Kilgore, the Texas Cross Country Racing Association is coming your way this weekend.
Not cross country like high school students running on a dirt course -- that's in season, now, too, and Kilgore is doing well. This type of cross country is on motorbikes.
Gary and Patsy Davis, longtime enthusiasts of the sport, have constructed a track here in the Kilgore area, and the TCCRA has sanctioned an event here this Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is more of a fun day, and the races – 12 of them – are Sunday.
“We’ve never had one here,” Gary Davis explained. “This is our first one, ever. The race association votes on the sites, but if we have good attendance, we might be able to get another.”
The track is at 1818 East County Road, in Kilgore. From Highway 259 South, take a left onto County Road 146 for six tenths of a mile, turn right onto County Road 173 North for about 300 feet, and then make a slight left onto County Road 118 for just over a mile. There are signs pointing to the gate.
Davis said between 300 and 400 entries are expected, including pee-wees, minis, a ladies class, and then expert and amateur men’s classes.
The Davis family, Gary explained, has been cross country racing for years, and he wanted to share his enthusiasm for the sport by providing a local venue for East Texans who also like to ride and race.
“The association here, there’s just not many properties to hold races,” he said. “We bought this property last year, and (built the track). It’s supposed to be a minimum of seven to seven-and-a-half miles. Ours is eight, maybe eight-and-a-half.
“…I race, the kids race. It’s a three-day weekend. But when we go to these, sometimes it’s four to five hours to get there, and of course, four to five hours to get home. There’s one in Avinger, and that was the closest one. So for us here in East Texas that race, it’s a big treat to have another track close to home.”
Entries will begin to get to the track on Friday, many of them campers, Davis said, and Saturday, the track is open for people to come try it out, and many entries will use that time for practice. There’s an open practice Saturday morning from 9 a.m. until noon, then from 2 p.m. until 3.
Races will begin Sunday, after an 8 a.m. church service at the track, and races will finish up about 8 p.m.
“We have a preacher that travels with the circuit that tries to keep us in line,” Davis laughed. “But seriously, it’s a huge family deal. It’s amazing. It’s camping, it’s spending time with the kids, and the races. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a good sport. It’s not intentionally kept a secret, we just need to do a better job of getting the word out.”
In addition to races, there will be some food vendors and equipment vendors.
There is a $10 admission fee for spectators, although kids under five and seniors over 60 are admitted for no charge. Bikes and ATVs on Saturdays are $5. Race entry fee is $45 for pro, $30 for adults, and $25 for pee-wee (kids) riders.
The event has several sponsors, and the races, of course, are conducted under TCCRA rules.
Anyone who’d like to read more about the Texas Cross Country Racing Association can do so by going online to texascrosscountryracing.com.