Bikes were jumping and the dirt was flying Friday as motorcyclists of all ages worked their way through the hills and valleys of Riverside Raceway. The silence created by the governor’s stay-at-home orders had been replaced by the roar of engines. Riders maneuvered their way through the motocross track on May 15, the day most restrictions were lifted. Raceway organizers rejoiced and the gates opened for racers to begin practice runs for the Justin Brayton Shootout event to be held during the weekend. 

Justin Brayton at Riverside Raceway

Fort Dodge native Justin Brayton, famous among Supercross racers, sponsored an event at the Riverside Raceway this past weekend.

As the local track opened, owner Tony Wenck acknowledged they were doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and planned to take several precautions for all events until further notice. 

No spectators were allowed into the raceway to view events. Only racers, their crew, track staff, medics, mechanics, crew chiefs, photographers, sponsors, guardians of minors, and other people essential to the event were allowed.

Social distancing was encouraged by spreading out parking, closing playgrounds and bleachers, maintaining a six-foot distance, giving each car a sanitized pen for waivers, signing up for events completed through a window, making hand sanitizer available, and encouraging people to wear a mask and gloves.

The Justin Brayton Shootout, a four-day event, is named after a Fort Dodge native who has become very famous in the arena of Supercross.

“Having my own event in Winterset is really cool,” Brayton said. “I love seeing the younger guys compete. It reminds me of my childhood and having a huge dream of one day racing professional Supercross,” he explained. 

Over $15,000 in prizes was scheduled to be handed out over the weekend, which began with a Pitbike and Pullstart mini bike race on Friday night.  An Iowa Moto Series race followed Saturday morning, as races continued with a CRF125F event that evening. On Sunday morning the Best of the Midwest served as the final event.

In the past few months, the pandemic has created a few hills and valleys; this past weekend a few people got a chance to motor through them.

Managing editor at the Madisonian.