Frid’Eh Update #28 | Sam Gaynor Interview | Brought to You by GasGas Canada
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #28 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by GasGas Canada. It’s a travel day from London to Ottawa for Round 5 of the Canadian Triple Crown Series MX Nationals at Sand Del Lee. James Lissimore and I are testing the DMX Van once again on the drive that will take us through big, ugly Toronto before we head north a bit to Highway 7 for the remainder of the drive.
Sam Gaynor is career #28. Sam is the rider we’ve all known since he was a very young up-and-coming amateur rider who was on the line somewhere with his dad, Jeff Gaynor, at his side every weekend of the summer and more.
Sam was a 2-sport athlete when he was younger. He was also a pretty good hockey goalie. in our interview, I forgot to ask him if he’s still playing these days.
He’s the defending FXR PreMix East champion and you can see him running the #1 in the class. He also races the 250 Pro/Am class on the TLD SSR GasGas team. In fact, he raced both classes last weekend at Gopher Dunes…like a psycho!
This is going to have to be a pretty short intro to the interview, since we’ve got a 6-hour drive ahead of us still, so check out our interview with Sam.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Sam. Let’s talk about the western swing of the series. You only raced 2 of the 4 rounds of FXR Premix. You won both, but why only the 2?
Sam Gaynor: Hey, Billy. Yeah, I only did 2 and really expected to do none! Ahah. We had brought the 125 so I could race the 2-stroke class at WCAN and get more track time and they ended up not having that class. Then when I heard they were doing a 1 moto format Saturday I said, “Sure, let’s go for it!” Then I only did 1 class on the Sunday there then I went to Calgary and said, “Sure, why not?!” Might as well beat myself up good! Ahah
Of course, you were concentrating on the 250 class. How were your rides out west? You finished 10, 15, 17.
They were good. Edmonton was terrifying so I was happy to leave safe and in once piece. Round 2 I struggled all WCAN but the team did an awesome job giving me a great bike, but I just struggled. And Calgary was good, I just had terrible starts and first lap crashes that held me back from being more up there, but I was satisfied with all my rides out west.
But there was a chance you weren’t even going racing, right? Can you take us through your recovery and decision to get back to racing?
Yeah, last fall I had announced that I was going to be stepping away from the sport. I had a lot going on physically and mentally and honestly still do to this day. My wrist is still broken as I got x-rays Friday night before the Gopher National and I have some benign tumours, but the docs are keeping a close eye on them to make sure nothing down the road happens.
But honestly, between my health and how much pain I was in last year I was quite honestly just not having any fun, so I had decided that I wanted to be honest with myself as well as Steve Simms and the team and I needed to step away to get better.
Over the winter, seeing your posts and other riders posts about down south gave me the itch to get back at it, so my dad bought me a 450 and I was planning to do some select rounds, but then this all came together with Steve and now I’m back under the tent!
Were you working during the week or did you guys stay out west for the first 3 rounds? What did you guys do for fun?
I worked the Friday before Edmonton, then I stayed out west the week between Edmonton and Kamloops, then flew home and worked for 3 days then flew back to Calgary, then flew home redeye after Calgary to get to work on Monday. Honestly, the one week I did stay we just went straight to the next track and just chilled there but my dad and I climbed the mountain beside the track and went mountain biking etc. so that was fun!! The time change going back and forth definitely kicked my butt but it was all worth it.
What did you get up to over the 3-week break between West and East?
Worked!! Ahah and then raced MPCUP, and Walton ANQ and a few beach days but that’s about it!
And then we got to Gopher Dunes and you raced both classes. I don’t think there was anyone else doing that. Was that always your crazy plan?
Yeah, racing both classes at the Dunes is definitely gnarly. I know Dario Zecca double classed but I don’t think anyone else did, I’m not sure! But no, not till about a week after Calgary when I went to Steve’s and that’s when we decided we were gonna go for it!
How did the track change over the day from Premix/WMX lines etc. to the afternoon of 250 and 450 Pro?
It definitely did change quite a bit, but honestly I felt like it was the same bumps all day they just got bigger as the day went on. But the track crew did a great job and it was an enjoyable Dunes not a hold on for dear life Dunes like 2021. Haha
Is your plan to double class it for the rest of the series?
Yeah! It would be awesome to go back to back in the PreMix class, so we are going to double class all year!
Is there a track/city that you look forward to each year?
I love Calgary, such a cool atmosphere and cool views etc. I was planning to do Calgary on my own before everything happened with Steve. I also love Walton Raceway as it’s close to home and I’ve had great success there in the past.
Do you fire off the big double at Deschambault?
Ahah, who knows?! The bike is more than capable, I’ve just gotta get the rider to grow some cahones and go for it. Lol
How about the efforts by your 450 teammate Daniel Elmore at Gopher Dunes?! He went from last in both motos!
Danny E is a special breed. That guy works his butt off during the week and grinds on race day. I knew Danny would never give up, so I wasn’t surprised, but he definitely crushed it.
What are your travel plans for the eastern swing? Will you work during the weekdays or stay on the road with your dad?
Driving back and forth to every round, except for Moncton I am going to fly. I only have to take 2 days off work so that’s a good thing! Pops will be staying out with the team.
Can you remind us of what you do for your Monday-to-Friday work week?
I frame houses for Ross Malley, a fellow dirt bike racer, and his 2 sons as well. It’s a lot of fun building people’s dreams during the week and following my dreams on the weekends.
What will make you happy by the end of this season? What are your goals?
STAYING HEALTHY!!!! I have gotten hurt every single year from 2012 to current. Obviously yes, I have goals of winning PreMix and battling for top 10’s in 250, but if I’m healthy and gave it my all I will be happy with that.
OK, Sam, good luck this weekend at Sand Del Lee. Who would you like to thank?
Thank you for doing this interview and for sure the whole Troy Lee Designs, GasGas, Steve Simms Racing team. Mary Simms, Oakley, Guys Seats, FMF, Pirelli, Motul, Sunoco, bn3th, Journey plumbing, Train custom carpentry, Alpinestars, Raptor titanium, ProTaper, TCD suspension, Spec bolt, Mrs.Train, arbonne, Throttle Syndicate, Tear Off gaskets, Arthur’s fuels, Matrix Concepts, Williams motor works, Defiance lifestyle, True North, Mullico products, X trig, Country Corners, Westwood’s, Mechanixwear, Twin Air, my whole family, girlfriend and friends cheering me on, I appreciate it all!
Jimmy Decotis Returns to Canada this Weekend
I’m going to have to cut this one short again this week. It took us forever to get around Toronto. It seems like the entire stretch of the 401 between Milton and London is under construction with lane reductions throughout. It was torture. We managed to make it east of Peterborough and stopped into a Tim Hortons to at least get this entertaining Sam Gaynor interview up.
Have a great weekend. Enjoy watching Sand Del Lee and Millville on Sunday.
Oh, to add a little more value to this column this week, please click HERE to check out our latest Faces at the Races column from last weekend at Gopher Dunes.
And check out a few of our videos from the end of the day last Sunday:
Bigwave’s Walk and Talk:
FXR Race Recap:
OK, I fell a bit better now about the content found in this Update. We’re off to stay with 2009 Racer X Canada Factory Rider for the Day at Sand Del Lee, Nick May.