When I was given the opportunity to shoot the ERX Off-Road Nationals Revs at Elk River, I couldn’t wait to get up close to the loud, fuel burning monsters tearing around a track. Well, the actual experience was even more than I expected. It is amazing how big and powerful the trucks are, with 900 hp being fairly common. To hold them on the track is one thing, but to be able to do it with a number of other trucks racing at high speeds at the same time is quite incredible. In addition to trucks, there were various sizes of buggies. The buggies were lighter, but also packed a lot of hp. And they seemed to be more prone to flipping and several did.
I arrived early morning to register and was given a short course on safety around the track. In between I got to experience a driver’s meeting where they went over issues that had been encountered the previous day and any procedural items that had not been followed. Then to drive home the dangerous nature of the races, a Chaplin said a few words – praying for a safe day with no serious accidents. Then it was off to the races.
Saturday started with some qualifying heats in a few classes for about an hour, followed by a series of races. In between the races there were 2 Big Air ATV Freestyle shows and a celebrity race. The Big Air ATV Freestyle show was very impressive with 2 ATV riders doing some BMX style tricks.
The temps climbed in excess of 90 degrees and there was little or no wind, yet the spectators kept coming as the day went on. There were several accidents, but luckily nothing serious occurred. I gained a lot of respect for the drivers, who obviously are extremely skilled. It was amazing how they were able to keep the vehicles on the track with huge jumps followed by hairpin turns, while driving at high speeds. And a lot of vehicles had some serious hang times.
The day was very entertaining and is a must see if you have any interest in racing. Also, be sure to catch a Big Air ATV show. It’s incredible what they can do with the 4 wheelers. I can’t imagine what they had to go through in training to do the stunts.