by Pat Bourgeois
Special to the Star News
Decorated Navy SEAL, actor and author Derrick Van Orden will be an honorary grand marshal at this weekend’s festivities June 11-12 at ERX Motor Park in Elk River.
The Off-Road Championship, known as TORC, presented by AMSOIL, is back at ERX for the second time.
While Van Orden will deliver the official “start your engines” order to drivers on Sunday, he will also have a more poignant role as he presents the wife and son of Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, who lost his life during a training exercise in 2011.
Van Orden will present a United States flag to Brittany Jacobs and son Christian in appreciation for his honorable and faithful service.
Much of the nation was first made aware of Christopher Jacobs’ story this past Memorial Day when Brittany Jacobs and her son were visiting the grave site of their husband and father at Arlington National Cemetery. Also visiting during this same time was President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence who, when asked by 6-year-old Christian if they would like to see his father, both graciously agreed.
Christian, who keeps his father’s memory alive by often dressing like a Marine, showed pictures of his father and his grave site to President Trump. Photos from the encounter quickly went viral, and Brittany and Christian were featured guests on Fox and Friends the next morning.
During the interview, Brittany described her husband’s passions, which included his love for off-road racing. Upon seeing the interview, the staff at ERX Motor Park felt compelled to reach out to Brittany and her son and invite them to the TORC Series Twin Cities Takedown with an all-expenses paid trip to the Twin Cities area from their home in North Carolina.
A video on the Jacobs family’s encounter with Trump can be viewed here.
To see a video about TORC racing click here.
Leaders of the ERX Motor Park and the TORC series believe in leading by example and want to honor those who have paid the ultimate price. In addition to recognizing the Gold Star Jacobs family, Folds of Honor, an organization dedicated to providing educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members, will also make a presentation to a Minnesota Gold Star family on Saturday.
Currently serving military, veterans and their families can receive complimentary tickets to all TORC Series events through Vet Tix, the Veteran Tickets Foundation. Visit vettix.com for more information and to reserve tickets.
The TORC Series Twin Cities Takedown at ERX will feature two full days of professional off-road racing action. The 400-acre facility features on-site camping, premium viewing areas of the natural terrain, a 1-mile track and family-friendly pricing with single day passes at $25 and children 11 and under free.
For tickets, camping reservations, schedule of events and more information, visit erxmotorpark.com/off-road.
This weekend’s TORC Series, ERX Motor Park at a glance
TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL
Twin Cities Takedown, Rounds 3 & 4, ERX Motor Park, Elk River
Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11
Gates open at 10 a.m., Sportsman racing at 11:30 a.m., Pro racing at 2:30 p.m.
ERX Motor Park
21591 US Highway 169 NW
$25 – Daily admission (12+)
$40 – Weekend admission (12+)
$70 – Twin Cities Takedown and The Final Rounds Dual Weekend Combo admission
Free – Kids 11 and under
$60 – Weekend camping space
2017 Venue Enhancements
Since the TORC Series made its debut at ERX Motor Park last summer, the facility has undergone a massive expansion accompanied by a host of improvements:
•The entire scope of the facility is now 400 acres.
•More than 150 campsites have been added.
•Additional, premium bleacher seating is perched atop the central hill.
•An all-new spectator hill is nestled in the trees on the south side of the track.
•There are improved lawn amphitheater viewing areas.
•There is an expanded pit parking for all racers.
•Improved Pro pit access is available for fans.
•Track enhancements were made for better racing, more line choices and side-by-side action.
•Additional food and beverage options are available.
•There is an all-new scoring and announcing tower with spotter tower.
•An all-new food and merchandise facility is featured on the central hill.