LITTLEROCK — Even as the Granite Construction machinery that tore down Los Angeles County Raceway in search of mineral aggregate began to consume the LACR Motoplex a decade ago, Anthony Barbacovi never lost faith.
The track his grandfather, Jack Barbacovi, had run since 1985 wasn’t dead and buried.
Four years of painstaking, delicate negotiations later, Anthony exhumed LACR MX.
It may not have proven there’s life after death.
But it’s hard not to interpret what’s coming on Sunday’s day in the dirt as anything but a slice of motocross heaven.
LACR MX will host the penultimate round of the CMXRS, aka Swap Moto, 2019 West Coast Open.
Formerly known as the Trans World Series, the group was reorganized by its riders this season.
One of their first executive decisions was to make sure their showcase series made a stop at the unique motocross track in Littlerock, with its breathtaking elevation changes.
“This is one of the fun weekends of the year,” said Samantha Neitzel, LACR’s spokeswoman, during a break Wednesday from preparations for Sunday. “They love coming to our track, and we love having them here.”
Riders from all over the West Coast will compete on Sunday on the Main and Veteran tracks.
One day of open practice is sacrificed in order to showcase the place whose reputation only continues to grow more than five years after it was reopened as a sort of Christmas present to the Valley in late December, 2013.
Glen Helen Raceway Park in San Bernardino will host the championship finale on June 2.
“Glen Helen is probably the only other track that offers the kind of elevation changes that we do,” Neitzel said. “Something they’ve told us that they really like about coming here is that we always have flaggers and EMTs on the track with the riders.
“Anthony saw how professionally his grandfather ran this facility, and he insists we are going to do things the same way. I think these sanctioning bodies see that, and it’s developed a solid reputation for LACR MX.”
Neitzel estimates this weekend’s Swap Motos will attract triple the usual attendance of a weekend in May.
Most riders will utiliize the overnight camping available Saturday night, being able to keep a close eye on their motocross trailers.
But many will also stay at Valley hotels and motels.
The plows, back hoes and earth movers are long gone.
But they’re still mining value at the LACR MX site.