24-hour race brings crowds

Published 11:39 pm Thursday, May 28, 2009

MAPLESVILLE — Motorcycle racers across the United States will converge on Stanton on June 6-7 for the eighth annual KTM/Husaberg Perry Mountain 24-hour Challenge, which will stretch the endurance of each rider and motorcycle.

“It’s a big race,” said Tina Smith of Stanton, who is coordinating coverage for the event. “They will race for 24 hours, from 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.”

Racers compete in different divisions — team, duo and single — and age divisions for a share of the $7,500 purse.

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“Each team can have six members,” Smith said. “They might sleep during the breaks. But one rider from each team must be on the track for the 24 hours unless they are trying to work on their motorcycle.”

The top team wins $2,500, followed by $1,500 for second, $1,000 third, $750 for fourth and $500 for fifth.

The single and duo racers won’t have the same restrictions.

“They ride at their own pace,” said Smith, who added the winners in those divisions are determined by the number of 10- to 12-mile laps they complete.

“We had one team that completed 48 laps to win,” she said. “And one rider went 37 laps, so you see that they will try to ride as much as possible.”

Single riders can win $500 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third.

Although she didn’t have the complete number, the race field had dwindled because of the economy, Smith said.

“We just don’t have as many as we usually do,” she said.

However, teams with riders from as far away as Washington state, Ohio and even Australia already have entered.

“Alabama and California are the only states that have 24-hour races,” she said.

The exact location of the starting point is Reynolds Pasture, eight miles south of Maplesville on County Road 26. Signs will mark the turn off Highway 22 north of Selma.

Smith said the racers will arrive early for the event.

“People will start showing up on Thursday night,” she said. “Then on Friday they will start making their pits for the motorcycles.”

The entry fee is $450 per team, $100 per single and $200 per duo. Each motorcycle must have headlights, and most riders have lights on their helmets.

The gate fee is $15 per person for the weekend, with 12 years old and younger free.

For information on the race, go to www.24hourchallenge.com.