A Day In The Dirt Rides Again

Kit Palmer | November 30, 2010

If you live in Southern California, then you already know that the Thanksgiving Weekend is without doubt an off-roader’s holiday. After all, there’s always the traditional Barstow-to-Vegas dual sport ride, where you can work off some of those turkey-dinner calories. But if riding across the Mojave Desert on a dual sport bike isn’t your cup of gravy, but racing is, then there is always the A Day in the Dirt Motocross Grand Prix, which, in just 13 years, has evolved into one of the all-time motocross classic events, at least in California.

Hosted by the Hollywood Stunt and Film Community, A Day in the Dirt is all about having fun, both on and off the track. As a result, hundred and hundreds of motocross racers have been making A Day in the Dirt their annual Thanksgiving Weekend activity, including famous people in the movie industry and stars of the sport, both past and present, including Jeremy McGrath, Rick Johnson, Andrew Short, Gary Jones, Jeff Matiasevich, Erik Kehoe, Josh Strang, and the list goes on and on. Don’t be fooled, this is not an invitation-only event, anyone can show up, sign up, and race.

This year, the three-day event, which includes nearly 20 races in all, was held at a new venue, Pala Raceway in Pala, California, the same site as the final round of the AMA Motocross Championship. The grand finale is the Coupe de Grace, a one and a half-hour race that anyone can compete in. This year’s winner was KTM’s newest recruit Andrew Short on the 350 SX-F. GNCC champ Josh Strang finished second.One of those who makes A Day in the Dirt his annual Thanksgiving Weekend pilgrimage is photographer Kinney Jones. Thankfully, Kinney sent us some of his favorite shots of the weekend for all of us to enjoy.Former factory-backed motocross Scott Burnworth competed in the Vintage class on an Ossa.Racers run to their bikes at the start of the Coupe de Grace Survival Race.Brock Harden competed and finished on the electric-powered Zero motorcycle.Erik Kehoe gets a taste of McGrath dessert.Ron Lechien looked as good as ever.  Jeremy McGrath and Josh Strang had a battle royale in the Open GP. McGrath won, barely.

Factory Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe (left) teamed up with Rick Johnson.A late ’70s Honda CR250R Elsinore battles head to head with a modern-day Suzuki RM-Z250 in the combined Vintage and Women’s GP race.Half the fun at A Day in the Dirt is in the pits.Jet Ski Freestyle World Champion Rick Roy competed in the Vintage class.

Andrew Short won the Coupe de Grace on a near-stock KTM 350 SX-F.

Short is awarded a custom Troy Lee Designs open-face helmet trophy.The Vintage bikes get off to a smoky start.Kehoe avoids the roost this time and leads Josh Strang.Nice!Very nice!Speedway champ and actor Bruce Penhall made an appearance.McGrath and daughter.A Day in the Dirt is a family friendly event.See you next year!



Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.