By Adam Booth

Adam Booth racing and testing a Pro Circuit-built CRF250R for the May issue of Dirt Bike.
It’s been a while since I’ve raced a motocross race. All of the racing I’ve done in the past six months has been off-road or dead-engine start, so I was a little nervous to line up behind a gate. With my first child due any day, I was warned by our main test guy, Mark Tilley, not to get hurt with the due date so close if I wanted to stay on mom’s good side, and he would know—he blew his knee up just weeks before his son was born. I also couldn’t push the memory of our own Ron Lawson collapsing a lung and damaging most of his body only days before his son was due. Ron got to hang out in the hospital with his new boy, lying in a bed of his own.
Dirt Bike’s resident dentist, Petron, talked me into heading out to LACR for the Over the Hill Gang motocross race on the last day of January, promising it would be mellow and that everyone who attended was out to have a good time. Not wanting to head into battle alone, I talked Mark Tilley and Scot Gustafson (master wrench handler) to come out and join in the fun.

Early morning sign-up.
I love LACR; it’s such a fun track, especially with the big drops into the pit and the fifth-gear wide-open jump out of the pit. Usually at a race, everything is rushed and the mood is intense, but it was so refreshing to see everyone smiling and having a good time.

Jeff and Jeremy Petron. Just because it’s called Over the Hill Gang doesn’t mean you have to be old to come out and race.
Practice was a little chilly in the high desert, but the sun came out and the winds stayed down, and the rest of the day was great. I’m 35 years old, so I raced the 28 to 37 Intermediate class. With OTHG, there is no sandbagging classes, so if you are truly a beginner, you race with other beginners. To ensure I was tired by the end of the day, I also raced the Support class, which is filled with all age groups, young and old. There are zero age limits on the Support class, so the whole family or friends of older riders can come out and race as well. I watched almost all the motos throughout the day, and a lot of the racing was great. There were guys in their 70s out throwing roost.

Mark Tilley put down some fast laps aboard a variety of Dirt Bike’s 250Fs on his way to the 28 and over Master’s class victory.
As promised, everyone was super mellow and friendly, and the racing–while safe–was really fun. I’m not saying there isn’t a little bumping and dicing, but as you get older, the idea of bouncing off the ground loses its appeal.

Waiting for the next moto.

If you are over 28 years old and want to have a great time racing with a good group of riders, head out to an Over the Hill Gang race. Even if you aren’t 28, they offer support classes for younger riders. For a list of OTHG events, visit their website at www.overthehillgang.org.


Scot Gustafson handles some early-morning prep.

02/21 LACR
02/28 Racetown
03/14 Starwest
03/28 Rynoland
04/11 Comp Edge
04/24 & 25 Sierra National 
05/02 Cahuilla Creek

Just some of the guys who came out to race with Over the Hill Gang at LACR raceway. 

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