Jim Chester to Ride the Florence Civic Center EnduroCross!

Former regional AMA Arenacross champion and longtime eastern U.S. MX/SX/AX racer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., will make another run at GEICO EnduroCross this Saturday night

A familiar face to Carolina motocross fans will boot up this weekend at the Florence, S.C., Civic Center when round three of 2009 GEICO AMA EnduroCross, presented by E3 Spark Plugs, takes place this Saturday night, Sept. 12th.

Longtime MX/SX/AX racer Jim Chester from nearby Myrtle Beach, S.C., says he’s going to take another run at GEICO EnduroCross, only this year with a bit different strategy.

“I’m breaking out the Gastonia Suzuki RM125,” says Chester. “That’s the game plan. Last year the (RMZ) 450F was waayyy too much. The 125’s what, 40 pounds lighter? That should help me out a lot.”

Chester says laughingly, but with a definite seriousness, that EnduroCross is “one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” adding “it about put me into retirement.”

The 39-year-old’s a regional rep for Western Powersports and still gets after it at local motocross and arenacross events. In fact, if you see him hobbling a bit this weekend it’s because he came up short on a 115-foot jump at his local track a little over a week ago and jacked up his back a bit. “I thought I was doing fine until this past Saturday when I bent over to pick something up and was like ‘Oh, man,’” he said. “We’ll give it a go on press day (Thursday, Sept. 10th, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Civic Center) and see how it feels for this weekend. I should be alright.”

It took a bit to jog Chester’s memory, but the former AMA Arenacross regional champion (’04) says he won a number of pro class main events in arenacross, with his best finish in an AMA Supercross 125 class main event being a 5th at the Pontiac (Mich.) Silverdome in 1990, and a 6th in the 125 main at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (then Charlotte M.S.) in 1995.

Last year, in his first attempt at EnduroCross, Chester failed to make the main – crashing in his heat race and putting a rock through his radiator. He’s pumped on some redemption this Saturday night at Florence’s Civic Center. “I’ve been looking forward to the Florence EnduroCross all summer long and I’m hoping I can improve a bit on last year, work to make the main if my back can hold out,” he said. “Either way it’s going to be a good time this Saturday at the Civic Center.”

The Florence round marks the expected return of defending GEICO EnduroCross series champ, Ricky Dietrich (Monster Energy/Kawasaki). Dietrich, who broke his foot at the Guthrie (Okla.) GEICO EnduroCross round, will feel some heavy challenge from not only his Monster/Kawasaki teammates, Damon Huffman and Destry Abbott, but he’ll also have to try and derail the Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) train as the European great has won the first two EX rounds.

Check out the Florence pre-race teaser on the GEICO Video Player:

Combining multiple off-road motorcycle racing disciplines such as western U.S. desert enduro racing and eastern cross country racing with technical trials-style riding, GEICO EnduroCross showcases riders from all over the world that excel in these fields.

What: 2009 GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross Series, round three
Who: World’s top off road motorcycle racers, both pro and local Florence area racers
When: Saturday, Sept. 12th
Tickets: At the Civic Center Box Office, by calling (843) 679-4525, or online at www.endurocross.com
Date City/State Venue
July 25 Las Vegas, Nev. The Orleans Arena
Aug. 15 Guthrie, Okla. Lazy E Arena
Sept. 12 Florence, S.C. Florence Civic Center
Oct. 3 Columbus, Ohio Schottenstein Center
Oct. 24 Denver, Colo. National Western Complex
Nov. 21 Las Vegas, Nev. The Orleans Arena