Minnesota Sports

Father, son help bring ATV motocross to Coulee Region

Rich Gillette, son Alex share bond beyond Root River Racing team

Father, son help bring ATV motocross to Coulee Region

MILLVILLE, Minn. (WKBT) - There's a certain moment, when you're suspended in the air, that ATV racers live for.

"[It's] basically like a free-fall roller-coaster but with no cords attached," said Alex Gillette, an amateur rider.

Watching it is what made Rich Gillette, Alex's dad, jump into it.

"To look back and think that I'm going to be here eight years ago, there's no way," Rich said.

Rich works in La Crescent; he owns Root River Power Sports and La Crescent Wine and Spirit. A  friend invited him to come watch the sport, and he was hooked.

"He told me, he said you don't want to get into this. He's like, the sport is way too fun, he says the people associated with the sport are just a big happy family, we all look out for one another, and he says it will just suck you in."

Fast forward eight years, and Rich owns Root River Racing, a team of eight full-time racers. One stands out: his son.

"It's actually been an amazing ride for me. Both emotionally and a lot of exuberance about him really starting to excel within the sport."

"It's been an adventure, definitely. It's always, meeting new people, traveling to different places and always having fun doing it," said Alex.

This weekend, the Root River Racing team doesn't have to travel too far. Gillette is a big reason why the Mountain Dew ATV Motocross Championship Series is stopping at Spring Creek Park in Millville, Minnesota for the first time since 2011.

Rich will be able to watch his son, and the best in the sport, compete for a medal here in the Coulee Region.

"Every time he wins a moto or he wins a weekend, I'm just an absolute mess," Rich said. "I'm crying on the podium with him, and I'm just so happy for him and it's just an awesome feeling."

That moment, perhaps, is what ATV racers, and team owners, really live for.

For more information on attending, click here or here.

Please note: there is a detour on Hwy. 60 west of Wabasha. For detour information, click here.

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