Neil Silvarole (Inducted in 2019)
How did you get involved in motocross?
My son Billy and his friend Donnie Schmidt wanted to watch motocross racing. They liked it and began riding and wanted a place to practice. Batavia was for sale, so I bought it in 1986 so they would have a place to ride and race. I met Bill and Laura Robinson, who had a son Jamie who was similar in age to my son's Mikey and Bobby, so we started a PW-50 class. There was also a track across the street from my shop where Bart Lucas, the Austin brothers, and others would ride, and it seemed like Billy would ride, come back, straighten his bars, and then head back out again. Later, we bought a big bus to go to the races, and then I bought Robinson Cycle Sales in 1988. My son Billy wanted to go to Loretta Lynn’s, so we took the bus to races all over the country getting ready. A funny story about Donnie Schmidt; Donnie and Billy were racing at Hunt, and Donnie was engaged to get married. Billy ended up passing Donnie right before the finish line, and Donnie's wife-to-be threw up her hands and said that Billy is not going to be in the wedding. The kids found girls, and we started going to the races less, and I turned over my ref and chairperson duties to someone else.
Owner of Silvarole Trucking.
Going to the casino, hot rod cars, car shows, anything 4 wheels instead of 2 now.
Starting Silvarole Trucking with 1 truck, and now there are 50 trucks and 60+ employees. I can now say I am ready to retire. Motocross-wise, it was seeing if my son Billy could win at Loretta Lynn’s. With Billy’s effort and my time and money, we made it work.
Not really, I have had a pretty good life.
What's the best part about motocross?
It is so exciting to watch, especially when you have 3 boys in it. I hate to say it, but I liked it when Billy fell; he would ride twice as fast to catch up!
What would you change about our sport/district?
I don't think there is much to change, except maybe go back to dirt starts. Concrete starts wreck a tire right off the bat.
Who are (were) your sponsors?
We had a lot of sponsors over the years, such as Kawasaki, Scott goggles, Bell helmets, and other riding gear and clothing companies. I also sponsored my own kids, as well other kids too.
Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank everybody! I would also like to thank Bill and Laura Robinson, and Chris Moser. Lastly, I would like to thank Don Schmidt Sr, who first took Billy to the races and got him in it, and then I went to see what the heck was going on.