775 Icon – Robert Hansen

Poidiem 2011 La Paz

775 Icon – Robert Hansen


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If you’re a 775 local, you no doubt recognize the name, “ArenOcross”. This flagship annual event was the areas premiere race featuring big name pro riders, a huge amateur day and great times catching up with old friends. Most people may remember the most recent event as a successful event which attracted many pro riders with some great racing. What most people DO NOT know, was the behind the scenes drama unfolding as Feld (the promoters of the Amsoil Arenocros series) decided to launch a ticket promotion aimed at negatively impacting our beloved ArenOcross, an event aiming for a fresh start and once again locally owned by its founder and subject of this months MX775 Icon story, Robert Hansen.

 

Robert Hansen, the originator of ArenOcross, eventually, parlayed the event into an entire west coast series, eventually being bought out by Pace and now is owned by the Feld group. Now with the Arenacross series under the Feld Groups’ ownership, it has taken on a much more prestigious place in the racing world. It is now, not only a legitimate professional championship, it is also the cornerstone of, “Ricky Carmichaels Road to Supercross”, which mandates that all rookies who want to race pro supercross, must score points in the Arenacross series to be eligible for a supercross championship. Mike Kidd and Robert Hansen, the subject of this installment of the 775 Icon series, were the two people most instrumental to the creation of the Arenacross series.

 

Robert grew up in North Hollywood. He remembers his earliest experience with racing being when his dad, a Checker (the most infamous of all SoCal D37 clubs, with a rich racing history). Going to the desert and riding in North Hollywood was his battle ground when it came to riding dirtbikes.

 

“I-5 was my backyard, man”, Robert told me while we enjoyed a Woody’s fish taco, “We used to ride out there, mess around, start the tractors and just be kids. My dad used to pick me up at school on Friday, and would wrench for a buddy on Friday night flattrack, then his friend would wrench for him when he would race desert. I remember quite a few times missing school on a Monday because we were racing. It was our way of life.”

 

You can really tell that as an enthusiast, Robert had the love of the sport in his eyes. The consummate businessman, he also had enough vision to buy a motocross track in Carson City and run that for many years. Many moto heads here in town, will know that as Silver State Raceway, T Car or Champion Speedway being within a rocks throw from the paved car track. Robert loved motocross and loved being the owner of the track, providing a place for racers to hang out and compete. As far as local tracks go, few have the history and prestige of the epic racetrack nestled away in Carson City.

 

The inaugural ArenOcross event was a trendsetter; it, eventually, was an entire west coast series and as mentioned above, was purchased and promoted by the Pace group and was part of the Arenacross series. Robert, after the first event, would have never known how big his series would get, as he spent upwards of 9000 dollars on advertising for the first event.

 

“I spent all the money I had for the first event on Radio and paper ads, and we lost money. The next year, I met a partner who really steered me in the right direction. We spent upwards of THREE times the advertising monies the next year, and made back my losses from the inaugural event and I was off and running”, said Hansen.

 

As a business man and promoter, Robert understands the stigma of the term, and as it relates to motocross, most notably in this area.

Barnett DR Adparker ad “People thought we were getting rich promoting races. The truth is that we weren’t and aren’t”, Hansen said in a sincere tone, “and I always did it for the love of the sport, just like anyone else does. You must do it for the love of the sport.”

 

Robert worked for Feld entertainment (the promoters of Supercross) until 2010. He took five years off and concentrated on managing or riding for teams in Baja. Between 2000-2012, the teams he was involved in took home SEVEN championships together, spread around in the 30/40/50 classes. Also during that time, his teams helped develop Barnett clutches and the Kenda Parker off-road race tire.

 

“I’m thinking about putting together another team and going at it again for 2016″, Robert said in a determined tone.

 

These days, Robert is, in his own words, “A working stiff in the construction business”, but does have a few promotions coming up in Red Bluff Ca.

 

“In Red Bluff, Ca., I have an FMX contest and side by side drag race rhythm section (Read: Red Bull Straight Rhythm for SXS), June 5/6. Red Bluff has always treated me well”, said Hansen.

When it comes to being an iconic figure, there really are not many more iconic than Robert Hansen. He shares the passion for the sport that all of us do. He grew up in a moto family and his love for the sport shines through.
Cliff Kump
cliff.kump@me.com