A while back I decided I wanted to give back to the sport in the way of a contest for a lucky fan who would get to hang out with me at a race and get to write “Observations.” When I brought this idea up to DC here to help me promote it, he suggested I hold the contest for a privateer.
So that’s where it all started. I asked for submissions and got quite a few. Out of all of those, I chose 20-year old Ozzy Barbaree of White Hall, AR to be my guy. The added bonus of winning the contest was having me work as the mechanic for the day. I thought that with my motivational tricks/sand set-up advice, there would be no stopping Barbaree. With the added horsepower of a Pro Circuit Ti-4GP exhaust system, it should have been easy to go 1-1 on the day. At minimum I was expecting a 4-3.
Well, it didn’t work out that well, as the Ozz-man tells us below. No matter, I was happy and he was happy for everything. Thanks to Pro Circuit for the resources and the pipe to do this contest, Answer Racing for the three sets of custom gear they made for Barbaree, Scott for the five sets of goggles that John Knowles built, ONE Industries for the graphics, Bridgestone for the tires, Canidae Kawasaki for the water and Team Suzuki for the umbrella and the pitboard. Oh, and Racer X for the ability to get this contest out there to help a deserving rider.
Racer X: Talk about your day Ozzy, as short as it was. Ozzy Barbaree: Well the day was hectic. It started out tough as we were an hour late getting here and did a lot of running around before we could get set. It just didn’t go according to plan. They put me in the seeded practice when I thought I was going to be in the unseeded practice, so I waited there and then went out and rode pretty good but I got tight. I guess I was putting too much pressure on myself. It ended up that I didn’t make the motos.
I had fun out there but it wasn’t the fun that I wanted to have. I didn’t ride to the best of my ability and I think it showed in a poor result. I know I can do better.
How was it having all the free stuff and your expenses paid? Well it was definitely a nice change of pace. I have never really had anything given to me before. My dad and I have to work hard for all our stuff and pay cash for it. It was awesome and a great experience, I really can’t stress how cool it was.
Did you see me put those stickers on? That was really good huh? Oh, hey that was awesome. I never saw anyone put stickers on that fast.
And I washed it for you… Yeah, that was great… actually, I’ve seen better wash jobs than that before (laughs).
Yeah, the teams weren’t too pumped on me using much water. Nah, it was all good really.
What’s your plan for the rest of the season? Well, I’m not going to Steel City and the plan is to just go back and finish school out. Hopefully I can find some people to help me out where I live and I can get a supercross track built to get good at that. Just need to get back into the gym and get stronger and faster, y’know?
What are you going to school for? I’m going to school for respiratory care and I should have my degree in May.
So if I pass out walking up this hill, you can bring me back to life? Yep, anything that has anything to do with any airway problem. I have it covered; I’m a first responder and know what to do.
Fantastic, who do you want to thank for this? I would love to thank my dad for all that he’s done for me, Cycle and Marine Supercenter, Answer, Pro Circuit, Scott, ONE, Bridgestone and a local dealership called Baxley’s Motorcycle parts.