MX Sports Pro Racing and NBC Sports have unveiled their schedule for the 2017 season of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.
The schedule will once again consist of 12 rounds in its summer-long journey to crown a champion, with each venue returning. The season will commence on Saturday, May 20, with the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Rancho Cordova, California, and will once again feature exclusive broadcast coverage on NBC, NBCSN, MAVTV and the NBC Sports App.
Each stop of the 12-round championship will consist of two points-paying motos in both the premier 450 Class and 250 Class, resulting in a total of 24 motos apiece that will ultimately determine a champion. Since its inception in 1972, the Pro Motocross Championship has been arguably one of the most difficult titles to win in all of motorsports thanks to its grueling nature.
That defining trait has also made it the most prestigious championship in the sport, with Ken Roczen (450 Class) and Cooper Webb (250 Class) emerging triumphant in 2016.
"The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is the root of American motocross and its legacy is undeniable. Both the teams and riders understand the history of the sport and how truly difficult it is to win this coveted championship, so there's an immense sense of pride in the battle for both the Edison Dye Cup and Gary Jones Cup," said Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing.
"Most of the tracks on the schedule have been hosting Nationals for more than two decades. There's such a rich history and tradition that both the riders and the fans feed off of, making this championship a truly special experience."
For the fourth consecutive season the championship will kick off with back-to-back rounds in California, with the Hangtown Motocross Classic giving way to the Glen Helen National in motocross' proverbial home of Southern California on May 27, over Memorial Day Weekend. Each track represents much of what the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship embodies, with Hangtown serving as the longest-running National on the schedule at 44 years and Glen Helen serving the role of what very well may be the most dynamic and challenging track in the world.
Lakewood, Colorado's Thunder Valley MX Park, just outside Denver, on June 3, will give way to the first of three off weekends before the High Point National in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, opens the eastern swing of the championship that sits at the heart of the schedule on June 17. This month-long stretch will include stops at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee (June 24), the unparalleled Independence Day celebration and experience from RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan (July 1), and the legendary sands of Southwick in Southwick, Massachusetts (July 8).
Following another break in action, the Spring Creek National in Millville, Minnesota (July 22), and the Washougal National in Washougal, Washington (July 29), sends the championship back westward for two of most scenic stops on the schedule. These back-to-back rounds will set the stage for the stretch run to the championship, which kicks off following the final off weekend on the schedule.
Iconic Unadilla MX in New Berlin, New York, will signify the start of a three-week showdown to crown the 2017 champions on August 11, with one of the most storied events in American motocross. From there Mechanicsville, Maryland's Budds Creek MX Park will host the penultimate round of the championship on August 19, before Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship's new season-ending tradition from Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana, closes out the summer on August 26.
"The current schedule for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship brings the fastest riders on the planet and the world's most prestigious off-road motorcycle championship to virtually every portion of the country," added Coombs. "We will compete in every time zone and will visit 11 states en route to finding out who will add their name to the legendary list of titleholders, forever etching themselves in the annals of American motocross history."