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Lake Whitney

Lake Whitney, TX

Next to the banks of the Brazos River was the Lake Whitney Cycle Ranch. A sand and clay mixture defined the track that featured elevation changes and large berms challenged riders in the heat and humidity of a Texas summer. The track hosted nationals for a decade before losing its spot on the calendar and despite large amateur events and a track restoration, the property closed for good in 2010.

Venues

Lake Whitney Cycle Ranch was opened in 1969 and joined the AMA Pro Motocross calendar four years later. The track hosted a pair of nationals in 1973 and was on and off the calendar until the venue’s final pro national in 1983. Heat and humidity tested the toughest racers in the world at Lake Whitney for a decade. The two biggest factors in the track’s closure were a slumping Texas economy thanks to an oil bust and declining attendance. It would be over two decades before Motocross returned to the Lone Star State, with Freestone Raceway joining the calendar in 2007.

Iconic Moments

From a pair of home state heroes battling for the win to two first time winners on the same day, here are some of Lake Whitney’s biggest moments in its time on the schedule.

1977-Triple Digits

With a temperature of 110, the 1977 Lake Whitney National was a brutal test. Naturally, some native Texans rose to the occasion and turned in great performances. The nearby river was a popular spot for the day, with riders cooling down between motos. Steve Stackable became the first home state rider to win at the track, with a stellar 1-1 performance. Stackable put his Maico out front in the first moto with fellow Texan Kent Howerton charging through the pack. A communication issue caused the flagger to display the 2 lap board early, aiding Stackable as Howerton closed in. The two returned up front once again for the second race of the day as Stackable pulled away, with Howerton dealing with effects from a stomach flu earlier in the week. The victory marked the second and final of Stackable’s career and a memorable fay for the Lone Star State faithful.

1982-A Pair of Firsts

The penultimate race at Lake Whitney provided a pair of memorable moments, as Donnie Hansen and Jeff Ward each claimed their first ever overall wins. In the 250 class, Hansen battled Yamaha teammate Broc Glover tooth and nail for the win. Kenny Keylon was lights out in the first moto, grabbing the holeshot and maintaining a lead. Points leader Rick Johnson ran second, but a crash moved Hansen and Glover into podium spots. Hansen took the lead at the start of the second moto, with Glover shadowing him. He attempted to charge and pass Hansen several times, but couldn’t clear his teammate.

In the 125 class, points leader Mark Barnett started the day in the lead. Ward ran second and Johnny O’Mara held third until a big crash put Barnett back. A tank slapper threw Barnett off his motorcycle, but he was uninjured and went into the pits for a brief bar adjustment. Ward had a decent gap over O’Mara and maintained it to win the first moto. Ward and Barnett traded the lead in the second moto thanks to mistakes by each, but Barnett took the moto win. Ward’s 1-2 topped Barnett’s 5-1 to score the first outdoor victory in his storied career.

This interactive table details the all-time leaders at Lake Whitney. 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.

This interactive table details the Lake Whitney 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.