By Billy Rainford
Happy belated Father’s Day to all the Moto Dads out there! I hope you all got to spend it at the track with your kids, just like you probably did with your dads on Father’s Days of the past. I remember my mom and dad always got a hug and a card from me as I sat in the back seat of the vehicle on the way to or on the way back from a long day of racing somewhere in Ontario or maybe in Michigan. That’s just the way Junes went.
We always had our favourite family restaurants that were a short drive from whichever track we happened to be at that weekend, and it always seemed like we’d bump into the same up-and-coming go kart racing family, too. The kid was super-fast and travelled all over the world to race on four wheels. I often wonder who he was and who he turned out to be.
Hot turkey or hamburg sandwiches were the usual orders for these special days. I still remember handing a card across the table over my empty plate of gravy and mashed potato leftovers and saying “Thank You” to my dad for everything he’d done. There were always lots of other local families filling the room doing the exact same thing. You’d always pick up on a few words here and there of all the conversations going on. Those are some great memories.
My parents were pretty laid back when it came to the actual results from our racing. They were far from the aggressive parents screaming at their kids from over the fences lining a track.
My dad would always have a camera around his neck and would sometimes show me a pit board, if I didn’t have a buddy with me that day. There was never really any pressure to win, just positive support and an enjoyment of the process of racing and riding as a whole.
Mom would be busy feverishly scribbling numbers on a sheet of paper, keeping track of riders and laps. She even printed out special pages with lines and labels for this job that kept her mind occupied and away from the possible dangers of our sport. I don’t think she ever watch a single drop of the gate in all my years of racing. It was just too much. Actually, she probably watched one and decided that was enough.
Well, my father has recently passed away and my mom, with her advancing dementia, is on her way out to BC to live with my sister. Things changed very quickly over the past couple months. Our one-time close-knit moto family has been dissolved.
My dad always spoke of life as a series of chapters and I know this is just one of them. Sure, it’s the most difficult one, but it’s a chapter, nonetheless.
I don’t say these things to bring you down or to look for sympathy. I’m merely pointing out the importance of celebrating the meaningful moments in life.
If you were lucky enough to have been at a track with your father yesterday, don’t let the day pass without giving it some thought. It was a great day that you’ll remember later in your life. Every one of us older riders have lived and learned this lesson.
I’ll miss my dad for the rest of my life, but I also realize that I was lucky enough to have spent many Father’s Days at the track making memories with him. Put all your little race day squabbles into perspective and try to realize he just wants what’s best for you and that he really just enjoys the chance to be with you at the races as a family. That’s what is important.
Let’s talk about the final round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, shall we?
The series’ residency in Salt Lake City, Utah, came to an end yesterday. Although all three titles weren’t a mathematical lock, the points leaders really just needed to stay out of trouble and their championships were in the books. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t any drama!
I’ll try something a little different this week. Here are some “Race Notes” from SLC7:
#29 Cameron McAdoo wandered over in the whoops and took out #60 Mitchell Falk.
#1W Dylan Ferrandis took top spot on the last lap, after #83 Jett Lawrence was impressively on top.
They drop the gate for final qualifying and #163 Pierce Brown and #12 Shane McElrath got together in the first turn and went down. It was a cringe-worthy tumble as Shane’s head got sort of stuck between Brown’s front wheel and fender. Fortunately, it shook loose as he went a** over tea kettle. Shane got up and held back from losing it on Pierce, but they were both just going for it.
#1E Chase Sexton is headed to Factory Honda in the 450 class for 2021.
McElrath is also moving up but hasn’t inked his deal yet.
#16 Zach Osborne swapped out in the whoops and went from 50 to zero in a split second, as the handlebar sank into his guts. He was able to walk away and headed straight to the medics where an ultrasound showed no serious internal damage.
#3 Eli Tomac and #1 Cooper Webb actually tied at the top of the list, right down to the 1/1000th! Their 2nd fastest times were only out by 1/1000th with Cooper getting the nod.
250 Heat 1:
McElrath got out front early.
Sexton made contact with his teammate, Jett Lawrence, and was left making passes to work his way forward.
#13 Colt Nichols went from left to right and got landed on by Sexton, putting them both down. It was a line riders were taking, but Nichols looking back just before he did the move leaves it open for team tactics interpretation. Sexton regrouped and got back in the race, holding his position. Nichols limped his way across the line in 9th, just ahead of #159 Jace Owen.
250 Heat 2:
Our old friend, #40 Mitchell Oldenburg, grabbed the early lead.
#30 Brandon Hartranft came into the first turn hot and there was a pile-up that took #1W Dylan Ferrandis down. Ferrandis would get back up but at the back of the pack.
#28 Michael Mosiman jumped the triple and slammed into #62 Christian Craig. Then, #52 Austin Forkner came in and pushed Mosiman out.
#32 Justin Cooper took the win.
#1W Ferrandis would go to his first LCQ ever and took the win. #12 Nichols did not line up for the LCQ and was done for the day.
450 Heat 1:
#20 Broc Tickle got the holeshot and led early with #64 Vince Friese (of course) up with him.
#21 Jason Anderson took the win.
450 Heat 2:
Osborne grabbed the holeshot but #94 Ken Roczen made a quick pass to take the lead and the win.
#69 Carlen Gardner got a solid win ahead of #31 Frederick Noren, #11 Kyle Chisholm, and #61 Alex Ray.
Off the start it was McElrath, Mosiman, and Forkner.
Cooper would go down in turn 1.
Forkner endoed and went down hard. He got medical attention on the track but it was decided that a red flag restart was necessary.
On the restart, it was J. Lawrence, McElrath, Sexton, McAdoo, and Ferrandis.
Lawrence moved McElrath wide as his teammate Sexton was able to cut inside and take over at the front.
Sexton decided to let McElrath by to avoid any chaos but then Shane let him back by as their short game of cat and mouse continued.
It didn’t pay off as Sexton was able to block any possible takeout move from McElrath by gapping him.
J. Lawrence and McAdoo were bumping each other and then Lawrence messed up.
Ferrandis would go down and get up quickly to secure his important track position.
As they headed out on their last lap, Sexton had a 6-second lead, McElrath had 5 seconds over Mosiman , and then it was Ferrandis, Lawrence, and McAdoo.
Sexton and Ferrandis repeated as 250 Regional Champions. This feat hasn’t happened since Jeremy McGrath and Brian Swink did it back in the early ’90’s.
Holeshot to #15 Dean Wilson followed by Roczen and Osborne.
ROczen would go down while Tomac would be around 10th and Webb would go down briefly in turn 1.
#51 Justin Barcia, #37 Martin Davalos, and #10 Justin Brayton were all down in the first turn.
Wilson led the first few laps before #21 Jason Anderson would make the pass with Osborne to second.
It was tough to watch Tomac decide whether to push it to the front or not. Not to take anything away from the other riders, but watching him ride that slowly at first was painful! Hard to imagine going at that speed would be so easy. It looked like he was risking more by going that slowly.
#50 Benny Bloss was looking great up in 4th util he messed up and dropped back.
Anderson’s seat fell off and Osborne capitalized and took the lead and his first 450 Main win.
Anderson held on for 2nd and Wilson made it an all Husqvarna podium in 3rd.
#3 – Felt it was amost getting out of reach.
#16 – 1st 450 Main win.
#21 – Thought he must have seat bouncing too hard to have the seat come off.
#15 – Started doubting himself.
#22 – Best finish of the year.
“This may be the last one.”
Doesn’t enjoy the practice to the main portion of the races anymore.
“This is a good one to end it, if this is it.”
“I think it’s time to go be a good dad.”
OK, we’ve got quite a bit going on in Canada right now, so I’ll end this here and get to a couple interviews today. Have a great week and thanks for reading.