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Thursday Rev-Up: 'Tis the Season

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James Stewart might have figured it all out - just like he did on the 125
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up. This time of year always gets me. The season of giving, huh? Well, I took a trip down “the plaza” the other day to take part in a little holiday cheer and buy some gifts for family and friends. After battling ferocious bumper-to-bumper traffic, mostly consisting of SUVs with Prozac-chewing, latte-chugging soccer moms at the helm, I was once again met with the same reality I arrive at each and every year: The holidays are tough. Yeah, I saw some giving going on … saw traffic cops giving out parking tickets like they were Christmas cards, and I was given “the bird” by a nice lady who didn’t share my goal of parallel parking.

Driving as a whole during this time a year is terrible. We just had a foot of snow here in Kansas and the roads were ice rinks for two days. There were cars in ditches everywhere—90 percent of them SUVs, which looked as though they were traveling over the posted speed limit at the time of their demise. Hey folks, 70 mph on ice won’t work; don’t let the “traction control” option on your Lincoln Navigator fool you. The snow is even better when it melts. My truck has been a beautiful shade of chalky gray from the 32:1 slush-to-road-salt mixture on the roads. In addition, I have gone through two bottles of windshield-washer fluid in the last two weeks!

RC to Terry Boyd: "Let's not give that trophy away just yet."
Another thing that caught my attention was the activity at each and every liquor store I passed. One of my friends is a wine rep, and he takes orders and stocks some of the bigger liquor stores in the Kansas City area. I haven’t seen much of him in the past couple of weeks. He left me a voicemail the other day with only one word: madness. Why do people drink so much during the holidays? Is it to celebrate the divine birth? (You know, ‘cause he was such a party guy.) Is it because it’s so damn cold? Or maybe it’s the annual gathering of in-laws, in which most cases, a little whiskey helps smooth the mood?

It’s probably a combination of all of them. Nonetheless, the masses tend to get smashed this time of year, and with great enthusiasm. I realize all this sounds cynical and reeks of “bah, humbug” mentality, but I am one of those people that cringe when I walk through the airport the day after Thanksgiving and hear “Jingle Bells” playing over the airport terminal speakers. I scoff at the notion that it is everyone’s noble responsibility to expend their entire paycheck buying things for people—who most of the time will exchange or never wear it. Everyone has that sweater with the wolf’s head embroidered on it that Aunt B. gave you that is being eaten my moths in their closet, right?

I guess it’s not all bad. I enjoy the glow of my neighbor’s Christmas lights beaming through my bedroom window at 4 a.m. and the repetitious phone calls asking you “What do you want?” Heck, I’m almost 30, unless it’s a 60-inch plasma TV or a trip to Hawaii, I’ll buy it myself or I already have it. With that, I think you feel me on my view of the most wonderful time of the year.

Villy should be more fit - and faster - for a new start at Anaheim
Baah … okay, we just had two amazing weeks of racing up in Canada. Let’s go over the good, the bad, and the ugly of Toronto and Vancouver.

The Good


Speed Channel. Supercross belongs on that channel. ESPN is for stick and ball sports. Speed has the resources to deliver what the motor sport fanatic yearns for: state-of-the-art camera angles, solid commentary, and a clean and organized production. I’m way stoked to see the next-day coverage on the motor sport broadcasting giant.

“New Beginning.” Carmichael has been ruling with an iron fist for long enough—he’s still the man, but we want to see some racing! James Stewart appears to have matured in his demeanor on and off the track. He’s had a couple spills here and there, but the kid looks smooth, he has been cool on the mic, and no more “sprinkler” or “worm” action after capturing the checkers. And I like the big # 7. The #259 looked to bunched up on the plates. I give James a golf clap for his effort thus far. Ah, but like Ricky said, “I wouldn’t give out the trophy just yet.”

The Bad

It’s been said before and I will reiterate that the level of parity in professional supercross is awful. Hey, Michael Byrne, David Vuillemin, Nick Wey, and Heath Voss are unbelievable supercross riders. But James lapped them. A race where the leader is able to lap into the top five leaves a little to be desired. Hey, we are changing with the times. New sponsors, new machines, new class names. Let’s keep the innovation rolling and throw some monkey wrenches into the possibility of someone winning by 20 seconds and lapping up to fifth. Let’s maybe invert them at the halfway point! Could we command a pit stop to make adjustments? Make it a 30-lap main? Award passing points? Award points of leading and leading the most laps? Let’s experiment a little. How about, say, try it in an arenacross race first? Not much to lose and mountains to gain. Ernie and LaRocco will be entering the fray at Anaheim, and Vuillemin will certainly be more in tune with his new ride. That will help, but losing Kevin Windham is going to hurt.

The Ugly


Denny, please tell Ralph he's doing great, but there's no James Reed out there!
I am proud to say, I didn’t see much ugliness in Toronto and Vancouver. Sure, there could have been more butts in the buckets, and if Ralph Sheheen says “James Reed” one more time I’m going postal. All the same, things look pretty cherry (and Ralph is good). Only thing ugly around here is my attitude toward the holidays. Maybe if they took place during springtime?

Okay, that’s all I have for you wonderful folks this week. Stay tuned next week for a special Christmas addition of the Rev-Up. My mood always changes for the better the closer we get to the 25th. I’ll have something that will hopefully deliver with a warm and fuzzy feeling and big smiles. Kind of like the feeling I got when I shoved my way by an old lady to grab the last black iPod Nano at the Apple Store on the plaza! Mwaahaha!

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

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