For more than 40 years, the city of Waverley, Tennessee, has hosted thousands of motocross riders and their families at the AMA National Amateur Motocross Championships at the nearby Loretta Lynn Ranch. But just days after last year’s championship, an unprecedented flood nearly wiped the city off the map.
Unprecedented rain upstream pulled a wall of water through Waverley and the ranch, destroying many homes and killing 20 people across the region, including ranch foreman Loretta Lynn Wayne Spears.
From unknown amateur racers to the biggest names in the sport, many motocross riders remember the summer races in Loretta and the locals who worked at the event or maybe even patched them up at a local hospital when things went wrong. They set up Racers 4 Waverlycommunity relief fund, through Road Restoration Fund 2a charity that supports injured motorcyclists.
Now $ 300,000 of the money raised has been distributed to local communities through nonprofits, grants to small businesses in need of repair, a local church and a food pantry.
This video shows not only the scale of the destruction, but also outlines the reaction when a community of motocross enthusiasts paid back 40 years of reception in downtown Tennessee.
According to Davy Coombs of MX Sports, if the floods had taken place a week earlier, with thousands of people on the ranch, the story would have been much more tragic. And while it’s scary to think what could have happened, it’s also scary to see what needs to be done to hold the championships again next August, as it has for 40 years.
Although the fundraiser went entirely to support Waverley and the surrounding area rather than the ranch, there is also great damage done. The track, where so many motocross and supercross stars first made their names, was essentially washed away. The video also shows efforts to restore the tracks and facilities that support the huge annual motocross event.
Strong ties have been established for over 40 years, and credit should be given to the motocross community and the motorcycle industry.