Promoter David Clabaugh couldn't have known how appropriate his track's name would become. He knew the nearby NHRA drag strip, Bandimere Speedway, was affectionately known as Thunder Mountain, and recognized that Thunder Valley was a fitting complement for this stretch of world-renowned racing venues. However, within a few short years of the founding of his motocross track, four-strokes took over the sport completely. Now, the deep grumble of these big, powerful motorcycles reverberates off the mountainside with the sound of thunder every time the gate drops at the facility.
Clabaugh has been around racing since he was a child, and he has put his blood, sweat, and tears into elevating Thunder Valley to become the globally recognized track it is today. This National, set on the scenic edge of the Rocky Mountains, is seen as an example of what a world-class motocross event should look and feel like, and it has been the site of many historic milestones for the sport, from the first-ever night motocross race in 2008 to the return of the FIM Motocross of Nations on U.S. soil in 2010.
Since it joined the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in 2005, Thunder Valley has helped put the state of Colorado on the motocross map. It provided a place for homegrown stars like Andrew Short to be celebrated, and it is now the proverbial home track of three-time 450 Class Champion Eli Tomac. Sitting just a few miles above the "Mile High City" of Denver, this track and this event has provided the most unique challenge to competitors of the championship due to its distinction as the highest professional motocross event in the world at an elevation of more than 6,000 feet.