Good morning and welcome to another Monday Morning Coffee. Where am I today, you ask? Well, I’m sitting in a McDonalds somewhere between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee.
This place has been freshly remodeled. It’s got all the latest electronic ordering kiosks and the wifi will actually let me open the back end of DMX, which is rare.
So, I stand at the counter for a while until someone finally comes over and tells me I have to order from the kiosk only. OK, well, when the morbidly obese manager stops yelling at the staff in front of all the customers, I’ll stop staring and head over there.
The first kiosk I go to says, “You must order from the counter.” Of course it does. Someone has to yell from behind the counter I was just standing at and point to another kiosk.
I walk past a few other people staring blankly into nothing, wondering what the heck they’re supposed to do next. You then need to go up to the counter with the little receipt the machine has printed out and pay at the counter, if paying cash. What a great advancement…
The southern accents are thick as any I’ve ever heard in here. I think the main thing is that whether people here are asking a question or making a statement, there’s inflection at the end of every sentence.
There’s a lady with her head in her hands who is fully incapable of keeping her 3-year-old son in order. He’s been brought back from behind the counter by staff 5 times now. Woops, he just dropped his toy while running across the room and fell on his face at my feet. There’s a little baby Joe Dirt running rampant up in here! Seriously, I should really shoot some video of the chaos this kid is causing. And here comes another staff member with the kid…
It’s 20 degrees C and overcast as I sit at a table by the front window. There are so many police cars driving around here that they seem to out-number civilian cars 2 to 1. It’s Presidents’ Day down here, so I guess people like to cause trouble?
You ever watch those TV shows where the guys go underwater in the river, stick their arms in holes along the bank and wait for a massive catfish to try to eat it before pulling them to the surface? That’s where I am. I’m going to stick my arm out and see if I can catch this out-of-control kid. I’ve just been informed that they are in here every day, but he’s “Usually not this bad!”
OK, I’m really trying to move on from this, but a staff member just actually had to go out into the parking lot to bring the kid back in while the mother plays a game on a screen in her booth. This is surreal!
While I’m on a rant, have you ever driven around the greater Dallas area? Well, you can throw your GPS out the window because there are highways, frontage roads, and city streets that all run beside each other and you will end up fighting to keep yourself from re-enacting the entire ‘Falling Down’ movie as you try to remain calm.
I just got a warning from Donk, who is several hours ahead of me heading east. As I’m sure you’re fully aware, some highways in the USA are in a slight state of disrepair, to say the least. I-69 through Michigan is one of the worst you’ll find. Apparently, Donk got bitten and blew a tire on his way through.
I remember a few years ago when I drove the GDR converted U-Haul rig west for them and took I-69. Somehow, the separation of the concrete slabs are the exact distance of the wheelbase of that rig. It was like the highway had come to life and was literally trying to shake the truck to pieces…and that was only 1 1/2 hours into my cross-country drive!
If you can’t enjoy these oddities and misadventures you’ll surely encounter along the way, you have no business in the Motocross Industry. You really have to alter your mindset to take these things as they come and somehow turn them into rose-smelling moments. They come at you fast when you drive across the US on your own, believe me.
I’ve still got a long way to go, and I’m sure the drive won’t be without some more memorable moments. But if you aren’t able to see the comedy in it all, you’ll surely drive yourself mad. Go up to any moto journalist next time you see one and ask them what the best thing they saw on their latest trip was. I’m guessing it won’t even be moto-related!
I’ve yet to watch the Arlington Supercross on TV, so I’m probably less qualified to speak on what happened than you are! You see, when you’re standing next to the track, you only get to see what happens right in front of you. When a certain rider doesn’t come around for the next lap, you basically have to look for the in-house screen to find out what the hell happened! And that happened a lot this past Saturday night.
Once again, we have lost a few top riders to injury. This is an epidemic this season. I don’t know what’s going on but it’s not good. Someone joked about how big a lead the always consistent Ryan Dungey would have at this point in the season. It’s going to be the turtle who wins this championship. “Slow and steady wins the race.”
#986 Lane Shaw was leading the 250 LCQ when he got out of control in the first set of whoops. He went off the track and onto the always slippery, dirt-covered concrete along the edge. Instead of carefully rolling along the section and getting back on, he must have held the throttle wide open and got completely out of control.
There’s tire mark the entire length of that side of the track! His bike flew along the edge that photographers were standing on and the bike hit James in the leg. I spoke to James at the end of the night and he said he was OK but that he’d surely have a bruise Sunday morning.
I watched the replay on the massive in-house screen at AT&T Stadium and couldn’t believe what I saw. The best part was that he was an instant hero to the thousands of fans in the stands. He was dead last but then pulled a heal clicker over the finish line. He cruised off the track, waving to the screaming crowd, and became a story many will tell for years to come.
It will be told like the old Simpson’s episode:
He went by the name of Lane…”Seven feet tall he was, with arms like tree trunks. His eyes were like steel: cold, hard. Had a shock of hair, red, like the fires of Hell.”
By the way, the lady and her kid are gone, and I just watched as an ambulance raced by with sirens blaring. Coincidence?
I’ll do a full recap of how #179 Westen Wrozyna‘s first-ever Supercross experience went, but let’s have a quick look, here.
Newtonville, Ontario, rider, #179 Westen Wrozyna finally got his chance to line up for a Supercross Saturday night in Arlington, Texas. He looked comfortable early, and that is the key to advancing in these stadiums. He didn’t look nervous, at all, and that is a huge step in the right direction.If you’ve ever ridden a Supercross track, getting comfortable quickly can be the most important thing, as it sets you up for the rest of the night.
I really liked what I saw from the rider who actually raced the Monster Cup on a supermini a few years back. We checked in on him throughout the day, and you can follow along here:
Then we spoke with Westen as he and Cale Foster were headed to Tampa, Florida, to get ready for round #2 this weekend:
Keep working at it, guys. Although the results page may not show it, Westen looked good and fast in Arlington and should continue to get closer to that main event. Good luck in Tampa.
Jeff McConkey will have his ‘McThoughts‘ to us later today, so I won’t go into any detail about what happened. I’ve got all my photos picked an ready to go for my Photo Report, too. I just need to make some time on the highway before I pull off at another coffee shop and use the wifi.
Speaking of firsts, congratulations also go out to the Club MX Redemption Racing RSR team for getting their new project to the line in Arlington.
It was great to see some more familiar faces at a big Supercross race. Thank you for the great lunch and coffee, too!
#174 Josh Osby made it into the night show and then the main event. Unfortunately, he got caught up in that first turn melee and was left racing for scraps from the back. He showed he has great indoor speed and will continue to get better results as the series moves on.
Here are some of the video highlights and results:
#184 Tanner Ward has moved himself up into 5th place in the Amsoil Arenacross AX Lites East class after another strong performance in Florence, South Carolina.
Tanner will head back to Canada and compete in round 1 of the Rockstar Triple Crown series this coming week out in Abbotsford, BC.
Saturday Florence Arenacross – 2/17/2018
The series takes a break now before the West series kicks off out in Denver, Colorado, March 17-18.
Check out the top of the list in the A Class at the West Hare Scramble race in Arizona over the weekend!
Congratulations to Shelby Turner who is having a great winter racing season!
It’s time…to go…RACIIIIINNNGGGGG! If you’ve been to a live Supercross and heard Lurch, you know what I’m talking about.I always half expect Truckasaurus to be fighting Gravedigger every time he screams like that, but oh well.
All the waiting is just about over. It’s time to head to Abbotsford, BC for round 1 of the Arenacross portion of the all-new Rockstar Triple Crown series.
Almost all of the top contenders will be in action this weekend. Who is your pick for the $100K first prize? Will it be defending MX1 champ, Matt Goerke? 4-time champion, Colton Facciotti? Goerke’s teammate, Dillan Epstein? Ultra-smooth rider, Cole Thompson? How about Tyler Medaglia?
In the MX2 class, will it be defending champion, Shawn Maffenbeier on his new ride? How about Dylan Wright who’s been at GPF working hard?
Unfortunately, defending Future West Arenacross champion, Jess Pettis, is out with a broken scapula, so we won’t see him until the series heads east. How will ‘Young MC,’ Marco Cannella, do?
OK, it’s time to continue getting closer to home, now. Have a great weekend, and be sure to check in later for Jeff’s ‘McThoughts.’