Laborday weekend is the official end of summer and for the Harrisburg area motocrosser that means it is the Steel City National weekend. Delmont Pennsylvania has hosted the Steel City National on Laborday weekend for 25 years so it has become a tradition for our area local racers and fans to head west to the outskirts of Pittsburgh for this holiday weekend.
For the pros this round of the series is the penultimate race weekend of the long and tough outdoor series. Ryan Villopoto is the points leader in the 450 class and Dean Wilson is the points leader in the 250 class. You most likely already know this if you’ve been following the excellent TV coverage.
What most fans from this area might not know but have wondered and not given much thought to is who is the top rider from PA. That is a little more difficult to determine. If you just look at the points standings you would say that Lowell Spangler is the most successful since he sits in 35th place in points in the 450 class and you would say that the 250 class rider Darryn Durham is the most successful in that class because is holds down 11th place. But should we only consider the points? Or should we take into consideration how many races the rider enters? And what about minor injuries the riders have been racing through. Should we factor in that? Or even bike troubles that you would never notice as a spectator? All these are altering factors in a privateer’s results as they are for any racer and we would love to calculate them into the final tally. But really, how could we. These factors make a true fan of a particular rider argue that his favorite rider is the top racer. Those arguments always make for good bench racing but make it hard for giving out trophies and awards. So that is why we have to run a points system. There is no disputing the checkered flag. If you get to the finish line inside the top 20 then you earned points. And if you want more you have to enter more and keep your body and bike in top racing form. These are expensive qualification for any team especially the privateer team. So which teams and riders will rise to the top this weekend? And which Pennsylvania rider will earn the most points? The best way to satisfy the curiosity these questions raise will be to attend the Steel City National live. You might just see something that the TV and track announcers miss and then you could have a word up during the campfire bench racing that will surely take place. The campfire bench racing is as much of a tradition at Steel City as the actual racing is. You really have to experience it first hand if you haven’t already. If you have you know exactly what I am saying and I will surely be campfire bench racing you some time soon.
After all the fun winds down Saturday and you finally get some sleep you will have the pleasure of waking up to another fun filled day of racing. Sunday is amateur day. They get compete on the same track as the pros for their own enjoyment and bragging rights. With a full schedule of classes the amateur racing will prove to be as exciting. You might even see some of the riders pre-entered for the national stay and compete in the expert classes on Sunday. It will be interesting seeing how strong those riders are because back to back days of racing really puts a strain on the human body especially if the first day was an outdoor national.