Most Memorable Moments
Man, going back and thinking about these most memorable moments of my racing
career are an absolute blast. This one really cracks me up and I think you will
get a pretty good laugh out of it! Enjoy.
Before going into The 2006 Supercross season I did a lot of on and off the bike
training and testing. Since I had lived in Cairo Georgia the off-season before,
I felt my preparation skills were quite a bit better. So I decided to prepare by
There was a SX track at 3 Palms but nothing down south where I was at. I was one
hour south of there. I was living in Dickinson at the time and I would ride at a
private facility down the road from the old Skeeter MX Park and ultimate MX.
It was Travis Elliot's old private Supercross facility but it was ran down and
made into a old man's track where riding was pretty much just for fun. But the
owner, Doug, let us build a few things so we put in a whoop section and a rhythm
section that tied in together pretty well. And coming from the back section
there was a long straightaway down the right side of the fence and a big lip and
you would simply flat land and then make a big sweeping right-hand corner. Will
inside of that corner was a left-hander and as soon see you went out of the exit
there was a flatlander and the lip was not too steep.
So one day a couple guys came out to ride with me. A buddy of mine, Michael
Royal was on the right side coming back towards the house and went from that
take off and jumped over into the right lane and downsided the face of the take
off making it to where he is going backwards on the track when he lands!
It was a regular hot summer day, probably high 90s, while Michael and I were out
riding and a friend of ours was standing at the center of the track and watching
from the highest jump. I was coming along the right side fence and went to
transfer lanes on my opening lap and I came up short! Remember guys, this was
not the downside of a job… This was the face of a jump!! First, thank God it was
an old man's track!! Second as soon as possible realized I was not going to
clear the jump the entire way, I twisted the throttle like we are coming out of
the starting gate at Anaheim 1 and landed Front wheel on top of the face. I
managed to somehow bounce off the face without going into an Endo or a loop out.
But my feet came off the foot pegs and where up in a Superman position. Right
now I am thinking, you're done dude! The bike lands on the ground and I see my
body landing to one side or another of the bike but I managed to land right back
on top!! My feet came right back to the foot pegs without touching the ground!
I wiped my butt and then rode over to my friend and we were all laughing about
it! He saw everything and that was definitely the topic for the majority of the
remainder of our day.
In 2004, the Canadian nationals were split up into in East and West division. With only 8
races total between both series we did not have much room for mistakes. But my
mistake came at the first round. A bad start set the tone for the weekend.
Playing catch-up is never a good way to start a series.
With 7-7 place finishes left me with a sixth overall @ the opener. And a few other not so hot
races went by and we found ourselves 6th in the championship at the final round. I wanted to make a
statement more than ever. We had a little bit of rain the night before and it
made the track perfect for race conditions. I got a good start in the second
Moto and was looking to put it. I remember running in about third place in the
first few laps. I was not worried about anything about me… Just driving forward.
Then disaster happens.
There was a type left-hander that rounded off, sort of like an off-camber.
There were a lot of lines to choose from going down into the corner but when I
was entering the apex is when I hit a kicker that I have not hit before and sent
me off the track. I found myself on the ground on the right side of the bike so
I hauled butt picking it up and restarting it and trying to get back on the race
track. I did not waste anytime trying to fix my goggles or gloves… Just trying
to get back into the race.
When I went off the track I was in third. When I reentered I believe I was
eight. Huge bummer and disappointment for not only myself but my team as well as
the fans I had made in Canada. I did not let that stop me and drove through the
end of the race and caught back up to fifth. I really wanted to stand on the
podium and thank all of my team sponsors!… But it was just not meant to be on
that day. What a goober I am..
My finishes were 4-5 for fourth overall. Just not the way I wanted to end the
championship but I did finished fifth overall and was happy about that! But the
overall experience testing in Canada was more than enough to make my
championship that much more satisfying! I would love to go back to Canada just
to visit and go to spectate at a race.
Canadian nationals were some of the best tracing moments and memories that I
have made without a doubt. The Canadian fans make the racing that much more
enjoyable and the CMRC is a fantastic organization that I love to race with.
Thank you Canadian nationals!
This one was in the winter of 2001. I was 17 years old and riding on the Honda 125 & 250 two strokes. These were some of my best Racing days in total!
We were at Freestone County Raceway for the Honda of Houston winter series; The temperatures were right at freezing. This was not the national track, the national track was not born yet! There was a hammer whoop section That was pretty peaked out but you would just skim across the top except going a little faster than normal. I remember there was a long entrance to these whoops. In practice I was getting across them pretty well. It surprised me how intense they were but I handled them okay.
Since this was just a local event, the practice was only around five or six laps Max. Almost nearing the end of my practice session I'm going through these loops and all of a sudden my handlebars brake in half and my face slapped the triple clamps! Of course, it was like nothing I had ever experienced. The right side of my handlebars stretched the throttle cable… Then my bike was stuck wide open with me on it.
I was trying to grab the handlebars and push myself off. Every time I would push away the triple clamps would slap me in the face and The seat would come up and slap me in the butt. This went on for around four or five whoops. I then fell to the ground and remember laying on top of one of the Whoops. Since the temperatures were so cold, it made it hurt that much worse! I remember there were a big group of people just standing watching and I remember saying why aren't you helping me!
When we went back to diagnose the problem there were a crack in the handlebar before I ever broke them. It was the only set of renthal handlebars I have ever seen break. These were before the twinwall days though. It was one of the most sketchiest feelings… I could not get away from that motorcycle and it was hurting me bad. It was brutal.
And after I crashed and all the mayhem was over, they made me stay and race. I won the 125 expert and the 250 expert overalls that day. It ended up being quite a successful day for us. I guess when they say you win championships on your bad days, they are not lying.
I would like to begin by thanking Shawn Martin and Dave Martin from Honda of Houston for giving me the opportunity to share today's most memorable moment! And other great supporters like American Honda, Troy Lee designs, Alpinestar, of course Renthal for bringing you such a great story, Shoei, Scott goggles, and everyone else that made such a great package for me not only that day, but that year in that time of my life in general.
Motocross was never easy sport for me. I know that people may say that I may have made it look easy easy… But it was not. It's much beyond further than tough or a job. Motocross is an in-depth and not promising sport
I was making my exit from the amateur expert level to AMA Supercross I was hurt so the transition was bumpy. But I always seemed to cross paths with Ryan Clark from team Solitaire.com. I saw him at various practice tracks, each weekend at the races, etc. Ryan ran his own successful team and have already hired Gene Stull to race for him and what was the 125 E. coast Supercross series. Gene had always had the upper hand on me as an amateur so I understood why he may would have wanted to have him represent team solitaire but apparently I wanted it more. So, after Ryan chased Gene around for a little bit trying to get things set up for him he became frustrated and with me begging for an opportunity, he gave me a chance.
I had to purchase my own bikes, I had to have my own motors built, I had to have my own suspension work done, etc. etc. but nonetheless I made it happen. I could see myself riding through the tunnel aboard an unreal machine to battle with 20 of the best Supercross racers in the world entertaining 60,000 fans. But, preparation was pour on my end and my results showed the consequences. Physical condition, mental focus, raceday preparation are a few key factors that kept me from being the racer I was.
My first race was February 14, 2004 in my hometown of Houston Texas in Reliant Stadium. This is something I will never forget. When they talk about hometown advantage, they are telling the truth! There is nothing like racing in front of everyone you have known your entire life. The vibe, the energy and the will to do better goes up because you are just racing for you, not just your sponsors but all of your closest friends. You are racing for them. It's a beautiful thing.
This day was an important career starter for me. My autograph line was long but the number of laps led was not! This was possibly one of the best and worse things that ever happened for me. I did not even qualify to the evening program. It was not timed qualifying then nothing they had actual day qualifying races. I fell short of one spot so was forced to go grab some popcorn and watch in the stands with the rest of Houston.
This moment is extremely memorable because it sets the tone for the rest of the day's I would race a dirt bike. No regrets-
I remember when the regionals for Loretta Lynn's amateur national championship would come up, I would get so extremely nervous!. But as time went on I gained more confidence and begin to understand what it felt like to lead and be the leader. So today I want to tell you guys about my first expert year at the infamous Lake Whitney motocross track in Waco Texas for the regional as an amateur expert.
At the time, I was racing for American Honda and HHR. Their support along with American Hondas was through the roof. My confidence was also through the roof. On Saturday they had 20 minute Moto's for the pros. I only had five Moto's on Saturday but won them all and convincingly fashion. But please don't think that I did not have competition. The competition was there, I was just on a high note in my career at this point. I was 17 and there was no one around that could beat me.
But of course the unexpected happened… It rained all night Saturday night. We were stuck with a mudder Sunday morning. Though I was not a bad mud rider, I was not the best on this particular day. Are they Sunday morning the win streak would come to an end. A friend of mine Colt Humphrey, straight up spanked my tail. That dude could race in the mud!! I continued to gauge off of Colts, but he was still pulling away and I was all alone in second place. Our next Moto of the day was coming in the track was beginning to slowly dry. This photo would be a little different. I caught in past Colt this time but got cross rutted up the face of a jump And got spit off with what should have been a weekend ending crash but got lucky and only slid down a grassy hill… That still had water on it! I print up and got back on my bike but was only able to salvage a second place in that particular Moto.
That would be the last Moto I would not be victorious in for the weekend. I even had a really cool Montceau where I was way out front and had lost my train of thought and ran off into standing water where I was passed for the lead but still caught back up and passed the leader to win that Moto as well. Everything seemed to be clicking for me this weekend and honestly I cannot think of a better feeling than winning 9 out of 12 Moto's at my regional qualifier for Loretto Lynn. I should have won a championship there that year but my summer would end one week later at Mammoth Mountain where I crashed coming down the hill and broke my collarbone.
Needless to say I had five weeks to heal up if I planned on racing Loretta Lynn's. I was able to get back on the bike five times before we left to travel in the box van to Tennessee For Loretta Lynn's dude ranch amateur national championship. The biggest and most extreme amateur national championship of the year and as of to date. But thankfully enough I was able to even participate in the biggest amateur national championship that lives for amateurs! That is a blessing in itself!