Ask Ping

July 20, 2007 6:46am | by:

Hey Ping, You know that T-shirt that says “BOORING” that makes fun of NASCAR (by using it’s logo)? Check this out: When you have 40 guys that make the field in the motocross class and only two have a chance of winning, don't you think that is a little boring? Really, what do you have to say about that Mr. Smarty pants? Get real dude, this sport will never make mainstream until 10 or 12 out of 40 have a good shot at winning. 
Look forward to hearing from you!
Dion. Covina, Ca

Dear Dion,

I would love to be able to tee off on you right now like John Daly after a few dry martini’s but the truth is…(drum roll please)… you’re right. That is one of the biggest problems our sport has in terms of appealing to a broader audience. If you aren’t a rider yourself or a very loyal fan to the sport, why would you tune in every week when you already know which rider is going to win? You wouldn’t. And that’s why there are very few new viewers that see a show on television or a race in person and become “NASCAR”-type fans.
     Have you seen the knuckleheads that follow that stock car racing series around? They live out of beat-up old mobile homes and travel the circuit with a banjo and a year’s supply of apple sauce from Costco just to support their favorite guy. It borders on obsession, really. So, how do we get more winners in the premier class? I think we need to focus on getting more Lites riders up into the 450 class. The problem now is that there aren’t any rides available for those guys. That has been a problem for a couple decades. The Lites class is competitive because there are a lot of good rides available. More rides would relate to more depth in the class and better racing. That still doesn’t change the fact that Bubba is going to win 99% of all the races for the next four, five or six years. And I don’t have an answer to that unless we can get James to stay home. (Oh, did you catch the racing at Unadilla? It was awesome!)


Dearest Ping,
I have a question perhaps you can shed some light on. Speaking in terms of decades, we call them the ‘20s, ‘30s, ‘80s, etc.  But what are going to call the first 10 years of this century?  I've never heard the first ten years (1-10), or the next 10 years (11 - 20) ever referred like that.
Dale Clark, in SoTex,

Totally wordless

photo: Simon Cudby

Dear Dale,
I have absolutely no response to that. You’ve left me, as Ryan Dungey would say, totally wordless.

Dear Ping,
I love reading your columns in both Racer X Illustrated and  However, lately you have been making some comments that I find somewhat offensive towards certain readers of the magazine and website.  You have been making comments towards "illegal" immigrants like, "They would rather force you to sell your bike in order to pay higher taxes so that illegal aliens citizens can la-di-da across our border, give birth and force our government to pay for their medical bills and their child’s education."
I've seen like 3 or 4 comments like this by you in the website and in the magazine and I think that they're insulting to people like me who came to this country for various reasons like political/religious persecution and to find economic opportunities that we didn't have in our home countries.  Your comments make it seem like we are law breaking criminals who put a strain on this system and feed from the government like leeches from blood. 
     I'm sorry to inform you but you are far from the truth in this subject and need to inform yourself; I don't break the law, pay my taxes just like anybody else, and was able to pay for my college education without federal aid and such.  You are a great rider and seem like a good person so I would appreciate if you stopped targeting people who found themselves in situations like mine and love the sport of motorcycle racing just like you. 
     I also have to add that I was in Lake Havasu during the WORCS race and cheered you on and splashed water on you every single time you came by the lake even though it was hella hot and I was already exhausted from my race earlier that day.
G, somewhere in California

Dear Gary,
I’ve received a couple e mails like this one making me sound like the spawn of Hitler. Let me clarify this: I am not racist. I don’t even separate my lights and darks when I do laundry. The point I was making when I swerved into that political minefield a couple weeks back is that we have too many people coming to this country illegally. Here’s a couple stats to back up my thought: Over 40% of the workers in LA County are working for cash and not paying taxes. Over 2/3 of all births in LA County are to illegal aliens whose births were paid for by taxpayers and if that doesn’t get your attention, 95% of all warrants for murder in LA are for illegal aliens.  And, for the record, illegal alien is a term used to describe ANYONE that is not in this country legally. I don’t care if you are Mexican, Canadian, Chinese, English, Japanese or Portuguese…nobody should be in this country illegally. I understand that the USA is a great place to live and many people want to come here. I also know that our legalization system is flawed right now. Still, breaking the law is not acceptable. The fact is, if you are here illegally, then you are breaking the law and that makes you a criminal. And if you are working here and not paying taxes, then you are taking advantage of our country and that isn’t fair to citizens playing by the rules and especially not to our military troops who are dying every day to defend it.
     Now, Gary, it sounds like you went through the proper channels and you pay taxes and have done things the right way; and that is awesome. The fact that you educated yourself is phenomenal and you show more drive than many people born in this country. I’ve got no beef with you. You became a citizen the same way everyone else here did, if look back far enough, and that is great. So let’s just get back to talking about dirt bikes and I’ll leave the politics to our elected officials. Deal?
     On a final note I want to say thank you. Normally I would not appreciate having muddy water thrown at me but during that race in Lake Havasu it was the best thing in the world. I’m pretty sure you saved my life that scorching hot day.