Rev Up: Phoenix

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. Boom! Supercross is back on the attack, another incredible A1 is in the books, and now everyone is on the edge of their seats wondering what Phoenix, and the first dry track of the season, will be like. There are still a lot off questions to be answered and more than a few riders with something to prove. We’re going to get Revved Up for Phoenix here in the paragraphs to come, but I also need to insert something special into this column as I have just experienced an event that gave me a renewed and strengthened appreciation as to how powerful our sport is.

There is just something about Motocross and Supercross that makes it unique. The danger, the travel, and the camaraderie create a different kind of human being it seems. I mean, walk into a room of people at a “normal” function and almost every motocross racer can pick out the people in the room that are also motocross guys or girls. It isn’t because of the logo on their hat, or their shoes, you can just tell I suppose. It’s the way they carry themselves. You can see their confidence and inner strength when they walk. And you can always tell a motocross kid by the way he talks to his father. Well, this week’s column comes to you from the passenger seat of DC’s big red Toyota Tundra and we just watched a motocrosser say goodbye to his father before he took off to race this weekend. It was the saddest experience I can remember, but it was also inspiring. It made me realize why all of us get so pumped up to watch motocross racing and are so passionate about it.

Hold that thought and those feelings for a moment, I’ll bring it together at the bottom. For now, let’s take a look at this Saturday night’s main events.


How about the action last weekend with these boys? Nothing like a five rider freight train to begin the season! Sure, the mud made for more of a crap shoot scenario, but hey, the racing I saw on live television had me jumping up and down and screaming at the television. Never mind how much Jason Lawrence is going to want to try to win again after coming close—he wants to bad, that for sure—but think about guys like Brett Metcalf that crashed out, or Jake Weimer who didn’t even make the main. I promise you those guys are going to be bringing the heat in a big way. In fact, Weimer is my dark horse pick to win this weekend. But Dungey looks super tough and even faster than last year. Austin Stroupe was fast, and Justin Brayton will be looking to back that podium up with another top five or better. Serious props to Brayton, by the way.

Then you have Dan Reardon, Tommy Hahn, and Broc Hepler who all have race winning speed. That’s what is so great about this group. Absolutely anything can, and usually does happen.

Well, well, well things didn’t turn out quite the way we thought they would, did they? Then again, the poll on Racer X had Chad Reed and James Stewart almost neck and neck. And with what I saw last weekend, even without Bubba’s first turn crash, those two would have threw down, toe to toe, for 20 laps. Was it the mud? Was it first race jitters?

I tell you what, Chad Reed showed up ready to fight. Ole boy goes out and stacks it up huge in practice, then eats it again in his heat race. All it did was piss him off and make him go faster. He came back and won that heat race, then blistered the main event. He looked strong, aggressive, and, best of all, confident. I don’t always agree with his interviews or some of what he has to say, but I love watching that dude race when he’s determined. His effort last weekend deserves praise and I’m giving him two big chest thumps.

Now I want to see him and James get out together and chuck it for 20. Let’s get Tedesco in there in the middle. Let’s get #800 out there with a holeshot, and have Langston, Ferry, Cobra, KW, Short, and ‘saps trading fork guard paint.

The conditions will be perfect. No excuses. Just good, clean, racing.

That’s what it’s all about. And that’s what I’ve seen for most of my years in this sport. It’s what’s kept my interest and my passion all these years and makes every race so special. And this weekend is very, very special for one particular Supercross racer and his family. This Saturday night will mark the first race of Gavin Gracyk’s career without his father, Gary. A little over an hour ago I listened to Gavin talk in the church about the times he and his Dad spent together racing as he said goodbye. It was extremely heart wrenching, but it was beautiful at the same time. Gavin talked about how grateful he was for his father getting him into motocross, and spoke about the great times they shared across the nation and in different countries. It was just astonishing to see how much motocross had enhanced their lives. It reminded me how simple life is. We get so wrapped up in menial politics, grudge matches, and bickering that sometimes we forget what matters.

I want to wish good luck to everyone racing this weekend, but send a special nod to Gavin. And I want to ask all of you attending the event to scream as loud as you can for #273. That is a good, strong, proud, racer right there, folks.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.