Frid’Eh Update #18 Presented by Race Tech
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Hello, and welcome to Frid’Eh Update #18 Presented by Race Tech. We’re in Barrie, Ontario, for the final round of the 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown Arenacross Championship at the Molson Center. Yes, it’s still raining here, but the forecast for the weekend is actually looking pretty good. Fortunately, we’re inside at a hockey arena for these vents, otherwise we’d be in a whole heap of trouble.
#18 in 2019 would have been Dillan Epstein from Thousand Oaks, California, had he not left the sport last season. Dillan was easily one of the most popular riders at the races, so it was sad for our series when he and his team parted ways.
We hadn’t spoken with him in a few months, so it was nice to touch base with him. In fact, he’s such a nice guy that he agreed to answer some questions while he’s down in Mexico for a wedding!
Here’s our conversation:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Dillan. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken with you. To get the ball rolling, can you tell us how you got started riding and racing motocross?
Dillan Epstein: I used to see it on TV as a kid — Travis Pastrana on his Suzuki 125. I was 3-4 years old but never forgot the first time I saw that guy ride in person at a Supercross race. I thought it was the coolest thing. Mind you, I still didn’t have a bike and my dad thought I was too young still and wanted to see if it was a thing that stuck with me, so I didn’t receive my first bike until I was 6.
I had done a few races at a track in New Mexico called Moriarty. Racing never got my attention though until 2003’s (I was 8-9 years old) Day in the Dirt. I raced it and got a top 5. Didn’t even know I got a top 5, just loved how cool the scene felt and enjoyed every bit of racing and riding from that day and told my dad I wanted to keep racing.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
What other sports or activities were you interested in when you were younger?
Before racing really took off I played soccer competitively and won a bunch of state and traveling championships. Now that you ask that question, I might’ve picked the wrong career choice….
Can you tell us what your best memory of Canada is?
Best experience in Canada. Meeting my pretty lady Melissa, meeting down-to-earth people who are real and genuine like Jay Moore, Pat O’Connor, Frenchie (Luc Caouette), Mike Smith, big, lovable Kevin (Tyler) at Mx101, his whole crew along with him, the entire Halstead family. Hayden is my Canadian brother I never had and his parents took care of me and helped me all last season. We were neighbors, too. You get the gist of it. The list goes on. Also ,getting to see just about every inch of Canada, getting to drive the entire country by myself in a sprinter van. Memories for a lifetime.
What was your favourite part of our country and why?
Canada really seemed to take a liking to you and then you were gone. Can you tell us why you left, again?
To be honest, Billy, I left because I’m tired of chasing paychecks. I’m tired of dealing with people who tell you how to ride a motorcycle instead of building the motorcycle around the rider. People in the industry. I never asked much of anyone and always got shit on. I’ve had a decent career and, like I’ve said before, I accomplished a few things in racing I never thought I would. I love riding and I love racing but I also am not making a decent living and to be 30 years old one day and go, “Well, I’m done racing now I’ve made an OK living…what do I do now?” Not for me. I am content walking away from racing. Yeah, I have my days, but that’s the transition.
What have you been up to since you left?
I now work in Aerospace and soon taking some college courses for my Mechanical Engineering degree. I have 5 years of experience. That’s how I landed my current position, but if I ever want to go further I need at least my bachelors. The company pays for my tuition, so I’m taking the opportunity to do so.
Do you still have a bike, and do you do any racing?
Where did we catch you right now?
I am currently in Cancun, Mexico, drinking and eating way too much.
What do you do for your 9-5? Is this where you see your future?
I work at a company called Meggitt. Yes, I do.
Are you still looking for a place to race a bike?
You were always really good with the crowds. Do you ever see yourself behind a microphone or anything? Is that something you’d be interested in?
I don’t want to be involved with the industry anymore. So, no.
Well, I’m glad to hear you’re doing well. We’d like to wish you all the best in the future. Is there anyone you’d like to thank here while you’ve got the chance?
No one to thank other than you for wanting to interview me. All is well with me and I hope all is well with you, Billy.
Happy Friday. Will this cold wet weather ever let up here in Southern Ontario and Quebec? It’s terrible. This should be prime riding season – no dust, a little mud, and lots of ruts. Not the case, it’s wet and wetter. It’s starting to get pretty annoying and Mother Nature can take a hike anytime now.
This weekend looks to be action packed from all angles. The AMA Supercross series finale is in Las Vegas Nevada. 3 championships are up for grabs. Actually, there is only really two as Cooper Webb has the 450 crown pretty much locked down.
The real excitement is in the 250 regional classes. In the West, Adam Cianciarulo has been super strong all season. But Dylan Ferrandis has really stepped up as of late. The speed has always been there for Ferrandis, but so were the crashes. Well, it looks like he has figured it out, and he will be hard to beat. I feel he is the only guy in the class that can beat Cianciarulo straight up. Him…. and Adam himself.
Adam has matured in front of our eyes, and is probably the most polished 250 pilot on the gate, and is really due for this championship. Ferrandis is a little bit older, but took the long way to Supercross through Europe first. He will most likely be a SX champ in the 250 class, I’m just not willing to bet that it will be 2019.
On the East coast, it was The Austin Forkner Show. He was a new man. Fast, aggressive. Fit, and consistent. We had not been able to put that last word and Austin Forkner in the same sentence before. It was amazing to see how well he handled things unlike he had done in previous seasons.
With all of the winning by Forkner, poor Chase Sexton has been forgotten about. Chase has been super consistent and it looks to have paid off. He leads Justin Cooper with one main event to go. The only issue…. this is an East/West Showdown, and there are many factors, and many racers that can cause issues, and may possibly jeopardize a championship. My predictions are pretty simple: All 3 points leaders will win their respected championships, but we will have a breakout ride by one 450 guy, and a 250 guy that will pretty much have you saying, “Who the fook was that guy?!”
The final round of the Rockstar Triple Crown Ax season goes off tomorrow in Barrie, Ontario. Barrie is a great location and we should have lots of fans and a few more new faces on the gates. Predictions for Barrie… I’ll just say that Dylan Wright has already won the MC’s ‘G’d Up from the Feet Up’ Award, easily. As for the racing. Matt Goerke for the 450 win and Tyler Medaglia will win the 250 class and make it a Monster sweep.
That’s it for me. Hope to see you in Barrie, and don’t forget to #smileforBC.
Thanks, Jeff. It will be great to have him at the races this week in Barrie. Get ready for a much more active Twitter life Saturday from Barrie.
Like I said, that’s where we find ourselves this week to wrap up the Arenacross portion of the Rockstar Triple Crown season. #19 Dylan Wright has an 11-point lead over #94 Luke Renzland in the 250 class while #1 Cole Thompson has a 10-point lead over #2 Matt Goerke in the 450 class.
Of course, anything can happen in our sport, but these are pretty solid leads, considering just making it to the 12-person main event will earn you 14 points, there’s pressure on these points leaders, but not all that much.
What really matters is that the points totals will carry over throughout the season in the Motocross and Supercross seasons, making up your final Triple Crown points totals.
If you want the $10K 250 money or the $100K 450 money, every one of these points will be important, so everyone will still be motivated to go for wins this week.
Here’s a look at the points as we head into Saturday’s racing:
450 – TRIPLE CROWN
250 – TRIPLE CROWN
Sneaky Weasel Moto Central LIVE – Tonight at 7pm Eastern
Yes, we realize the camera was sideways last week. We’ll have that sorted out this week and grab a few riders to hang out and talk about the racing again here in Barrie.
Our goal with these things is to be informative, let you get to know some of the riders traveling the circuit, and generally have a good time. Sneaky Weasel Beer is supplying the tasty beverages for people in the green rooms and in the audience, so thank you for that.
We’ll be in the arena where the guys do their broadcast from, so come on by and hang out, if you’re in town and can get in the building. So, check us out on Facebook LIVE.
Speaking of which, it’s time I head over to the arena and get things set up, so we’ll be pretty quick this week.