Ask Ping!

October 9, 2008 4:07pm | by:
Dear Ping,

How do retired motocrossers just one day strap their seat belts on and go onto be successful auto racers? We’ve seen it with Jeff Ward who nearly won Indy and now Carmichael. Is auto racing that easy where someone with no experience can be competitive in a couple years or are motocrossers just all around gifted. I don’t think Jeff Gordon could retire from auto racing and become a successful motocrosser, even if age wasn’t a factor.

Mike Baker


Dear Mike,

I think your question proves that motocross really is one of the most difficult and demanding sports there is. You’re right: Car racers, or any other type of athlete, would have some serious problems trying to make the podium in the expert class at Loretta Lynn’s, let alone at a supercross or motocross national. Car racers must have incredible hand-eye coordination, sharp mental focus and a southern drawl so heavy it makes Colonel Sanders sound like a Minnesota schoolteacher. Motocross racers must have hand-eye coordination, balance, sharp mental focus, muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, the ability to push through pain and testicles the size of cantaloupe melons. So, I guess when you have been to the absolute top level of our sport it makes it easier to transition into another sport like car racing. Remember though that Wardy and RC are two of the most talented riders and incredible athletes that our sport has ever had. Just because a guy can ride well doesn’t mean he can jump into a car and win races. I had to add those last two sentences because they are indeed true and also because I’m afraid Andy Bowyer is going to punch me in the mouth.


  • Maybe they are gay?
Hey Ping,

Just the other day I went to school with my No Fear jersey on. All the football jocks were saying that motocross is a pansy sport and that anyone could do it. So then I was calling football a gay sport. They all got mad. I have two bikes: a RM250 and a CR250F. I challenged a guy on the football team to a race at the local track, which happens to be Millville, and he said “No thanks” because he has never ridden a bike. Do you think that I should keep talkin’ trash to him until he finally leaves me alone about racing or until he finally rides??

Ozzie Goodman. 


Dear Ozzy,

I need a little more information before I can answer this question properly. For instance, how big are you and how well do you fight? If you are calling an entire football team gay then I imagine you are either a massive dude or you are the Ju Jitsu state champion and you know exactly how much pressure it takes to fracture a man’s arm and the easiest way to go about doing it. Either way… kudos to you. If you can crush a man’s windpipe with two fingers then I would suggest you continue taunting those kooks. If not, you might want to let it go. I’d hate to se you get pummeled over it, and the truth is your high school quarterback is probably a tool anyway. Most of the guys that are “super cool” in high school end up cigarette-smoking alcoholics working shifts at their local Lube-O-Rama after a few years in the real world. If you do get any of them out to the track please be sure to take pictures. I would love to see one of them on a gurney being tended to by a medic.


  • Life after MX for many riders

I read recently about NFL player LaRoi Glover receiving his college degree. He never finished college and had been out of school for many years. I was impressed as he's rich as a bitch already and really didn't need it. My question is how many famous former racers have done the same? For that matter, how many have even finished high school? Well I guess the world needs ditch diggers as well as scholars. I wonder how Jason Lawrence will end up in 15 years? Well off I hope.

Bill Bandy
San Diego, CA.

Dear Bill,

Dirt bikers aren’t very big on learning. Getting good grades takes a back seat to getting good results and for most of the current top pros a high school diploma just wasn’t in the cards. Of course there are exceptions, like Andrew Short, but he is not the norm. The guys that win a bunch of championships or have long, successful careers might make enough money to invest it and live modestly off their earnings but that is such a small number of guys. So, how many top pros have gone back to school after racing? Um, none that I know of. I’ve heard of a few that went to a trade school or something like that and one or two that went back and got their GED, but even that is pretty rare. So, here’s to making a ton of money while you can. Or, you know, digging ditches if that doesn’t work out.