Archived Story

Drop the gate — it’s race time

Published 10:09am Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shake up the Fourth of July weekend with a trip to one of the nation’s top motocross tracks — RedBud MX. File photo

By KIMBERLY ESCOTTO

Blue Star Highway

Just above the Michigan-Indiana state line, on a winding drive navigating you through the sunny rolling hills of southwest Michigan, you will find one of the region’s best kept outdoor secret treasurers.

Many claim it to be the best track in the country. Of course there is no official ranking list of the highest contenders, but when it comes to RedBud MX in Buchanan, many locals proudly hold the right to boast the best ever. Michigan fans’ famed chants of “Red Buuuuud!!!” are recognized throughout the motocross world.

The well-known track, which is loved by many, was first established in 1973 by avid racer Gene Ritchie. Ritchie, a Valparaiso, Ind. native, saw great potential in the land and imagined that one day it would serve as home to the best races in the history of motocross.

RedBud MX has now been turned into a family affair and is currently run by son and daughter Tim and Amy Ritchie. “We grew up around it all our lives, so it’s really second nature. It’s also a great way to spend time with family and do what you love all at once,” Amy said.

Year after year, RedBud welcomes thousands throughout the summer. With just the right mix of the best soil, and a colorful track that is both challenging for amateur and pro riders, RedBud serves as a multipurpose venue from motocross to ATV. This year it hosted its first TORC Series truck race, which turned out to be a rainy, muddy mess of fun.

The most popular event with the largest record for any U.S. motocross race, topping 20,000 in attendance is the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. This AMA Pro event, which always falls on the Fourth of July weekend, serves as a top destination for race fans across the country. You will find some of the most prominent riders from the Monster Energy Supercross series also participating in the weekend’s event. From renowned Australian racer Chad Reed to returning champion Ryan Dungey, it is sure to be a matchup of the best. Ryan Villopoto is all the buzz as well, entering the outdoor nationals as this year’s Monster Energy SX Series Champion.

The nail-biting anticipation is building stronger with each weekend’s race as more promising contenders are thrown into the mix. Fans are also eager to cheer on their local Michigan natives, riders Nick Wey from Dewitt and Nico Izzi from Rochester.

The AMA Pro National weekend at RedBud is a promising one, guaranteed to fill your time with great energy, good company and most of all, spectacular racing.

RedBud MX is located at 13638 North Redbud Trail, Buchanan. It can be reached at (269) 695-6405.

For more information about Red Bud, visit http://redbudmx.com.

Get stats, results and rider info at www.allisports.com/motocross.

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