From an early age, Mickey Fay Sr. loved motorcycles. He was inspired by his father, a trail rider, and the friends with whom he rode. It became a lifelong passion as he embarked on a career as a nationally known professional motorcycle racer.
Today, Fay Sr. shares that passion with a new generation as a race promoter through Mickey Fay’s NW Extreme Flat Track Racing at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. The circuit uses an indoor dirt track for motorcycle and quad racing.
Fay Sr. said they have about 100 different riders who are regular participants. They bring in a diverse crowd, both young and old, with boys and girls as young as 3 participating in races. There’s also a mix of amateur and professional riders there, with some of the riders participating on a national level.
Fay Sr. rode his first race in 1969, and in 1979, he signed with the American Honda Motor Company team. He won his first national event later that year. In his 42-year racing career, he won five American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Nationals.
For the past 10 years, Fay Sr. has worked as a promoter. He spends his time finding and working with venues, getting sponsors and funding, and managing races.
Although he spends most of his time on the sidelines today, his sons, Mickey Fay Jr. and Marty Fay, have followed the tradition. Fay Jr., who started riding when he was 3, rode in his first race a year later.
“It’s pretty much been in my family,” Fay Jr. said. “I’ve been around it my whole life.”
Marty Fay Jr. was racing in Las Vegas last weekend.
Racers with NW Extreme Flat Track Racing praise the supportive environment and say the sport has a way of bringing people together.
Austin Roglin, 22, just started quad racing on the flat track. He comes from a motocross background.
“It’s fun, family-oriented, and it’s a good group of people,” Roglin said.
Roglin’s girlfriend, Alexis Lyon, has been racing quads for six years. She said she got into it because of her dad’s boss.
“I love the adrenaline rush,” Lyon said. “It’s my life.”
The sport is not without its risks.
During a practice on Jan. 5, one racer sustained minor injuries from a fall and was transported by Central Pierce Fire and Rescue.
“It’s no doubt a dangerous sport, but it’s a family-oriented sport,” Fay Sr. said.
He urges parents of younger racers to make sure their children have all the necessary protective gear, such as pads and neck braces.
Fay Sr. admits he worries about Mickey Jr., who was in a serious car accident just last year while he was on his way to work.
“He’s lucky to be alive at all,” Fay Sr. said.
Fay Sr. said he’s blessed to have the opportunity to continue to work with motorsports and to pass on his knowledge and passion to others.
“It’s pretty much my whole life,” he said. “I love motorcycles, and it’s all I’ve ever done. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
If you go
The next event for NW Extreme Flat Track Racing will be held Saturday at the Puyallup fairgrounds. Doors will open at 3 p.m., and races will begin about 5 p.m. General admission is $10, and children 6 and younger will be admitted for free. For more information, visit www.mickeyfaysraces.com.
Kevin Knodell is a freelance reporter for the Herald.