Just up the freeway a few miles from our offices at Power Automedia, we’ve come to be friends with some cool people in Riverside, California. But to say we’ve become friends almost makes it sound like we actually had to make an effort. You see, our new friends are a group of people who are easy to be friends with because, like us, they are car people and have racing in their blood. These friends can be found at Adams Motorsports Park, just off Market Street North of the 60 Freeway.
The first time we visited Adams we knew we’d like being there. From the very welcoming hospitality, to the dedication that these folks give to making a day of racing enjoyable, it’s easy to see that they love what they do, and they love doing it for gearheads like us.
For some people who reside in or around this Riverside County racetrack, it’s been a go kart track and nothing more. But the people who make that assumption probably haven’t been out there lately. Because the venue may have started with go karts more than 50 years ago, but there are plenty of other events taking place there that have little to do with go karts.
One look at their web site schedule lets you know that in addition to the karting, there are drifting events, a racing academy, minibike, motorcycle and supermoto racing, too. There’s also something they call “Time Attack” where you can go out and race your car against the clock, and – if you can believe it – we’ve even seem some serious muscle cars racing around the track in events like the SoCal Challenge held at AMP this past March. This event was open to just about anyone, from imports up to the 600+ horsepower musclecars that have been making the autocross circuit the past couple of years.
Adams Motorsports Park Media Day
Media Day, held on May 14th, was how Adams Motorsports Park shows their appreciation for those of us who come to cover the events held there. But it’s much more than just asking us to stop in and say hello, because the park was closed to the public for a couple of hours – something that is rarely done – so that those of us in the media could have a few hours of enjoyment.
The first thing that they wanted us all to do was to enjoy some of the food that was on hand, like the freshly made tacos by El Ojo de Agua Taqueria Catering. And if that wasn’t enough we enjoyed some excellent cuisine from Russian Doll Bakery and Catering. Refreshments were on hand as well, and although the sun was out in full force, it didn’t stop us all from enjoying the afternoon.
Some of us went a few laps in their 125cc Karts, while others enjoyed ride-alongs in drift cars, muscle cars or even the turbo Ford Focus ST on hand from Rally Innovations. Watching some of the talented drifters hit the turns with wheels locked and then smoking the hides through the corners, with mere inches between car and tire-barriers, was impressive to say the least. The crowd really gathered when the tire squealing commenced.
Welcome To The Family
As fun as the event was for us media people, describing all of the people behind Adams Motorsports Park leaves us searching for the right words. Friendly, happy, and accommodating are all words that come to mind, but the word that describes them the best is “family”.
It almost didn’t surprise us to know that Adams’ has been a family business since 1959, when it was known as Adams Kart Track for the 40+ years that followed.
But in 2006, the track was rebranded into Adams Motorsports Park so that the current President and CEO, Troy Adams, could focus on karting, supermoto, drifting, time attack and driver development.
But Adams tells us that he wasn’t the first one to think about bringing the big cars onto the track. It was done by his Uncles in the 1970s when they allowed the Porsche and MG clubs to race on the track. “They were true innovators,” Adams says of his Uncles.
The current staff consists of people who all share in the same passion and dedication that Adams shared with us about the track. We went a few laps with Motorsports Director, Adam Matthews, in the Rally Innovations Focus, where he showed his skills in the turns.
When we had arrived, we were welcomed by Vanessa Vizard, Director of Marketing and PR, and she was quick to point us in the direction of the food on hand, encouraging us to have something to eat first. Inside the registration building, we were greeted by Timel Sebastian who made sure that everyone was enjoying themselves, and while the sun was hot outside, she managed to bring just a little bit of that sunshine inside with her.
Adams brought the big cars back in 2008, and put a little bit of a spin on things by adding a DJ and making it more of a show. These days, events like the SoCal Speed Challenge have the bigger cars on the track, and will return on June 8th for another round. We’ve even watched the crew from Factory Five bring out some of their clients to race around the track and have some fun.
If you thought that Adams Motorsports Park was just for Karting, think again. And be sure to check out their web site and see when the next drifting, time attack or any number of special events take place. Even if you just come for the atmosphere and never get out on the track, they’ll welcome you as if you’re their biggest customer – because that’s how they’ve made all of us feel.