Out of the Blue: Jacey Justine McQueen
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Jacey Justine McQueen
Birthday: Nov 12, 1996
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
School & Grade: I am a full time student in my second year at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan
Bike: 2014 KX250F
Race Club: CMRC, MCQMX, Canadian ArenaCross, Future West and 2015 Kawasaki BC Championship Series Classes. This year, I stuck to only the Ladies class to gain some knowledge, experience and confidence during my first year.
How did you get started in racing?
My brother has been racing since he was 3 years old. I was always more into horses, but last year I started getting more interested in the motors. Last September, I jumped on a little KX100. It wasn’t the best start because, two rides in, I fractured my ankle. That was pretty upsetting, but I thought I would keep on trying it. I was then fortunate enough to receive a 2008 KX250 for Christmas and I fell in love with it instantly after riding in California for two weeks. I’ve been training hard and moving up in the ranks since and haven’t turned back.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross racing?
(Laughs) Definitely not. I thought, for sure, I would always stick to the animals and that dirt bikers were just hot-headed boys who were crazy and crashed just to impress everybody. Now that I am into dirt bikes, I can’t imagine it any other way. Everybody at the track looks out for each other and we’re all just one big family.
Do you think motocross racing is harder for a female to compete in?
That’s a tough one. In some aspects, I think it is as men were just built stronger than women. Of course, that can be an advantage when you’re trying to man handle a 220lb bike. With that being said though, I think women can do just about everything that men can do when they set their minds to it .
Who is your favourite rider and why?
My favourite female riders would have to be Rachel Springman and Ashley Fiolek. Both of them are just such an inspiration and always manage to stay positive whether they’re having a good or bad day of riding. I have gotten to know both of them a little and look up to them for everything they have accomplished. My favourite male rider would be Travis Pastrana. I met him a couple times when I was younger and he was always the most motivating guy to be around. I was scared to try doing a backflip on a trampoline and he took the time to teach me. I love how he has no fear and is willing to try anything. He is just such a cool guy and I loved not only watching him ride but also hanging out with him.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
There are so many! Eve Brodeur, Sara King, Ashely Fiolek, Kennedy Lutz, Rachel Springman. Them just being at the races and showing support is motivational to all the other girls who want to pursue riding dirt bikes, including me.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
I really look up to Ross Johnson [we’ll give him 1/2 Canadian]. I’ve seen him race two or three seasons of Canadian Arenacross and its crazy seeing him persevere through every race and still come out on top. One incident that sticks out to me the most was his most recent race in Cloverdale. He was having some serious bike issues and couldn’t finish 1 or 2 of the qualifiers because of that. His mechanics were trying to fix whatever was going on and I remember one time him walking his bike back to the pits and just throwing it on the ground because he was so mad. It was pretty funny because 20 seconds later, he looked around and put his bike back on his stand before his sponsors showed up. He still went out there and managed to place podium. To me, that is some serious dedication and someone I would want to look up to.
What is your favourite track and why?
My all-time favourite is definitely Bear Creek. I learned on that track and I just feel so confident and fast on that track. I also really enjoy Williams Lake and Milestone in California.
Who is your hero?
I have two: my uncle, Cam McQueen, and my brother, Carson McQueen. My Uncle Cam wrote a paper in high school saying that when he grew up he wanted to be a Monster Truck Driver. His teacher told him that was ridiculous and to rewrite his paper. He decided to not listen to the negativity and today he drives the Northern Nightmare Monster Truck and has a Guinness World Record for the first to complete a backflip. He inspires me to pursue the things I want to do and not listen to anyone who tells me differently.
My brother is my other biggest inspiration. We’re best friends and he has come so far in motocross and taught me so much of what there is to know, whether it’s changing an air filter or just checking the tire pressure. He continues to train as hard as he can and do everything he possibly can to pursue something professional in dirt biking.
What were your goals for this season?
I started off the year by crashing or stalling in every single one of my races. Not kidding. So, my biggest goal was just to stay on two wheels and get those starts down.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
My whole year has been such an accomplishment. I started in January. I managed to complete my whole outdoor season with a 5th place overall. I finished my first National race and got a feel for what that was going to be like for this year. In the BC Championships, I placed 2nd overall in the series. This year’s Arenacross series started off amazing; I felt confident I would place podium. In the final race, I tangled up with another rider and got my thumb caught in her sprocket. I left that race with 13 stitches and a broken thumb. Needless to say, I was unable to complete the race and get that podium spot. The whole series was a great learning curve for me. I am looking forward to next year’s outdoor season as I am a much bigger fan of outdoor than I am of indoor racing.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
I love the atmosphere of a dirt bike track. It’s mostly guys so there’s never much drama. A couple of my best friends race and I always love going to see them. One of them is Zoey Shamley. We’re always motivating each other to be better and push each other to the limits. If there is ever a battle going on on the track, there is a very good chance that we are involved. All of the guys make it very enjoyable as well. We’re all super-close and when we’re not focused on racing, we manage to get ourselves into some sort of mischief and have a great time.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
Like I said, I am a full-time student so I don’t have much time for anything else. But I love hanging with friends and having bonfires, going quad-ing, off-road-ing or 4×4-ing. If I’m not doing homework, I always manage to find something fun to do.
Is it important to have a motocross as a boyfriend/partner or just a bonus?
It would definitely be a bonus (Laughs)! It would be kind of weird finding someone that isn’t into dirt biking just because my family and I do spend most of our time involved in motocross. I don’t think it is necessary, but it would be nice to find someone that is in love with the same things as me.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
Some people say that they don’t want their children to get into racing because of how dangerous it is, but I think it’s what keeps a lot of children out of trouble and danger. Everything comes with risks. I just hope my children will be as interested in dirt biking as I am.
Who do you want to thank?
Where do I begin? I’d like to give a huge thank you to Barry Wellings at Valley Moto Sport. He has done so much for me. Rod Matechuk with RMR Suspension, Brendan Sopel with LimeNine Graphics, a big thank you to Kourtney Lloyd for setting me up with some gear, and my final thanks goes to my dad, Stuart McQueen, my mom, Erin McQueen, and brother, Carson McQueen. None of this would be possible without these people. I’m excited for the 2016 season and looking forward to working with my newest sponsors Bernie Denis, Thibault and Scott. And one more thank you to Jeff for this opportunity!