The Born-Free show has always been about bringing like-minded enthusiasts together. This year was no different, but there was a unique attraction that brought fellow racers together for the love of slamming bars and going fast for a couple of hot laps called The Stampede. The Stampede took place at the historic Costa Mesa Speedway in Costa Mesa, California, which has provided racers a safe environment for them to hone their craft since 1969. Mike Davis and Grant Peterson worked hand-and-hand with the Speedway staff and created a night to remember.
Walking through the main gate, you immediately felt a surge of positive energy. Everyone had smiles on their faces and was stoked to be a part of the event. The Invited Builder's motorcycles were displayed for you to have an up-close-and-personal visit with each build.
Photos by Nick Faught
The builders that I spoke to all had the same tired eyes but were elated to have met the pending deadline. I was completely blown away by Johnny Branch's full-scale version of a Revell model. One reason for this was that, not four days before, I know it was a bare frame without a drop of paint. I don't know how he did it, but I'll bring you that story soon.
What I love about racing is that everyone gives their all and there seems to be a “no ego” vibe within the racing community. Every winner received high fives, as opposed to disdain, for winning. Men and women alike pulled up to the line, waited for it to drop, and went wide open. There were a few crashed throughout the night like Steve Caballero hitting the wall something fierce, but in full Cab style he jumped up and gave the crowd thumps up. The whole place cheered, and he jumped back on like nothing ever happened. Racers from the Hell On Wheels, Tank Shifters, Super Hooligans, Rusty Butcher, Frontierman, The Speed Merchant, Biltwell, Suicide Machine Company, and Noise Racing teams as well as independent riders impressed the crowd. It was cool to watch Carey Hart, Twitch, and Leticia Cline race as well. Toshiyuki "CHEETAH" Osawa from Japan proved that you could build a motorcycle for Born-Free AND race the shit out of it! Kenny Kirk from Chopper Supply took first place in the Chopper Class, and Anya Violet and Marissa Silva put on one hell of a race. Each one possessed the lead at different times, but ultimately it ended with Marissa claiming the first place cowbell trophy. Another thing that stood out was how organized the Costa Mesa Speedway is. As soon as one race completed the next one was in queue which provided a great night of racing. Standing back and witnessing this event you would have thought The Stampede had been running for years. Kudos to Mike, Grant, and the Speedway team for a job well done.
"Grant and I would like to thank our friends at Harley-Davidson for supporting The Stampede. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Costa Mesa Speedway & our sponsors Vance & Hines, The Speed Merchant, and Zero Hour. Thanks to every racer that took part and to everyone that supported the night." Mike Davis, co founder of Born-Free.
Be sure to save June 21, 2018, for the second annual Stampede and watch Born-Free's website, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.
I would like to thank Nick Faught for photographing The Stampede for CC.
‘Till next time,