The 2003 Sooner Pearl BMX Raceway official news report.
Did you know we have a new President/Track Operator? He is David Davis, owner
of D&K Bicycles. David is very enthused to be the ‘lead' person at Sooner Pearl
and is looking forward to a fun filled exciting 2003.
Now on to the 2002 News............
This year saw a huge change at the track. We held our first race of the year
on January 13th with a great turn out. With 57 riders coming to be part of this
first race things had already started to go nicely. But the weather decided to
be a nuisance all this year and it started early this year. We only had 1 race
in January and only twice in February. Even with only 2 races at Sooner Pearl
in February there was a major local event which was the first Sooner Nationals,
one of the first ABA national series for 2002. Since it was indoor at the Lazy
"E" arena in Guthrie and most tracks were still dormant it was a huge success
and brought in riders from all across the US. District OK01 will again be
hosting this event and it should be even bigger this year as BMX has been
March saw an increase in the number of races and there was a big movement to
rebuild part of the track. March was to have good weather even considering the
rain we had 7 races that month. It was decided to wait till mid April to start
the track rework. April started off good and the track rebuild was started.
Since we had no extra dirt brought in for this there was a lot of planning
involved both before starting and during the rework. Most of the big work
was done in a little over a week with the help of some heavy equipment. There
was good weather most of this time and the work went off well. With the new
track lay-out we had planned to make several things better at Sooner Pearl.
The drainage on most of the track was bad and each time it rained we needed
several dry warm days after a rain before races could resume. A change in the
arrangement of the track along with more technical obstacles was the biggest
change planned. We only had 2 races in April before work started and our plan
was to close for 2 weeks which turned to 3 weeks because of bad weather. May
had its normal rains and we only raced 5 times which was better but we looked
June was about to change Sooner Pearl even more, we started with a Race Mania
which was 4 days of racing which finished with our State Qualifier race and
had a Race for Life in the mix. We again raised money at the
Race for Life and managed to put together $1500 as a donation from our
race. With 72 riders for the Race for Life and 115 riders for the
State Qualifier there was some intense racing action that week. After it
was all over we know that more riders will be back next year, many were impressed
with the track and had high praise for Sooner Pearl. We had scheduled 3 of
these race weeks for June and managed to get 2 of them off before the next
month rolled around. With 11 races that month things started to pick up at
the track and we started seeing a increase in our rider count.
July was another wet month and with a State Qualifier in Sand Springs
and Waynoka we closed the track for 2 weekends to race in those races. This
month we raced 6 times and had one of our biggest races of the year. On July
27th we had Rider Appreciation Day. A day where almost everything was
free for riders of OK01. A full day of racing, free food and drinks with
some fun in the middle made for a great time for everyone. It was such a big
event we may end up having one in 2003 and maybe make it an annual event.
August proved to be another month of good weather and great racing. Another
Race Mania week was scheduled with 5 days of racing ending with another
pair of hot races. It was again time to finish the work started earlier in the
year on the track rework. In a mere 3 days the last straight was transformed
into a new rhythm section. The much awaited track was now finished and ready
to ride. Just in time for one of the biggest race weeks of this year. After 3
days of local single point evening races on the 7th, 8th and 9th on the 10th we
had a double points race and the 11th was our Redline Qualifier race which
is a triple point race. With a possible 800 point week of races there was much
excitement at Sooner Pearl in August. For Saturday the 10th we had 91 riders for
our double point race and with our Redline Qualifiers one of the last in
the south central US we had riders from all around trying to build their points
here at Sooner Pearl. On Sunday we had 161 riders which was by far the biggest
race of the year. This month we had 11 races and the rider count started to rise
September was another month of off and on rain and caused us to miss 3 race
days this month but even with this kind of adversity we still managed to race
6 times this month. October was another month of rain and bad weather we raced
4 times and missed 5 races due to the weather. November was a month to remember
this year we had good weather most of the month and managed to race 6 times
before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Most everyone knows the Big race of the year
is during the Thanksgiving Holiday. Die hard BMXers from all around the world
come to Tulsa to compete in the GRAND Nationals. It was a good year for
Sooner Pearl this years at the GRANDS, we had a huge list of riders there
to compete and have a good time.
December was another month to remember this year. We missed 3 race days due to
rain and one day due to the GRANDS lasting till the 1st of December.
With the last race day on December 15th we tried to get in those last races
before the end of the year. Now there are other things that happened during
December at Sooner Pearl, even with the track closed for the year there are
planning and other ‘behind the scene' things going on. One thing is the change
of the OKBMXPA Board members. The new year brings a new Track Director and some
other changes to the Board of Directors. The Board has seen many changes this year
and they are looking to make things even better for 2003. Next year will see the
opening of Yukon BMX and the chance to build BMX here in Oklahoma even more. With
more chances to race in the District we should see some real changes in the points
count at the end of next year.
Now we have covered most of the HOT topics of 2002 and things have been improving
all year at Sooner Pearl. With the new track lay out the racing has changed,
the year brought a faster turn around after rain for the track and some big,
big races with the improved rider count and with much improved track it has
been a good year.
We did have our share of set backs this year both on the track and off. Our
biggest loss of the year happened during the end of December. It was a tragic
loss for us all, one of our newer riders died from medical problems.
a very nice young man and a new face in BMX with his whole life ahead of
him passed away due to juvenile diabetes. His family was not aware of his
problem and was unable to treat him. It was a loss for his family and the BMX
family as a whole here at Sooner Pearl. Grant had just turned 11 years old, just
got his official ABA membership card and member number. He traveled to Tulsa to
compete in the GRANDS for the first time, he was just a babe in the BMX
world but as most of you know BMX is one big family. We lost a new friend and
member, Grant will be on our minds at Sooner Pearl for a long time.
Now we have come to the end of this great year at Sooner Pearl. Everyone
who had time invested in the track this year and helped to build better
riders and better our track for everyone should be proud of a job well
done! Those of us who continue to make Sooner Pearl operate, the volunteers
and people who work ‘behind the scenes' want to thanks everyone for making
this a great year and look forward to 2003.