A Look at Thor Spring ClassicThursday, January 31, 2013 | 1:30 PM
The Spring Classic has a long rich history. From its days in Texas before the internet, cell phones, you tube and even pagers, the event has been a fixture on the "big list" of Amateur elite events. Back in the day stories would travel back home from Texas with the riders that were there. The jumps were crazier, passes were gnarlier and wins were bigger. Remember when Jeff Emig did this or Denny Stephenson did that? Some grainy old pictures and some handy cam videos were all you had to go by back then. Things have changed that's for sure. Before the race is even over you're getting smacked in the face with tweets and instagrams giving you the low down in real time.
Over the long history of the event, we have seen a couple of venue changes. The McWilliams took the event over from Honda of Houston's Dave Martin and ran it for a couple of years in its original location at the Whitney Ranch in Texas. After a lot of nervous thought the McWilliams decided to take the plunge and move the event 12 hours east to their home track Mill Creek in Pell City, Alabama. "It was a risky move, and we didn't know how the industry would respond" said McWilliams. Well as they enter their 3rd year hosting the event in Alabama it's safe to say the event is there to stay. "Last year we had the largest turnout of the big amateur events in the spring and we had the best collection of talent" stated McWilliams. Without question, the best of the best were there for all too see. The introduction of a three moto format has been a huge success. A three moto format allowed riders to truly prove themselves over a sustained period of time. "You can't hide from a bad start, from the rain, and from the ruts and bumps in a three moto format, you can't luck into a title racing three motos" McWilliams commented with that usual smile and he's right. You have to prove yourself in varying conditions and it's what makes this event a staple for the industry and riders alike.
Last year we saw the emergence of Jeremy Martin as a true force in the Pro Classes. He had to battle the likes of Jessy Nelson and Justin Hill both of whom have since found rides on TLD and Monster Energy Pro Circuit. Nelson has already proven his worth on the TLD team as he's excelling out west in the lites class. Martin and Hill are waiting their turn as the series comes east. Last year Gage Linville laid it down with perfect scores en route to a dominant performance in the 51cc 7-8 stock class. Remember this kid he was good last year and he's only getting better and he's got some serious heavy hitting industry support behind him. Adam Cianciarulo
passed the eyeball test. He established himself as the fastest rider on a small bike. His next task is to do the same thing on a big bike in the pro class. He'll be at the Thor Spring Classic to show you how much homework he's put in. Cooper Webb, Shane McElrath, Jace Owen, Anthony Rodriguez, Dakota Alix are just a few of the names that make the pro class one of the deepest we've seen in years. The Thor Spring Classic will be the proving grounds for all of those guys. Jordan Smith has put himself in a lonely spot in the intermediate classes. He's earned this spot by being the fastest rider in that class at every event he enters. The Thor Spring Classic should be more of the same for Jordan.
Those of you that have never experienced the Thor Spring Classic can get a jump on the competition by joining the masses that always show up for the Warm Up race February 8-10 2013. A who's who of amateur motocross will be searching out lines and getting ready for the official start of the 2013 season and the Thor Spring Classic March 3-9. Get yourself pre registered over at
www.rpmsportsonline.com . It's game time!