The USA BMX Mid-West National Return to Rockford This Weekend: Professional and Amateur Bicycle Racers Converge on Searls Park in Rockford

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This weekend, the USA BMX National Series returns to the legendary Rockford BMX track in Searls Park, as both professional BMX racers from all over the World and our Nation’s fastest amateur racers chase after the illustrious No.1 Championships in USA BMX. Nearly half of the 48 competitors from the 2012 Olympic Games will be facing off, alongside more than 1,200 amateur competitors from over 34 states.

The annual Mid-West Nationals have been held at Rockford BMX since 1985.

Rockford track operators Jake and Candy Karau have been in charge of Rockford BMX now for 30 amazing years!

Among those in attendance this weekend will be the Mens Olympic Gold medalist from both 2008 & 2012 - Maris Strombergs, who hails from Latvia but now calls Southern California his home. Maris has just taken over the Pro points lead, after winning recently in Nashville, TN. The USA BMX No.1 Pro title is about the only major accomplishment that the 2-time Gold medalist and former World Champion has not yet achieved. Having made 100% of his main events and scoring 5 wins and seven podium finishes, this could be his year.

Strombergs’ biggest obstacle, other than the super fast, jump-infested dirt track, will be Olympic silver medalist and reigning USA BMX No.1 champ Sam Willoughby, of Australia. So far this year, Sam has won 4 of the 8 mains events that he has raced - and is determined to win his third straight No.1 title.

Along with top Pros and Olympians, there are expected to be well over a 1,200 amateur racers - ranging in age from 2 to 70-plus. They will be competing for the day’s awards, as well as points, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s racing will kick off at 11:30, with the Strider “push” bike class - filled with 2, 3, 4 and 5 year olds, before going into Pro and amateur racing. At the other end of the spectrum, there will be plenty of parents (and even some grandparents) competing in the larger-wheeled classes for 30, 40, 50 and 60+ year olds. This is a big part of what makes BMX racing a true Family sport - where moms and dads get to participate along with their children.

Among the many riders to keep an eye on during the non-stop action and excitement, will be Rockford’s very own Cooper Sheldon, 12 years old, and his 18 year old teammate Tyler Whitfield. Both racers ride for the Answer-SSquared team - a Florida-based brand that makes bike components. Tyler is currently going to college on a cycling scholarship, at Marian University in Indianapolis.

Former Pro racer George Andrews practically grew up on the Rockford BMX track during the 90’s - having started at 6 years old. Now, as a BMX dad, the kid who was nicknamed “The Mangler” is back racing in the 28-35 year old Expert class, along with his son who is learning the ropes of racing just like his dad did in the late 80’s.

Established in the early 80’s, Rockford BMX has constantly hosted large national-sized BMX events annually, since 1985. In fact, this year marks the incredible 30 year Anniversary for Track Operators Jake and Candy Karau. On Sunday, Jake and Candy will be honored with a special 30 Year Anniversary award, as a tribute to their three decades of dedication to the Rockford BMX track.

Each year, the economic impact of the MidWest Nationals brings millions of dollars to the Rockford economy - thru flights, rental cars, travel, hotels and dining. Special thanks to the Rockford Park District.

Mid-west National Schedule:
The USA BMX Mid-West Nationals will take place this Friday - June 27th, and go thru Sunday, June 29th at the Rockford BMX track located inside Searls Park at 4950 Safford Rd, Rockford, IL 61101.

Spectating is Free - all weekend. *There is a parking fee to spectators, to support the local track.

Friday: Practice throughout the afternoon and racing beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday: Practice continues in the morning and National racing kicks off promptly at 11:30 a.m. with Strider (balance bike) racing for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, followed by the first rounds of Pro racing.

Sunday: Starts at 8:00 a.m., with the main events starting at approximately at 12 noon.

ABOUT BMX RACING: Up to eight riders speed down the starting hill, maneuvering over dirt obstacles and around banked turns in hopes of winning a 4-foot tall first place trophy. On average, each race is a 35 second sprint, with full contact, close-knit racing and sometimes thrilling crashes and victories. The Olympic sport of BMX Racing is exciting to watch for all ages! BMX Racing is a sport for boys and girls of all ages - from 2 to 76, with three skill levels per age. In BMX, nobody sits on the bench.


Media Credentials are available on site at the USA BMX registration trailer. Upon arrival at the BMX track, we ask that all press first check-in at the USA BMX Registration trailer to pick up their all-access bibs.

ABOUT THE ROCKFORD BMX: Located Searls Park - at 4950 Safford Rd, Rockford, IL 61101, the Rockford BMX track is one of the premiere BMX facilities in the country and has consistently hosted a national caliber event since 1985. From March to November, local riders can compete on Sundays with practice held every Wednesday night. For more information, visit or phone (615) 495-8861.

ABOUT USA BMX: The American Bicycle Association (ABA) was formed in 1977 and is headquartered in Gilbert, Arizona. USA BMX organizes BMX racing for boys, girls and adults, throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. With over 70,000 active members who compete on a weekly basis at over 370 racing facilities in 49 states, the Olympic sport of BMX Racing continues to grow.

USA BMX, with a 30 event national race schedule, is the largest promoter of action sports in the country.

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Craig "gOrk" Barrette
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