the “Souvenir King”: Ray Christie
By: Ryan Webb
If you happen to be running around the nationals and want to take something home, then most likely you are going to bump into Ray. He is the man who heads up the Moto Tee’s trailer. He also helps out the ATVA at the events by handing out trophies and keeping tabs on some of the things that are going on. He is usually a busy man at the track, but we managed to pull him aside and have a short talk with Ray.
R450: So Ray, how long have you been doing the Moto Tee’s thing at the nationals?
Ray: I started with Moto Tee’s about seven years ago at the shop actually printing shirts. I started going to the races a couple of months later, so this is my sixth race season with Moto Tee’s. It is also my fifth year as a sponsor/coordinator for the atv national series.
R450: Had you done anything with racing before you got started with Moto Tee’s?
Ray: No, honestly I was a chef for eighteen years before this in Pennsylvania, California, New Mexico, and Nevada. My father passed away, I’m from a large family. I’ve got nine brothers and sisters, so I moved back to Pennsylvania. I got tired of working weekends so I went to printing tee shirts and here I am “Bada Boom Bada Bang” working every weekend.
R450: What exactly do you do with the ATVA?
Ray: I don’t actually work for the ATVA, I work with the promoters. I am the sponsor/coordinator for the series. My duties are to contact industry and make them aware of our sport and get them interested. I try and raise sponsorship dollars for advertising and to better the sport. At the track I implement the programs. I get the signs up and make sure that there is sufficient pro parking. I make sure that vendors row is set up and assist the promoters with anything that they need.
R450: Are you good friends with a lot of the people that race out here?
Ray: I have gotten to know just about everybody in the last six years. I picked the greatest sport in the world to get involved in. I love ATV riding. I own three quads and do a lot of trail riding myself and with my family. Hanging out with everyone all weekend, you really get to know everyone and it’s a really good group of people.
R450: I notice that you bring your family along with you to the events. Are you going to try to get your kids into racing atv’s?
Ray: Well, the Lord blessed me, and I have eight children. So far none of them race. I have a nine-year-old son that got his first 90 quad this year. He’ll probably be racing the TT later this year.
R450: What do you think about the circuit? You’ve seen a lot of changes since you started, do you know of anything that needs to be improved on?
Ray: Well, we’ve always got room for improvement. When I first started six years ago, it was a split circuit of Motocross and TT. However, the sport has become more popular and the new factory bikes are out. Don’t get me wrong, it is still an expensive sport to build a bike. A couple of years ago a two-stroke would cost you about 16 to 18 thousand dollars to race. Now you can get them basically race ready and put a few grand into them and be competitive. We’ve gotten about a thirty- percent increase in numbers over the last five years. One of the changes that we’ve made was splitting the circuit to a Motocross series and a TT series. It was a rough split, but it was a good split. It made the Motocross go through the ceiling. This weekend we have 814 entries and that is a record breaker for a single event ATV national. (Round 12 of 2004)