When Thunder Valley Motocross Park was founded in June of 1999, promoter David Clabaugh couldn't have known how appropriate his track's name would become. He knew that nearby was an NHRA drag-racing track with the same name (Thunder Valley), but within a few short years of the founding of the motocross track, four-strokes took over motocross completely, leaving a sound of thunder every time the gate dropped at the facility.
Clabaugh has been around racing since he was a child. "I've been racing since I was 10 years old," he explains. "When I got to the pro class, I realized that it wasn't going to last forever, and I wanted to stay in the sport somehow, so I decided I wanted to buy a track. As luck would have it, I found Thunder Valley, which was on the brink of being shut down, as the city of Lakewood no longer wanted to run it. They wanted to find someone to run the facility that really had a passion for the sport. They found that in me and granted me a long-term lease for Thunder Valley."
Clabaugh has put his blood, sweat, and tears into the facility, and the national here is seen as an example of what a world-class motocross event should look and feel like.
"Once I had leased it, I ran local races on the weekends; however, I wanted the facility to grow," Clabaugh says. "I wanted an AMA Pro Motocross Championship event. In 2000, I met MX Sports' Tim Cotter, and I figured the only way I was ever going to get a national was to start going to as many of them as I could and figure out how it worked. I worked on the banner crew for about two years, just getting the inside line on how it all works. I began talking with John Ayers [also of MX Sports] about wanting a national in order to learn all sides of the sport and figure out how to promote. During this time, I had shown interest in being a promoter, and several people had come out to my facility to see if I was equipped to have an AMA Pro Motocross Championship event. I had made lots of upgrades to the facility with buildings, filling in ravines, etc.
"When the Kenworthy National in Troy, Ohio, had some issues with flooding, I heard there was going to be a spot open and was told that Thunder Valley was first on the list."
Truth be told, Thunder Valley wasn't just first on the list, it was the best choice, as Clabaugh and his loyal staff have proven every year since his first national, in 2005.
Thunder Valley, just a few miles below downtown Denver, hosted its first AMA Pro Motocross National in July of 2005. In the first few years of racing at the facility, riders and mechanics were met with a combination of altitude and summertime heat that not only made it physically difficult on them but caused the fuel in the motorcycles to literally boil. The solution was a revolutionary one: in 2008, Thunder Valley hosted the first AMA Pro Motocross National ever held at night, under a battery of lights that illuminated the valley. With a live internet and TV audience watching, the race was a smash hit.
This year, Thunder Valley's event will be held during the daylight hours.
- 2015 race tickets will go on sale in November
- Thunder Valley Motocross Park
701 S. Rooney Road
Lakewood, CO 80401
- Grandstand Seating
- Open Air Festival Seating
- Covered VIP Viewing Areas with live timing and scoring, private restrooms, and catering
- Covered Super Ticket Viewing Area
- Open Air Corporate Suites
- Handicap Viewing Area
- Infield Track Viewing via Three Track Tunnels
- Nearly 100% track Viewing from a variety of vantage points
- Large interactive Sponsor Village
- Food and Soft Drink Concessions
- Beer Concessions
- State-of-the-art sound system
- Event Simulcast on FM Radio
- State-of-the-art Announcer Tower
- Air Conditioned Restroom facilities
- Flushing Restroom facilities
- Baby Changing Station
- Free & VIP paid Parking
- Onsite Parking
- Motorcycle Parking
- Handicap Parking
- Easy entry/Exit
- Onsite Camping
- Reserved RV spots
- RV septic pump service
- No Pets National Weekend
- From the South:
I-25 North to C-470. Exit the new Alameda exit off C-470. Make a left on Alameda to Rooney Road. Turn right on Rooney Road. Track is one mile on the left.
- From the North:
I-25 South to I-70 West. Exit Colfax West to Rooney Road. Turn left on Rooney Road. Track is ½ mile on the left.
Where To Stay:
- Hampton Inn - 303-969-9900; 137 Union Blvd. (Host Hotel)
- Best Western - 303-989-5500; 3440 South Vance St.
- Courtyard by Marriott - 303-985-9696; 7180 W. Hampden Ave
- Hampton Inn - 303-989-6900; 3605 South Wadsworth Blvd.
- Hampton Inn - 303-969-9900; 137 Union Blvd.
- Fair Field Inn - 303-231-9939
- Holiday Inn Lakewood - 303-980-9200; 7390 West Hampden Ave.
- Homewood Suites - 303-716-5737; 139 Union Blvd.
- LaQuinta Inn & Suites - 303-969-9700; 7190 West Hampden Ave
- Residence Inn - 303-985-1257; 7050 West Hampden Ave
- Candlewood Suites - 303-232-7171; 895 Tabor Street
- Comfort Suites - 303-231-9929; 11909 W. 6th Ave.
- Denver Marriott West - 303-279-9100; 1717 Denver Marriott West Blvd
- Hampton Inn - 303-278-6600; 17150 West Colfax Ave.
- Holiday Inn - 303-279-7611; 14707 West Colfax Ave.
- Table Mountain Inn - 303-277-9898; 1310 Washington Ave.
- The Golden Hotel - 303-279-0100; 800 11th Street
- Towne Place Suites - 303-232-7790; 800 Tabor Street
- Holiday Inn Express - 303-424-8300; 10101 West 48th Ave, Littleton
- Marriott Towne Place Suites - 303-972-0555; 10902 W. Toller Drive, Littleton
- Sheraton Denver West Hotel - 303-987-2000; 360 Union Blvd.