SOUTHWICK, Mass. -- "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
Don't tell that to 47-year-old John Dowd, who is nicknamed the "Junk Yard Dog" because he grew up in a junkyard and is the oldest rider on the Pro Motocross series.
On Saturday, Dowd, of Ludlow, Mass., finished 14th out of 40 drivers in the 450 class at the Moto-X 338 National in Southwick, Mass.
That finish gave him enough points to keep his bike number, 16, for another season.
"I love the competition, just riding my motorcycle. I enjoy this," said Dowd, whose birthday was Friday. "I've always been the old guy out here on the track. It gives me motivation to try to beat the young guys."
Dowd was a late bloomer in the motorcycle racing game. He didn't seriously start racing until he was 20. That's many years past most of the other riders. He got his first factory sponsorship deal at 29 and has been near the top of his game for more than 15 years. For the past few years, Dowd has been riding occasionally, on tracks he likes, and trying to score enough points to keep his bike number, the same one he's had since 2000.