As the racers lined up at the starting line, the sound of their bike engines rumbled through the York Expo Center Grandstand.

And in a second, they shot across the dirt track, kicking up dirt and debris into the crowd.

From the wave of the checkered flag to the racers' muddied racing suits, the flat-track racing at White Rose Thunder brought back memories of past races and energized new fans.

Kris Parker, 14, of Yoe said his grandfather used to race Harleys. Fittingly, he said his favorite part of the event was the flat-track racing.

"I think it's pretty fun just to see the guys race," Kris said.

Denver Clapsadle, 15, of Dallastown agreed.

"I really like it," he said. "I'm into motocross and stuff like that - I wish I raced, though."

And on his first day at the event, Ian Fitzhugh, 17, of Yoe said the racing held more surprises than he expected.

"I actually thought it was pretty cool," he said, noting that he saw a couple of riders wipe out during the races. "I'd recommend it to anyone."

Sophomore success: The second annual biking event also brought several other family-friendly attractions, such as motorcycle stunts, rock concerts, charity bike rides, a fireworks display and lots of vendors.

"We were very happy with this weekend this year," said event organizer Jeff Rehmeyer.

A busy Saturday had much to do with that: Attendance on that day was higher than all of last year, he said. The day's events included a show from Grand Funk Railroad, flat-track racing and a fireworks display.

"This whole place was buzzing (Saturday) from 10 to 10," Rehmeyer said.

Organizers had changed the admission structure this year in favor of a one-price-buys-all model, and that proved to be popular among attendees, he said. Thursday and Sunday rates were $10; Friday's and Saturday's were $15.

"Everybody was thrilled with what we charged for what they received," Rehmeyer said.

About 18,000 people came through this weekend, up from the 12,000 who attended last year, he said.

And Sunday's charity ride brought 85 bikers through Southern York County to raise about $1,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The 1st Pennsylvania Chapter of the Defenders Motorcycle Club conducted the second-annual ride, which was part of White Rose Thunder's success, Rehmeyer said.

"It was a good day for a good ride - and it was for a good cause, too," he said.

Next year: In the next week or so, organizers will get feedback from vendors and racers to see what they can do to improve the event, Rehmeyer said.

White Rose Thunder will definitely be back next year - but earlier in the summer with an event in June or July, he said. And because Saturday was such a great day of flat-track racing, Rehmeyer said there is also a fall race in the works for next year.

Attendees from faraway places, including a couple from France, came to the event, he said. And one man came who was a flat-track racer decades ago.

Meeting people like that is what keeps Rehmeyer and his team going, he said.

"We know that we impacted some people significantly. That's why we're in it," Rehmeyer said.

-Reach Mollie Durkin at