The Hooligan race class has come a long way in a few short years. Once a sideshow class at the local SoCal speedway tracks good for some thrills and guaranteed spills. It has morphed into a respected racing class complete with sponsored racers and televised races!!
I first noticed the "Hooligan" class, V-Twin based street bikes, a few years ago at Costa Mesa Speedway during " Harley" night. I had ventured to these Harley nights a few times before but things were a little different now. A few times a year, the race promoter invites anybody on a street legal V-Twin to come out and race and put on a " show" for the racing fans, i.e. a crashfest. Ape Hangers, out of control baggers, billowing smoke, high sides, dirt in your beer and wild cheering from the rabid crowd were always a given.
As I walked the through the pits checking out the bikes getting ready for the carnage that night a few years back, I noticed a Sportster that was purely bad ass. It was rocking a set of 19'"wheels with professional grade flat track tires front and rear and a bunch of other race specific-go fast goodies. This was no street bike and it sparked my interest and competitive juices. I found out Chris Wiggins was the man with this machine. I straddled the trackside wall intently at race time as he roared around the track and was taken aback. He hauled ass on that bike, and it looked like a hell of a good time. Things were about to change.
Street Tracker style of bikes have always been around in some shape or form, but this was something different. This was a whole new movement and Chris Wiggins was leading the charge of these loud, wild but very fast gang of rag tag racers, the"Hooligans".
I myself was bitten by the Hooligan bug and picked up a beater Sportster from Craigslist on the cheap and became addicted to the racing , camaraderie and good, sometimes rowdy times these Hooligan races provided. Plenty of others were bitten also such as Roland Sands who was there from the beginning with a lot of heavy Hooligan promotion and help in growing this form of racing.
Fast forward a few years from that warm, muggy spring night at Costa Mesa Speedway to a tropical fall evening at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Hooligan Class now was being run in conjunction with the Superprestigio of the Americas race. The Superprestigo is an all-star type of motorcycle race. Racers from all types of motorcycling compete on a flat track for bragging rights as to who is best motorcycle racer. Competing in the Superprestigio were World Champions from road racing, Stunt Riders, Flat Track National Champions, American Superbike Champions, Hillclimb National Champions and on and on. All these riders have one thing in common, they have insane talent on a motorcycle.
So what were the Hooligans doing here then? I think that was the question asked by many unfamiliar with this fast growing class of racing.
As soon as the green flag dropped for the first Hooligan heat race, everybody now knew. These guys are legit racers and maybe a bit crazy for wrestling around 500lb street machines on the tight and challenging track inside The Orleans Arena. The Hooligans quickly became a fan favorite throughout the stands because of this.
Chris Wiggins was once again leading the charge in this event. He was fastest qualifier and led the main event until a few laps from the end when Thor Drake snatched victory from him with a pass for the lead as a result of a downed rider , a yellow flag and general chaos. Many flat track veterans would say " Short Track got him" in reference to the unpredictable nature and random luck in such tight confined racing.
It was a fantastic night for Thor Drake as he was rewarded with a brand new Indian Scout Sixty for his win . Probably a much bigger and better prize than the "real' racers in the Superprestigio received. The Hooligan class trully has become "Super".
Super Hooligans Results 2015 1. Thor Drake (Harley-Davidson) 2. Chris Wiggins (Harley-Davidson) 3. Roland Sands (Indian) 4. Hunter Klee (Harley-Davidson) 5. Drake McElroy (Indian) 6. Travis Newbold (Indian) 7. Ben Giese (Yamaha) 8. Brendon Lutes (Indian) 9. Shaun Guardado (Harley-Davidson) 10. Helder Alvernaz (Harley-Davidson) 11. Travis Hayes (Harley-Davidson) 12. Mitch Gallagher (Harley-Davidson) 13. Aaron Colton (Indian)