WHAT HAPPENED TO TEXPLEX PARK?
MILLER BROTHERS LOSE THEIR HOME TRACK
At first it was an industry rumor that Texplex Park had been sold. Then Brian Adkinson of the Texas Outlaw UTV series sent us new dates for the remainder of the 2022 series, and all the new dates were at Oak Hill in Decatur, Texas. Bummer! Former Texplex race director Billy Champion told us, “Encroaching home developments combined with uncontrollable dust and noise issues…they were presented with an offer to turn it into another housing development.”
Which is odd, because I was there for the second round and drove Miller Road from end to end. There are a few houses but no big developments; it’s mostly rural farmland. There are also industries around. Texplex Park has only been on our radar for a handful of years. My riding buddy Robert would tow a trailer with 12-15 bikes in it from Los Angeles to Texplex in conjunction with the Dallas Supercross. Friends would pay him, fly out to DFW, rent cars and get hotels or camp at the track. They’d ride the SX, MX, Vets and even Pitbike tracks then see the Dallas SX on Saturday. His group alone provided a lot of revenue for Midlothian over the years.
Then Texplex became a round of the Texas Quad Racing Association in 2018, and it started having UTV and 4×4 ride days soon after. It hosted corporate events like team-building adventures, became a Can-Am Uncharted Society outfitter, and started putting on UTV races in 2020. The series’ sponsorship and purses grew a lot for 2021, and Adkinson bought the series that year. The new Texas Outlaw Series grew to $275,000 for 2022. Now the Miller Brothers’ and Outlaw series home track is going to be turned into a housing project.
Who puts high-density housing tracts under high-tension power lines? It’s a head scratcher for sure. Worse, Texas has very little public lands, and the state Government outlawed riding in river beds years ago. When I lived there, the only public riding area was in Bastrop near Austin. Riders have to join riding clubs, many of which lease large forestry or oil/gas parcels for tracks and trails. I know a patent lawyer who bought farms and ranches south of Dallas and had Guy Cooper design and build an MX track and Dick Burleson lay out trails on the properties. It even became part of the Texas Cross Country series.
Losing Texplex Park will cost Midlothian a lot of income, at least until new residents start paying property taxes, while existing neighbors will likely see their taxes increase. Only the rich will have enough land to ride on as Metroplex residents lose this private riding park. They’ll have to drive further and burn more expensive gasoline or diesel to ride or drive off-road. Few can ride right out of the house as I do.
I’ve seen this a few times with California’s Ascot Park, Carlsbad Raceway, Saddleback Park and Indian Dunes. Ascot had Thursday night speedway races (with Suzuki-sponsored LT500 races often won by Brian “Animal” Fry), Friday night Motocross and Saturday night sprint cars or dirt track races, plus an R/C car track and go-kart track. Neighborhood kids would ride there and race, until it sold. The tracks were demolished and the debris stood there for years before any houses were built.
The same with Carlsbad. I grew up watching the Carlsbad 500 MXGP on Wide World of Sports, and later came the made-for-TV Superbikers, which combined the drag strip, circle tracks and parts of the GP track for the start of Supermoto racing. It also had a go-kart oval, and I raced there. It sat unused for years before any houses were built. Indian Dunes reverted to farmland and parts were rented out to Hollywood for series like Dukes of Hazzard and Bah Bah Black Sheep, and movies, before the helicopter accident that killed Vic Morrow.
I sure hope Texplex doesn’t suffer the same fate – sitting unused for years. Hopefully, some super-rich enthusiast will buy Texplex Park to ensure present and future Texans have a place to ride and race. Maybe that’ll be a topic for the parents at the Youth World Championships at Oak Hill Raceway.
Adkinson hopes to still put on the Texas 12-Hour there this winter…we’ll see.