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Diggin’ the dirt at Hangtown

Kreger among the weekend warriors headed to compete at popular motocross event
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Matt Kreegar can already feel the energy of the Rockstar Energy Hangtown Motocross Classic. Kreegar, 35, of Auburn is competing in the B-Class amateur division for a spot at amateur national championships. He is also looking forward to Saturday’s pro races. “It’s really the only opportunity for local riders to ride at a perfectly groomed track,” Kreegar said. “There is a lot of energy. Just going out there is fun.” Hangtown is the opening race of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series. Over its 43-year history, Hangtown has gained a tremendous following. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the event at Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area, according to Hangtown Director John Allen. “All of the professionals and all of the fastest riders in the world will be there,” Allen said. “We changed up the track, so there will be infield seating. We have vendors coming that are selling everything from barbeque sauce to T-shirts.” Allen is a member of the Dirt Diggers North Motocross Club that founded Hangtown. It is the only race put on by a club. The infield seating offers spectators a new vantage point. Saturday’s general admission tickets also gain fans pit access in the morning. “We’re a club, so we try to give back to our community,” Allen said. “We do it for pure love of the sport.” Kreegar said he has been practicing four days a week on his private track to get ready. One of his competitors in the over 30 category John Moore, 48 of Lincoln, has been practicing equally as hard. He has also tasted victory at Hangtown before. “I’ve won Hangtown seven times, but 2001 was the last time,” Moore said. “I’m in better physical condition now than I was then though. As a rider having the chance to compete at a national event just brings big excitement.” Moore and his son Cole dirt bike together and compete in Hangtown every year. They set out for the track in their motor home Wednesday, but not before Cole got a special surprise. “I surprised him with a Yamaha 250 new motorcycle. He had tears in his eyes,” Moore said. “He has been an honor roll student since I can remember. His job is school and having a good attitude and my job is working hard so we can have fun.” Moore, who owns JM Environmental, said Cole first started riding at 2 years old, on a YZ-50, with no training wheels. The Moores are so dedicated to the sport that they bought a second home in Lincoln, where they built a private track. They spend four days a week practicing there and three days a week at their Granite Bay home. Cole, an eighth grader at Cavitt Junior High, hopes to place in the top 10 of the amateur division in the 13-16 year-old class. “I’m looking forward to the new layout of the track,” Cole said. “We just prepare the bikes, get them all tuned up perfect and get prepared mentally and physically. Whether they win or not, Moore is looking forward to Hangtown and spending time with his son. “It’s a really good experience,” Moore said. “And you get to see all the best people who do this.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.