Motocross veteran races to success promoting Arizona tracks

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. – A native of the Midwest with a two-wheeled background is finding suc­cess promoting racing on four wheels in Arizona.

Jonah Trussel has raced motocross many of his 37 years and promoted events for that sport at Arizona Speedway for the past 8-1/2 seasons.

A 1/3-mile dirt oval was built at the Apache Junction venue and IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modi­fieds joined regular shows beginning in 2011; Trussel kept the sanctioned division on programs at Cen­tral Arizona Speedway when he took charge of the Casa Grande track last January.

“Promoting is something that I like to do. I enjoy being involved with racing and racers, and I’ve had fun doing it,” he said. “The better percentage of weekends of my life have been spent at the track, whether it be motocross or a dirt track. A lot of my buddies grew up driving stock cars so we spent a lot of time watching each other race.”

The Indiana native began competing at a club-built motocross track conveniently located right across the street before he started grade school.

Opportunity – and not so much snow – took Trussel to Arizona 11 years ago. With the motocross track established and the dirt oval at Apache Junction complete, he began looking for the best sanctioning fit for his headline division.

“For me just getting into it, it was an easy decision. The IMCA Modifieds were definitely more economi­cal,” Trussel explained. “If rules do change, they’re not drastic. They really fit in well with what we have going here in Arizona.”

“IMCA has been great to work with,” he continued. “As long as they’re around and we’re around, we’ll go with them.”

Both of Trussel’s tracks have special events on the upcoming schedule. The first annual Desert Thunder Nationals are Nov. 22-23 at Central Arizona Speedway, with IMCA Modifieds racing for $1,000 to win on Saturday and for $3,000 to win on Sunday.

Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods run with local XMods in $500 and $750 to win main events.

“This was a successful season for us at Casa Grande. It works pretty well for us to have two tracks 50 miles apart,” Trussel said. “We’ve had no issues getting good car counts and expect 40-60 Modifieds this weekend.”

“We’re excited to see the Northern SportMod guys come down,” added Trussel, anticipating a strong contingent from the Bakersfield, Calif., area. “We averaged 16 cars in our SportMod/XMod field this year. We hope to have the sanction for SportMods in 2016.”

A pair of $1,250 to win features are slated for IMCA Modifieds at Arizona Speedway’s Jan. 17-18, 2015 Snowbird Classic. Northern SportMods vie with the XMods again both evenings.

While it’s not likely he’ll drive a race car in the future, Trussel doesn’t rule out the possibility for sons Teagan, 7 and Ryker, 3. Both have already started their motorcycle racing careers.