Justin George

Hooligans Invade 2018 X Games

Heavy bike flat-track racing gets serious for the X Games

The hooligans have invaded the X Games. In certain circles, like the ones we tend to roll with, the X Games are bigger than the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, and Woodstock combined. It's four days packed with the cream of the crop of action sports. Every form of skating, BMX, and now, for the first year, hooligan racing and the good-timing crew that comes along with it has been added to the docket. These heavy bike racers are used to spinning laps at their local track with a few buddies and having a good time, but this was different. This was the big time, the Friday night lights, the pinnacle of hooligan racing. There was a difference, more competition, and they were all out to win.

The day before the race, the pits opened with a buzz of energy that was different than your normal hooligan event. Instead of drinking beer and smoking joints like they typically do the night before a big race, all the racers were busy swapping sprockets and dialing in tire pressure. The race was early on Sunday morning, and it was both obvious and uncharacteristic that no one, except for maybe some journalists and photographers (ahem) were hungover. Again, these guys came to win.

The track was still being built and it was a tough sumbitch of a track—it was basically packed clay. The hooligans didn't care. They went out there and sent it anyways. Practice resulted in a few slide-outs and crashes, but as the track wore in, it just got better and better. Then the ESPN staff kicked it into go mode, and they were on live TV. Everything changed in the blink of an eye. It got serious. Only the top two racers from each heat would make it to a semi. Then there were two semifinal rounds and the top three from each made it to the main. It all happened so fast. Much different than your typical hooligan race. The hooligans came to X Games, and they left it all out on the track. Blood, sweat, and tears. They showed the action-sports community that dad-bod-wielding, Coors Light-drinking, everyday people could make it to the X Games as athletes too.

Jimmy Hill at X Games

@Hillsack (aka Jimmy Hill) partying after a second-place finish at the X Games.

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Dirty and Joey 55 discussing track conditions in the pits

Dirty and Joey 55 discussing track conditions in the pits.

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Tyler Bereman Crash

Tyler Bereman ended up getting a tire to the back from Mark the Butcher.

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Hard Flat Track

The track was hard and had little cushion.

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Frankie Garcia medical attention

International playboy Frankie Garcia being checked out after a gnarly spill. He was okay.

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Frankie Garcia flat track racing

Garcia in the pack after his spill.

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Buddy and Dirty walk the track

Buddy and Dirty walk the track at way too early as s—t in the morning.

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Joey 55 having a Friday night lights moment.

Joey 55 having a “Friday night lights” moment.

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hooligan bikes at NFL stadium

No one ever thought they would see hooligan bikes at an NFL stadium, but here we are.

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motorcycle crash on flat track

Spills and thrills.

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John Hill Hooligan racing

John Hill with his eyes on the prize.

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Joey 55 holding kid

Joey 55 and his biggest fan.

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Al Raposo of Big Als Cycles

Al Raposo of Big Al’s Cycles checking out the track.

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Shaun and Aaron Guardado of Suicide Machine Company

Shaun and Aaron Guardado of Suicide Machine Company give their signature hello.

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Indian Motorcycles at X Games

The Indians are here, and they mean business.

Justin George