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The Groundbreaking History of Flat Track Racing

The Groundbreaking History of Flat Track Racing
May 11, 2016 sbrass
History of Flat Track Racing

While flat track racing is new to the X-Games, it’s actually one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing there is. The history of flat track racing dates back to the 1920s and is almost as old as the invention of motorcycles.

Gritty Roots of Flat Racing

In 1924, on a one-mile long dirt oval track in Toledo, Ohio, Jim Davis won the first ever national race sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). It wasn’t until 1954 when the Grand National Championship (GNC) developed and became known as the foundation of the AMA flat track series still operating to this day.

Since then, rules, specs, format structures, and class names have all changed in some way or another, but the origins of the sport remain intact.

Then in 2015, professional-level division names were changed to GNC1 and GNC2. GNC1 is the top level of flat track racing  and some experts can compete in the X-Games.

Modern Flat Track Racing

Today, riders move fast — some reaching up to speeds of 140 mph. They power around the dirt tracks with thunderous momentum and swirling circles of dust.

If you blink you’re going to miss something.

Flat track racing may seem simple to describe: a counterclockwise race around a dirt track. But those who are familiar with the sport know it’s much more than that.

Dirt tracks can range anywhere from a quarter to one-mile long. Corners of the track are banked a slight six degrees — giving this style of racing its unique name.

While racing through the corners, riders dip low to the inside without letting their knees touch the ground. They pitch sideways and power-slide along the low-banked corners while dragging their protective steel boots over the dirt track. During this point, bikers are often so close, they appear to be handlebar-to-handlebar.

AMA Pro Flat Track Racing Coming to Oklahoma City

Some of this year’s OKC Mile’s racers will be traveling from the X-Games in Austin to race again in Oklahoma City at Remington Park on Saturday, June 18. This premier event will be the largest two-wheeled motorsports event to happen in the state of Oklahoma EVER!

Witness flat track racing history for yourself and buy tickets today!