Mud Racing In Florida - Dirty Fun, Side By Side
Dirty Fun, Side By Side
Never underestimate the power of kids playing in the mud! Three good friends, Ed Wojtusik, Brian McLeod, and Ronnie Taylor used to enjoy driving their ATVs and pickups in the woods around Palm Beach County, Florida. With lots of undeveloped land, it was a natural playground. Unfortunately, when real estate values soared, opportunities for playing in the woods diminished.
Fast-forward a decade or two, and the three friends found a way to bring some four-wheel-drive fun back to Palm Beach County. Moroso Raceway (now the newly renovated Palm Beach International Raceway) in Jupiter, Florida, has been a favorite of automotive enthusiasts for decades. Its quarter-mile NHRA-sanctioned dragstrip, two-mile banked road course, and twelfth-mile karting course makes it the perfect weekend getaway for area gearheads.
The only thing missing was a mud bog track-something not seen at Moroso for a quarter of a century. The three friends, now in business as MTW Promotions, had a solution. With Ed acting as show promoter, Ronnie bringing his land clearing equipment, and Brian from Modifications Unlimited adding his knowledge of four-wheel drive, the trio set out to bring mud racing back to Palm Beach. To make it even more exciting, they created side-by-side mud tracks-240 feet long and 30 feet wide. Once the bleachers, barriers, timing lights, and all the other essentials were in place, the first event was scheduled and was an immediate success.
More than 140 vehicles showed up to compete, cheered on by more than 4,000 spectators. Classes were determined on tire size and Old Betsy, the track's huge front loader, was active during the first few classes-coming to the rescue of many of the smaller vehicles that stalled out before the halfway point. As the class numbers got higher, Betsy got a break with the stronger, taller vehicles completing the course unassisted. Starting in the mid-afternoon and running until dark, the high-horsepower entertainment was nonstop.
Scott Orvis was the event's big winner, turning in the top time and earning $500 for his efforts. While most of the competitors were turning in times in the 15-to-20-second range, Scott's big-engined Bronco had enough power to skim over the top of the mud and cover the distance in a blistering 5.88 seconds. Close on his heels was Forest Banister, turning in an elapsed time of 6.12 seconds, also in a Bronco. More than $4,100 was paid out to the First, Second, and Third place finishers in each class. If you'd like to watch some good, clean, dirty fun, get all the information you need about upcoming PBIR mud races, pulling competitions, and ATV events at www.racepbir.com or www.milliondollarbuggyclub.com.