“This will be our fourth event this year,” said Jim Flanagan, regional sales manager. “It’s more helping the dealers understand what sets Oakley apart so it’s really about inviting our dealers out and educating the staff so their more comfortable selling the products. That’s the goal as well as just enjoy the day and have a lot of fun.”
The fun part for riders comes from two long practice session on the track. Every group, from Pee Wees to Pros got their track time without the pressure of being in competition.
And the best part for everyone was that the day was free as it was by invitation and no admission was charged.
One highlight was those attending could visit the Oakley Optic van. It’s a portable replica of research center.
Here riders, dealers and sales persons got a first hand look at how optics works as well as some pretty dramatic demonstrations about how Oakley products will protect the eyes of someone wearing their products.
Kyle Donahue gave the presentation first involving lasers showing how various products handle light as well as how various materials focus or distort light.
The last part was a safety demonstration then ended with a weight dropped from a height onto several pairs of eye ware. The consequences of not wearing the right type were dramatically shown in this final demonstration.
Anyone racing motocross, or on the desert, know full well how many rocks and dirt they get hit with during an event. So the final part made a huge impression on those watching.
Looking ahead Flanagan said, “We’ll have a new goggle coming out in the spring of 2010. The reality is that the technology we’re educating everybody on right now has to do with eye ware as well as goggles.”
After going through the demonstrations, riders were given several Oakley products including a pair of goggles to try during the practice sessions.
Even though it was not a race day, riders weren’t holding back as they tore around the course and got a lot of big air in the process.
One of those attending was Tony George from Michael’s Cycle Works in Carson City. He had a slightly different take on the event.
“I think it’s more to boost the motocross community as everyone is getting depressed as there are motocross track shutting down,” he said. “The economy is not helping so I think it’s a little bit of everything like trying to get the moral up, trying to get business going and Oakley is saying, ‘thank you.’”
Like last year’s event, George found he learned a lot about how the products were made the how they work.
“Oakley are by far the best goggles you can buy so by far it’s very, very good,” he said.
Promoter Ty Erquiaga said there were almost 500 riders in attendance this year. He was very pleased and his crew kept the track in good shape.
During an intermission, those attending got a free lunch. Then LivFast staged a demonstration of free style motocross. Among the jumpers were Tim O’Brien and Reed High alumni Greg Garrison as well as Dustin Miller, who did a back flip with his motorcycle for the cheering crowd.
After that the day’s second practice session began with the Pros leading the charge.
Another shop owner attending the event was veteran motocross racer Scott Stillmock, who along with his brother Butch owns Mach2 Motorsports in Fernley.
Asked about the day and what he’s learned, Stillmock said, “Just coming out and hanging out with all the locals. It’s pretty impressive running through the Oakley rig there as they do show you a lot of differences between their and other people’s product. I do carry all the Oakley products in my store and hopefully that transfers over and people come to me to get it.”
All in all everyone seemed to be having a good time being with friends, learning new things and riding as fast as they could without the pressure of competition.
•Next week two series stage their final races in this immediate region.
On Sunday, beginning around 10 a.m., the Volvo GFI Nevada series winds up its season at the Mustang Motor Plex with a day of racing.
The Sierra MX series visits the Fernley motocross track where all the classes race Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. The youngest riders, Pee Wee classes and 65cc Beginner compete on a separate but shorter track.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•NASCAR’s Nevada Quartet was at the Phoenix International Speedway this weekend for a tri of races.
In Friday’s Camping World Truck race, Kyle Busch started fourth but ended up second while T.J. Bell came from 22nd to finish 13th. On Saturday, at the Nationwide event, Busch finished ninth while Brendan Gaughan started 32nd and ended up 19th.
The big race was Sunday’s Sprint Cup event where Kurt Busch started second and finished sixth. For younger brother Kyle the race was not as good since he started seventh but ended up 19th at the checkered flag.