Why does SMDR provide flaggers for the National MX Race at Budds Creek every year?
As long as I’ve been a member of SMDR (over 20 years), we have provided flaggers for the National at Budds Creek. In the past, SMDR flagged the National for Budds Creek for free, and in return, we got to ride at Budds Creek throughout the year (about 6 different times) for free. That’s how things were for many years. It was a good relationship; Budds Creek got about 50 flaggers for free (back “in the day” we flagged Saturday’s Pro Practice and on Sunday, the actual race day) and we got to ride at a national level track (with a hare scramble/trail course) for free. It was a win-win situation.
Then, in about 2007 (don’t quote me on the actual date) MX Sports took over the National MX Race management responsibilities. They (MX Sports) realized that they could not barter our flagging services with track time, since they didn’t own the track, and SMDR was “kicked to the curb”. MX Sports intended to rely on their own flagging crew to work the Budds race. That was until about 30 days prior to the event, when they realized that they had no flagging crew! Brian Stewart, the SMDR President at the time, got a distress call from MX Sports asking for flaggers; Brian informed them that SMDR would be willing to flag the Budds Creek event, but the cost would be $100.00 per flagger per day (by this time, qualifying practice and the race were all held on Saturday) and each flagger got 3 free entry passes and pit passes. And so, we went from volunteering for free, to being paid to flag the event at a cost of about $15,000.00 to MX Sports. So SMDR got paid to flag on Saturday, and we all went home Saturday night after the race.
Which brings us to the present day and the original question, why does SMDR flag the National? Quite simply, we do it because the AMA (American Motorcycle Association, the sanctioning body of the MX Nationals) wants / demands SMDR flag at the race. They have told us, repeatedly, that SMDR has the BEST FLAGGING CREW ON THE ENTIRE MX CIRCUIT, without exception; and we take great pride in this fact. So we flag because we are passionate about the sport of motorcycle racing and riding, we flag because it’s an awesome job to do (watching the race on TV doesn’t reflect how FAST and furious these Pro Racers really are, plus your wife and kids get in for free!) and we flag because it helps support the club financially, and it’s a really great way to see the race ! There are no better seats in the house !!
Chip “2 Slow” Jowett (2015 SMDR President)