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We Loved Winning: The Legend of Teri Sonner

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

The role behind the racers. From supporting their dreams to representing brands, Team Managers have been the unsung heroes of the BMX racing scene since the inception of the sport. From winning team sheets to finding riders around the globe, one of the best, if not the best, to do it came out of Toledo, Ohio and her name is Teri Sonner.

Starting the dominant Dan’s Competition team back in 1989, Teri Sonner was a true pioneer in the team management side of BMX. Initially getting involved at her local track, Challenge BMX, Sonner slowly turned in team sheets for Whitman’s, the best team of the time, which brought her from a spectator of her two sons, Timmy and Todd, to a major player on the National side of BMX.

In all transparency, I, Justin Wahl, write this story as a HUGE Teri Sonner fan. Growing up as a kid in the pit, the Dan’s Competition team was dominant for sure, but it was a family that shared the love of winning the same as Teri. Through the rumors and murmurs of Teri only buying one-way tickets or slipping kids “special pills” to win (Teri did hand out white smarties in staging to spite the rumor and prove there’s no special secret to win.) Teri was a competitive and tenacious team manager that YOU saw as a threat while those in the know were a part of her ever-expanding family.

“Every racer who has been on my team is like a kid to me. I still keep in touch with a lot of them because they are truly amazing people who just happened to be really fast BMX racers.”

Looking at Teri’s early years in the sport, she wasted no time making herself known amongst the team rankings. Whitman’s Bike Shop climbed to the top of the National Team rankings with her racers dominating, and her team sheets did the same. But as that success came and the prizes of the year were in her sights, she became aware of an ugly truth. The four tickets to worlds weren’t going to her racers who put in the work, they were going to Whitman’s owners since they owned the points. Not sitting right with Teri, a discussion developed with Dan Duckworth, the owner of Dan’s Competition, where a clause was worked out that Teri owned the points for a new team, Dan’s Competition. Almost the entire roster left with Teri, the new Dan’s Comp team was born, and in their first year Teri beat Teri going from zero points to winning the NBL National Team title. With Teri’s previous scores placing second in a Dan’s - Whitman’s first and second, the Teri Sonner legend was born.