Racing for the Fans

WASHOUGAL — They were first in line Saturday morning at the pit area of the Washougal MX Park.

The pits opened at 9 a.m. and the Scharrelman family of Camas raced to the Monster Energy Kawasaki set-up, then set up for a long morning. Parked under the “Autograph Session Line Starts Here,” they waited and waited hours to spend a few seconds with their sports hero.

The Trees. The fans. The riders. All make for an experience at the Washougal MX Park. Photo by Paul Valencia
The Trees. The fans. The riders. All make for an experience at the Washougal MX Park. Photo by Paul Valencia

Eli Tomac started signing autographs at 11:45 a.m., and Leo Scharrelman and his brother Lukas were the first ones.  

“He wants to be Eli Tomac,” said Leo’s father, Aaron.

“I can’t change my name,” Leo wisely responded.

“He watches everything,” said his mom, Angela. “He wants to grow up to be a motocross star.”

The Scharrelman family of Camas made it to the front of the line to get Eli Tomac’s autograph. They waited there for 2 hours, 45 minutes and were all smiles. Photo by Paul Valencia
The Scharrelman family of Camas made it to the front of the line to get Eli Tomac’s autograph. They waited there for 2 hours, 45 minutes and were all smiles. Photo by Paul Valencia

All the motocross stars were in Washougal this week for the 2017 Washougal MX National. Even recently retired stars.

Trey Canard, who retired from the sport the week before the series stop in Washougal, still made the trip to the Northwest to represent his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team and to meet with fans.

One group came from Columbia Falls, Montana., to experience live racing. Getting an autograph from Canard was just a bonus.

Trey Canard gives an autograph to Kyrah Trenkle of Montana prior to Saturday’s Washougal MX National. Canard, always a fan favorite, retired earlier in the week due to injuries. Yet, he still traveled with his team to Washougal. Photo by Paul Valenci
Trey Canard gives an autograph to Kyrah Trenkle of Montana prior to Saturday’s Washougal MX National. Canard, always a fan favorite, retired earlier in the week due to injuries. Yet, he still traveled with his team to Washougal. Photo by Paul Valenci

This stop annually attracts fans from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana as it is the lone stop on the motocross tour in this part of the country.

By the end of the day, Marvin Musquin was the overall winner of the 450 Class. He won both motos, with Tomac finishing second. The Scharrelman family can take comfort in knowing Tomac still holds a commanding lead for the points championship.

The 250 Class had a bizarre finish when Joey Savatgy took the overall title after finishing seventh in the first moto. National events are decided by taking points earned in each moto. It is rare for a rider to finish seventh in one moto but still get enough points to win an overall. But Savatgy won the second moto, and with other riders struggling in one or the other moto, Savatgy had enough to take home the Washougal trophy.

                                                                 

The Washougal MX National is Clark County’s largest one-day sporting event. Estimates of more than 20,000 people walk the park on race day. Fans can find spots outside and inside the race course, utilizing a series of tunnels and walk-throughs to reach their destination.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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