As a kid, the only thing I looked forward to were the Friday nights under the lights racing at Lake Geneva raceway: the smell, the sound, and the positive environment- The only place I felt at home. Unfortunately, that came to a quick end in 2006 because there were no more under the lights races. Luckily for me and a lot of other people, we have people out there that want to keep the lights on. We have been very fortunate to have McHenry and, as of recent, Lake County again. The Lake County race started back in the late 80s, and it would be sad to not have that race every year. There are so many positive memories, and so many have raced here that have succeeded in our industry including Justin Brayton, Tommy Hofmaster, J.R. Jackson, Daniel Blair, the late Tiger Lacey, and many more. From watching intense battles between Daniel Herrlien and Cody VanBusKirk, nothing in my opinion is more exciting than these races. I'm always looking forward to the new schedule, and this year I was starting to lose hope that we were looking at the final racing season at Lake County.
Luckily, Kurt Jennison is on to something bigger and better. Kurt has so much heart and dedication put into this sport: from racing Japan as a kid, to a national pro rider, to becoming a moto dad himself. We had the chance to sit down with Kurt and discuss his future plans, and I feel confident about the future of our under the lights nights.
Hey, Kurt! Tell me a little bit about JennerationMX?
Well, if you want to know how we came up with the name, one of my buddies Clay Guida (ufc fighter) took some pictures with my kids at a family party. He had the photo edited to say “the next Jenneration.” Obviously, the first 4 letters are some of the letters in my last name (Jennison). Since then, we have been hash-tagging #Jennerationmx on pics and videos of the kids riding and racing. When we decided to become promoters and took on the Lake County Fair Race, the name Jenneration MX just seemed to fit for what we were doing. Really, this sport is always about the next generation of riders. So, our goal is to help grow the sport and help develop the next “Jenneration" of MX riders by promoting races, open rides, and any cool events. Opportunities are endless, ya know?
Lake County has always been a fun fair race. Tell me some things that will be different from the past years?
First, I want to start off by saying it’s an honor to keep the legacy of the “Lake County Fair Race” going. Many years ago, when it was at the old fairgrounds, this race was designed for pros and upcoming amateurs. It was, by far, the best fair race in the Midwest, maybe even in the country. When I was working with Woodstock MX in 2015, we brought racing back to Lake County Fair, but we changed it up a bit. We introduced a full race order to the crowd. It turned out to be an action packed night that, not only included the pros and amateurs, but 50cc riders all the way to plus 40 riders, as well. We are going to offer the same thing this year, but we are going to put more effort into highlighting the pros and keeping them on the track enough to entertain the crowd. We have some cool stuff planned for the fair night to keep it interesting. You aren’t going to want to miss it!
A lot of people have been asking me, what classes are you running?
It took us some time to figure out what classes we were going to run for the fair race only. It’s finalized and posted now. If you check our Facebook, Instagram, or website, you can see the registration sheet for sign up. Our class list for non-fair races will be slightly different. We will offer more classes, similar to race order that Gerhard Ward offers at Megacross. He runs a good program, and we want to get our series for 2019 in-line with his classes so D17 stadiumcross points chasers will hit our races to.
This is not district or AMA correct?
It is not a district 17 event, and we won’t be a stadiumcross points race until next year. We are an AMA sanctioned event, though. So, you will need the proper AMA credentials to race.
It’s awesome that you have Dirt Monkey (Marty Leum) on board to build the track. Do you have anything cool you could tell me that you’re going to add to the track?
Marty has been a good friend of mine for a long time. I’ve ridden a lot of tracks that he’s built. So, I have full confidence the track will be awesome. I had some other guys step up and help with the track build, as well: Brett Grantham, Nick Nelson and Andy Block came out and helped Marty. These guys moved a massive amount of dirt in 2 days. I can’t thank them enough. The track turned out really well. Everyone will be excited to see the track changes from last year.
How much are the pro purses this year?
Right now we have a $5000 pro purse. So $2500 per night for 250 Pro and Open Pro. We are working on putting together an overall bonus for both nights. Who’s going to be the King of Lake County in 2018?
How much are class fees?
Class fees are $25 for Trophy classes and $35 for Money classes. Our plus classes are 100% payback.
Do you have plans to do more races anywhere else or just Lake County?
We are planning to have a few events at Lake County after the fair race for 2018. We are working on some cool race stuff in different locations for 2019. You’ll have to stay tuned in to our social media to see what we are working on.
We saw you were looking for sponsors to support your event. How can someone get ahold of you for that?
Yeah, man! We have a lot of great people and companies that have stepped up to be a part of this year’s Lake County Fair Race. It’s getting a little late at this point to take on any more sponsors, but if anyone wants to step up and donate some cash now we will throw it into the pro purse, overall pro points pay out, or the Dash For Cash!!!
Are you racing? It would be cool to see you back out there battling!
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Haha... I still love to race and ride, but with my kids (Kain, Lacey, & Kru Jennison) racing it’s just too much for me. Plus, with being in charge of this event, I’ll have way to much going on to be focused enough to race. So, I’ll leave the bike in the back of the rig.
Anything you want to add?
Definitely! I want to give a huge THANK YOU to my family for supporting me, and a special thank you to my wife Ali for putting up with me being on the phone all the time, for listening to my crazy ideas, and for all the help she has put into this event, as well. Thank you to all of the sponsors that have stepped up to support Jenneration MX. Finally, thank you to all of my friends and my moto family that are supporting us, as well. Make sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram!!!
The sponsors are listed below:
Smart Lighting Inc
Kutzler Express Inc.
Spectro/Tri R Distributing
Amsoil Don Jackson
Oak Park Lounge