Monday Morning with Bigwave

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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…

This kid is literally tearing this place up, right now! | Google Images image

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. | Bigwave photo

#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.

#179 Canadian Westen Wrozyna at the Arlington Supercross. | Bigwave photo

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!

It was great to see some familiar faces, like Scott Jeffery, at the races this week in Arlington.

#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.

#174 Josh Osby and Canadian Josh Snider discuss race strategy in the Arlington pits. | Bigwave photo

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
Florence Center
AX Lites East Class – Overall Finish Positions
Overall Qualifying
Finish / Time
Heat
Finish
LCQ
Finish
Main
Finish
Kawasaki
1st – ISAAC TEASDALE
ROBBINSVILLE, NC
#21
2nd
00:23.184
1st
Heat 1
1st
 
Honda
2nd – HEATH HARRISON
SILVERHILL, AL
#14
4th
00:23.387
1st
Heat 2
2nd
 
Yamaha
3rd – CARTER HALPAIN
LUBBOCK, TX
#117
1st
00:23.143
6th
Heat 2
3rd
 
Honda
4th – JARED LESHER
BALL GROUND, GA
#13
5th
00:23.468
2nd
Heat 2
4th
 
KTM
5th – KEVIN MORANZ
TOPEKA, KS
#346
6th
00:23.706
3rd
Heat 1
5th
 
KTM
6th – CARTER GORDON
MATTOON, IL
#151
8th
00:23.794
5th
Heat 2
6th
 
Yamaha
7th – TANNER BASSO
ALPINE, CA
#727
19th
00:24.270
5th
Heat 1
7th
 
Yamaha
8th – TANNER STACK
SHAWNEE, KS
#382
7th
00:23.762
2nd
Heat 1
8th
 
KTM
9th – TANNER WARD
WOODSTOCK, ON, CANADA
#184
25th
00:24.423
7th
Heat 2
9th
 
KTM
10th – DYLAN ROUSE
FLORENCE, KY
#158
3rd
00:23.323
6th
Heat 1
10th
 
Kawasaki
11th – MASON KERR
ALTOONA, IA
#597
17th
00:24.191
8th
Heat 2
2nd
LCQ 1
11th
 
Husqvarna
12th – SCOTT MESHEY
ZEPHYRHILLS, FL
#141
11th
00:23.926
4th
Heat 1
12th
 
KTM
13th – WYATT LYONSMITH
BOISE, ID
#85
10th
00:23.829
7th
Heat 1
13th
 
Yamaha
14th – JUSTIN RODBELL
PRINCE FREDERIC, MD
#58
18th
00:24.270
9th
Heat 1
1st
LCQ 1
14th
 
Kawasaki
15th – JAKE MCKINNEY
HAMERSVILLE, OH
#131
12th
00:23.931
4th
Heat 2
15th
 
Yamaha
16th – LUKE NEESE
JAMESTOWN, NC
#125
9th
00:23.813
3rd
Heat 2
16th
 
AX Lites East Class – Points
    Place – Name
Number – Hometown
      Total Points
  1st – HEATH HARRISON
#14 – SILVERHILL, AL
86
  2nd – ISAAC TEASDALE
#21 – ROBBINSVILLE, NC
82 (-4)
  3rd – GARRETT MARCHBANKS
#182 – COALVILLE, UT
47 (-39)
  4th – TANNER BASSO
#727 – ALPINE, CA
33 (-53)
  5th – TANNER WARD
#184 – WOODSTOCK, ON, CANADA
33 (-53)
  6th – TANNER STACK
#382 – SHAWNEE, KS
32 (-54)
  7th – CARTER HALPAIN
#117 – LUBBOCK, TX
29 (-57)
  8th – JOSH MOSIMAN
#71 – MENIFEE, CA
28 (-58)
  9th – TJ ALBRIGHT
#422 – MOUNT MARION, NY
26 (-60)
  10th – JEREMY HAND
#332 – MANTUA, OH
21 (-65)
250AX Class – Overall Finish Positions
Overall Qualifying
Finish / Time
Heat
Finish
LCQ
Finish
Bracket
Winner
Main 1
Finish
Main 2
Finish
Kawasaki
1st – GAVIN FAITH
FORT DODGE, IA
#1
2nd
00:22.586
1st
Heat 1
1st
 
1st
 
1st
 
Honda
2nd – CHRIS BLOSE
PHOENIX, AZ
#2
1st
00:22.428
1st
Heat 2
  2nd
 
3rd
 
Kawasaki
3rd – JACOB HAYES
GREENSBORO, NC
#90
3rd
00:22.622
3rd
Heat 1
  4th
 
2nd
 
Kawasaki
4th – TRAVIS SEWELL
WESTVILLE, IN
#3
6th
00:23.160
4th
Heat 1
  8th
 
4th
 
Kawasaki
5th – ISAAC TEASDALE
ROBBINSVILLE, NC
#21
10th
00:23.585
5th
Heat 1
  3rd
 
9th
 
Honda
6th – HEATH HARRISON
SILVERHILL, AL
#14
5th
00:22.925
3rd
Heat 2
  9th
 
7th
 
Honda
7th – JARED LESHER
BALL GROUND, GA
#13
12th
00:23.977
5th
Heat 2
  7th
 
8th
 
Honda
8th – KYLE BITTERMAN
PELZER, SC
#581
4th
00:22.900
2nd
Heat 2
  6th
 
11th
 
KTM
9th – KEVIN MORANZ
TOPEKA, KS
#346
15th
00:24.056
6th
Heat 1
  11th
 
6th
 
Yamaha
10th – JYIRE MITCHELL
DEVONSHIRE,
#196
17th
00:24.163
6th
Heat 2
  13th
 
5th
 
Kawasaki
11th – SHANE SEWELL
WESTVILLE, IN
#351
9th
00:23.428
4th
Heat 2
  10th
 
10th
 
Kawasaki
12th – GARED STEINKE
AUBURN, CA
#4
7th
00:23.293
2nd
Heat 1
  5th
 
15th
 
Husqvarna
13th – HUNTER HILTON
YOUNGSVILLE, LA
#305
11th
00:23.891
8th
Heat 1
2nd
LCQ 1
  14th
 
12th
 
Husqvarna
14th – SCOTT MESHEY
ZEPHYRHILLS, FL
#141
18th
00:24.183
7th
Heat 1
  12th
 
14th
 
Yamaha
15th – JUSTIN RODBELL
PRINCE FREDERIC, MD
#58
26th
00:24.558
10th
Heat 1
1st
LCQ 1
  15th
 
13th
 
Kawasaki
16th – LANE STALEY
CHILLICOTHE, OH
#740
8th
00:23.366
7th
Heat 2
  16th
 
16th
 
250AX Class 
    Place – Name
Number – Hometown
      Total Points
  1st – JACOB HAYES
#90 – GREENSBORO, NC
187
  2nd – GAVIN FAITH
#1 – FORT DODGE, IA
179 (-8)
  3rd – CHRIS BLOSE
#2 – PHOENIX, AZ
174 (-13)
  4th – GARED STEINKE
#4 – AUBURN, CA
130 (-57)
  5th – KYLE BITTERMAN
#581 – PELZER, SC
115 (-72)
  6th – SHANE SEWELL
#351 – WESTVILLE, IN
107 (-80)
  7th – JACOB WILLIAMSON
#373 – SWARTZ CREEK, MI
94 (-93)
  8th – DANIEL HERRLEIN
#9 – BETHESDA, OH
83 (-104)
  9th – HEATH HARRISON
#14 – SILVERHILL, AL
83 (-104)
  10th – TRAVIS SEWELL
#3 – WESTVILLE, IN
62 (-125)

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!

Shelby Turner’s hot winter continued this past weekend in Arizona. | Bigwave photo

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?

Defending MX1 champion, Matt Goerke, will be one of the favourites when the Rockstar Triple Crown starts this week out in Abbotsford, BC. | Bigwave photo

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?

 

#66 Marco Cannella will be in Abbotsford this week. | Bigwave photo

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.’

Since it was Donk’s final go as a Pro Supercross mechanic (what are the odds on this?), let’s give him the ‘honours,’ “See you at the races…” | Bigwave photo