At first glance, the Dallas track looked like a candidate for a Fox “Dream On” ad.
Lead Photo By: Michael Antonovich
I bought in just like most people who saw the Dallas track. It had that beautiful Atlanta-looking red clay but that’s where the comparisons with the holy-grail of SX creations ends. After watching only a few laps of qualifying sessions, it was already becoming quite clear, this track had far too many jumps to make for a great race-centric track.
It had the feel of a track designed by someone who didn’t know much about Supercross. Someone who was given a footprint to fit a track layout in, strewn with jumps and a few corners. It really, most accurately felt like a Mad Skills or Straight Rhythm track reciprocated and curled around itself. Places for passes to be setup and executed were few and far between, bordering on nonexistent. I love Dean Wilson and he has absolutely been riding very well in his return to racing, on a fresh factory team no less but his ability to hold Dungey at bay as long as he did had far more to do with the track than it did Dean’s speed.
The lacking pass-options were a major indictment on the Dallas track but it’s not the first time we’ve seen a crappy “racing” track. The poor planning on time of day and track orientation, resulting in extremely treacherous an dangerous sunlight beaming headlong into the racers eyes is simply inexcusable. The level of danger is already at a peak in this form of racing, for this completely foreseeable problem to be overlooked blows me away. There’s zero chance this discussion didn’t come up at some point during the planning of this time-frame and design, so either they figured they’d roll the dice and cross their fingers or they just said screw it, these guys are professionals.
There have been discussions of lacking dirt in Dallas and other rounds but with the amount of rhythms and obstacles in general in Dallas, I don’t see that as being a real bulletpoint for failure in Dallas. If anything, I see it as them having a surplus of dirt and instead of putting it to use with interesting obstacle configurations, they spread it out and made the entire race surface a jump show.
If ever there were an argument for Supercross being a Circus, this is it. Very little actual racing going on because the guys resembled essentially an orchestrated jump expo. With that stadium and quality of dirt, the ceiling for historic racing is limitless; as long as the tack design lends itself to actual racing.
I don’t want to take away from Marvin’s first 450 win because of the lame-duck track and honestly, he should have won the real Atlanta last year, so maybe this was just the Universes getting itself back in balance?
Another point made in may of the post race interviews conducted by Mr. Matthes himself is the deterioration that we are seeing in these Main events due to the timed racing and longer Mains. There’s really not much Dirt Wurx can do to battle the track breakdown due to the program’s scheduled run time. It’s a lot like the Motocross series where they lay down the water heavy early so that the track will work best during the live TV show. It’s not water in the SX races that make the tracks treacherous but it is a viewership consideration that has gotten us to this point of timed racing and the further deterioration of the track surface. I’m personally all for the timed racing. I think it has been better and the racers are just going to have to use their better judgement later in the races to decide whether they really want to press the pace and danger-level or wait till next week?
That thought process could be the difference between a title and an also-ran.