It was great being at the opener last weekend in Anaheim. Checking out the new bikes and seeing where all the riders stand make A1 one of the best races of the year, regardless of the racing. After spending most of the day shooting a video with all the factory motocross machines, I stopped by and talked with my friends Jimmy and Georgia Albertson. They were parked between a row of Porta Potties and the backside of an advertiser display in a Sprinter van with a 10 by 10 E-Z Up. Jimmy was ready to race, showing the appropriate amount of nerves for a racer on the day of the season opener. But Georgia was out of her mind; she was stressing out like she was the one scheduled to race at 7:00 p.m. When I asked her about it she told me she was freaking out, specifically, about taking Jimmy’s bike down to the line during the night show. Jimmy had his pal Jim Lewis from Merge Racing there to help with bike prep and setup, but he wasn’t interested in going down to the line either. I realized that in all my years in the sport I had never been a mechanic for anybody so I told them if they needed a guy I would do it. Before I finished offering, Georgia threw her arms around me and started thanking me. I guess I was in.
I told them I still had work to do so she would have to get him to the night show. She agreed and I went on to finish my day. I returned before opening ceremonies just in time to grab a pit board, a backpack, and head down to the tunnel. Jimmy wanted me to wear his American flag cowboy boots but I told him it would only happen if he made the main event. I realized quickly that there are many things you have to do to be a good mechanic down on the line. Gate prep, setting the start hook, clean goggles, water, towel, jacket, and working the throttle while Jimmy pulled his goggles on were all my responsibility. Once that was handled I had to sprint across the track and give pit board signals. This wasn’t too tough for me since Jimmy never even glanced in my direction during any of the races. I started to have some fun and gave him some unique pit board signals which may or may not have been a pair of breasts staring at him on lap four of the semi. I can’t be sure. We didn’t make it out of the heat and a tip-over cost him a spot out of the semi. The LCQ was all Jimmy and we made the main event with a third.
The pressure was off after that, really. For Jimmy, he just needed to put in 20 good laps and try to stay consistent. Making the main was a big deal at the opener so he met and exceeded most expectations. And, yes, I wore the boots.
[We texted Jimmy for his feedback on Ping as his mechanic. "His fireman background came in strong for setting the holeshot device and his hair was phenominal."]
I wish I could make it two in a row this weekend but I have some other things to take care of. Good luck to Jimmy in San Diego. Georgia is a much better looking mechanic and she can do all the things I can—except the drawings and pit board messages. Those are my specialty.