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Thrilla at Unadilla: Iconic motocross track celebrates 50 years

The world's most prestigious off-road championship is back here at Unadilla National. It all began in 1969 and this year the iconic track is celebrating 50 years of success.

Posted: Aug 9, 2019 6:36 PM

The world's most prestigious off-road championship is back here at Unadilla National. It all began in 1969 and this year the iconic track is celebrating 50 years of success.

"It's incredible the history here," said multi-time pro motocross race winner Justin Barcia. "50 years is a long, long time so it's a very impressive achievement. I love coming to Unadilla. The guys here that run the place do an amazing job, the track is awesome. I just remember watching videos back in the day, it's been here forever. It's just a great place and the fans are one of a kind here."

For Barcia, Unadilla has been considered his home track for a fifth of its existence. For a former pro like Ricky Johnson, his track record goes back even further.

"Obviously I had some great races," said Johnson. "I actually won my last national here in 1990. So that was a great memory, but it had to be winning the motocross with team America we won it for the tenth year in a row. We got to go meet President Reagan that year and it was a pretty epic thing. And also the weather. New York weather just rained crazy on Saturday night so it was really muddy. The Europeans are known to be great mud riders so for us to bring home gold for America holds a special place in my heart.

He's witnessed the evolution of the sport and the track.

"Motocross and the track has evolved" added Johnson. "It used to just be a rag-tag Woodstock motocross here. You know upstate New York people, kinda crazy and party and wild with stuff like that and now it's evolved and you look at the way the track has done everything it looks like a park out there."

Races begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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