Washougal MX National: Love for motocross led Paulson to announcer’s tower

Vancouver’s Curtis Paulson has his own style for calling races as Washougal MX Park prepares for Saturday’s national event

Curtis Paulson is the announcer for the Washougal MX Park, but he knows he is not the Voice of Washougal.

“Brian is a Northwest legend,” Paulson says of Brian Barnes. 

Absolutely. Barnes is among the most popular figures in motocross in this region, from his days in the tower, using his raspy voice to detail all the action.

Washougal MX National: Love for motocross led Paulson to announcer’s tower
Thousands of fans are expected to head to Washougal again this weekend at the 39th running of the Motosport.com Washougal National. It is the only national motocross event in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Paul Valencia

Barnes and Paulson worked together for more than 15 years in that tower, but with Barnes dealing with health concerns, it is Paulson on the microphone for the local races at the park.

“It would be much, much more enjoyable to be doing this job alongside him,” Paulson said. “I don’t say I’m the Voice of Washougal. That’s Brian. But I’m glad to be announcing at Washougal. It my favorite park.”

This week, that park becomes the capital for the sport, if you will, with the 39th running of the Motosport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson Cat. The ninth round of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is Saturday.

For the national, the tour brings its own track announcers. But for the amateur racing Thursday and Friday, it will be Paulson, a Vancouver resident, calling the action and giving his own personal touch to the stories of the top riders from the region.

Washougal MX National: Love for motocross led Paulson to announcer’s tower
Curtis Paulson and his wife Theresa both work at the Washougal MX Park. Theresa runs the VIP tent, while Curtis is a track announcer. Curtis has been doing that for the better part of 20 years. Photo courtesy of the Paulson family

He has his own style.

During a break in the action, he might talk music, give his opinion of the best blues guitarist, for example. Then ask fans to text him their favorites. 

Or, when he does his research to prepare for races, he makes a note of where the riders are from, and he might give a geography lesson. 

Oh, he’s not perfect, he acknowledges. He said he probably needs to tone it down when he decides to offer his opinion on the politics of the day. 

As far as the sport, though, everyone who goes to the park, Paulson says, is part of a special group.

“I like being around motocross people,” Paulson said. “They are like family. It’s the real deal.”

Now 58, Paulson did not get his start in the sport until he was in his 30s. 

He crashed on his first attempt. He would break his wrist at another early attempt.

“I had a rough start,” he said. “I kept keeping at it and keeping at it.”

He became a regular with the amateur riders. And as a way of always being involved, he helped at local tracks. He said he has done pretty much every job there is at Washougal’s park. He also works in Woodland and at the course at Portland International Raceway.

This week, he will be announcing the amateurs before some of the best professional riders in the world to take over on Saturday.

Curtis Paulson will be in the tower. Been there for about 20 years now, loving his view, and expressing his love for motocross during every race he calls. 

Motocross.com Washougal National

Round 9 of 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship

Saturday at Washougal MX Park

40205 NE Borin Road, Washougal

Notes: The series calls Washougal’s park the “most Instagrammable” with the track carved around all the trees. … Cooper Webb of North Carolina won last week’s 450 Class in Minnesota, taking the checkered flag in both motos. Adam Cianciarulo took the 250 Class, finishing third in the first moto and winning the second moto, earning enough points for the victory. … Eli Tomac of Colorado is trying to become the fourth to win three consecutive season championships. He has a big lead in the 450 Class this season. Cianciarulo is the points leader in the 250 Class. 

Race Day Schedule

8 a.m.: Practice and qualifying

12:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies

1 p.m.: First motos, 250 and 450

3 p.m.: Class 125 All-Star race

3:30 p.m.: Second motos, 250 and 450


Saturday general admission: $50 (ages 6 and under are free).

Saturday Super VIP: $250 for adults, $200 for children 12 and under.

Pit Passes: $15 for 9 a.m. to noon entry; $50 for all-day access from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Tickets are available online at ProMotocross.com

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