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Thunder Valley Venue

Thunder Valley

Lakewood, Colorado

Nestled in a valley between Denver, Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, Thunder Valley MX Park sits at 6,128-ft. of power-robbing elevation. The track’s origins date back to 1974. Starting in 1979 it had an on/off relationship with Pro Motocross but under David Clabaugh’s ownership, has run uninterrupted since 2005.

Fast Facts

Venues

The original Lakewood facility, which opened in 1974, was called Lakewood Sports Cycle Park and hosted its first Pro Motocross in 1979. According to David Clabaugh, TVMP’s current owner, the original track was five miles east.

The 1985 Pro Motocross at Lakewood Sports Cycle Park moved to the land where TVMP now sits (although it’s a completely different course) and hosted the national for three years.

Thunder Valley MX Park, under the ownership of David Clabaugh (who rode his XR75 on the original Lakewood course in 1974) was added to the 2005 Pro Motocross schedule when Kenworthy’s MX Park in Troy, Ohio sold the rights to its spot in the series. TVMP has run every year since and made history in 2008 with the first ever Pro MX night race. The track is open to the public.

Iconic Moments

Starting in 1979, the original Lakewood Sports Cycle Park (now Thunder Valley MX Park) has been the professional center of motocross racing in Colorado. Even track owner David Clabaugh has a spot in Lakewood MX history: in 1986 he won the LCQ race to qualify for the motos in the 250 class. “Of course, I finished way back in the national but I was happy to be in it.”

Bob Hannah, Lakewood MX 1979
1979: The First One

The first national held in Lakewood was dominated by Bob Hannah, who won both motos. In moto two, he charged after Honda’s Marty Tripes, who, bizarrely, pulled over and let Hannah by without a fight. This, after beating Hannah one week earlier. Tripes said he was uncomfortable with his “uncompetitive” bike and allowed Kent Howerton and Jimmy Weinert to also pass. Despite a Hannah fall with two laps to go, Howerton couldn’t get close enough to prevent a 1-1 finish from the eventual 250MX champion. This was Hannah’s last AMA Pro MX win until April 1981 because of a severely broken leg suffered in a water skiing accident just weeks after Lakewood. The boat was driven by Marty Tripes.

Goat Breker Lakewood, 1983
1983: The Original Goat

Lakewood returned to the schedule in 1983 after an 11th hour fire drill that left promoter Ben Cox scrambling to cobble together a race. CDR Tech Track was originally scheduled to host a Pro MX event in ’83 but the venue was sold and Continental Divide Promotions was left without a facility. Cox and his team, along with sponsors and the city of Lakewood, moved the race back to Lakewood Sports Cycle Park. They didn’t get started with on-site preparations until the Thursday prior to race day! All three classes (125/250/500) ran what was then called the AMA/Wrangler Super Series. Cycle News’ Karel Kramer called the 500cc racing “one of the bar-bangingest, lead- switchingest battles in recent memory.” Goat Breker won his third (and final) Pro Motocross race with 3-2 moto scores. David Bailey won the 250 class and 16-year-old Ron Lechien won the 125 class.

James Stewart Thunder Valley MX
2008/2009: Night Moves

The 2008 and 2009 Thunder Valley Nationals were the first (and so far only) AMA Motocross rounds to be held at night. In 2008, James Stewart won his 9th and 10th consecutive motos of the year on his way to a perfect 24-0 season. Ryan Villopoto also secured 1-1 finishes. The 2009 edition was more of a wild night. Ivan Tedesco secured his one and only premier class overall win. Title favorite Mike Alessi returned after missing the previous round only to have his season ended permanently when Josh Grant dropped him to the ground. Alessi’s teammate, Chad Reed, established himself as the clear title favorite. In the 250 class, Jake Weimer won his first career overall as an epic battle from third through sixth raged between Tommy Searle, Ryan Dungey, Christophe Pourcel, and Brett Metcalfe.

James Stewart Thunder Valley 2012
2012: Change in Fortune

After a shocking mid-year switch from JGR Yamaha to Yoshimura Suzuki (where he agree to ride “for free” in MXX in 2012), James Stewart came into the Thunder Valley National with a four moto win streak. Stewart was leading on lap four early when he crashed on a high speed, rutty section of the track and injured his right wrist. The crash was attributed to a photographer who stood in the middle of the racetrack and ran to the side as Stewart approached. The sudden change in focus caused Stewart to crash. The window of opportunity allowed Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey to begin his own win streak and he went 1-1 at Thunder Valley that day.

This interactive table details the all-time leaders at Thunder Valley. 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 Thunder Valley 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