Washington rider Weeck has warm spot for Washougal

Bellevue resident's brother in law manages local track

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

If you go

What: 2014 Washougal MX National.

Where: Washougal MX Park, 40205 NE Borin Road.

When: Gates open at 6 a.m. Saturday. Practice and qualifying at 8:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. Racing begins at 1 p.m.

Tickets: $40 general admission at the gate, cash only. Or buy online at washougalmxpk.com.

TV: Live coverage on NBCSN begins at 3 p.m.

Tommy Weeck is from Bellevue, but as far as motocross goes, Washougal is home.

"The best way I can describe it: A warm heart. It gives you a fuzzy feeling. Having the support around here just makes me feel good," Weeck said.

Washougal is family to Weeck, who on Saturday morning will be trying to qualify for the afternoon's Washougal MX National in the 450 class.

His brother-in-law is Ryan Huffman, the track manager. Weeck has been riding at Washougal since he was 6 years old.

"The atmosphere here puts the biggest smile on my face. Every time," Weeck said.

Weeck is a privateer. No factory ride for him. Instead, the 23-year-old travels to as many nationals as he can afford. He competed in the first three rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series this summer — two in California, the other in Colorado — and now he is in Washougal.

"If this week goes well, I'm hoping to do Utah," Weeck said.

Washougal is the ninth stop of the series. The Utah race is the 12th and final event of the season.

"It just depends on funds," he said.

If it only depended on fun, Weeck would be there every week. He loves what he does.

Washougal is his favorite spot, too. This week, his supporters will be waving red foam axes, with his No. 331 and name printed in white lettering.

"You don't necessarily see the fans, but you see the arms waving," he said.

Weeck has qualified at Washougal for the 250 class in three of the past four years. (He had a broken leg in 2012.) He has scored points in every moto he has raced in Washougal. His best overall finish here was 11th in the 2011 250 race.

His long-term goal in motocross is just to keep riding, keep racing.

"I want to stay safe and continue to enjoy it," Weeck said. "It's not like any other sport. Very short career span. I just want to be able to stay healthy and continue to enjoy it."

And keep coming back to Washougal, with a smile on his face.