Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bar bangin' under the lights

The fans came out in droves for the 44th anniversary of TNMX at P.I.R. last Thursday, and they were not disappointed. 70 pros came out to qualify for the nights main show, which had a $15,000 purse to offer to the field, with the winner walking away 2,500 big ones richer. That kinda cash can get you to the next few nationals, or fund one killer post win party. Whichever way you choose to spend your dolla bills, they would have been hard earned Thursday, as the competition was no joke. Jeff Alessi made his return to racing, '08's winner Tiger Lacey is always fast on Thursday's, '09's winner Daniel Blair is no one to forget about, and one time Pro Circuit driver Bobby Bonds was in house as well. NW pros like Tevin Tapia, Mike Horban, and Nate Whitlow always ride hard, and there were some new faces behind the helmets this year, like the very exciting Jimmy Decotis.

One of the highlights of the night was watching Austin Ulrich back up his prediction, and holeshot the first pro heat, only to have the race red flagged after a gnar crash in the back of the pack. But in dramatic fashion, Ulrich pulled out his slick bag of tricks, and nailed a second holeshot on the restart. I'd say that falls under the definition of "badass," right there.

The field was so stacked that it took three heats, and two LCQ's to set the roster for the main event, which was set to drop gate at 9:30, but didn't get under way until almost 9:50. Jeff Ansett led the majority of the race, before finally cracking to the pressure that Bonds was applying each corner of each lap. Behind them, the race for third blazed on, as Jeff Alessi battled with Daniel Blair, and NW hero Nate Whitlow in close tow. The final checkers waved around 10:15pm pacific time, with Bobby Bonds taking home the coveted Red Bull broom, followed by Alessi and Blair.

But the pro racing was only part of the evening, as hundreds of local amateur racers lined up on the same gates throughout the night as well. 50's, and mighty 450's, beginners and the fastest intermediates, all had some serious racing to contend to. The P.I.R. track is always well crafted and tended too, and tonight was no different. Truckloads of sand were brought in to provide a near dreamy racing surface, and the layout, with split sections for amateurs and pros, made for epic racing no matter what class you were apart of, or watching. With so many fans and riders, the sponsors showed up in full force as well, with a full FLY racing vendor, Red Bull mini coupe, complete with Red Bull ladies, and the always inspiring Hooters babes to come and dish out free wings. It felt like being a part of an AMA SuperCross race, with all the fans, pros, pristine track, and sponsors.

It truly was an epic Thursday night for motocross, and here's to 44 years of great racing under the lights. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I can't wait to see what 45 years has in store for us next summer. Hope you all had a blast rubbin' plastic with your buddies, watching some great racing, and enjoying some of the best facilities the northwest has to offer with friends and family.

Yup. Yup. Yup.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Warsh-ougal motor-cross

2010 Washougal national is just days from dropping the gate on the 8th round of the AMA circuit. It's gonna be a barn burner with tons of good racing, good weather, beer gardens and scantly clad women to try and divert your attention from the racing with their "assets." Be strong, and keep your eyes glued to the track for 30+2, then you'll be free to chase all the tail you want once the checkered flag waves.

The start straight has been re-vamped for 2010, replacing the short funnel that of years passed that left anyone in the back of the pack shit outta luck. It was also the cause of many o' first turn pileups that either ruined a guys day, or made it all the better (RC coming from deep in the pack in 2006).

If I was a betting man, oh wait, I am a betting man, I'd put the money I don't have on Pourcel in the tiddler class. He's been a bit inconsistent this summer, but he's a badass on a dirtbike and if anyone can find traction on the big dirty ice skating rink we call Washougal, it'll be Pourcel.

The 450 class is a toss up. The church boy of Dungey has been dominant since round 2. He looks like a seasoned vet, stomping on a bunch of B riders most days. But the gray haired K-Dub returned last weekend at Millville and got 3rd o/a straight off the couch. He's excited about racing and he's always fast at Washougal. He thwarted Ricky not once, but twice here, making Washougal the worst track in Ricky's illustious career, statistically. I'd say the gold is going to go to one of the two, but don't count out a surprise ride from someone like Josh Grant or Andrew Short, who have both shredded some serious gnar at Washougal in years passed.

Although if Ronnie Mac were there, I'd put all my chips on his redneck ass.

See ya at the races!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NW Born Ricky Deitrich

A day in the life!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stay Positive

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that's why they call it the present, and presently, there is a pretty good season brewing." - David Bailey

I'm sitting on my computer at about 1 a.m. after missing what was sure to be an epic day at the racetrack. I haven't raced competitively since my little get off during indoors, and I was pumped to get back bangin' bars to say the least. Sleep the night before was tough to come by, and I felt like it was my first race all over again. But sadly, I've become somewhat accustom to bad luck. A random, freak of nature, difficult to even explain, foot injury left me at home instead. Watching the Freestone national coverage on SPEED and www.allisports.com all day didn't help my itch to race all that much either.

But in the dark of night, while putting in some practice laps on MX vs. ATV Reflex, I had a bit of a revelation. It came with the realization of skills, and how they work and stick to a person. I've been an avid hoops fan for about 7 years now, and no matter how many months go by without touching a basketball, I can always find my way around a basketball court when it comes time to play again.

The same is to be said with motocross. Although your first times back on a track after a few weeks, or even months, might be a bit hard on the forearms, it's literally "just like riding a bike." I'm not trying to say that I'll be a pro superstar next time I throw a leg over a dirtbike, but I am saying that time off the seat isn't the end of the world. In fact, it's time to grow as a motocross athlete. Time to focus on the things that you need to improve on, use the time off to break bad habits, and above all, stay positive when you come to the race track.

There's nothing worse than showing up to ride with a negative mindset. One that you're going to battle arm pump all day long, or that #69 is going to have you beat in all of your motos. That's only going to set you up for failure and frustration. Unfortunately, I know from experience.

Stay positive! One of the most important aspects to going fast on the track is looking ahead. Looking ahead to the end of a rut, or the exit of a turn, or the next obstacle in a section. Looking where you want you and your bike to go, instead of where you don't want it to go. This applies both literally and figuratively. Focus on how you want to ride and the things you want to excel in. Visualize your success, and it is sure to follow.

Peace easy, my motor-cross loving friends!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seattle SloppyCross

The only round of AMA Supercross that makes it's way to the Pacific NW is just a day a way. I'm excited to say that I'll be attending, and hopefully the rest of you will be able to squeeze into Qwest Field as well. The weather in Seattle can be less than favorable at times, and only the creator of the universe knows why they chose to put an un-covered stadium in a city that rarely sees the sun. But it has been dry the last two days, and the forecast only calls for a 30% chance of wetness, so it should be a good race.

Chad Reed was supposed to be absent from the Seattle round, as he's any minute away from becoming a dad. But it has just been made news that he's in for tomorrow, but is on call to leave at any moment to go be with his wife, Ellie. It'll be good to see the valiant Aussie mixing things up a bit. Good luck skippy.

Sadly, his Kawi stable-mate is going to be missing from all the remaining Supercross rounds. http://twitpic.com/1hok7u/full
Villopoto broke his tib-fib at St. Louis, and may even be missing from the National 'chip this summer. He's pretty banged up, and I know I'm not alone in saying I can't wait until he's back. Rumor has it that the Zulu Warrior, Grant Langston, might possibly pick up the vacant KX-F spot for the outdoors.

Hope everyone has a helluva time at the race, and for those that don't get to go, well that's what TV and DVR is for. Chime in on who you think is gonna take the top steps of the podium come tomorrow night. My money's on Ice Trey Canard and K-Dub for his final win of his career. So if my crystal ball is still working properly, it should be a good night for Geico Powersports Honda.

I'd love to go with the hometown kid of Josh Hill, but he's still battling rib injuries, and just the fact that he's even out there is a testament to what a trooper he really is. From Josh's Twitter: "@JosHill75 I've only got 5 more days to figure out how to not get 13th and pick up 2nd in points, goodnight." Good luck Josh, you know the N-Dub fans will have your back!

See ya'll at the racing course.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear old Dad

I'm sure we all remember how we got started in this sport we call motocross. A dusty field somewhere, maybe some hand me down gear, and more butterflies than you could catch in a lifetime. Starting up your little bike for the first time, getting the hang of the throttle and brake, then putting around a little as you try to establish your balance like a scene straight out of Bambi (You mean that wimpy dear?). Sure, the story varies for everyone a little bit. Maybe you had some brand new gear, or maybe you learned to ride in the parking lot of your local track. I think it's safe to say our stories all have one thing in common; our old man.

It's not a stretch to say that our dads had a pretty big influence on us, and why we choose to risk life and limb on any given Sunday, at tracks across the world. I'm no different. My dad rode, and his dad before him rode. To this day my dad is often at the track to watch me and help me learn. My friends show up at the track with their pops, and my closest competition on the track shows up with their dads, as well. Local pro's will bring their dad's along to do the all important role of mechanic/truck driver/food provider/moral support. Famous legends of the sport like RC, James, and Showtime all had close relationships with their dads throughout their entire careers, and still do to this day.
Fathers day is a little ways away, still, but it's never a bad time to find the one you call Dad, and tell him thanks, give him a pat on the back, or find someway to let him know you respect the hell out of him for all he's done for you. Whether you realize it or not, he probably busted his ass to get you your bikes and gear your whole life. Motocross aint cheap, but that wasn't gonna stop him from getting his son or daughter out there to have the time of their lives. I can still remember my dad starting up my little '84 CR-60, giving me a little push to get me going, and running along side me, as I wobbled around like it was my first time on two-wheels. Think back to your days learning to ride with your dad, and don't ever forget 'em.
I am, by no means, trying to downplay the role moms, brothers and sisters, and even grandparents had in getting us to where we are today. I've seen plenty of moms show up at the tracks with their kids, countless times. And for that, we thank you. But the term isn't "mini-dad" for no reason. Dad's are how this sport keeps thriving, as the love of dirt and motorcycles gets passed on.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Twisting throttles

The best time of year is upon us, once again. I'm not talking about Christmas, summer vacation, or Arbor Day. No, this is the transition from indoors to outdoors, here in NW Motocross, and what a time it is. If you weren't already amped about the coming months, hopefully this will get your blood pumping, and your right wrist twitching.

The tracks are going to be at their finest in the coming race days. All the dirt will still be clinging on to every last drop of moisture that fell from November to February, so the gettin's gonna be good. Tacky dirt, with fat ruts and intense braking bumps is what spring is all about my friends. I'm talking about the stuff this good sport is made of. The elements that separates motocross from the likes of field hockey or curling. Ok, maybe that wasn't the best analogy, but you get the picture.

Every day at the track, we can all feel the excitement, as everyone knows there's nothing but fun to be had for the next seven months. No matter where you ride, what bike you're on, how old it is, 2-stroke or thumper, and how old and busted your gear is looking, make sure to have a helluva time, every time. Think back to the cold dark days of winter, inside the arenas, glance around and take in the sights, the smells, and the atmosephere of the great outdoors, buckle your helmet strap, kick her over, and go rail!

Good luck to every rider out their competing: young, old, fast, slow, guys and gals, and everything in between. We'll all be rooting for the riders who will be contesting for spots at Lorretta Lynn's or maybe a few nationals this summer.

The best of times are upon us.