LEXINGTON, Ohio — Above the starting line, puffy white smoke filled the air as dozens of two-stroke motorcycle engines came to life.
Bikes dating to 1950 were lined up to compete in the vintage motocross races at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Riders of Kawasaki, on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Brain Cox, from Mansfield, Ohio, was one of those competitors, pushing his 1974 CZ250 to the starting line to compete in the Evo class.
Brain Cox, 78, competed in vintage motocross.
This is the 78-year-old’s fourth time competing in a racing event at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.
Cox has been racing motorcycles since he was 10, but says that AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is still one of his favorite events to attend.
“I’ve been around racing for so long, I don’t know what to do without it," he said. "That’s what makes this event so special. It’s close to home, but there’s no other event in the world like Vintage Motorcycle Days. It’s such a fun relaxed atmosphere.”
Cox said his favorite part about competing in vintage motocross at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is that he gets to reconnect with so many close friends and racing family.
“You don’t get friends in other sports like you get from racing motocross,” Cox said. “Look around! There’s so many great people here that are as passionate about motorcycles as you and me. It’s pretty cool to see everyone lining the track and watching and riding their motorcycles around.”
Sixteen-year-old Preston Schilling, from Mingo Junction, Ohio, said that Vintage Motorcycle Days is his favorite racing event.
“It’s just so different with everyone riding around on motorcycles,” Schilling said. “There’s just about every kind of motorcycle here that you can imagine. It’s an awesome place. I even celebrated my birthday here on Friday night.”
Preston Schilling, 16, raced his grandpa's 1974 Honda 125
Schilling raced in the vintage 125 class and the Junior 125 class on his grandpa’s 1974 Honda 125.
“Growing up, I was always watching my grandpas and my dad work on vintage bikes,” Schilling said. “Racing and working on vintage motorcycles is something we all share, and it’s cool that I can compete on my grandpa’s bike here.”