Fenton, MI — July 31, 2022
Just east of Fenton there is a 40+ acre property that sits back off the road. You have to drive down a gravel pathway and through a security gate to gain access to the land. It is both beautiful and rugged, a two-track circles the outer boundary of the plot, and an interesting feature of the place is its massive underground sprinkler system that keeps the heart of the property beating.
Hunting land, a nursery, a secluded resort? Nope. When the gravel road widens, you can park and step out of your vehicle. You might hear the distant vibrato of a dirt bike. As the sound increases a rider in full moto gear aboard a motocross Kawasaki bursts out of the foliage, climbs an incline, soars over a tabletop jump, and lands on the downslope before disappearing back into the brush.
Upon closer inspection, you realize it’s a motocross course. Not just any track cut through the woods. But, one that is specifically designed, maintained, and treated(with the sprinkler system and assembled earth moving equipment) to emulate a professional motocross facility. Where those who are intent on pursuing the highest level of the sport can prepare for the riggers of competition in the most physical form of motorsports.
Welcome to Maxx Speed Acres.
Prepping for Success
Since the snow melted this spring, some of Michigan’s most intense motocross riders have been training at Maxx Speed Acres for national competitions this summer. Practicing techniques and building stamina to excel in local events as well as regional qualifiers. These riders refer to themselves as the Michigan Mafia and they could not be more serious about elevating their standing in the world of motocross. Both amateur and professional.
Joseph Vicari and his family are in Hurricane Mills, TN for this week’s Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch. The competition is the ultimate national stage for amateur motocross athletes to display their skills. It will be the second consecutive year that (now 10-year-old) Joey will compete in the 7-9 age bracket on 65cc bikes.
Joey will run in two classes for the 65cc bikes. The limited and unlimited divisions will put him on the track six times over the course of the week. Last year’s event was an all-new experience for the youngster from the family that owns and operates the iconic Andiamo Restaurants in the metro-Detroit area. Mechanical issues resulted in a lower-than-expected placing as the results of three motos are combined to determine the class standings.
Joey’s sponsors include Andiamo Racing, MCR Suspension and Performance, Magic Racing, ClubMx, and Lasco Ford.
Joey’s dad says his son is better prepared to compete this year after the rookie experience last year was somewhat overwhelming. Joey’s excited, “I am super proud to have qualified for the Loretta Lynn Nationals and I’m ready to have some fun on the track with my friends. I ride my best when I’m having fun, so I’m ready to have fun in the biggest race of my life.”
The 8-year-old from Saline, Mi, Parker Beckington, is also making his second trip to Loretta Lynns’. Last year he finished sixth in the 51cc (4-6) Shaft Dr LTD class. Earlier this year he won his qualifier, racing in the Micro-E (4-7) Limited division, to earn his repeat visit to the National competitions.
Training in the sport of motocross does not just involve riding techniques. Parker is also working on his interview skills. “It feels great to be back at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship. It’s exciting to be here and I can’t wait to ride again at Loretta Lynns’.”
“I would like to thank ProTaper, O’Neal, OG’s Optics, Arma Sport, 6D Helmets, EVS Sports, Nihilo Concepts, OGIO, Slick Products, Matrix Concepts, AVS Inventions, Dunlop Tires, Go Pro, Skullcandy, ODI, Flo Motorsports, No Toil, Thrill Seekers and BikeGraphix for all of their help and support. Also Lasco Ford, CrossFit Fenton, Express Tire Sales, and Galaxy Barbershop.”
All that from an 8-year-old, sign that kid to a pro contract right now.
It is not just the youngsters that train to compete in the Amateur Nationals at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Michael Mercer has a list of appearances at Hurricane Mills, including a 9th in the Senior (40+) class in 2021. The competitive fire knows no age limit.
Cole Harkins is pointing toward the Ironman National event on the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series to be held in Crawfordsville, IN on the 27th of August. Harkins turned pro in 2021 and has recorded finishes in five National events including a 23rd last month at Southwick.
Grant Smith has been riding motorcycles since he was a youngster and he is not afraid of hard work. He is the son of Vaughn Smith who owns Mid Michigan Crushing & Recycling and Grant works for his dad. Summertime is the ideal moto riding season in Michigan, it is also prime time for the crushing and recycling business.
Grant has earned his professional card and is focusing on the upcoming Ironman National event with Cole.
We will be watching the results from Loretta Lynns’ and The Lasco Press is heading to the Ironman at the end of August to report on the local pros and see how they compete against the full-time professionals of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series. Follow along!