Spring is right around the corner and old man winter can get the crap out of dodge. Riding time is almost here, folks. The warm weather is going to break through the dreary cold and before we know it we're going to be spending a lot more time outdoors. The other things that have my stoke-meter pegged is the status of motor racing in America. In the past two weeks, I've been to the Daytona 500 and the Atlanta Supercross. The NASCAR media was spraying fodder about there being empty seats and it being the lowest attended event since the ‘70s. There were 300,000 people there. Then, last Saturday night, I watched a supercross race inside a sold-out Georgia Dome. Times are tough, but people are still going racing, damn it. I caught myself participating in this cold cloak of negativity a couple weeks ago and had to check myself. And here is one more thing to be stoked about: The Indianapolis Supercross is this Saturday night. Go ahead and reach down and make sure the choke is off, push your fingers back on the bars and roll that neck. Let's Rev it!
Austin Stroupe had them in the hurt locker last weekend until he stalled it. He's faster than Pourcel, but hasn't put it together yet. He should be able to get the job done this weekend if he can keep it on two wheels and keep the fire lit. Nico hasn't been as strong as I thought he was going to be, but he's been unlucky as well. He's tough, and still has the speed and a lot of time left to get into the points chase. Blake Wharton hasn't gotten a start yet, but when he does I think he can run with the Monster boys. I don't know, though, Mitch's boys are salty as usual. People have said a lot about Payton's teams over the years, but not enough. Is it the most dominant organization in the history of the sport? More successful than Team Honda? I keep asking myself what he could do with a 450 team. For now, you're either with him or losing to him in the Lites class.
Okay, I haven't written much about James Stewart this season. To my defense, I've been trying to keep the flame alive for hope of somebody beating him. After watching him race 20 laps with my own eyes, I realize that hope is all but gone. Mother of Pearl, that guy is good. Sometimes you can see where he is faster and maybe a guy like Reed can emulate, but other things he does on the bike can only be described as P.F.M. "Pure" and "Magic" being the operative words in that acronym. He was dusting off the whoops like they were corduroy pants, then he would cut the corner so tight and so fast he was almost halfway down the straight away before your eyes can catch up. As Muhammad Ali liked to say, "I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark." Well, Stewie was even faster than that in Atlanta.
Before I go, I want to remind everyone that the next time I talk to you it will be March Madness and we'll be that much closer to Spring. Yes, things are tough right now, but it's all in what you make of it. Happiness is a choice. Take a deep breath and focus. Spiral out and keep going.
...or just go to the races.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.