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Ironman Venue

Ironman

Crawsfordville, IN

One of the most historic motocross races in America, the Hangtown Motocross Classic predates the AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Operated by the Dirt Diggers North (DDNMC), it’s the only race on the schedule still run by a motorcycle club and, with the exception of the 2020 shutdown, has continuously hosted a Pro Motocross round since 1974.

Fast Facts

Venues

The Hangtown Motocross Classic has been hosted at three different racetracks all east of Sacramento, California.

The first event happened in 1968 in Placerville, a small gold rush era town with a nickname borrowed for the race (Hangtown).

By the time the race joined the Pro Motocross Championship series in 1974 , Hangtown was held at a facility in nearby Plymouth.

In 1979 race, the Dirt Diggers, along with the Sacramento County Department of Parks and Recreation, created an all-new motocross facility at the Prairie City OHV Park in Rancho Cordova, California. Every Hangtown MX Classic since has been held at this venue.

Important: while the Dirt Diggers are celebrating 55 years of the Hangtown Classic as an event, the race has been a part of the Pro Motocross series XX years (see chart above).

Iconic Moments

With over five decades of history, the Hangtown Motocross Classic has hosted every single champion in the history of AMA Pro Motocross from Marty Smith and Gary Jones to Bob Hannah and Ricky Johnson, Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence and many more.

1979: The 'Claim' to Fame

The threat of having a factory motorcycle claimed was a constant stress for race teams in the 1970s and the first (and only) successful claim happened at Hangtown in 1979 at Hangtown. The factory Honda of Marty Tripes was claimed and purchased by privateer John Roeder for $3500. It’s too long and complicated to explain here but in an interview with Cycle News, Roeder said his motivation was to ‘make a point’ and ‘keep the factories honest.’ The rule was suspended for Pro Motocross a week later, and hasn’t returned since.

1991: When It Rains, It Pours

The 1991 Hangtown National is remembered as the day of the privateers in an event that ran under monsoon-like conditions. Weeks of rain prior, and heavy showers on the day of, led officials to shorten the racing to one points-paying moto for each class (with a doubled purse). John Dowd took the win in the 250 class, becoming the first privateer to win an overall since 1984 (Alan King, also at Hangtown!) In the 125 class, Doug Henry, another New Englander, took the victory. It was a miserable day for factory racers. Honda’s Jean-Michel Bayle and Suzuki’s Mike LaRocco were the only factory level 250 riders to finish the moto. Perhaps Jeff Ward summed it up the best, when he said the track turned into Niagara Falls.

Ricky Carmichael, Hangtown, 2004
2004: Return of The GOAT

After a knee injury kept him from racing in Supercross, Honda’s Ricky Carmichael returned for the opening round of the 2004 Motocross season at Hangtown. The race marked Carmichael’s first on the Honda CRF450R and he held off the likes of David Vuillemin and Chad Reed to go 1-1 and kick off what became his second perfect season. In the 125 class, James Stewart, riding a KX125, battled the KX250F-riding Stephane Roncada in a back and forth duel that kept the sun-soaked crowd on their feet. Stewart won both motos but left Hangtown frustrated that his competition was so close.

2021: Jett Lawrence's First Title

Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence began his meteoric rise by winning the 2020 Motocross finale at Fox Raceway. One year later, Lawrence came to Hangtown for the first time and wrapped up his first Pro Motocross championship (and first pro title, period). After a rough eighth place finish in Moto 1, Lawrence secured a 3rd in Moto 2 to claim the 250MX title over Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper by just 6 points. It was the first 250MX crown for Honda since Eli Tomac’s in 2013 and kicked off a run consecutive championships entered and won by the Australian. (Photo: Garth Milan)

This interactive table details the all-time leaders at Hangtown. Who has the most starts, wins, podiums and points. Filter by class. On mobile, slide left to access more columns. To see all years of data, become a member of the We Went Fast Garage and help us continue (and expand) these unique views of the sport’s history.

All-Time Leaders

This interactive table details the Hangtown winners history. Who won in what year and what round was this venue. Filter by class. On mobile, slide left to access more columns. To see all years of data, become a member of the We Went Fast Garage and help us continue (and expand) these unique views of the sport’s history.

Winner History