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The BROTY 2014

The BROTY Chronicles 2014…Biggest Pit Bike Race Of The Year…Texas Road Trip…FANTASY JIM WINS IT!…What “IT” is, you’ll have to keep reading…but the headline is…Local Hot-Shoe RYAN PANELL Sweeps The BROTY with a 1/1 for the Overall Win…Pit Bike Junkie Pro Riders #549 Jake “the Assassin” Payne & #95 Bubba Harris take 2nd & 3rd in a packed gate of 33 riders…Impressive results!…but let’s back up the story…last year we had heard about The BROTY but were unable to make it and this year there were rumors that there might not be another…so when Blake Hughes announced The BROTY 2014…We were in!!…Now I like to be prepared so the Team Rig went to the repair shop for $1,500 worth of preventive maintenance so it would make that 10 hour trip to Burleson. MURPHY’s LAW – “When things can go wrong – they will go wrong”…We loaded up 6 Piranha 190’s and left STL at 3pm on Friday, stopped in Rolla, MO to pick up the Professor then stopped for a bite…Another few hours into the trip & the RV started misfiring…We pulled into a deserted weigh-station, pulled out the seats & engine cover to look for the obvious but no luck…or only option was to put the pedal to metal…NO WAY were we going to miss that race!…Chugged down the freeway sucking a world record amount of gas till 1am & crashed for the night…next morning we pulled the seats & engine cover again and still could not find the culprit so we went to the nearest Auto Zone (that happened to be in the deepest, darkest Ghetto in Oklahoma City)…when I remembered an old trick…we poured water on each cylinder to see which one was the coolest & sure enough we located the problem…a plug wire had melted…Thanks to the Professor for locating the bad wire & John Payne for changing it in record time in order to escape being jacked!!…to be continued:

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The BROTY Chronicles 2014…Biggest Pit Bike Race Of The Year…Texas Road Trip…Part 2: So now the RV is fixed, we are down 3 hours…so pedal to the floor at 80mph in a rolling bread box. The plan was to meet up with PBJ Team riders Big Jon Schneider & Bubba Harris (who had left from Topeka, KS a day earlier). As we rolled into the Dallas area, Big Jon’s text said to meet up at River Valley MX for a little pre-race practice, but quite frankly I was so spent from fighting that wheel for nearly 12 hours straight that I didn’t even unload my bike…The Assassin & the Snake did manage to get in some laps while the Professor took some video. At this point I was just ready to get to our hotel (4 suites reserved)…I had a secret motive…I had a rendezvous with my gorgeous wife Rose who had been in Dallas taking care of her mom for the past month…We hit the Comfort Suites in Burleson at 6pm & after a stint in the hot tub, the Team trekked over to the Mexican joint (Miranda’s) next door for some grub & Margaritas…After dinner the guys took off to race go-karts & the Professor took the win in all 3 heats…I guess his Autocross experience (and numerous speeding tickets) paid off on his time slip…Tremendous FUN…As for me (& the love of my life for more than 40 years)…We retired to the room because tonight was going to be the best 10 minutes of my life…LOL!…Besides I needed some rest because the “world’s oldest pit bike racer” was about to line up in the biggest pit bike race of the year!…to be continued.

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The BROTY Chronicles 2014…Biggest Pit Bike Race Of The Year…Texas Road Trip…Part 3:…RACE DAY…Well the boys survived the margaritas & go-kart track & I survived my 10 minutes of monkey sex (sorry Bubba but didn’t get to try the spinning basket trick…look it up)…so after a quick breakfast at the hotel we split for the track…We pulled up to the gate in the RV with 6 riders, 2 gals from the local strip club & one scared sheep (Bubba’s date) and it was only $20 for the car load…WOW…we usually pay $10 – $15 per person!…Now I always get the jitters on race day but today was worse than usual…My mind was telling me to stay on the sidelines, relax & drink a beer and just enjoy the racing action “stay off the track old man”…but when I saw that track swerving in & out of trees & following all the natural terrain…cut out of the middle of a working cattle ranch… and then laid eyes on that dirt…yes I said DIRT…loamy, sandy, dark red dirt with not a rock or pebble in sight…I knew I had to sink my knobbies into it…Sign up was only $20 for The BROTY class (we usually pay $35) plus they had a 2nd pit bike class (run what u brung) for only $10…Now I have never raced 2 classes (4 motos) in the same day (at least not in the last 2 decades) but fellow Vet rider John Payne talked me in to it…and boy am I glad that he did…The Team was excited & the adrenaline was pumping…Piranha’s fired up & we all hit the gate to practice the starts…HOLY CRAP…I just about blew through the 1st turn (this dirt is slick I thought)…try again, same results…My rear master cylinder had failed & no rear brakes…Murphy’s Law had struck again!!…to be continued: — with Jon Schneider and 4 others. (8 photos)

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The BROTY Chronicles 2014…Biggest Pit Bike Race Of The Year…Texas Road Trip…Part 4:…RACE DAY – PLAN B…So the rear brake cylinder had failed so I rushed back to the trailer to change it out but WTF…Murphy’s Law again!…I keep almost every spare part that you would need but this one particular part was packed WRONG in the factory package!!…Of course I didn’t discover this problem until I had changed it out…by wasting all of this time I missed BOTH practices!!…That’s when Jake “Assassin” Payne returned to the pits in agony…he had caught his boot under the bike & severely twisted & sprained his ankle…”Ice pack & Ibprofen” he yelled out…No way was he going to miss Moto 1…So now time to unload the back-up bike that I had in the trailer (just in case)…This Piranha was ready to race & I had spent at least 12 hours prepping that spare bike…but it was not MY bike & MY set-up…bike had different bars, different forks, different tires, different jetting, different pipe, etc…Now for a great rider or even good rider this wouldn’t make much difference but for me (the world’s oldest pit bike racer) it made a huge difference, especially with no practice!…NO CRY-BABIES ALLOWED…Time to go racing!…I have to say there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of sitting on the starting line when that gate drops & you pin the throttle & let that clutch fly…WHAT A RUSH!…33 racers trying to get through a 1st turn that is only 4 bikes wide (if that)…I have to say I absolutely loved the track, the dirt was amazing & those big bowl turns were the shit…at first glance there doesn’t seem to be a lot of jumps but there are so many changes that form in the natural terrain (after every lap) that “mini jumps” appear everywhere…You feel like you are airborne about 50% of the time…REALLY FUN!…Murphy’s Law can kiss my butt because I didn’t care what bike I was on, I had so much fun that I couldn’t wait for that 2nd pit bike class & the chance to race with another Vet rider & fellow team mate John Payne…John is 52 & had never raced or been on a track with his new Piranha 190 pit bike (this might get interesting)…to be continued:

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The BROTY Chronicles 2014…Biggest Pit Bike Race Of The Year…Texas Road Trip…Part 5:…RESULTS…We came to The BROTY to have fun, but it sure would of been sweet to beat those Texas hot-shoes on their home track…And we had some heavy hitters with us…Bubba Harris had just won the State Pro Champion title & Hole-shot King award in the 2014 ShoMe Series…Josh “the Snake” Garner was a 3 time Pro State Champion in the ShoMe Series…Jake “the Assassin” Payne was the 2013 Arena X Pit Bike Champion…The Professor was 2013 State Amateur Champion in the ShoMe Series…Big Jon Schneider had been tearing it up (that is when that black cloud of bad luck wasn’t hovering over him)…And I had just won my 5th State Vet title (but that’s the old man class so it barely counts!)…The BROTY had only ONE 12″ class so Pro’s, Amateurs & Vets all lined up together…And THAT’s what made it such an exciting, bar banging experience…Balls to the wall & see where you ended up…

Pit Bike Junkie Team Results (out of 33 riders):
*All riders in 12″ class were piloting Piranha P190R-4V Pit Bikes with Pit Bike Junkie Team Specs.

2nd place – Jake “Assassin” Payne – #549
3rd place – Bubba Harris – #95
7th place – Josh “Snake” Garner – #123
12th place – Jared “Candy” Bandy – #925 (Big 10 Team Founder)
13th place – James “Professor” Smoot – #42
22nd place – “Fantasy” Jim – #54 (#00 back-up bike)
3rd place – Bubba Harris – #95 (Mad Dog class)
1st place – Jared “Candy” Bandy – #925 Reg. Pit Bike Class
6th place – John Payne – #549-X Reg. Pit Bike Class
7th place – “Fantasy” Jim – #54 Reg. Pit Bike Class
* #786 Big Jon’s bad luck continued with a failed chain guide.

I’d say those are some pretty impressive results with 3 riders in the top 10…I am so very proud of all of our guys because they raced hard (and clean) and we all had TONS OF FUN…Plus I was not dead last…60 years old & not in last place…of course the few guys that I beat probably broke down, crashed or were on stock CRF50’s…LOL!…but what the heck I gave it everything I had and raced 4 motos too!!…So what was the “IT” that “Fantasy” Jim won?…to be continued.

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The BROTY Chronicles 2014…Biggest Pit Bike Race Of The Year…Texas Road Trip…Part 6:…”Fantasy” Jim Wins It…WINS WHAT?…OK, so I’ve made you wait long enough…I was the BIG WINNER because I had the…ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME…The road trip (even with the break-down)…the rendezvous with my wife after being apart for more than a month…the margaritas, dinner & laughter with the team…the thrill of lining up on the gate with 33 other pit bike riders knowing that I was old enough to be most of these guys grandpa (wow, that’s hard to admit)…Racing along side of my son on one of the most fun tracks we have ever been on…And the best part…All of the new friends like “Bad Boy” Blake Hughes, Rad Chad, Jared “Candy” Bandy, Brian “Elvis” Hunt, Chris (fill in the blank) Wyatt, Tyler “luvs the titties” Rawlings (just seemed to fit) and everyone else who came up to say HI…By the way guys, if you race pit bikes you have to have a nick name!…The DFW pit biker’s are a great group and made us feel like old friends & we really appreciate that…so regardless of what place I finished…This experience was a WINNER…By the way, did you see the AWARD that was presented to me by the PBJ Team?…to be continued:

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The BROTY Chronicles 2014…Biggest Pit Bike Race Of The Year…Texas Road Trip…FINAL CHAPTER:…The BROTY has to be one of the best pit bike venues I have been to…And most (if not all) of the credit goes to the efforts of “Bad Boy” Blake Hughes & his relationship with Burleson MX Park…I’ve been to a lot of pit bike races & the track owners are always complaining about not enough riders…Well take a cue from The BROTY…Gate fee was only $6 or $20 per car load (we got 6 riders, an RV & Team trailer into the track for only $20)…WOW…and the race fee was only $20 plus there was a 2nd class for only $10…And this was no backyard track (unless your backyard happens to be a working cattle ranch)…Chester (the owner) opens up his land twice per month to allow people to race and this track is BIG with great dirt (the best I have ever sunk a knobby into) and all natural terrain…FUN, FUN, FUN…the races were well organized, on time & the starting gate worked!!…Don’t know who to give credit for the FREE Hot Dogs & Burgers…Yes I said FREE!…Plus at the Awards Ceremony Chester gave the entire gate back to Blake so the $100 prize grew into $925…so a lot of guys got PAID to race this event…Blake even gave away some FREE T-shirts (though I still don’t know the significance of the Unicorn??)…The only thing that would make this event bigger & better would be if Chester would open up the track for a Saturday practice (for just this one event)…I’d volunteer to pay $20 per person just to get the chance to ride more (especially after a 10 hour drive to get there)…Hats off to Blake, Chester and anyone else who made this event possible…I really think this could become one of the biggest pit bike events in the USA if we can all spread the word…And oh yes, that AWARD I received, well the guys talked my wife Rose into making up this Award out of a 30 pack of Coors Lite & had it waiting for me back at the trailer (I think John Payne had a lot to do with it too!!)…But THANKS, I am going to frame it for my office…See you all next year (if not sooner)… I will not tip-toe through life just to arrive safely at death…I want to hit the grave beat up, bloodied, worn out and say WOW, what a ride!!………………………………………….”Fantasy” Jim – (the world’s oldest pit bike racer)

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