Gordon Park Speedway has long been a staple of Columbia County -- the Grovetown facility has played host to car races for nearly 60 years.
But it's another type of racing that has gained in popularity and convinced those running the facility to consider expanding.
Motocross (MX) was introduced at Gordon Park Speedway in May 2009. In a little more than a year, Gordon MX Park has attracted a substantial number of riders. Typically, about 40 to 50 attend practices held Thursday nights from 6-10 p.m., and 80 to 120 compete on race days, said Chris Folgman, who runs the facility with Ralph Hilliard.
MX races are usually held every other Saturday in 31 classes, from 50cc to 450cc. About 80 percent of those who race at Gordon MX Park are between the ages of 8 to 20, with some younger riders and adults also competing.
With so many riders, Folgman and Hilliard have decided they'd like to build a new facility across the street from Gordon Park, which is at 3157 Gordon Highway near Fort Gordon's Gate 3.
The new facility is in the permitting stage right now, and Folgman estimates the facility will move into the planning phase in early August.
"After we get the land cleared, we'll let our imagination run wild," Folgman said. "Once we get out there, we'll plan the track design, the layout, the turns and the jumps."
The new track will be a full 1.25 miles, compared to the 0.6-mile track being used now.
That track is on the infield at Gordon Park Speedway, inside the car racing oval. The track design features elements of both supercross -- a faster track with wider turns and longer straightaways -- and arenacross -- a shorter, more technical version with hairpin turns.
Races for cars and motocross are typically held on alternating weekends. Car races will begin Aug. 7 after five weeks off and will run through Oct. 30.
The summer series for motocross is scheduled to run through Sept. 11, though more race days could still be scheduled after that date.
All practice and race day schedules can be found on the Gordon Park Speedway Web site, www.gordonmx.net.
Folgman said opening a new track will help with parking and will ensure that motocross riders can access the track whenever they like.
"For example, we would like to have practice until it gets dark on Saturdays, but we can't do that now because the car races start before then," Folgman said.
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