REEDSVILLE – Dylan Shoop won his first arena cross event for dirt bikes during the annual Motorama indoor races in Harrisburg a few weeks ago.
Shoop, 22, of Reedsville, took second place on the final lap of the eight-lap main event, but was awarded the victory when the racer who crossed first was assessed a penalty for jumping during a caution flag period.
“To win down there was great,” he said. “I got to do it in front of a lot of my friends. I actually finished second in the race and the kid that won actually got docked because he doubled on a yellow. That moved me up to first place. On a yellow flag during that event, you’re not allowed to double-jump.”
Shoop said he was in a field of 15 drivers and they practiced, qualified and then ran an eight-lap main event inside the Pennsylvania Farm Show building.
An arena cross event is held inside, while a motor cross event is outside. The track at Motorama is smaller than a normal motor cross track.
“It’s a lot smaller of a track,” Shoop said. “There were 15 guys at the start and it was an eight-lap race. For that event, that’s all it is. You practice on Saturday morning and then you qualify.”
His win was worth a nice trophy, but did not pay any money.
“My dad got me a bike when I was seven and I’ve been doing it ever since then,” he said. “I got out of it for a couple of years and raced four-wheelers. We did Motorama one year with the four-wheeler as a family thing.”
After graduating from Lewistown High School, Shoop decided to get back into racing bikes.
“I bought a brand new bike last summer,” he said. “I decided to do Motorama again this year. It was my first arena cross win. I won one outdoor race last year. I had a couple of fourths, fifths and seventh.”
Shoop races as much as he can.
“I didn’t do as much last year as I wanted to because of work,” he said. “I work for a roofing company, so I’m out of town.”
His season is scheduled to get under way in a few weeks in Maryland, but he will race primarily in Pennsylvania. These races are all outdoor motor cross events.
It costs around $50 to race at one of the motor cross events including entry fees etc.
“I bought my bike to ride with my friends and have fun with it,” Shoop said. “I know I’m not going to make a career out of it. I load it up on the weekends and go ride with my buddies and we all have fun. When we go racing, I try to keep that in mind and it works out for me.”
A total of 10 drivers were on the front row for the start and five behind. Shoop qualified well enough to start on the front row. There were four sections to the track with several different jumps and a straightaway.
“You try to run eight laps as smooth and quick as you can and hope for the best,” Shoop said. “They are 30-40 second lap times. It’s a very short track. It’s real, real tight and makes it hard to pass. I was seventh or eighth out of the first turn. I worked my way through. I was third on the last lap and my buddy has been working with me a lot and he said ‘don’t stop until you cross the finish line.’ I kept that in mind and passed the guy for second at the finish line.”
A pass that turned out getting the Motorama win for Shoop.