Pioneers Of Minnesota Motocross
Donny Schmit and Tom Benolkin

Available for secure purchase on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover


This book examines the racing careers of Donny Schmit and Tom Benolkin, two Motocross racers from the unlikely state of Minnesota. Each in their own way would blaze the trail for future Minnesota-born champions Ryan Dungey and Jeremy Martin.

In the early 1970s, Minnesota was not where the factories scouted, or even expected talent to come from. That would change in the 1980s because of these two riders. Tom Benolkin, unknown to most outside of the Midwest, put in some great results against the nation s top professionals to earn a spot on Factory Kawasaki in the early 80s. He became a threat to win against the country s best.

Schmit took it even further. Donny Schmit had a nine-year professional career, first in the US in the late 80s, then the Gran Prix circuit in the 90s. He rose to the heights of the Motocross world, but it was not without constant obstacles and challenges.

You will follow Benolkin and Schmit on their journey to the pros, then take a long look at each of their professional seasons. They raced in a very dynamic period for Motocross, going up against Motocross legends such as Mark Barnett, Broc Glover, Jeff Ward, Stefan Everts, and Greg Albertyn. There are also insights into topics such as the length of Benolkin s career and Schmit s move to the GPs in the 1990s.

The book also explores the earliest days of District 23, asking the question, Who was the first Minnesota Motocross rider to race against the top national pros? It was a seemingly simple question that took the author to unexpected places.

These stories are told from the perspective of longtime fan of the sport, a former mediocre racer, an intermittent moto-journalist, a more than occasional digresser, and a Minnesota homer to the core. He tells the rider s stories while reflecting on the effect that their accomplishments had on the riders and Motocross fans back in Minnesota.

Also by Josie Wolfe Publishing

Gopher State Moto Photos: The early years of District 23 Motocross
A collection of photos and memories from District 23 Motocross, 1971-1977

My Life as a Motorcycle List
The web site formerly known as the 'MX Bob Bike History' has been updated and transformed into a book.

Tales of Minnesota Motorcycle Racing: The Best of MXBob
Race Stories and Musings from, 2001 2010 & 2021

About the Author