The week serves as a "end of the road" scenario for a lot of these guys. It’s time to show up and blow up. Time to make the most of one shot. And don't over look the C classes lest you forget that the King of Supercross Jeremy McGrath won his title in the 125 C class back in 1987.
The third group is and has always has been my favorite. The Vet classes are filled with past champions, hobby racers, and some of the grittiest local heroes in the country. Making an appearance on the Loretta Lynn’s starting gate for the first time since 1992 will be Robbie Reynard. I can only imagine what he’ll be thinking when he reaches into the bucket to pull a spoon. He’ll face off in the Junior +25 class against multi-time champ, James Evans, defending champion, Keith S. Johnson, and about a dozen other extremely fast racers. Then, you have the +35 and +40 classes where the most prolific amateur champion in history, Kevin Walker, will try to win his 14th and 15th championships. All of the vet races will be filled with magic.
Speaking of magic, the true power of the event takes place off of the track. The fellowship of the fastest amateur racers in the universe nestled together on the Ranch is very special. They’ll establish friendships at the race that will last forever. Most of these kids live in a different world than the kids they go to school with. California kids will buddy up with southern boys and mid-west groms will meet others from the northwest. Along the way they might meet a girl for the first time at the creek or during one of the shows at the pavilion. They’ll all grow up and learn about some of life’s other wonders during the most important week of their young lives.
More magic arrives in tears of joy when a Mom or Dad gets to watch their son or daughter speak on the microphone as a champion. Even if they they didn’t win, you’ll see this scenario time and again if they rode their very best and left it all on the track.
I realize i’m being mushy and dramatic, but it’s hard to put into words what this races means to me and my family. My brothers and I competed and won at Loretta Lynn’s and that effort built the bridge to every good attribute we have as adults today. During my time I raced against some amazing people. To name several, Robbie Skaggs, Robbie Reynard, Greg Rand, Kevin Windham, Jason Partridge, Ricky Carmichael, and James Evans. They all know exactly what I’m saying. Most of those cats will either be there in person or watching the Internet closely.
The real magic comes from the effort that the Coombs family and Tim Cotter and the entire crew at MX Sports puts into making it happen. What begins as an organizational beast back in January concludes with a week of sweat that only someone who truly believes in the effort can handle. If you see Rita, Davey, Carrie Jo or Mr. Cotter, please tell them, "Thank you" or "We had fun." It's why they do it. They are stern people, but they are fair. Nobody has done, or does more for motocross than they do.
I want to send my heartfelt congratulations to all of the families that made it this time around. Good luck to everyone, and have fun! Enter the week with an open mind and a smile. Win or lose, you’ve already made motocross magic.