|Clark Ungerman leads the pack.|
Some of you may not know that a lot of Emery County residents like to go out, make noise and get dirty on the weekend. But, they do. The sport is motocross and it has become a favorite of young men across the county.
They pursue their sport from one end of the state to the other at various racetracks. Some competitors even leave the state to catch their share of thrills. They will compete in various age divisions and they are also divided by the size of the motor on their machine. It doesn't matter which brand you ride and each competitor has a favorite and they can tell you why. Some of the bikes will take the turns just so smoothly and others seem to fly like a bird. It doesn't seem to matter why you like a bike, but it is important that you love your machine. They just seem to run better that way.
A lot of the local competitors finished out their year of racing at the Thanksgiving Classic Motocross race held in St. George. This was the last race to finish up the 2002 racing season. All of the local riders finished high on the list and demanded the respect of the other riders in the state. The riders didn't take much time off from racing during the holidays and jumped right back into 2003 with a race on New Year's Day in the Delta Center.
In speaking with some racing families, I learned that they are more than just a little proud of their champions. Mitch Vetere had this to say about his racing son Blair, "On Jan. 1 Blair raced in the Delta Center in their first annual New Year's race. Blair made the main event in the 65 cc 9-11 age group and he placed fifth. He was very excited to get a trophy with so many great riders in attendance.
"This has been a family event for us and we attend the races together, it has really been good for us. I believe you need to keep kids busy. It helps to keep them out of trouble and I think racing is a great way to do that," said Vetere. Blair is the son of Mitch and Sheri Vetere of Green River.
The Veteres are planning for a motocross track in Green River where riders from all over the state will be able to gather for sanctioned events.
The Ben Brady family from Elmo also participate in these wild and crazy events. They have been enjoying racing together for many years and also speak to the family atmosphere at these racing events. Everyone loads up and comes out to support their favorite racer. The Brady racers have included Ty, Buck and Lance. Ty this year was second in the state in the 125 junior class, he was 19th in the open junior class. Lance was 12th in the state in the 125 junior and 13th in the 250 junior. Buck is currently enrolled in the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. He plans to come back to work in Utah and will be certified in Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda. The Brady's attribute much of their success to their sister Laci who is there at every event to cheer them on.
The Gordon Ungerman family of Huntington have also been in the racing world for a number of years attending events in Utah as well as traveling to Nevada and other states. Clark and Willie have been the racers with the other family members as supporters and pit crew. Clark is a 1999 125 Junior Class State Champion for the USRA. He took two years off for a mission in Denmark and raced for three months when he returned. Willie is the 2002 open intermediate class champion for the state for the USRA. He has been 1st and 2nd in the fall series in Las Vegas in the open intermediate and the 125 intermediate. He is also a 2002 Las Vegas winter series winner finishing 1st in open intermediate and 2nd in 125 intermediate. He has also finished 2nd overall in the ZMA which includes, Arizona, Utah and Nevada in the 125 junior class and also 2nd in the 125 open class. Willie races with number 35 on his bike and Clark races with number 44.
Willie said, "I race because it is fun, it's a thrill when you're on the line ready to start. I like being in the lead and I like the jumping. We've met a lot of people going from place to place....every year we meet the same friends at the races. Next year I am turning pro and then I can race for money instead of trophies. They're a higher class of riders and there will be more competition but the bikes will be the same. It will be more work. I'll have to get back into shape and practice more. I've really enjoyed our family time and getting away together."
The John Ellis family from Ferron is also involved. Their son Scott is an avid racer. He has been racing for two years. His goals are to finish in the top five in his motocross class in 2003 and to attend school at MMI in Phoenix, Ariz.
One of Scott's accomplishments was to finish fifth overall in his class for desert racing.
(The Emery County Progress will spotlight other racers in upcoming issues.)