motorcycle racing echoed through the valley and quickly became a hit with young men whose desires had been awoken by film’s like “On any Sunday”.

Davey Coombs senior was instrumental in getting an AMA National to Budds Creek, lobbying Roy Jannsen of the AMA to come and see what the Beasley’s were doing in developing the property. Jannsen was press ganged into coming over from Ohio to see the track the day after the AMA schedule had been released awarding a national to Muddy Creek raceway Tennessee!  Roy was so impressed he put out a press release saying it had been a typing error and was actually Budds Creek!  Funnily the name almost came back to haunt Jonathon at the 2006 MXDN press conference At Matterley Basin on next years MXDN, the first event back in the USA after 21 years, AMA bigwig Robert Razor said he was” so pleased Red Budd was going to get such an important race”, doh!

The 2007 Motocross of nations , to give its new title, was a seminal event for Jonathon Beasley as his youthful dreams of  GP Motocross with all the world’s best riders finally came true.  Many so-called expert questioned Beasley’s motives for seeking the rights from Youthstream to organise such a momentous event.  It’s well documented that Youthstream demand a Kings ransom from a promoter for the rights to the event, as well as set exacting ways in which the event must be run. Industry insiders said Jonathon was letting his heart rule his head and the numbers wouldn’t stack up.  The months prior to the event weren’t smooth running for Beasley as a rolled quad accident shattered his pelvis and his two top men whom Jonathon was relying on, quit when their salary demands couldn’t be met.  Jonathon was clearly upset when Ricky Carmichael openly criticised the track prep and layout at the 2007 AMA summer national.

Beasley, a Business major from Maryland University was stung into action and looking back it was a blessing in disguise, as it forced him to look at and evaluate every aspect of the event and his facility.

Jonathon spend almost $750,000 dollars on moving the start, reshaping the ponds, drainage and extending his camping areas to 3 times their size.  So what motivated Jonathon?  he used to wear this old MXDN t-shirt from the 2002 fiasco in Southern California, where the event was cancelled just 5 days before and fans found the gates to the Indian reservation locked!  Every time he felt overwhelmed he would look down at his faded tee and inwardly vow to restore the pride in American Motocross promotion.

Come September 2007 and the Motocross world descended on Budds Creek Raceway, Maryland and Jonathon and his crew were ready. Together with the Youthstream track designer Greg Atkins, they has transformed the track into a deep loamy heaven, with alternate lines everywhere and the fans poured in their thousands to celebrate the MXoN, 21 years since it last re-enacted in the USA, on the muddy slopes of Unadilla Raceway in upstate New York.

Rockstar Girls were everywhere!

Budds Creek June 2010 AMA National Racetrack

The extended camping areas were full as fans partied into the night under the moonlight.  We had a great response from the fans to the first Rob Kinsey Art exhibition outside of England, as fans snapped up Giclee prints and canvas’.

Rob Kinsey Art Stand 2007 MXoN Budds Creek

My wife Jo and I were also invited to the Belgian Embassy in Washington DC for a presentation of Team Belgium to the world’s media.  I also got to present Roger DeCoster with a copy of my painting “The Man” to celebrate his contribution to Belgian motocross.

Artist Rob Kinsey presents Roger DeCoster with his painting at Belgian Embassy Washington DC Sept. 2007

So what of the water carriers who make everything happen in cycling? Jonathon Beasley is never happier than riding around his facility in the water truck at 5 mph, laying down water on the roads to dampen the dust.  From his position on high up in the cab, he can see everything that is going on, whilst remaining anonymous to most people, always with radio in hand to answer any questions or resolve problems.

We came across a young man pushing his stricken Honda CRF 250cc up a hill back to the campsite. He was clearly de-hydrated in the heat, so Jonathon quickly arranged for a quad to tow him back and for water to cool him down.

Back to his traditional Fathers Day weekend, Beasley was well pleased with the turn out and the great racing it produced.

Josh Grant's battle with Ben Townley was the highlight of Moto 2 in the 450 class!

Ben Townley shows the effort he put into Moto 2!

Podium in the 450 class

Andrew Short, Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed 450cc Podium Budds Creek

MX Sports have certainly raised the bar in revitalising the promotion and spectacle of Outdoor Motocross in America and next week the tour descends on Lakewood Denver Colorado for the next round in the AMA Outdoor Nationals and also site of the upcoming Motocross of Nations 2010!

There’s a saying in the film “Field of Dreams”, “build it and they will come!”,  a true testament to the dreams and aspirations of one  Jonathon Beasley!

  1. Jeff Holzhausen says:

    Thank you Rob for your thought provoking, and entertaining blog! I think it is vital that fans know a little bit about the challenges that promoters face!


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  3. cheap mbt says:

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