By Billy Rainford
It feels good to be sitting at home having my Monday Morning Coffee. For about 20-30 seconds last Sunday night I wasn’t sure I’d ever be sitting at home again! Yes, that’s being somewhat melodramatic, but I have a story to tell.
After the Thor Mini O’s Presented by Pro Circuit finished last Saturday, I spent another night at Brianna Millsaps and David Doyle‘s place (thanks for the great hospitality) in Gainesville before heading toward Tallahassee.
The way the timing worked, I decided to simply pull over and climb into the back of the DMX Van for the night. I always have it set up nicely for naps along the way on these long drives, so it’s actually extremely comfortable.
I turned off I-10 at Highway 90 in Midway, FLA just a few miles west of the state capital at a Flying J/Denny’s.
I rolled up to a parking spot and sat for a couple minutes. They had music playing over some speakers, so I decided it wasn’t an ideal place to try and sleep.
I moved to another spot closer to the front of the Denny’s restaurant. I looked down at my phone and noticed I was picking up the Denny’s wifi signal, but not with full bars, so I moved again a little closer to the signal.
Perfect, full bars!
I climbed into the back with my laptop and decided to turn on some Netflix and watch a movie before calling it a night.
I hadn’t even picked something to watch and I was sound asleep. These weeklong events really can take a toll, and I needed a good night’s sleep to recoop.
At around 11:15 the van started banging and shaking…and moving! I jolted up from my deep sleep and couldn’t figure out what was going on. The sound was deafening and the van was sinking to the driver’s side and then bouncing up and over to the passenger side, repeatedly.
Had war broken out? Was I being run over by a tank? Was I hearing gunshots?! Was my van about to completely collapse around me and crush me to death?! Was I falling off some high cliff…in Florida?! Any and all of these things seemed possible in my confusion.
As things started to come into focus, I could see the white side of a 53′ transport trailer and its big rear wheels trying to climb up and over the front end of the van! Are you shitting me?! When would it stop?
The van was moved over 2 parking spots before the wheels bounced and pushed their way free. I could hear it continue off into the night and then the sound ended and everything was quiet.
I was frantically putting on some clothes and could hear people running around and yelling outside in front of the service centre.
When I finally climbed out of the van, I followed a group of people who were running across the parking lot in the direction the big rig had gone.
Someone asked if I was the owner of the van that had just gotten run over. I said, “Ya, and I was in it!!” They sort of freaked out and said, “Whaaaattt?! You were inside?!“
I wasn’t mad or anything. In fact, I was laughing as I told them what it felt like to be inside as it was bouncing around.
I rounded the front of the building and the manager met me and told me he’d already called the police and that they were on their way. He’d also already taken photos of the truck’s licence plate and spoken to the driver.
Huh? How was this possible? Where was the truck?”
He pointed to the fuel station and said that was it right there in line to fill up. Seriously?
I ran around the rig and recognized the TransAm logo on the side. I snapped a few photos of the truck’s identifying numbers etc. and then headed over to the cab.
I climbed up to see the woman inside just sort of fumbling through some papers.
I asked her name and told her mine. I said I was the owner of the van she’d just run over and that I was inside it when it happened. Nothing. Crickets.
I tried to assume she was too upset to just talk about the incident but then I kept trying to drag an apology or anything out of her and got nothing. At this point I realized she was just an idiot.
I’m serious, she gave me nothing! Who does that?!
I climbed back down and people had all gathered around pointing and talking to one another. It was quite the scene.
Another truck driver came up to me and told me he’d watched the whole thing and couldn’t believe I was inside as it all went down.
I stood outside in front of the van and spoke with the Flying J’s manager. He looked at me and said there’s probably around $1000 damage to the van. The officer who’d gotten there in a flash and I looked at him as if he had 2 heads. $1000? Um, I don’t think so.
Then the manager started to tell me about all the other times this exact same thing had happened! Not with people in their vehicles at the time, but trucks running over cars in that same parking spot was a regular occurrence here.
He said one time a rig took out 4 cars!
Then a worker at the Denny’s came out to have a cigarette and pointed at her pick-up truck.
“Exact same thing happened to my truck about a month-and-a-half ago,” she said. “$6000 damage and I don’t park there anymore.” Thanks for the tip!
There are huge signs on the main road that “NO SEMIS” are to enter…but they do anyway.
They roll in, realize their mistake and then don’t know how to get back out of the tight parking lot. The manager said he usually tries to run out and tell them to back straight up before they head into the U area where I was parked. It’s just too tight to make the turn, obviously.
Is it possible she didn’t feel the resistance of the van as she tried to negotiate the turn? I suppose. Couldn’t she hear the metal crunching and people screaming (OK, I made that last part up)?! I suppose not.
Anyway, I didn’t speak to her again throughout the rest of the night. She had a cop talking to her and I had one talking to me.
I called my insurance company and they told me to have it towed to an auto body shop to wait for an auto claims adjuster to check it out and make an assessment.
They would also cover the cost of a rental car to drive home in and then fly me back to Florida to pick up the fixed van, if that’s how it was going to play out.
Believe it or not, I climbed back in and finished off the night’s sleep.
In the morning, I waited to hear from the insurance company and worked on my laptop from inside the Denny’s.
Everyone that came in was talking about the mess out front of the store, and yet nobody from the place went out to sweep up the parts! I had to go out and kick everything into a nice pile.
I then flip-flopped all day about whether or not I should simply bend the fender out so it missed the tire, throw the bumper into the back and drive the van home.
Emily talked me out of it and then I also thought about all the stuff sitting exposed at the front of the van. With all the talk of snowstorms north of where I was, would I even be covered should something happen on the drive north?
Not only that, but I wondered if I would even be allowed to cross the border into Canada without a front bumper?
Wait, none of this was my fault anyway! Why would I put myself at any risk at all?! Screw it, I’ll drive a nice new van home.
That’s what I did. It was nice to have a new van with Serius XM Radio going too. Not so fast. The subscription ran out just as I was enjoying some classic alternative music. Figures.
Anyway, the van is still waiting for attention in Tallahassee and I’ve returned the American rental van here in London.
I guess I’ll try to time the trip down to get my van with a race down in Florida. We’ll see what happens. The van was only $19000 brand new! Maybe it’s a write-off?! We’ll see…
Moral of the story? When I think of one, I’ll let you know.
Dylan Wright and the Geneva Supercross
#19 Dylan Wright got the chance to race an off-season European Supercross this past weekend in Geneva, Switzerland. How cool is that?!
The SX2 line-up looked like it was going to be a battle between Dylan and another rider we all know very well, #335 Joey Crown.
Dylan was coming off an amazing year in Canada in 2019. He was the AX and MX champion, and won the Rockstar Triple Crown money in the 250 class.
He was the fastest in qualifying and looked great everywhere except in the whoops.
Here’s how Dylan summed up the racing on his Instagram page:
Congratulations on getting that amazing opportunity. I hope you guys got the chance to head out and enjoy some European hospitality when the night was over.
Here’s a look at the Prince and King results from the 2-night event:
Australian Supercross Final Standings
My Day at The Goat Farm
I put together a video from my day spent at Ricky Carmichael‘s Goat Farm training facility in Cairo, Georgia.
Huge thank you to Josh Cartwright for getting me permission to hang around with them last week.
Kibby Pollak was also there setting Josh up with his MyPitBoard system, so it was nice to see another Canadian there.
It amazes me that Jeannie Carmichael and Rick Carmichael are still there with the same enthusiasm for the sport they had back when young RC was coming up through the ranks. Hell, Big Rick was even keeping the track nobody was riding in perfect condition while we were there!
Jeannie has a rule where she doesn’t want to be featured in these videos, but if I’m being honest, she’s the one I wanted to feature the most! Oh well.
Team Manluk/K&R Racing Announces Debut Team
Rockstar Triple Crown Tour regular, Team Manluk Racing has announced a merger with Team K&R Racing. Team Manluk/K&R Racing will race The 250SX East Region in Monster Energy AMA Supercross with John Short, Chase Marquier, and Ryder Floyd aboard Merge Racing Technologies Hondas.
In addition to the AMA Supercross series the team is also competing in the complete Canadian MX Tour and select American Pro Motocross Nationals. The team will make its debut at Anaheim 1 on January 4, 2020 with John Short who will contest select rounds in the Premier 450SX Class.
Short is fresh off of a career best outing in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and career best finishes in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross series as well. The 25-year-old Texas native is looking to take his positive momentum into the 2020 campaign with this new organization and continue logging solid results.
Chase Marquier is looking to find similar results with the opportunity to return to a brand he’s all too familiar with. The Oklahoma native raced Hondas throughout his amateur career and early on in his move to the professional ranks. Marquier moves to Team Manluk/K&R Racing after a successful international campaign spanning from Canada to The Netherlands.
Rookie sensation Ryder Floyd will be rounding out the 3-man roster. The 20-year-old rookie from Paris, Texas, immediately grabbed attention by winning the opening round of the Rockstar Triple Crown Series followed by impressive speed and finishes at the 2019 Monster Energy Cup. 2020 will be a big year for Floyd to showcase his impressive speed and gain much needed experience.
The Team is led by founders Frank Luebke, President of Manluk Industries Inc, Mark Ripple, and Team Manager Justin Kopcak. Team Manluk was known as a series regular in Canada due to their deep Canadian roots, and was presented the opportunity to expand their footprint into the industry in the United States with the leadership and support of Justin Kopcak and Mark Ripple from Defy Graphics.
In addition to the premier 3 rider roster,
One of the more unique aspects about the new organization will be that Team Manluk/K&R Racing will also be providing additional transport solutions for Supercross and Supercross Futures riders.
Please contact Team Manager email@example.com for business inquiries regarding transport solutions.
Team Manluk/K&R Racing would like to thank all of their sponsors for their inaugural 2020 campaign:
Merge Racing Technologies
(Picture is for visual only, and not actual race bikes)
Have a great week, everyone.