Frid'Eh Update:Presented by Royal Distributing
AUGUST 22, 2008
By Danny Brault, Allison Kennedy, Brett Dailey and Jason T. Griffiths
It’s a wrap. The 2008 Monster Energy MX National tour is put to bed after a great day of racing at the final round in Walton, Ontario. We watched Blackfoot’s Colton Facciotti claim his first Canadian national title in MX1, KTM’s Eric Nye steal away the MX2 title from talent on both sides of the Mississippi, Dean Wilson race—and win—his first pro moto, Kyle Keast “doze” his way through the pack one last time, and Blair Morgan go 2-2. What a day and what a summer.
Those highlights only touch on what really went down at the Lee’s family farm last week. There were also 21 amateur champions crowned in “Motocross Town.” A big congratulations goes out to each and every rider for giving it their all at the biggest outdoor race in Canada. It’s not easy competing on a national stage against our country’s best. I can remember in my youth feeling so nervous, pumping up on the Walton starting line and just wanting the whole thing to be over. These days I prefer to stand on the fence lines and cheer everyone else on.
Here’s a shout out to this year’s Walton TransCan champions:
50cc Pee Wee (4-6): Nicholas Cryer
50cc Pee Wee (7-8): Tanner Ward
60cc Pee Wee (7-11): Michael Da Silva
85cc 7-11: Michael Da Silva
85cc 12-16: Richard Grey
Supermini: Cole Thompson
Youth: Kyle Stephens
Vet Master: Ryan Gauld
Plus 40: Matt Crown
Ladies: Jolene Van Vugt
MX3 Junior: Bobby Davies
MX1 Junior: Eric Jeffery
MX2 Junior: Bobby Davies
MX2 Junior B: Geoff Monk
MX3 Junior B: Simon Lessard
MX2 Intermediate: Dylan Kaelin
MX1 Intermediate: Ryan Millar
MX3 Intermediate: Dylan Kaelin
Vet Junior: Nick Jovanovic
Plus 25: Ryan Gauld
Schoolboy 12-15: Spencer Knowles
Again, congrats guys! Orange Motorsports KTM’s Grey was fast and consistent all week and it earned him the Gaerne Bronze Boot from SixSixOne Canada. What really impressed me about Grey was his ability to run the pace of Knowles (a points getter at the pro nationals) in the Schoolboy class. Grey does have more time on a two-stroke 125, but regardless, it’s showing the pace of our amateurs.
The intermediate class is always a good one to follow at Walton. It features many kids who are on the verge of their pro careers. This year, Dylan Kaelin, Ryan Millar, Kurtis Ritchie, Brandyn Cowie and Spencer Knowles all showed that the future looks bright. Kawasaki’s Ritchie made the long drive from his home in Timmins, Ontario once again. Ritchie not only had results but some impressive come-from-behind rides as well, helping to earn him the Rick Joseph award as the top Ontario intermediate. Kaelin was arguably the fastest yellow plate rider. He won the MX2 and MX3 titles and was a contender for MX1 until he crashed in the first corner of the second moto and scored no points.
Zach Heydeman was the recipient of this year’s Racer X Total Devotion award. It’s never easy choosing someone for this award, as every amateur racer on the line at Walton shows devotion simply by being out there. However, there can only be one and we thought Heydeman’s qualities met the criteria. The kid attends school year-round, never breaking for a month of training down south. He’s polite, friendly and a good representative of Atlantic motocross; and, of course, he can ride a bike really well. At Walton, Heydeman’s best result was a third in one moto. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much of an opportunity to match that finish after compressing his back at the halfway point, putting an end to his week. It also meant we wouldn’t be able to inform Zach in person, but he was no less surprised and thankful in our phone conversation. I spoke with Zach’s dad in Moncton this year and he mentioned that while his son is fast and talented, he hasn’t quite figured out a program yet. Hopefully, with this honour, which includes a free week stay at the Millsaps Training Facility, Zach reaches his motocross goals. We know he has the devotion.
Cole Thompson had a difficult week at Walton, too. The Cernic’s rider did walk away with one championship, in Supermini, but a crash that left him with a lacerated spleen put him out of contention in 85cc 12-16 and Schoolboy. Cole’s brother, Jay, also said it was discovered that he was riding with a broken collarbone suffered at the World Junior race in the Netherlands. Tough kid!
Check out these links for more info, results and updates posted from this year’s Walton TransCan:
Wednesday Update, Thursday Update, Walton TransCan, and Results.
Hear any good rumours lately? I’m sure everyone’s heard the one about Jeremy Medaglia racing for Yamaha of Troy this weekend at Southwick? From everything I’ve gathered, this is true, and as stated on the forums, the Medaglia family did want to keep this somewhat private until the last minute. As we all know, that’s tough to do with the “internet.” As a fan, I can’t wait to see how little Medags rides this weekend. That boy likes sand, has ridden Southwick lots and really wants it. Go get’em Jer Bear! Interesting to note that this Frid'Eh update is #34.
The eldest of the two Medaglia brothers, Tyler, is racing the ‘Wick as well. On Sunday night, his father, Derrick, told me Tyler would sit this one out after two hard crashes in Sand Del Lee and Walton. But Tyler is a fierce competitor and no doubt wants to prove his current level of riding in the biggest outdoor MX series.
Machine Racing Honda’s Kyle Keast is also joining the Medaglia brothers at Southwick. “The Welder” finally got his AMA paperwork finished and is looking forward to his first ever AMA national. It’s been quite the year for Kyle who just finished fifth overall in MX1 and is surely in line for a factory job. You can listen to Keast’s thoughts on his season and future right here at www.canadianmxradio.com. Oh, yeah, and I’m on there too and that's reason enough to tune into episode #10 of Canadian MX Radio.
The Destroyer Films fellows finally made it back to their Maritime homes safe and sound and uploaded the latest Racer X Canada/Destroyer Films Moto Show from Walton. Sponsored by the fine decibel lowering folks at Ignition Racing! Normally, I lock Chris and Cody in a hotel room with a jug of water and apple cores until 4 AM to finish the shows. But I figured that with it being the final race, they could muck it up at the crazy Walton bonfire on Sunday night. Those guys do good work and they did it once again in this final installment of the Moto Show. Check it out here.
All right, it’s time for some unfortunate news from this week: Racer X Canada is retiring. Here is the official PR:
Effective immediately Racer X Canada will cease publication of our printed magazine, digital magazine and the production of new editorial content for our website. Our website will remain open for a limited time with access to our three online publications, the Moto Show episodes from the 2008 CMRC Canadian Nationals and Steve Matthes’ Podcasts.
We’ve had a great run producing Racer X Canada. We've witnessed and documented many great moments in our country's motocross history. We have been blessed to work with such a talented crew of individuals and we are looking forward to other business ventures.
Our decision to cease operations has nothing to do with the riders, the teams, or the industry that surrounds our beloved sport in Canada. We were welcomed with open arms by just about everyone concerned with the sport, and we feel that our goal to make a better motocross magazine and website was achieved and maintained.
Unfortunately, as we tried to grow our own publication and help grow our sport, we were continually thwarted by the restrictions placed on us and every other publication by the promoter of the national series as part of an exclusive deal with another publication. After first paying for the right to participate in the series, distribution at the races was banned last year, competing publications were no longer permitted to advertise on the track at the nationals or able to market themselves in vendor row, even at a fee. In other words, our reward for trying to help grow the series and the sport was to be pushed out.
While it’s too late for Racer X Canada, we call upon the CMRC and Stallybrass Promotions Inc. to abandon the current media exclusivity policy and promote greater competition in the Canadian motocross media market. Canadian motocross fans and the industry alike deserve a choice when it comes to media and changes are needed to enable publishers to compete effectively to the benefit of all Canadian consumers.
We would like to thank our many faithful readers, advertisers, riders and teams for their support over the past five years. It’s been quite a rewarding journey. We’ve worked with a wonderful team and we hope you have enjoyed reading Racer X Canada as much as we have enjoyed producing it. We even hope to one day resurrect the magazine and website, should the restrictions be eased enough to where there’s a fair chance to grow the audience within the sport. But as it stands, we cannot continue.
Thank you for your support. See you at the races.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make. All of us involved put a lot of time, effort, love, and money into this project. I can honestly say that RXC is the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of. Unfortunately, sometimes, good things must come to an end. In celebration of the best Canadian MX magazine/website, RXC’s editorial team of Brett Dailey, Jason T. Griffiths, Allison Kennedy, and myself, would like to share our favourite stories from our time with this great publication and the entire team.
I will let our senior editor, Allison Kennedy, kick things off….
|Allison Kennedy did an amazing job bringing readers into the Morgan family home in this feature in the first issue of RXC.|
Sitting down with Superman
When RXC first got its start, we dreamt up a few feature ideas that we thought worthy of the inaugural issue. Blair Morgan was returning to racing after his extremely ugly Nanaimo crash. I called Blair up and told him about the new Racer X Canada venture and asked if I could visit his Saskatchewan home. Blair welcomed my sister and I with open arms, his son Corbin greeted us at the door and his wife Terry and daughter Breck were great hosts too. I was pretty nervous, but for those of you who know Blair, you know he’s just a regular guy (who happens to be remarkably fast) and he quickly puts you at ease. We had dinner with the family, watched some terrible movie starring The Rock, visited his llamas, and Blair even pulled out a zip lock baggie with the hardware from his recently healed ankle. It’s hard to believe the level that Blair is riding at now, considering that Nanaimo injury could easily have been a career-ender. Thanks again for the hospitality, Blair.
It's tough making a living, it's even tougher making a living and racing motocross as we discovered in this story of four Canadian privateers chasing their dreams.
The Privateer Story
While someone like Blair Morgan is no stranger to media exposure, this next group of guys were pumped that I even knew their names. There is nothing more rewarding than sitting down with a rider who has been busting his butt to get noticed. During the Western swing of the MX2 series in ’06, I did just that. I scouted out four hard-working privateers who deserved some press and I told their stories: stories of 9 to 5 jobs, overnight drives and Manitoba farmers. Milo Christie, Josh Penner, Brock Hoyer and Andrew Belin appreciated the story more than anyone I’ve ever interviewed. I distinctly remember Milo buying all the copies of RXC at his local Mac’s because he was on the cover … as the 1-inch inset photo!
It was a pleasure watching Dusty Klatt's unlikely journey from his small town home on Vancouver Island to the big leagues in AMA SX/MX.
Visiting the Hood
The summer of 2006 capped off an amazing three years for Dusty Klatt. Having just won the MX1 title (after back-to-back MX2 titles) Klatt was king of the world. So how does the new king celebrate? With his end of the year BMX jam with his buddies in Campbell River. Dusty gave me an invite to the jam, and I quickly convinced JTG this was a must for the magazine. While some folks find Dusty a bit hard to talk to, we’ve always had a rapport. I got to see Dusty’s humble roots, spend a few days in the hood, and sit up until the wee hours of the morning talking about the future, the U.S., and his endless days of doing drills in the gravel pit. That story is probably the one I am most proud of to date.
I could go on and on about the memories I have and the friends I’ve made as part of Racer X Canada, but those of you who have spent your days at the races can already imagine what I’d say. Being a motojournalist is not about dropping names, it’s not about shaking Ricky Carmichael’s hand or getting backstage access to the biggest races in the sport, it is about families, it’s about friends, and it’s about courage. When I first stumbled into this sport seven years ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. As I leave behind the RXC venture, it is as a better person, with better friends, better memories and, ultimately, a great deal of respect for every single rider on the line. It was a privilege telling your stories and I hope that I’ve done them justice. When I see you at the races next, it will likely be with my daughter, Hannah, at my side. I look forward to her joining Canada’s MX family.
Take care and be safe
Thanks, Allison. On to you, Mr. Dailey….
First off, I’d like to thank Danny Brault for dreaming up the Frid’Eh Update and keeping it going since December, 2006. I believe there have been 90 installments and Danny never missed a week. There is always a ton of material in each update and it’s tough to keep it going while you’re on the road—and Danny is on the road a lot. As Jason Mitchell said on CMR this week, “consistency is the key to success.” Danny was certainly consistent and the Frid’Eh Update was certainly successful.
Now, then, on with some moto memories. Here are a few that stand out:
FOTW? Bill Chamberlain gives his son the thumbs up after qualifying at Budds Creek.
photo: Brett Dailey
Budds Creek, 2004
Pierce Chamberlain was on top of his game in the spring of 2004. Coming off a strong national series in ’03, Pierce was winning the Ontario provincial rounds handily and appeared to be riding a wave of progression. He had starts, he had stamina, he had youth—nothing could stop Pierce Chamberlain. Machine Racing’s John Nelson and I hopped in his truck and drove to Maryland to take in Pico’s first AMA National. When it comes to racing, I love the element of uncertainty. Nelson and I both knew he was fast but where would he stack up against the regulars on the AMA circuit? That aspect was fascinating. I felt like my own kid was lining up for the AMA nationals. Pierce rode well and achieved his goal of qualifying. Unfortunately, he started at the back of the pack in each moto and finished 26-25 and I think that affected his confidence more than he let on. He suffered a nasty ankle injury at the first Canadian round but still, he didn’t show his potential and he never seemed to regain his dominance. Maybe it was too early for Pierce and he should have waited for his AMA debut? What would have become of Chamberlain if he had come into the first Canadian round full of the confidence he showed in the spring? Tough decision and we will never know the answer but that’s racing. It’s interesting to note that Pierce beat Hansen, Nye, Gracyk and Maier and failing to qualify were: Kiniry, Buckelew, Collier, Marsack, Summey, and Hibbert. Oh what could have been Pico! Click here for a brief recap and some photos.
We were there to capture Dusty Klatt holeshotting at the Motocross des Nations
Motocross des Nations 2004
The 2004 MXdN was held in the deep sands of Lierop. Team USA did not attend and the Warthog pre-party (primarily an American audience) was full of buzz that Team Canada would land on the podium. The prediction seemed idealistic but fans had been reading about JSR, Morgan and Klatt all year they had confidence in our team. The first day went off with a bang. A young Dusty Klatt holeshot the MX2 qualifier (as you can see in the opening spread photo) and actually pulled away from guys like Ramon, Rattray, Barragan, Cairoli, Townley, Pourcel and others. Dusty led for a couple of laps but little did we know, the GP regulars were just starting to warm up by lap four. The leaders started launching off flat landers and moved past Klatt but, for a moment there, I thought the GP teams would be in a bidding war after the qualifier and we would lose Klatt to the GPs. Again, the uncertainty was thrilling. Klatt had incredible sprint speed and you never knew what to expect out of him. The entire weekend was filled with highlights. Blair Morgan put on a spirited ride in the MX2/Open moto that took him from the back of the pack to finish sixth. And to top it all off, JSR holeshot the final moto and the team collectively finished eighth overall, a record for Team Canada.
The most rewarding experience of my life.
Factory Rider Program 2007
While it’s unfortunate that RXC / Destroyer Films Factory Rider program was developed to contend with the implications of the exclusive media deal that was placed upon us a few months prior, the result was, without a doubt, the most rewarding experience of my life. We were determined to retain a presence at the nationals so I went out and purchased Toby Knowles’ Fun Mover and, with my wife and three kids in tow, set out on the cross-country tour. The RXC gang selected one or two hot local pros from each region and they pitted with us for the weekend. We helped out with some tires and lubricants, etc. from sponsors but the real objective was to give them some added exposure and hopefully help them get into a real factory ride for 2008.
Talk about uncertainty—I barely knew the Medaglia family when I rolled into Ste-Julie for the first round! Despite the abrupt introductions each weekend, we hit it off with all of the riders and families and I will always treasure the memories from pitting with Jeremy Medaglia (Ste-Julie), Kyle Stephens (Gopher Dunes), Josh Penner and Ryan Millar (Morden), Penner and Kyle Murphy (Regina), Jared and Parker Allison (Calgary), Andrew Belin (Nanaimo), Nathan Slater and Davey Fraser (Moncton) and Kaven and Karel Benoit (Sand-Del-Lee). The summer was filled with everything from thrilling rides to horrible crashes and mechanical DNFs and I have a newfound respect for moto families, as pro motocross is definitely an emotional roller coaster. I don’t want to dwell on this exclusivity deal but the whole summer I had to deal with turning fans away when they came to the truck asking to buy a magazine or t-shirt. It ultimately led to my decision to give the green light to my wife to take a job in New Zealand (she made the call from the track at the Regina national). On a more positive note, ten of those factory riders earned top 100 numbers for ’09. I’m sure you can imagine the pride I felt while following the ’08 series from abroad. I see that Destroyer Films has posted the Factory Rider videos on YouTube. Click here to check them out. You won't be disappointed!
That was tough to nail it down to three! Other strong memories include the straight-through 30-hour drive to Regina in 2004 to deliver our first-ever issue to the track. Also, spending a weekend with Allison Kennedy and Marco Dube at Riviere du Loup to see why Dube is such a local hero.
I must also add the many, many late nights with Rob Goth, the hand delivered Tim Hortons from Jamey Keast each Sunday, a campfire chat with Chris and Cody of Destroyer Films at Morden, hanging out at the Machine Racing shop with John, Bill, Flippy, Stu and the rest of the gang (always for an hour longer than I said I would) and finally, spending a couple of weeks with the ultra talented James Lissimore while travelling from Moncton to SDL and Walton in the Fun Mover. Although I will miss RXC tremendously, I have learned a valuable lesson about family from the motocross community. I have learned that you must first sacrifice your own dreams to enable your children to pursue their own. If I put even fifty percent of the effort and personal sacrifice into my own children as I saw from the factory rider families, my kids will be champions too.
One of the elements that set us apart from other magazines was our push to feature Canadian riders in advertisements. Here’s Pierce Chamberlain modeling the latest in Joe Boxer shorts.
Fox Canada always allowed us to design Canadian-specific ads. This is one of my favourite ads of all time.
And let’s not forget the Rollerball interview! If my wife hadn’t come knocking at the door, I might still be at Pederson’s house talking about the good old days.
You will notice in our announcement that we mentioned the media exclusivity deal. I saw some of the backlash on the forums directed toward the CMRC and that was unexpected and unfortunate but somebody had to take a stand. I would hope that if the series sponsors and teams were consulted prior to the deal, nobody would have voted for this arrangement. The turmoil has been detrimental. Multiple media sources are able to pay to set up—and sponsor—the U.S. nationals and the same opportunity should be presented in Canada. The combination of the distribution rights along with the exclusive vendor row/banner agreement is unprecedented. That’s it from New Zealand. Many, many thanks to everyone for the kind words that have flowed through my email box all week.
The Can-Am story, which ran in RXI in 2003, will always be special to me as most of the photos, including this opening spread of Jimmy Ellis winning Daytona, were shot by my uncle, Pete Dill. This feature, along with Jason Griffith’s Training Ground feature below, proved to RXI that we could pull off RXC from an editorial, photography and design perspective.
Geez, guys, can I get a word in here? This is my column after all. Just kidding, but I will take the reigns now before our editor, JTG, wraps things up.
You never know where life is going to lead you. Like a lot of kids growing up, I didn’t have any idea where I fit in or what I would do with my life. I did, however, know that motocross really appealed to me and I couldn’t shake this bug that bit me when I was four years old. I knew early on that a pro motocross career wasn’t in the cards; I just didn’t have the kind of desire needed to fulfill my racing dreams. So how else would I be able to stay connected and make a living in motocross without going fast?
Fortunately, the answer arrived just before I started applying for college. In the fall of 2003, I was introduced to Brett Dailey who was working with Inside Motocross (IMX) at the time and he helped me write my first feature on (guess who?) rising pro, Kyle Keast. The next year, I continued contributing material to IMX while Dailey, JTG, Allison, Dan O’Shea, Dawn McClintock, and Jolene Van Vugt developed Racer X Canada.
Then, in March 2005, I received a phone conference call from JTG, Brett and Allison asking me to join their incredible publication and vision. Obviously, we know my answer. That invitation to join the RXC party has led to so many memories, friendships and experiences and I just can't thank Team RXC for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. It's pretty hard to narrow down my most memorable moments from my time with RXC, so pardon me if I miss anything.
Kyle Keast has come a long way since he was featured in Danny Brault's first ever feature, "Polar Opposites," which compared the lifestyles of Keast and amateur prodigy, Kyle Chisholm.
Polar Opposites: This was the first feature that I wrote for RXC. I had barely traveled outside of Canada and here was Jason T. telling me that I would be flying down to Tampa Bay, Florida to spend a week with Team Green prodigy, Kyle Chisholm. I had never been so nervous, but fortunately, the Chisholm family welcomed me into their home. The angle of the story was to show the similarities and differences between rising MX stars in Canada and America. What better two subjects than a Loretta Lynn's champ and a working-class hero like Kyle Keast? As we all know, Keast and I have been good friends for a long time and it meant a lot to me to include him in my first major article.
Road Trips: There's nothing quite as entertaining as a good old fashioned road trip, especially when you're going to the races. I've been fortunate to be involved in many stories from the road. The first one that stands out was the journey from the Toronto SX to the Vancouver SX with the Burke brothers in December 2005. While I was involved in a few domestic disputes, mainly over which was healthier, chocolate or white milk, or brown or white bread, it was a great experience traversing Canada for the first time. This year's six-week adventure with Chuck Mesley was the perfect way to end my career with RXC. It seemed like a story was made everywhere we went and I made a new buddy at the end of it.
Total Devotion: I had the good fortune of spending time with our Total Devotion winners, Davey Fraser and Ryan Millar, during their stays at the Millsaps Training Facility in Cairo, Georgia. (Last year's winner Kyle McGlynn was unable to attend MTF due to prior commitments.) I enjoyed both of my stays at MTF with the up and coming riders and I swell up with pride every time each one is up front, battling with the best in Canada. I look forward to spending another week with Atlantic's Zach Heydeman and sharing his story in Racer X.
Newfoundlanders are the (sea) salt of Canadian motocross, as Danny Brault found out in his trip to the Brian House Memorial Race on Bell Island.
Take it away, Jason T.... Everything in the sport of motocross is earned—in theory anyway. To enter this world of motocross racing, you pull your bike up to the starting line and when the gate drops, you either show off your talent or you show off your heart and determination. The three top podium spots are awarded to those riders that display the best of all these elements.
When we started Racer X Canada we had to earn our right to produce the magazine too. There were no simple interviews—we wrote, shot, researched and designed two main features for Racer X Illustrated: “Training Ground” and “Can-Am Motorcycles: 15 minutes of Fame.” We had to show that we could dig into the event, and into history, to find the story that said the most to the audience in as few words as possible. Then we had to make it look good with great photos and design to boot.
Jason T's "Training Ground" story on the Canadian nationals and Dailey's Can-Am feature, both published in RXI, laid the groundwork for RXC.
We weren’t really competing against anyone other than ourselves, Davey Coombs’ vision, Bryan Stealey’s high quality standards and Langer’s design prowess.
The day we got the green light from managing editor Bryan Stealey to start producing Racer X Canada also started the adrenaline rush of a lifetime for me. Had there been champagne nearby I would have probably popped the cork and sprayed down the entire office. In reality, we all knew that our work had just begun. But all the long nights, crazy road trips and stress always had a purpose ... to bring Canadian motocross out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
There has never been a story in the magazine that I haven’t been proud of and I think our last issue has always been our best. But here are a few features that have stuck out in my mind:
Then and Now: These three BC kids have all achieved success in Canada and abroad.
THE DRAFT PICKS
Just prior to the first night that Racer X Canada made its first public appearance (at the Chilliwack Arenacross on a raw night in February 2004) Brett Dailey and I interviewed three incredibly talented Canadian riders that were coincidentally all friends, all the same age (born a week apart) and had been racing together in BC since they were five. It was the first time the trio of Colton Facciotti, Kyle Beaton and Brady Sheren were all back racing together and all racing the pro class with great sponsorship behind them. The moment marked a big change for Canadian Motocross as these three young riders mixed it up with the big boys. Today, Colton is now the Canadian Champ, Kyle Beaton has shown his talent and speed can win races and Brady has made his mark by posting impressive results in the U.S. Supercross series and earning top-level rides for his efforts. It’s fun to look back at this feature to see just how far these boys have come.
RXC celebrated supercross returning to Toronto by taking a look back at the most memorable indoor racing moments in Canada.
THE WAY IT WAS
The first time I discovered there was a Supercross in Toronto, I relentlessly bugged my parents to take me. I got there somehow and the racing was the coolest thing I had ever seen. When we found out in ’04 that the World Supercross was coming to Canada and Ricky Carmichael was on the pre-entry list, I really couldn’t believe I was going to witness the big show in my home country. Supercross in Canada was about to change big time and “The Way It Was” feature was my way of trying to capture the history of Canadian Supercross before it all changed. It wasn’t easy pulling together images, results and memories from years gone by. Results and rider lists were hard to find and we had to dig deep into Bill Petro’s photo archives to find images. Canadian Supercross, at the time, was all about the battle between our Canadian Icon, Ross “Rollerball” Pederson and a top U.S. challenger—be it Johny O’Mara, Rick Johnson or Jim Holley. The feature made it into the World SX Program, bringing together the lost history of 80’s and 90’s Canadian Supercross.
World Supercross was a huge opportunity for Racer X Canada and for Canadian motocross. Somehow, Davey Coombs was integral in bringing the big show into Canada. He has never shared any of the details, but we know. Thanks, DC!
Gopher Dunes wasn't easy on the riders when it debuted on the tour in 2005.
After we started Racer X Canada, Racer X owner Davey Coombs wanted to come up to Canada to watch a national. It was the first year Gopher Dunes was going to be running a national and we knew that track owner Frank Schuster was going to put on a great event so we had DC and Bryan Stealey come up to see the action at the Dunes. They were also there to give us our first report card. It was a nerve-racking time having them over to our barebones office across the road from the Hell’s Angels clubhouse. He didn’t care where we were, he was just interested in helping us make the best magazine possible. Ideas were flying around the room faster than we could write them down. Davey surprised us all by how much he knew about Canadian Moto. At the track, he was everywhere, interviewing riders, meeting with teams, running around the track without credentials, grabbing me every time he saw a perfect photo he wanted me to take. The article itself paid homage to all of the Schuster’s hard work and dedication in building the national and documented The Dunes as one of the toughest tracks in North America.
"Start Money" took us into the long standing Montreal Supercross and what makes it such a great show.
The Montreal Supercross is a phenomenon in my eyes. It’s not part of a series, just a one-time event that draws record crowds year after year. That’s all good, but there is something strange about the event in comparison to other races. Together, Allison Kennedy and I debated the story behind the Montreal Supercross. We couldn’t just do a race report about who won and who failed. Allison and I went back and forth about the angle for the story and somewhere along the journey we came up with the title “Start Money.” The article was a bold step that exposed the essence of the success for event. It wasn’t a dirty secret that the promoters paid riders to race the event, but we did expose the fact that the race was designed to be a spectacular show, picking riders that had similar speed to the Canadian King of the event: JSR. Allison dug deep with this feature, turning over a lot of stones to create a solid piece of journalism that rivals the type of writing found in top publications like Vanity Fair, Time and Macleans.
Darcy Lange's stint with Pro Circuit Kawasaki remains one of the most successful times for a Canadian in U.S. competition.
Allison Kennedy is an amazing person and we are proud that she was our senior editor. Not only does she write amazing motocross stories but she took time to become friends with riders and teams. She probably received the most number of hugs on the Canadian circuit—she’s obviously well liked. In 2007, Darcy Lange broke through a huge barrier for Canadians. He was called up to ride for the Pro Circuit team to contend the Eastern Supercross Lites series as a replacement for the injured Brett Metcalfe. I thought he would do well, but I never expected he would become a title contender. Lange was challenging for the lead in arguably the some of the most exciting motos in history. The nation was on its feet and Allison Kennedy brought the essence of Lange’s great accomplishment to paper in this amazing feature. Little did she know at the time but Darcy was discovering that he had a form of lymphatic cancer. Darcy’s supercross podiums and epic battles will always be seen as a pinnacle in Canadian motocross history.
The dream was realized, even if it were only for a moment.
CHASING THE DREAM
Davey Coombs is the Racer X reason for being, and I’ve always just been chasing the dream. There is something about motocross that pumps more blood through my veins than any other thing in the world. When I was given this opportunity to start Racer X Canada with Brett Dailey and Dan O’Shea, I could only dream that it would become this popular and that we could bring such a strong team together with Allison Kennedy, Danny Brault, James Lissimore, Dawn McClintock, Steve Matthes, Rob McCullough, Christa McCall, Jolene Van Vugt, Jay Moore, Dan Stenning, Bryan Stealey, Jeff Kocan and our Web team of Mike Almond, Dave Kramer and Cole Thorsen. Guys, thank you for making my dream come true!
We could have chosen to do anything in this world. We chose Canadian Motocross. We’re happy we did.