Christina Denney took an unorthodox journey to become the only female team manager on the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross circuit.
Although she had ridden a motorcycle before, she was never a professional rider. The Canton resident got involved with the sport after Denney Designs, the Woodstock graphics company she co-owns with her husband Chris, started doing work for the Supercross series.
“The company (turned) 20 years (old) this past year,” she said. “In 2004 we started a motocross graphics division of the company (Roost MX), and that’s what brought us into the motocross industry. But since then I’ve still been very active in the company along with managing the team.”
Denney will guiding her team in the middle of the action March 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Supercross’ pit stop in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Also, from noon to 6 p.m., Supercross will host FanFest, a new event where individuals can get riders’ autographs in a 14-acre, festival-like atmosphere. It will also include live music, experiential activations and a Supercross virtual reality experience, plus give fans access to the track to watch practice and qualifying.
Denney, who manages the Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha team, started running that team in 2010, and it was created the previous year. She said the Supercross circuit had another female team manager, Brooke Stewart, a rider’s wife, but she is now serving in that role privately and is not an official team manager.
When asked what it’s like managing a team in a male-dominated sport, she said, “It’s really no different other than we have different backgrounds. I was never a racer. As far as being a female vs. male, we do the same things. It’s just our backgrounds and experiences that we both bring are different.”
According to a news release, Supercross is “the world’s premier off-road motorcycle championship. (It’s) the most competitive and highest-profile off-road motorcycle racing series on the planet, attracting nearly one million fans in live attendance over the course of the 17-race series.”
Denney said the Supercross series stands out for two reasons.
“I think it’s just a greater scale (of racing competitions) because they’re set in these huge stadiums where there’s 50,000 to 70,000 people and under the lights and you’ve got the opening ceremonies,” she said. “… It attracts people that are not motorcycle riders themselves, but it’s in a stadium environment and downtown in big cities. It attracts the diverse fans along with the hardcore fans, since motocross is (popular more) in rural areas.”
Supercross’ stop in Atlanta, Denney said, “has always been known to be one of the best races out of the 17 we do every year. Traditionally it’s because of the dirt in Georgia, due to its red clay, and the Atlanta crowd, with a sold-out stadium. Last year was the first year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and it was truly a spectacular event. I think (in) the 17 rounds we do throughout the (circuit’s) five months, January to May, we get to see a lot of things in different cities, but the technology in the different stadiums and crowds (also stand out). It’s just a large, grand scale.”
Tickets start at $20, and FanFest passes are $20 each, and those prices may not include some fees. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.supercrosslive.com. Tickets may also be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or calling 1-800-745-3000.