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Gary Gee Armstrong is Third in Pacific Northwest Dirt Drag Racing Series Sport Bike Standings

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In 2010, at age 64, Gary Armstrong entered his first pro ATV drag race and won the event.
In 2010, at age 64, Gary Armstrong entered his first pro ATV drag race and won the event.
Gary "Gee" Armstrong has a drag racing championship to defend. Poor weather in the Pacific Northwest has made it challenging to begin that defense. Armstrong, the 2012 Pacific Northwest Dirt Drag Racing Series champion in Sport Bike Division 2, is off to a solid start after rain washed out the first four rounds of the 2013 schedule.
Gary Armstrong races a Yamaha-sponsored YFZ450 and is in third place in the Pacific Northwest Dirt Drag Racing Series sport bike standings.
Gary Armstrong races a Yamaha-sponsored YFZ450 and is in third place in the Pacific Northwest Dirt Drag Racing Series sport bike standings.


He was second in the Sport Bike 2 races and fourth in the Pro 2 class races in Round 6 at the Albany Sand Drags in Oregon.

Armstrong, who describes himself as 67 going on 35, doesn't have much ATV drag racing experience, but he has become one of the top riders in his region.

"I haven't been doing it that long," said Armstrong, who lives in Florence, Ore. "When I retired and we moved up here to the dunes, there were a lot of tourists come and we always end up racing up dune faces. It sort of became a thing every Sunday afternoon whoever was out there knew what dunes to go to. We all just raced each other. We didn't even know each other." He didn't enter his first pro ATV drag race until 2010, when he was 64 years old. He won the first pro event he entered.
Gary Armstrong has seven career victories in the Dirt Drag Racing Series since 2010 and 18 podium finishes.
Gary Armstrong has seven career victories in the Dirt Drag Racing Series since 2010 and 18 podium finishes.


"My engine builder was back there playing," Armstrong said. "He invited me up to a track that he rented to do some engine testing. He said try it with the lights and the computer timing. I did it for a day and I loved it, so that was 2009. I started having him build race engines for me. In 2010, I entered the Oregon Off-Road Racing Association's Pro race and I won it. From there it's all history."

He races a Yamaha-sponsored YFZ450 and is in third place in the Pacific Northwest Dirt Drag Racing Series sport bike standings. He is in fifth place in the Pro 2 class standings. He has seven career victories in the Dirt Drag Racing Series since 2010 and 18 podium finishes. He said podium finishes are the way to a championship.

"I go into my races just wanting podiums," Armstrong said. "Sure, I'm out there to win, but I'm also just looking for podiums. I felt pretty good. I podiumed twice. I'm OK with that." But it took a while for Armstrong to notch those first two podiums. He had to venture away from the Dirt Drag Racing Series to find other ways to keep his racing skills fresh.
In addition to racing ATVs, Gary Armstrong said he surfs and rides mountain bikes to stay in shape and compete against much younger racers.
In addition to racing ATVs, Gary Armstrong said he surfs and rides mountain bikes to stay in shape and compete against much younger racers.


"We found some races south of us," Armstrong said. "It was just recreational riders and racers. Anybody could enter. We went just to practice. It wasn't about winning races. It was about getting some practice time in. It gives me a chance to have some fun and also shift gears, make sure everything's running right."

Racing recreationally paid off in his last event. He said his ATV needed some maintenance, his head gaskets were worn, and that led to his second-place finish in the sport bike races. Still, podiums are what he is striving for. It is a formula that worked well last year.

"I had a quite a few weekends where I had three podiums," Armstrong said. "Those all count for points in the championship series. That's what works. That's basically my same strategy this year too. This was a good start as far as I'm concerned, a couple of podiums right off the bat."

Using K&N air and oil filters also contributes to his success. "Whenever you're racing out there or on a track, it's nothing but dust, and it's nothing but sand in the air," Armstrong said. "I depend on K&N filters and I always have. Yamaha is one of my sponsors and I know they have their own filters. I still use K&N filters and they don't mind."

In addition to racing ATVs, Armstrong said he surfs and rides mountain bikes to stay in shape and compete against much younger racers. "I haven't really been a racer until I started riding ATVs up here in the dunes," Armstrong said. "In the championship series, most of the racers are in their 20s and 30s." He also helps promote races at tracks throughout the Pacific Northwest. One is at the Orange Dunes Raceway at the end of August.

Related K&N News Articles about Gary Armstrong and Pro ATV racing: Gary Armstrong Wins 2012 Pacific Northwest Sand Drag Series Championship; A Podium Filled Weekend For Pro ATV Sand Drag Racer Gary Armstrong; ATV Pro Class Team H&M Motorsports Takes Victories at Buffalo Bills in Primm, Nevada; K&N Helps Pro ATV racer Josh Frederick and Team Motoworks in Victory at WORCS: Round 6 at Cahuilla
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