Revving engines draw in screaming fans

The revving of engines and loud screams of hundreds of wild fans echoed off the Ector County Coliseum walls.

Men, women and children lined up at the starting gates to race one of the largest dirt bike races in all of West Texas: Arena Cross.

This was a great opportunity to bring the entire family out to watch a variety of bike and quad classes, including some of the nation’s top pro riders all the way down to the little tikes, riders Braden Frady and Devin Barnett said.

It also brought the chance to watch the pro riders enter into a jump off contest and perform all the latest and greatest tricks right before your eyes.

The riders day began at roughly 8 a.m. with early signups. Riders chose which races they wanted to enter in giving them the opportunity to win multiple awards.

Around 11 a.m. the fun really took off. With practice heats and started and the main event just a few hours away, rider Devin Barnett said he became to get more and more pumped up and anxious.

There were between 18 and 20 heats all through the day’s practice with roughly 10 to 12 people at the starting gates and each one of them had their eye on the prize.

“Each and every one of us are out here to win but were out here to mainly have fun, there are definitely some good riders out here and they are all determined,” Barnett said.

There were only 10 spots open for the main event and only the top two from selected races made it, so having determination to win seemed appropriate.

At around 7:30 p.m. the main event finally began, the lights shut down and the fire lit up. The announcer’s voice began bouncing from wall to wall, strips of fire blew up all across the arena leaving the crowd in awe.

The sounds of engines roared and the clouds of dust grew bigger. All at once the riders drove out in rows of two and three stopping all across the track.

The announcer began to individually introduce the riders who made the main event by name. One of those riders was 26 year old Devin Barnett, the first and second place winner of the 250 and 450 novice race.

“I’m excited to participate in this event. This is my first year trying it out and being able to come up fifth to first place in my heat was good enough, but getting to be a part of the main event just made the experience that much better,” Barnett said.

According to rider Barnett, pulling up to the gate is always a little nerve racking.

“You always want to be in front so you don’t have to worry about wrecking in the first corner, which a lot of people had done, I really just try to focus on my breathing and relax,” he said.

Race after race finished, and it wasn’t difficult to see how hard these riders were being on themselves.

There were over 30 races and not one rider gave up. The riders rode for over six to seven hours not to mention the hours of practice they put into preparing for the race.

By the end of the night, the riders had given it all they had and definitely put on a show to remember for the entire audience.

Some riders may not have been happy with how they did overall, but the fans loved the show and there is always next year.

“It was a good learning experience considering everything that had gone on today, the track was definitely a little more sketchy and small than what I’m used to. I 100 percent prefer motocross but that just my personal opinion,” Barnett said.

This annual event was one for the books, and one you did not want to miss.IMG_9506

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