In the early 1970′s, enterprising motocross race promoter Dave Coombs Sr. went on the search for the perfect motocross track. He had tried a couple of tracks in West Virginia that weren’t big enough, and then one in Keyser’s Ridge, Maryland, but that track’s rocky soil didn’t find favor with the riders. In the fall of 1976, he movied his races to Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, just across the state line above Morgantown, West Virginia, using the rich soil of a farm owned by the Holbert family, who were racers themselves. High Point Raceway opened in September ’76, but the originial layout would soon change. Shortly after opening, the Maico factory team stopped by looking for a place to practice while following the Trans’AMA Series, and they decided to revamp the track layout to make it more European, incorporating more hills and off-camber turns. Sylvain Beboers, Adolf Weil, and Hans Maisch laid down fallen tree branches and built small rock piles to ouline where they should go. In doing so, they created the basic design that High Point uses to this day. The High Point circuit uses the land’s natural elevation to create uphill double and trople jumps and long sweeping corners in a natural ampitheater setting. To go fast on this highly regarded track today, riders have to dial in skills that were perfected three decades ago. But High Point, like the sport itself, has gone through changes over the years – most of them aimed at making a more fan-friendly track that also challenges the ever-evolving equipment modern race teams bring to Lucas Oil Pro Motocross.
Trees were cleared from around the facility so fans can view nearly 100 percent of the track from a variety of vantage points, and the bigger jumps were put right in view of the largest spectator areas. In 2008, the track received a makeover courtesy of star track builder, Mark Peters, resulting in more hang-time for the riders. With a mix of the old school and the new, High Point is a true challenge for the racers and remains one of the most popular tracks in the entire sport.
The motocross world lost Dave Coombs Sr. on August 3, 1998, after a long battle with leukemia, but his family and the Holberts continue to produce the High Point National in his honor. The family bisiness, MX Sports, is also the driving force behind the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, the AMA Pro ATV Series, and now the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. And in a move that would make Bid Dave proud, the first live network television broadcast of an AMA Pro Motocross race took place on June 13, 2009, with the High Point National being featured live on NBC, a first for professional motocross in America.