Dirt Riot Endurance Racing came back from a hiatus with a bang in 2018, showcasing four races throughout the season. What started out with 15 teams competing, quickly grabbed the attention of the racing community. By the end of the season, the renewed series was bringing in 50+ competitors.
Rick Knauer took over heading up the dirt riot series in 2018 and has created an east coast racing series that is growing by leaps and bounds. His creative vision has lead to the creation of Renegades on the Ridge in Pottsville, PA. Renegades is a brutal 125 mile race that has no equal in terms of distance compared to other east coast and midwest series events.
Knauer has been around the offroad and racing scene for many years. After years of pavement racing, he admits that the family got bored with it and decided to take his then five year old son to his first WE ROCK event (his son is now 23). From there out, they were hooked and didn’t miss any east coast Dirt Riot events for years and volunteered for many of the races until the series ended some years back.
“We were there for the last Dirt Riot race which was seven years ago and we missed it,” explained Knauer. “We were just trying to get somebody to do something with it. We didn’t know enough then, but we continued for many years the Ultra4 Series. We also did some pitting for some big name teams.”
“Back in 2017 we decided to talk to Rich and Shelly and they were looking to expand it back east again. We got the opportunity and we started it and it’s growing,” he continued. “Our full expectation is to grow it for the driver and the teams. To put it back in their hands. We want it to be for the driver and that’s the way it’s going to stay”.
Knauer thinks that the biggest growth in offroad racing is going to be in the UTV segment.
“We honestly think the UTV side of it is the future of offroad racing. We think it’s going to grow more. We think we’re going to see bigger UTVs, more classes. It seems to be a lot more affordable racing for guys that want to get out there and have a good time.”
In growing the sport on the east coast, Knauer wants Renegades on the Ridge to be the premier east coast race.
“Renegades on the Ridge has been a huge vision of mine. It’s a huge investment for us and we’re bringing it. It’s four days full of racing. Next year we’re going to spread it out even more with more days of racing. The UTV race is an all day race going for six hours and 125 miles. We’re going to have bands, beer gardens, going to have good entertainment, going to have a fire pit and all kinds of community stuff going on. We’re going to have a vendor alley and some of our big sponsors are going to be there.”
The venue itself will compare favorably to many out west.
“The great thing about the race is we have some super high speed sections that are four miles long, we have rocks that are just as competitive as out west. We have sand, we have coal and very little mud. The way that stuff is up there we don’t really have to worry about east coast mud. It drains out real quick, so if it rains it still dries out pretty fast. It’s a really nice venue to be able to put on stuff like that and we’re really excited for it.
UTV Qualifying starts on Wednesday June 19th and racing begins at 10 AM on Thursday. More information on Renegades on the Ridge can be found here.