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Father and son compete against each other

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Dominic Flores (left) faces competition Friday night at Alien City Dragway. (George Stephenson Photo)

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Over the decades in racing there have been some famous father and son tandems like the Andretti’s and Unser’s. Roswell’s Alien City Dragway has a father and son combo as well in Ira and Dominic Flores.

Both men race some souped up motorcycles.

Ira Flores has a 1978 Kawaski Kz 1000 and it has a high compression engine.

“It’s a 100 percent race bike,” Ira said. “A lot of power.”

Flores said he bought the motorcycle around ten years ago.

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“It was an old wore out drag bike,” Flores said. “I built it to what it is today and now its fast and very competitive.”

In order for the scooter to meet his specifications, he had to put in a new motor, frame and tires.

“We had to redo the whole thing,” Flores said. “It’s a car tire drag bike, it’s putting around 200 horsepower to the wheel.”

Flores added that he bought his ride from a motorcycle dealership in El Paso. He purchased a Harley Davidson and that’s when he found out about the Kawasaki.

“I told them I was drag racing,” Ira said. “They showed me the bike and I was like, ‘alright, I’ll go ahead and pick it up.’ I had been drag racing way before that and I was telling them about it, so I bought that one.”

Ira has been racing in Roswell for 15 years, he’s also gone on the road to race in Texas as well and when race day hits, he doesn’t haven’t to do much to get his machine ready.

“We usually have a pretty tight race schedule,” Flores said. “We check the oil and maintain the spark plugs, make sure we’ve got fuel and air in the tires.”

Whenever he is in the staging area waiting for the green light to flash, he’s determined that he’s going to win and has reached a top speed of 150 mph and is estimated time has been under nine seconds.

“Here at this track with our elevation, it’s usually quite a bit slower. Here we run about 9.20,” Flores said.

Flores admits that the foes in the motorcycle division at Alien City are tough with competitors like Mike Corn, Isaac Castillo and his son Dominic Flores.

While father and son may compete against each other, dad is happy to admit that they make a good team.

“It’s been amazing, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Ira said.

Dominic was 13-years-old when he entered his first race.

“He’s always helped me a lot,” Ira said.

The elder Flores said his son has always assisted with mechanic and service work.

“One day we were racing in Carlsbad and that was the only track that would let him race at that age,” Ira said. “He just let her rip and right now, he’s back-to-back track champion for the motorcycle class.”

Dominic admits he was introduced to motorcycle racing through “a lot of smack talk.”

“He said to me ‘get on a bike.’ That’s how it all started really and it was really difficult at first getting into it being new to the bike scene. After the first couple of passes I got into the hang of things,” Dominic said.

When both men compete against each other, Dominic feels that it brings them closer together.

The younger Flores admits he’s had fun over the past five years.

“As much as the bike class has grown here, it’s like a small family. We all help each other and it’s a good feeling to have,” Dominic said.

Dominic’s ride is a 1984 Suzuki GS 1150 and like his dad, he acquired his bike in El Paso as well.

“There was a guy selling it that we knew really well and he didn’t have any use for it anymore, so we’d figured we’d sweep in on a deal and that’s how we ended up with that bike,” Dominic said.

Like the bike his dad bought, Dominic said a lot of work had to go into his ride as well.

“We had to change a lot of stuff that the previous owner had,” Dominic said. “It was better the way we had fixed it to be.”

Dominic has reached a top speed of 144 mph and his best estimated time has been around nine seconds, although he’s hoping to getting a faster time.

Winning the points championship has boosted his psyche over the past couple of years and at the end of this season, he’s looking for the hat trick and when he’s in the staging area nothing can rattle his focus.

“Nothing goes through my mind,” Dominic said. “Just have a good time and have fun doing it. I don’t think about nobody beside me, behind me (or) who I’m going to beat in the next round. I just think about that round and have a good time.”