The Craigs started racing because Rod’s brother-in-law’s son was into it, and when Cheyenne saw him compete, she wanted to try. Her 65cc bike is embellished with pink stickers on the fenders, and the frame of her racing ATV is painted purple, “so the boys know she’s a girl,” Rod says. The bike’s number plate bears her name and engine number (06) along with a small sticker that pays homage to another little rider who, in memory, remains a strong presence around the track. The sticker reads, “#81 Logan Emerson.”
Logan, who was Cheyenne’s age, died after crashing at a Friday-night race at Rocky Mountain Raceway exactly five weeks before the Pioneer Day event that Cheyenne, Shayden, Austin and Jake are now competing at. In a moto held around 1 a.m. at the end of a long-running night of races that began June 19, Logan overshot a tabletop jump at the bottom of a hill and went outside of the track bounds, hitting a wooden deflection wall. He died hours later of internal injuries at Primary Children’s Medical Center.
That jump has since been modified slightly, but not in response to Logan’s death; the track is constantly undergoing slight alterations, RMR spokesman Kevin Elzey said.
“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘That’s it, my boys are done,’” Demar says. “But then two minutes later, I reconsidered.”
was riding the bigger of his two motorcycles, an 85cc, and was leading
the group of riders when he crashed. According to RMR point standings,
in the last seven days he raced, spanning an eight-week period, Logan
took first place in the 65cc 6-through-8-age group every time, first
place in the 65cc open-age group four times, and first in the 85cc
beginner class once, on May 31.
“My boy just bawled
when he found out,” Paul Housley said of Shayden, who was Logan’s
buddy. “He sat down on the porch and started crying—he said, ‘I don’t
know if I want to do this anymore.’”
Logan and Jake Iverson were also close friends. The Iversons had attended the race the day Logan died but left earlier in the night. The next morning, father Demar Iverson went into South Valley Motorsports to pick up a part and heard what happened. “The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘That’s it, my boys are done,’” Demar says. “But then two minutes later, I reconsidered.”
Nine-year-old Jake, whose spiky blond hair is a partly grown-out Mohawk, took Logan’s death the hardest among the Iversons. In an effort to shield their children from the tragedy, the Iversons didn’t attend Logan’s funeral, and Jake was full of questions about it. “He was always asking, ‘Do you think he’s in his [motocross] gear?’” Dena said.
Jake seemed to make
some peace with what happened at a memorial held for Logan at RMR July
1, where the stickers and about 300 “In loving memory of Logan Emerson”
T-shirts were sold to pay for funeral costs. “With Jake being able to
go up to Logan’s dad, he realized that it was final and he was able to
share with him some of those times that they had,” Dena said. Still,
the first time after Logan’s death that Jake raced at RMR, he had a
hard time going down the hill to the jump where Logan crashed. He told
his mom he was going to take that hill slow.
“I told him, ‘No, you just go down it as you normally do,’” Dena said.