"Hey RupDogg, Whatever Happened To That Kenworthy's MX Park, Anyway?" – Nate Dogg, Cali.

Well, Nate, strange you should ask that. I've recently had many requests for old Kenworthy's pics and, I'm disappointed that I only actually have a few, yet, my inside-the-helmet memory-banks can offer you up bits and pieces from daze gone by. Keeping in mind, my recollections are not necessarily all factual, yet they are memories nonetheless.

Kenworthy's MX Park, formerly known as Kenworthy's GP Club, was a farmside/riverside motocross track located just outside Troy, Ohio. It was officially within the confines of AMA's District 11 and, just about an hour-and-a-half from the AMA's headquarters in Columbus. It was ‘bout a half-hour from Dayton, and two hours from Indianapolis.

I did have the pleasure of attending what I believe was their first AMA National motocross, in 1987, and this one was a 125/500cc contest. (These were the days when the 250's would run half the season, the 500's the rest...pre four-smoker daze. Ahem.) Ricky Johnson went 1-1 on his factory RC500 Honda on this day and, in '88, Kenworthy's had another 500 race, before only featuring 250s at their subsequent events.

Their final AMA Pro National was in 2004, with James Stewart snapping his KX125 to both wins and Ricky Carmichael on a CRF450 Honda taking the big bore ("250") class.

The Great Miami River, which ran below and aside the track, was a constant threat to flood over its banks, sending the majestic Kenworthy's circuit under feet of water, often leaving the carcasses of huge fish scattered around the starting area. In 2003, the National had to be cancelled due to massive flooding and, Grant Langston took the news quite well, as he wrapped up the 125cc Class Championship and celebrated at Brock Sellards’ house to, allegedly, epic proportions.

When I started racing regularly there in about the late '80s or early '90s, the track had become a Midwestern hub for grand amateur events, with local F&S Suzuki and their huge national team of racers helping spread the message that this jump-laden facility, on the banks of the Great Miami, was for real. Honda Of Troy was nearby as well, and they were a big part of helping promote this popular circuit for years…

One time, in the early 2000s, I was racing the 40-plus class with a guy that was bothering me all moto. He finally passed me on the last lap, in the roughest part of the course. As we pulled off the track, I gave him the thumbs-up and noticed he only had one arm. Props to him!

At some point they started running the track backwards, which I hated, I had just gotten many of the easier jumps down, and I damn sure didn't want to learn a new system.

Kenworthy's ALWAYS had a well-prepped track and, and it was ALWAYS muddy for early practice. Ruts and chunks of goo flying. The Dirty Dozen were silly backwards, by the way.

By the early '90s, the five or six yearly amateur events were so popular that riders from Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and other locales were streaming in to the Kenworthy's farm. With full gates, a gnarly jump-laden track and rich, tacky soil, it brought the region's best riders together, often numbering 5-600 racers, with the Saturday before the National events even bigger.

Oklahoma's Guy Cooper was ridiculously popular at this track, often first out in practice, especially out in the mud, clearing all the obstacles, or trying to, regardless of conditions.

Kenworthy's never got rid of their concrete starting pad, even when all the other tracks did, and Greg Albertyn never liked them things.

Being part of a farm was a big part about this track and, the agricultural vibe was prominent. Bob Evans Farms ran a sausage –sandwich emporium on the north side of track, fresh corn-on-the-cob was boiled by the pro section, and a fleet of heavy-duty tractors maintained the course. Oh yeah, the podium was always atop a hay wagon. YeeeHaaaaa.

There was a kid's track, too, where you'd race mini-bikes up to Mini-Junior 7-11 and quads would feast on the riverside course, as well.

The parties at the National were legendary, with live bands, hi-jinx, shenanigans and some local "law-enforcement" (hired security goons) that acted way too Nazi for my tastes (and others).

The Widowmaker was the BIG jump at Kenworthy's and, by today's standards, it was likely fairly tame. I do recall a few fast 80cc kids hucking it.

Kenworthy's let the amateurs on the pro section occasionally, usually at the end of the year, as I recall.

And, the final race of the year they would permit the 7-11 65/85cc racers to attempt the big track, which was cool for the kids.

Tradition would have the entire circuit planted in winter-wheat over Western Ohio's long cold-season, and then, usually the first weekend in May, they'd have their grass race, with many wanting be the first ones out for practice, to battle the handlebar deep grass and throw some green roost…

From about 1990, anytime I attended an event or raced at this fun-filled facility in Troy, I'd hear rumors that, "This was their last year," and that, "The AMA was taking their National and Kenworthy's would be no more." Serious biz, I heard that at every event for about fifteen years. Supposedly, the teams, the riders, the "powers-that-be" didn't approve of this Farmville Supercross track and, were ready to shut 'er down.

Mike Metzger used to race the 250 pro class at these Nationals and, the man busted out some ridonkulous maneuvers over The Widowmaker. Every lap.

When local pro Jeff Gibson was about sixteen or seventeen, he won both the 125 and 250 A classes at a HUGE race at this jumpy track and, there were full gates in all four motos. He swept them all, and with about forty guys in each class, he came away with about $170 in purse money. TOTAL! Yes, I agree, it seems almost a crime.

Eventually, after many pros approached me and asked me to intervene and talk to the promoters about the pathetic payout in the money classes, I got quite a shocking response from management. In essence, they told me that it was an honor and a privilege to race at this National Track, and the local fast guys would benefit from the experience and, they shouldn't expect to make money from it. Yes, me too...mouth wide open…

Baseball great Ken Griffey Jr. attended the National here one fine year, family in tow.

Kenworthy's one hundred yard grass start was one of the coolest in moto.

Damn we had some grand times there. That's all I remember, tonight anyway,

Ciao, Moto Freaks.

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