17-year-old flat track pro racing rookie returns to Castle Rock

The Progressive American Flat Track racing series returns to Castle Rock, Wash.
Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 11:01 PM PDT
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CASTLE ROCK Wash. (KPTV) - The Progressive American Flat Track racing series returns to Castle Rock, Wash. this weekend as a 17-year-old rookie pro returns to his home track for the big motorcycle race on Saturday night.

Olin Kissler has always been better than just OK around the flat track.

“Probably been around here a good 2,500 laps,” Olin says. “Been racing here since I was 4. The first time I ever raced was here.”

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The teen from Toutle Lake High is among the best elite dirt bike racers in the nation. Ever since dropping 70 pounds as he came of age, Olin has been rollin’ fresh off of his best finish yet, placing 14th in Peoria, Illinois - his last time out to put him 29th in points for the season.

“I didn’t plan on going pro until six months ago, so life has definitely turned around and I am pretty happy with how it’s going,” Olin says.

The American Flat Track race series rookie turns 18 on the 18th this month and is aiming to qualify for the 18-grid final in the 450 singles’ race on Saturday night.

“The last time they ran pro here, other than last year, was 2014.”

What a better time to run back home in the 65th anniversary season of the race park.

“This is the last time of my life that I can try this and see if it works and if it doesn’t, well, I’m going back to work.”

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Work will have to wait at the logging outfit where Olin punches a clock, plus online schooling of senior year awaits.

“Being on the road this year, I have learned more in life than I think you could ever anywhere. I’ve learned a lot about life, people, bike set up and I’d love to do it the rest of my life if I could.”

The dirt is prepped, and the track is ready for its close up. Gates open Saturday at noon, practice runs at 3:30 p.m., opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. and kids 12 and under get in free.