Joe Ellington

How long have you been riding (or have ridden), and how old are you now?
This is my 44th (my race #!) year of racing.  August 15, 1976 was my first race.  I am currently 52.

How did you get started riding / racing?
A couple buddies in the neighborhood had mini-bikes, and I was sitting home doing nothing, so I asked my dad to get a bike to ride with them.  He said that if I didn't strike out in Grasshoppers (a youth baseball league) he'd buy me a bike.  Well, I struck out, and cried for two weeks, and my dad broke down and bought the bike.  We went to Larry's Sports Center in Pennsylvania to look at a bike for me.  I told him I knew how to ride, and they let me test a bike on a circle track in their back field.  I made two laps, came back, and I didn't know how to stop.  I ran into the side of their building, and my dad said "Sold!" 

How long have you been or were an expert?
I've been an expert since 1983.  Dave Phillips and I were archrivals, battling in 125 am.  I started the season on a 1982 Yamaha YZ100, and rode it in the 100 and 125 class, because we didn't have any money for a 125.  Scott Hildreth let me run his 125, and Dave Phillips and I had some great battles.  He moved up to expert, so I moved up too, before I pointed out. 

All-time favorite bike?
The Yamaha YZ250 is my favorite 2-stroke, and the 2008 Honda CRF450R was my favorite 4-stroke, but now I really like the KTM Factory Editions. 

What was your first motorcycle?
A 1976 Yamaha YZ80. 

What is your favorite music?
Rap, but I also like almost everything else but country. 

What is your favorite food? 
Chicken Parmesan.  I like to cook, as all my Facebook friends know, and I might join in a recipe blog soon.   

How do you (or did you) train for motocross? 
If I had to do it over, I would have trained more.  I didn't train a lot, but when I got my pro license in 1987, I started to bike, swim, go to the gym, run a little bit, and ride 2-3 times a week.  I never trained as hard as I should have.  I was just happy to qualify for nationals, but I was always so nervous in the main.  I was beat mentally before the race started.  I've always treated motocross as more of a hobby than a career. 

What motivates you? 
The gate drop of a motocross race! I love the adrenalin!  At my age, the shorter the motos the better.  There is no better feeling than being lined up behind a starting gate! 

Occupation? 
I am a Verizon land line phone technician. 

Other interests? 
Cooking, doing things with the kids, and going out and having a good time.  I also enjoy following the sport, watching supercross and outdoor motocross, and helping promote the sport. 

Greatest accomplishment? 
I was co-rider of the year in 1987 (Dave Phillips was the other, we were attached at the hip).  I won the WNY #1 expert plate 4 times, I got my pro license and I qualified for 125, 250, and 500 nationals.  I also raced two USGP races at Unadilla. At my first national in 1988, Mark Page had a 250 license, and I had a 125 license.  We went to Southwick together, no mechanics, and helped each other out.  In my four lap qualifier, I led for three laps, and choked on the last lap, and got third behind George Holland (overall winner) and Pat Barton.  

Welcome!

Sample text. Click to select the text box. Click again or double click to start editing the text.

Thank you! Your message has been sent.
Unable to send your message. Please fix errors then try again.

Get the Good Stuff

Sample text. Click to select the text box. Click again or double click to start editing the text.

Thank you! Your message has been sent.
Unable to send your message. Please fix errors then try again.