Frid’Eh Update #35 | Eric Jeffery | Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada

By Billy Rainford

This week belongs to #35 Eric Jeffery. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #35 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada. We’re in Ottawa, Ontario, at the Sand Del Lee track for Round 4 of the 2020 Rockstar Triple Crown Tour MX Nationals.

We’re looking at another rainy day on Saturday here. It’s supposed to end and then give way to a nice day on Sunday. This sand-based track can take a lot of moisture, but there’s a limit and we may find it early tomorrow morning.

Eric Jeffery is the rider interview this week. The Jeffery family has been involved in the sport at the top level for a number of years now. In fact, Jeffery Homes is a lead sponsor of the Club MX racing team south of the border.

We grabbed Eric for a chat to find out what he’s been up to and how his shortened season has been going.

Direct Motocross: Hello, Eric. We won’t go too far down memory lane with you because I know we’ve done that before, and not that long ago. Let’s ask you the two usual starter questions though. How did you get started racing Motocross?

Eric Jeffery: I originally started racing Snowcross then my parents and aunt and uncle bought us 6 boys all dirt bikes to rip around in the backyard. We went to our first race at Muttco Mountain and then we were all hooked.

What was your first number and why did you choose it?

My first number was 38. My dad went up to sign my brothers and I up and asked what 3 numbers we could get closest and we got 36, 38 and 39. Then one year I guess we were a bit late signing up for our membership and someone in the same class as me had 38 already so I switched to 33.

Who was your hero growing up?

My hero growing up was Jeremy McGrath I just loved his super smooth style. One year in school I even read his book and did a book report on it.

What other sports did you do growing up?

I did lots of different sports growing up including ball hockey, ice hockey and snowboarding in the winter since motocross took up all my time in the summer. Whenever we weren’t racing we also would go to the cottage on Balsam Lake and wakeboard and go tubing as well.

I keep thinking you’re headed into retirement and the 9-5 business world, and then there you are on the gate! Can you tell us how this opportunity came up this season?

Trevor Carlson of “Carlson Racing” gave me a call since Casey Keast was injured for the first 2 rounds so he asked me if I wanted to hop on the 250f and I said, “Sure!!! Why not??!!

Were you planning on racing? Were you race ready?

I was kind of on the fence about it. I had 2 twin boys Henry and Oliver in March, so life has definitely been busy. Having those 2 plus a 2-year-old daughter doesn’t really give you much free time to train (Haha), so safe to say, no, I was definitely not race ready.

Eric raced the first 2 Rounds in the 250 class on the Carlson Racing Team for the injured #77 Casey Keast. | Bigwave photo

Ya, obviously we got hammered with rain but when it stopped raining the mud really started sticking to the bike. I made it around 4 laps and then fell and couldn’t get my bike up it was so heavy. Then second moto my brother Alex and I just decided it wasn’t worth it so we didn’t go out.

What? Alex was there? I had a camera break in that mess. Can you tell us what the days following that were like for you? How bad was your bike and gear?

We pressure washed the bike at the track and then again when I got home I sprayed all my gear and my bike again. I still think there is mud on the bike! Haha

Can you tell us what you do as your 9-5?

I work for our family company Jeffery Homes. I’m the finishing site super so I take over scheduling all the trades after drywall. Along with doing PDI inspection with the customer as well as after sales service.

Are you heading to Sand Del Lee and what does the racing future hold for you?

Yes, I will be going to race the 450 class again. Hopefully, it’s not another mudder because it’s looking that way. I don’t really know what the racing future holds for me. I think it’s an ever fluid moving discussion and it all kinda depends what’s going on in my life next year.

Let’s hope for some dry racing this week at Sand Del Lee. Watch for the #35 in the 450 class. | Bigwave photo

You’ve been around quite a while and travelled the entire circuit. Is there one race or memory that stands out for you that you could share with us?

One memory that sticks out for me is 2014 Calgary. I had Dan Hutchinson as my mechanic that summer and I remember that we went to Revelstoke to ride during the week before the race. He really helped me practice some intense motos that week with the goal of getting a top ten and I was able to get my first top 10 that weekend in Calgary. That whole summer having him tour the rounds with us was a lot of fun.

OK, thanks for taking the time with us this week. Good luck at Sand Del Lee and who would you like to thank?

I always  thank God for keeping me safe and healthy as I race. First and foremost I would like to thank my wife, Nicole. Without her I wouldn’t be able to do this at all anymore. I’d like to thank Brent and Trevor Carlson and the Carlson team for helping me out this year, Josh Snider, FXR, Brandon at Club MX, FLO levers, Hoosier and of course my parents.

Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada

Sand Del Lee MX National

It’s another odd racing situation this weekend at Sand Del Lee. The track is in beautiful condition for racing but there is no amateur program and the place just feels different.

I really struggle with cell service here as it seems Rogers doesn’t have a tower anywhere near the track, so I’m pretty limited with what I can do while standing trackside.

Here are a couple things to keep an eye on this weekend:

Jeremy Medaglia is set to make a return to racing on a Yamaha 450. Jeremy is always one of if not the most popular riders with the fans. He’s loved across the country.

I went in search of him today as everyone was setting up their pits, but Kevin Tyler said that he probably won’t be there until Saturday morning.

I’m sure he’d love to sneak in under the radar, but that’s just not going to happen with me around. It’s a pretty big deal that he’s coming back for at least a round of racing and doing it on his own terms. He’s a podium threat if he’s in race shape. How can we not shine a light on this story?!

It will be great to have him back in the line-up, and I hope his return goes exactly as he would like. We’ll certainly know more after we get a first look at him in practice, so I won’t make any concrete predictions here.

#777 Tim Tremblay is filling in for the ailing #16 Cole Thompson on the KTM Canada Red Bull Thor team.

Tim was injured in a mountain biking crash before the season started, so his return was delayed. He loves racing on these sandy tracks and should turn a few heads this weekend.

I grabbed him for an interview today in his pits:

I didn’t take a look at the entire track but I did see the changes to the first turn. They placed another big hay bale past the usual one in turn 1. It will open up the first corner a little so that the bottleneck isn’t quick so immediate. It looks like riders will spit the bales during the race and only circle the outside one during starts.

Will it work? We’ll find out.

I walked around a shot a few photos in the pits and also did a “Rig Tour” with #208 Logan Leitzel from Pennsylvania. Let’s end this Update here and I’ll post those up ASAP.

Have a great weekend.