BATB Recap


Over this past weekend, the Iowa State Fairgrounds held the annual Battle at the Barn race. Racers from all over the midwest gather around in the Jacobson building barn and race on a little coke syrup track. More than 400 entries from 12 states and Canada has competed through the past. Dirt bikes, go karts, tractors and four wheelers compete head to head on this little track in the heart of Iowa. 

I had the chance to help my good friend Loyal P from Milwaukee at Battle at the Barn this past week. As Loyal was running in two classes with his dirt bike. Jermey P his father is the founder of Flat Out Friday a huge race event in Firus Forum in Milwaukee. His name has been known around Battle at the Barn ever since. Loyal has been racing since he was a kid and has been to a variety of races across the country. Last January was when I met him for the first time at the same exact race. Last time it sure was a scary experience to watch him as he got a head injury when racing. I was nervous this time watching him as he competed in two classes, Hooligan Bikes and Pro Bikes. All day Friday racers go through three practice rounds and one heat round. For Loyal, that gives him six practices, three practices for each class and then a race one each at the end of the day. Saturday was the big night including more heats and the big races, the features. It was surprising to see all the people that were there when Covid was still going on. It sure was a packed house.  

Saturday night arrived and the seats were filled with fans. I got the chance to go in the pits both days and it did get busy that night. We were stationed next to the door so it would get cold a lot with the cold air storming in, including a snow storm which fell during the race. Loyal was flying through the heats passing everyone like a champ. The dusk became moonlight and the lights throughout the arena lit up.Out came the roar of the engines from the bikes and carts. The air was filled with exhaust fumes and the atmosphere was just so intense. His first race was up; he only had three other people in his class so it wasn’t too bad. Ten laps became five and then down to two. The white flag came out and it was one lap to go. Then the checkered flag was shown and he won his first race! I was so excited for him; he even got a plaque. His next race was up in a few spots and he didn’t have that long of a break. After this next race he will be on his way back home to Milwaukee. I lifted up the bike holder and he directed his bike down to the track for his last race. This next race was so intense. I was squeezing and biting my fingers with stress. All the other bikes lined up at the start and waited for the light to turn green. Yellow, yellow, green. The bikes went fast around the corners, getting very close to one another. The laps slowled down and he was still in the lead. The checker came out and he won once again. I ran over to him and congratulated him with such happiness. Being used to dirt racing and sprint cars, it was cool to see what the dirt bike world was like. 

The past weekend beforehand, my older brother Trevor Casey also competed in a big race called the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma.He raced for my father that recently got diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer . He officially became the biggest mover out of 300 cars. It sure did make my dad proud. It was so cool to have some big victories over the past 2 weeks. I’m glad I had the experience to learn more about dirt bikes and support my good friend over the weekend!