Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 15, 2017
Next weekend’s action-packed schedule at UMC worth the price of admission

Utah Motorsports Campus will take center stage next weekend when it comes to sports entertainment in Tooele County.

If you’re into motorsports at all — and especially if your blood type is either regular, super or premium — UMC is the place to be. There will be something for everyone, whether it’s the desert trucks of the Lucas Off-Road Racing Series or the lightning-quick motorcycles of MotoAmerica or the AMA Supermoto West Series.

I’m one of those who thoroughly enjoys a weekend at the race track. I’ve been a racing fan as far back as I can remember, whether it’s NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, off-road trucks or motorcycles. If it’s on TV, I’m likely watching it.

This will be the third year in a row I’ve gotten to cover MotoAmerica’s annual trip to UMC. While they don’t get as much exposure on a national scale as, say, NASCAR drivers, I’ve really grown to appreciate the skill level of these riders.

The thing that strikes me most is their fearlessness as they navigate UMC’s tricky layout at mind-blowing speeds, often mere fractions of an inch from total disaster. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces like Toni Elias, Cameron Beaubier, Roger Hayden and Josh Hayes take to the track again in the Superbike races, along with Garrett Gerloff, JD Beach and local rider Gauge Rees in Supersport.

But that’s not all. If off-road racing is more your thing, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is right up your alley. I haven’t gotten a chance to see the series’ previous trips to UMC, but I have gotten the opportunity to cover off-road racing before. It is really an interesting form of racing to watch.

Despite the races not being very long distance-wise, they are truly a test of endurance for both man and machine. The weather is likely to be nice and toasty next weekend (unless mid-April decides to make another appearance, as it did earlier this week), and the temperature inside a race truck can get upwards of 120 degrees. Not real comfortable when you’re wearing an insulated fire suit and a full-face helmet — not to mention what it does to a race engine running at full throttle.

And the ruts and bumps and jumps aren’t exactly easy on the truck’s suspension or the driver’s spine, either. If you win one of those races, you’ve earned it.

So, if you’re a race fan like me, you might want to head out to UMC next weekend. It’ll be worth the price of admission.

Darren Vaughan is a veteran sports writer from Moab, Utah. He’d take advantage of Wide Open Wednesdays if he had something faster than a decidedly slow SUV. Email him at dvaughan@tooeletranscript.com.

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