It’s somehow fitting that Ward Robinson would pass on the eve of the 2022 Unadilla National, the biggest event at the track he first began running more than half a century ago.
After opening in 1969, Unadilla Valley Sports Center, nestled in the rolling hills of scenic Central New York, began hosting AMA-sanctioned motocross races in 1970 and quickly grew to the point where it became synonymous with the sport of motocross.
In 1970 Unadilla hosted a Trans-AMA event, which was part of the first AMA-sanctioned motocross tour in America. Two years later, in 1972, it hosted an Inter-Am event that was included in the very first AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series. In 1978 Unadilla hosted the first U.S. 250cc Grand Prix as part of the FIM World Championship Series, won by California’s Marty Tripes. Then, in 1987, Robinson’s facility became the first U.S. track to host the prestigious FIM Motocross of Nations, which was won by Team USA’s Rick Johnson, Jeff Ward and Bob “Hurricane” Hannah, and managed by international racing legend Roger DeCoster.