White Lightning Strikes | Hell On Wheels Stadium Steeplechase
Through the glitz and glamour of watching the weekly Supercross and motocross racing on television, we can sometimes forget why we all started riding dirt bikes. Twisting the throttle is an escape, a way to get away from the daily grind, and above all, it’s a way to have fun. Motorcycles are what keep a lot of us sane, and racing them with buddies for a day can’t be beat.
For the past five years, Meatball and the Hell On Wheels crew have been putting on some of the most laid back and fun events around. Each race is a combination of organized chaos and absolute good times. And each event isn’t exclusive—there’s something for everyone no matter what bike you ride. “My main focus is not failing and making sure everybody is happy, because everybody is a little bit different,” Meatball said. “I used to just do one race a year and have a beauty pageant, but now I’m doing five races this year. It’s all common-man racing where you don’t have to have a special bike; there’s a class for every bike.”
The most recent event took place at Glen Helen on the off-road truck track and was dubbed the Hell On Wheels Stadium Steeplechase. A combination of motocross and TT racing, the course offered the perfect stage to battle old-school vintage bikes—right up our alley here at Fasthouse. Armed with two pristine CZ machines, Fasthouse racers Sean Collier and Brendan Lutes showed up to the event with their families with the goal of having a good time and putting on a show. Normally Sean can be found ripping his race-ready Thousand Oaks Powersports Kawasaki around local Southern California tracks, but when the idea of vintage racing was tossed his way, he didn’t pass it up. “Doing anything vintage is completely up my alley—I love it and always have an absolute blast,” Sean said. “We had so much fun out there today. Doing these races, and this type of event in particular, is what it’s all about. It gives you some perspective too as to what those old timers actually rode on. Those vintage bikes are so gnarly.”
Gnarly couldn’t begin to describe the on-track action, though, as racers on everything from modified Harleys to barely operable pit bikes to full blown vintage works of art raced elbow to elbow around the dusty course. The most exciting race of the day was the Vintage Expert class where Collier, Lutes, and regular fast guy Greg “Zeke” Landers put on a show. Collier and Lutes—decked out in their Fasthouse White Lightning gear—blasted out front in the first moto while Zeke rode the wheels off his Yamaha MX360, eventually passing Lutes for second on the final lap. “That pass on Lutes was the best part of the day,” Zeke said. “As I saw him disappear from my peripheral, I thought, ‘I got him, and I only have one more lap!’ I thought it was in the bag, but then, he put a pass on me and I was like, ‘No! No! That’s not happening!’” As the two landed from the next jump, Lutes held the gas on and squeezed his CZ inside of Zeke. “There was no way I was going to let him beat me on the last lap,” Lutes said with a laugh. “I held it on and didn’t back off. It was definitely a little scary, since all I was wearing were jeans, a jersey, and an open-faced helmet, but we were laughing our asses off afterwards.” The next moto was a little less eventful, as Collier ran away with the win again, Lutes took second, and Zeke third.
Off the track is where the most fun was had, as everyone enjoyed the camaraderie, family, and beer drinking. “Family, friends, cold ones, and good times,” Sean said at the end of the day. “Having cold ones and hanging out with good friends—it really doesn’t get any better than that. That’s what it’s all about.”
At the end of the day, fun with good friends and family is really why we all got into motorcycles in the first place, and Hell On Wheels did an awesome job at capturing that. Fasthouse will definitely be back for the next round, and we’re already looking forward to the big Hell On Wheels race at our annual Red Bull Day In The Dirt event later this year.
By Brendan Lutes
Photos by Max Mandell and Lutes