Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SPORTS >> Cabot hosting BMX finals

Leader sports editor

It’s only two years old, but the Cabot BMX Complex has become one of the most popular bicycle tracks in the country. The track hosts races every Tuesday and Saturday night throughout the year, and has become so popular, it has been selected to host the 2011 Arkansas State Championship Finals in October. On Tuesday, the Cabot Advertising and Promotion Commission approved $58,000 to add parking and bleachers for the upcoming state championships.

Track director and creator Shawn Basinger was able to build the track on Willie Ray Road on a shoestring budget, and it has become a huge attraction for the city.

“It’s very popular and people are having a great time out there,” Basinger said. “We have riders of all ages and we’re having a blast.”

The Cabot track has already gained enough reputation to host the Arkansas sate Championship Finals on October 1 and 2.

Every track in the state hosts a qualifier. The qualifiers then move on to state finals.

There are currently other tracks in Maumelle, North Little Rock, Fayetteville and Lowell, which is between Springdale and Rogers.

BMX motocross bicycle racing is similar to its motorcycle counterpart. Courses are set up with steep turns and jumps. Riders compete in three different races, or motos, with a winner for each moto along with an overall winner. The overall winner is the rider with the best finishing average of the three events.

Basinger’s son Jaggar is currently the American Bicycle Association’s BMX 15-year old boys division points leader in Arkansas with 39 points. He’s leading fellow racers Garrett Douglas and Dylan Moseley by two points.

Fellow Cabot racers Trevor Stone and Brandon Rutherford also lead their respective divisions in the state’s points race.

Rutherford has a commanding points lead in the 16-year old division, leading his closest competitor by 22 points.

Stone’s 38 points leads Jason Ellinger by just one in the 17-18-year old division.

But it’s not just for the experts. All age groups and skill levels are welcome and do participate.

Basinger says the youngest rider is four years old, and the oldest is 65.

“It’s all ages and skill levels,” Basinger said. “We take those two things into consideration and we place them in the events base on that. So it’s fair and it’s a lot of fun for everyone.”

Anyone interested in BMX racing or the Cabot track in particular can visit the tracks website at cabotbmxcomplex.com. Fans can also keep track of the points races at ababmx.com.