GALION — Ian Wolfe has been racing at Sunset Ramblers on Ohio 598, north of Galion, for most of his life.
The 14-year-old began racing when he was 3-years-old.
“This is home to me,” said Wolfe, who is working toward goals of taking his racing career to the next level.
Five-year-old Preston Foltz has also been racing at Sunset since he was three.
“Racing is fun and I am learning a lot from the others who have been racing for a long time,” Preston said.
Sunset Ramblers sports three tracks: a TT (Tourist track), flat track and a motocross track. Board member Brian Foltz is Preston’s father.
“I started racing here when I was a kid and it is important to me to keep the track going,” said Brian, who took home the 2005 championship for Extreme Dirt Track Four Stroke A.
Sunset is also the home track of AMA National, Grand National and Hall of Fame Steve Morehead, AMA National Hare Scramble Champion Dick Sinclair, AMA AHRMA National Champions JD Hord and Blaine Bahm. JR Addison of Bucyrus got his start at the track and was recently named 2016 Rookie of the Year award by Saddlemen Seats.
Current AMA ProStar National Champion Rick McWaters also got his start at Sunset Ramblers when he was 14-years-old.
“That’s been about 40 years ago. The track has been there since the mid-1930’s. It is a great place to race,” said McWaters.
Wolfe said racing helps keep him focused on what is important in his life.
“If I get low grades in school, my parents will take away racing so I work hard to do well. Also, on weekends when some of my friends are going to parties, I am here at Sunset racing and camping with my family,” Wolfe said.
Tina Claytor and her husband, Jeremy, help out at the track on race weekends.
“We started coming to Sunset when my nephew was racing and we liked the people so much, we started helping out,” said Claytor who camps at the track on race weekends. Jeremy, along with several others, operates the machinery to keep the tracks in optimum shape for racers.
Karen Foltz, mother of Brian and another board member of Sunset Ramblers, said the condition of the tracks are kept in compliance with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards.
“We keep the tracks watered down to comply with EPA regulations. For example, there cannot be more than 13 minutes of dust per hour,” Karen said.
Karen said all races are over by 11 p.m. on the weekends.
Karen said that racers can be as young as 4-years-old to race at Sunset.
“Our beginner’s class is for ages 4 to 6. They have two practice sessions of five or six laps each before they race and must have the basic safety riding gear which includes boots and helmet,” said Karen.
TT and Flat Track races are held on Saturday’s throughout the season and begin with practice at 11 a.m. for TT races.
“Gates open at 9 a.m. Admission is free for kids ages five and under and $10 person,” said Tina Claytor.
Motocross races are held on Sundays. Upcoming race dates include Oct. 1, 2, 22, and 23 with a Halloween Bash being held on Oct. 29.
“Gates will open at 9 a.m. with motocross practice beginning at 10 a.m. with the race to follow. TT practice begins at 2 p.m. with racing to follow and flat track racing begins at 6 p.m. Camping will be available on Friday and Saturday that weekend. There will be a costume contest at 4 p.m., trick or treat, games and food that day also.
A schedule of class fees are listed on the Sunset Ramblers’ website.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras