Sam Gause | The Natchez Democrat Dan Marino gets air after hitting a jump on his dirt bike on the dirt Motocross track at Natchez Trace Motorsports Saturday.
Dan Marino gets air after hitting a jump on his dirt bike on the dirt Motocross track at Natchez Trace Motorsports Saturday. (Sam Gause | The Natchez Democrat)

Local couple uses extra land to create motocross track

Published 12:02am Sunday, August 10, 2014

 

NATCHEZ — Stan and Sharon Jackson moved just outside of Natchez five years ago in search for land to raise their cattle, but the couple wound up with more land than they needed.

The extra land they acquired near U.S. 61 just seemed like a bunch of terrain, but a group of friends helped the Jacksons see the potential in the area.

“Some friends from Baton Rouge that ride motocross came by, and we were trying to figure out what we were going to do with the land and said, ‘why not build a track,’” Stan said.

Stan and Sharon didn’t think building a motocross track was a bad idea, but they didn’t realize how much work, time and money would go into when the task first started.

Thankfully, the Jacksons ran into Justin Adams. When Adams heard about the plans, the former motocross rider said he had to go take a look.

“The day I heard they were doing this, I went to see the land. It changed my life,” Adams said.

Adams has been heavily involved ever since as the Jacksons’ public relations director.

Three years later, Natchez Trace Motorsports, located 12 miles south of Natchez, will open this fall, and the long, grueling process of building the track is almost ovdoneer.

Track coordinator Brian Thomas said he looks at the finished project and reflects on everything that was put into it — even tearing it down and rebuilding it several times.

“When I came into it (two years ago), the track was finished being built, and (the Jacksons) were picking up debris and getting grass to grow and trying to maintain what they had,” Thomas said. “When they built it the first time, it was built for pro-riders, but our vision behind it is to build it for everybody to enjoy.”

Sharon said the track would not have been accomplished without the help of Thomas, Adams, Jody Perrault, Barry LeBlanc, Pots Thomas and Earl Brown.

“We came here not knowing anybody and it’s just amazing the people we met that have been so helpful,” Sharon said, “We couldn’t do this without our friends.”

Thomas said the track now accompanies all age groups, and is a national caliber track.

The track also features a concession stand, bathrooms and an RV camp.

Brian said there aren’t many motocross tracks in the surrounding area, and most bikers have to travel to Texas and Alabama to ride.

Sharon said she hopes to see the benefit of their hard work this fall.

“When it’s all said and done, it will bring tremendous business to Natchez. The hotels will be packed,” Sharon said.