Off the Cuff with Jacqueline Ross | December 2021

By Jacqueline Ross

Greetings, Humans! 
Happy Festivus! You already know I wait all year to use that line!  Haha 

The weekend after the Mini O’s we decided to head to Tampa MX for the last round of the I-4 MX Triple Crown Series. Old school per usual as Sunday morning my dad, boyfriend, and I hop in the truck at 3:45am and begin the journey. We’re about ten miles away from the track and one of the tires on the truck starts losing air. We pull into a Flying J to discover that there is indeed a small hole in the tire. No big deal, as we’re at a truck stop. For sure this place will have a tire plug kit. Big negative on that one!  

Across the street we go to the TA, because they’ll have one. Nope, they’re sold out, too!  

It’s like in ‘My Cousin Vinny‘ when Vin is looking for a suit, but every store in town is shut down because everyone has the flu. Well, the entire town in Hillsborough County is out of Tire Plug kits!  

I start making calls and sending texts to friends of mine that are at the track. Some have air compressors, but no one seems to have a tire plug kit. I remain hopeful, continue to reach out to people and the universe responded; here comes our friend Jon Benaglio! It turns out, back in the day, Jon B’s parents owned a tire repair service center. Not only does he have a background in plugging tires, he always carries these kits with him!

It’s now 7:20 am, we’re posted up at the TA, and Jon B is out here plugging a tire faster than your favorite cook at Waffle House is smothering and covering your hash browns! He is on fire and off we go.  

We’re rolling down Interstate 4 (I-4 Highway) and hear a “psssssssst” noise. We all look at each other and feel it…the plugs just blew out of the tire. Now we’re pulled off and on the side of I-4 and we’ve got a tire to change.

Everybody gets busy doing something and we may as well be pitting for a NASCAR team in the Daytona 500. The tire gets changed and we make it to the track just in time for my first moto. 

This story has absolutely nothing to do with a motocross race, but everything to do with humanity and acts of kindness within the motocross world. One of the things I admire most about this sport is the genuine people that have crossed my path. The selflessness of individuals within this sport is unparalleled. The types of people that are there to lend a helping hand in any situation and expect nothing in return. The sacrifices that families make just to get to the races would make a normal person’s head spin. Then, add in how supportive people are to their fellow “motocross families.”  

Motocross people are a different breed. When unfavorable circumstances arise and someone like Jon B appears, it helps to restore one’s faith in humanity.  With the madness that is going on in today’s world it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget how much impact our actions have on others.  Truly, it’s inspiring to become an even better human for yourself and the world around you. Remember, we’re all just humans walking each other home.  

As we are on the last lap of 2021, I hope your year was one that you can look back on and be proud of. With the new year on the horizon, I wish you all good health, peace, joy, and courage along your path.

Blessings on the journey,