Updated: Nov 16
Your 2023 track build timeline. A day-by-day account of what gets done and what the track builders are up to in Tulsa, OK.
Monday, November 13th, 2023 : 1:45 PM
The Greatest Race On Earth is upon us. Track builders convien at the SageNet center in Tulsa, OK, with fresh hands and limber backs, knowing the task in front of them will bring calluses and back pain with a lot of stoke. The start of the Grand National track build is an exciting time; however, only a little goes on for the crew on the first day. Billy Allen and Bill Morris walk around the building with tape measure and chalk paint in hand while Lance Maguire and his son Dustin stand as markers to block out critical points around the track.
Those key points? The starting hill, even with track-level grandstands for a perfect viewing experience. The turns with their 80, 70, & 55 ft. width and unique exit trajectory. From there, it goes to the loaders, where 700 truckloads of dirt cycle through the Expo dirt gets stacked as Billy Allen starts his first 48-hour shift.
It’s currently 1:45 PM Central, and by tonight at 8 PM, the first straight of the 2023 Grand National track build will be in place, awaiting rakers to perfect the strip of speed that will catapult Champions into the history books.
Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 : 8:30 AM
Day 2 for most of the crew starts as Billy Allen Stretches his legs out of the loader and into his truck for a few hours of sleep. It’s 8:30 AM, and the skeleton has become visible. Three turns, a starting hill, and a vision kick off the day’s work, but here’s what we missed from the overnight shift. The track-level grandstands received their last bolt, bringing Billy Allen over to start the first straight. The Grand National starting hill is the second most recognizable object on the floor behind the “TULSA TURN” yet it holds the most significant impact on the racing to come.
Stacked high and even with the upper level, both front and back slopes bring a Grands level importance. The back side, at a 100ft length to ease racers up to the front side with 40ft of rough dirt waiting to be groomed into its drag strip of glory, sits alone, waiting for its first straight to be connected.
Down the way at the first turn, Billy Allen brought the first jump to life at the entrance of turn one. A 40-ish foot step triple with a wide-open first turn slingshots racers into the soon-to-be-built second straight and gives fans in the upper level an over-the-top view of turn one elbows.
The work continues, and we’ll be back later today to see what the crew has built up and raked down.
Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 : 6:30 PM
The day's work was an impressive one. For those who haven’t been a part of a ground up track build, the process goes like this:
Pile Dirt - Rough shape via loader - More precise shaping via skid steer
Shovel and rake smooth - Pack - Water x3
A revolving process that takes a meticulous eye to perfect is started down the first straight. From the gate, 55 feet brings you to the doorstep of a camelback (Step-Up Step-Down) that opens up the double pedal manual capabilities while also allowing gate 8 racers a chance to get across to the inside. From there, it's a five-pedal crank to the step triple and first turn. As the rakers start the first of three passes on the first straight, the loaders in turns two and three perfect the trajectory of the third and fourth straight. With a long third straight headed for the corner of the floor space and a returning final straight, the Facebook warriors will be excited to see an extended final straight. Giving you more time to power ahead of your competition.
From when we left to when the track crew left the expo, we’re sure more got done around the track, but that’s what makes the Dirt Diaries that much more exciting.
See you tomorrow.
WEDNESDAY, November 15th, 2023 : 8:30 AM
It’s rhythm section day! Walking through the doors of the expo, the crisp morning air at our back and the dirt-filled air filling our nose, the long third straight is laid out and prepped for its build. One obstacle at a time, Dirttrendz Lance Maguire manicures the dirt into position and links together what's sure to be a fast and technical rhythm section.
As we look over our shoulder to peek at Lance’s progress, the finishing touches are being made around the floor level of the expo. Banners hung from fences, staging lined out, and finishline stages pushed into position, the empty floor from just two days ago is now taking shape into The Greatest Race On Earth.
Thursday, November 16th, 2023 : 8:30PM
A full 36 hours since our last entree and we have a BMX Track. The most noticeable change from yesterday’s update is the additions of both Pro and Amateur second straights. Looking down the split straight, here’s what racers will face following the Answer BMX Holeshot Award.
Across the start of both sides lays a step up two straight wide and 20 ft. deep to kick off the chase.
PRO: With a pedal or two after the step up sits “The Deep One” – 30 ft. of pure huck-ability. While the fast line over will push through the lip, the practice sends are going to test riders' limits with the next lip coming up quick. Similar to Oldsmar BMX, the second straight holds an on/off feel to the landing between Pro jumps one & two. With what seems like a little skip over to the second landing, another pedal or two and you’re back into the air over the 26-foot step up into the Tusla Turn.
AMATEUR: Using those same two pedals down the backside, the straight-ahead holds a slight dogleg to take into account. Dual 15-foot doubles with a tilt to each are built to test riders' skills, not because of their size but because of their depth. Going into a left-hand turn, riders will be forced to hunt for that inside edge through the dogleg and into the 22-foot Amateur side step up.
A morning off for the builders means the night shift is on duty at the Expo. Clocking out at Midnight and not returning until Sunday morning, the crew will finish up the first rake of the second straight while another round of raking hits the rest of the track. Then it is time to enjoy some much earned rest and fun before the real work begins.