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At the Top of His World : Motocross Racing Has Made Broc Glover a Multimillionaire

February 02, 1985|STEVE DOLAN | Times Staff Writer

EL CAJON — Broc Glover knows what it is like to be on top of the world.

From his home atop the hills in this San Diego County city, the most prominent motocross rider in America can seemingly see forever.

Glover lives in a custom-built, 5,000 square-foot house that was completed in May, 1983, at a cost of more than $600,000. Motorcycle racing has made him a multimillionaire at 24.

Racing alone hasn't made Glover rich, of course, but his sponsors have. Although races such as tonight's Miller High Life Supercross at Anaheim Stadium pay only $1,100 to the winner, Glover earned more than $500,000 in 1984.

Sponsors take care of him from head to toe. He gets paid for everything he uses from his motorcycle to his clothes to his goggles. Yamaha reportedly is paying him $1 million on a three-year contract that expires in December.

But, Glover, dressed in jeans, tennis shoes and a polo shirt, looks more the racer part than the multimillionaire.

Glover and his two dogs--a female Irish setter, Obie, and a male Siberian husky, Turbo--had just taken an early-morning, six-mile run. The dogs run with Glover each day as he gains the endurance he needs for racing. After the run, Glover had spent the next hour on the phone making business calls. He was happy that peace had been restored to the house just before his company arrived.

"When it's dead quiet around here, it's nice," Glover said.

Nice, it is. On the entry level of the split-level home a pool table, wet bar and video game room can be found. Downstairs is a pool and Jacuzzi he uses for workouts and relaxation. He also has a chrome-accented weight room.

There also are "toys" that betray Glover's true interest--speed. The most prominent object in his garage is a black Porsche 930. He also owns a Chevy Blazer, eight motorcycles, two dune buggies, a four-wheel drive Datsun and two boats, one of which he races.

There are other signs of his interest in speed. Outside the home in the surrounding hills are man-made paths created by Glover's joy riding over the underbrush.

Yet, despite what racing has done for Glover, he tries to lead a balanced life.

As a child, Glover had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. He wanted to be the next Brooks Robinson because, "He was the only guy diving for balls back then."

But by age 14, Glover was turned off by baseball.

"I got very sick of team sports," he said. "If you try hard and do well but nobody else on your teams does, you lose. I hate to lose."

Motocross clearly is an individual sport.

Glover began his motocross racing career in an unusual way. When he was 14, he was offered a chance to use a friend's motorcycle in a novice race if he washed and polished the bike.

"It was OK with my dad but not my mom," Glover said. "I got into trouble and didn't race for another year."

Within the next year, Glover's parents were divorced. He was left feeling empty. Living with one parent, he had a little money--and one old motorcycle.

Finally, he received his mother's reluctant approval to begin racing again. He began his comeback by winning an age-group series for 100cc bikes.

But the turning point of Glover's career may have been the day his father came to watch him race.

"When my dad came out, my bike broke the first race," Glover said. "He's kind of a perfectionist like I am. He knew the bike didn't have to break. He knew if he fixed the bike, it wouldn't break."

Richard Glover did more than fix the bike. He called Broc to his office one day, presenting his son with a new motorcycle.

From there, Glover's career blossomed. He raced two times a week in Southern California for 1 1/2 years and was quite successful.

By the time he was a junior at Valhalla High School, Glover was traveling the motocross circuit. He had won two national championships by the time he graduated from high school in 1978.

What makes Glover so good?

"He's a real mature, smooth rider," Ricky Johnson said. "He's very tactical and consistent. He's real smart when he rides and doesn't take many chances."

"He's not a real radical rider," Scott Burnworth said. "He's real smooth and doesn't take a lot of chances. He's pretty dedicated and he likes to win."

And Broc Glover has won enough to build himself a castle on the hill.

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