But for all the comparisons to the sport’s most-celebrated rebels from before, Lawrence’s act wasn’t really legit until he backed up his actions in the pits with victories on the racetracks. A washout season in 2006 didn’t help, but he jumped back into the fray last year by getting on the podium and racing at the front. Actual wins, though, still eluded him.
He finally started getting those wins earlier this year, and then used a calculated strategy to reel in Ryan Dungey in the West by beating him on the track while trying to annoy him off of it. Then J-Law turned in a second-place finish at Seattle to notch the Western Region Lites SX Championship.
Say what you want about his program, but Lawrence has taken positive strides as a racer in the past three years, which means somewhere behind the “doesn’t-train, doesn’t-care” persona comes a legit racer who wants to win, only now he knows how to find a way to do it. Does Lawrence test? Does he practice his skills? Does he take anything seriously at all?
Before this championship, it was hard to say. Now we know Lawrence the racer is legit, which means his act off of the racetrack is likely to stick around for a long, long time.