Chad Reed has stood atop the podium at Daytona three times, but this past Saturday is likely his last go around for the Daytona Supercross. The soon-to-be 38-year-old Reed is now looking at just seven more races of his career and maybe less if he still plans to miss a couple rounds for his Lamborghini race series.
We caught up with Reed following the race to see what he thought of it all.
Racer X: What’d you get, 13th?
Chad Reed: Yeah, lucky 13.
Fifteenth last week. Are you moving up?
We’re moving up. Honestly, I had fun today. It was good. Kind of, the pace is slowly starting to come back, bike’s starting to feel better. So, all that combination. Kind of had a goal, and I feel like I kind of fell one short of it. I was in 12th and I would have been happy with that. Last three laps I was getting a little sloppy, so I backed her down and Benny [Bloss] got me.
You’re putting in work.
I absolutely am.
You’re trying to get better. You’re getting better. Round two, round three, did you ever consider, this is a really long road, man. Maybe I just come out in opening ceremonies, do some Nac-Nacs, wave… Did you consider this freaking grind you had to do the last two months to get here?
Yes and no. I don’t have it in me to just… I committed to not only the fans but personal people that are helping me a lot. You got cbdMD, you got Mountain Motorsports. A lot of people putting their name on the line, and also financial support as well. So, I didn’t have it in me to just quit. But definitely there was a part of me where I thought, this is not fun. This is really not fun. But since Dallas, I have had fun. Today was the most fun I had, kind of mid-race. I love Daytona. There’s just something that’s gnarly about it, something that’s fun. Honestly, I’m retiring because I don’t enjoy modern supercross. The love of it, what I once upon a time loved, it’s kind of gone for me. So, to come out here and the bike starts moving around in the sand and you have to be using more technique than just kind of balls to the wall. It was fun. I actually really enjoyed it. Hopefully we can continue with this going up. It looks like we got rain again this week at home. Hopefully it does what it did last week, and it doesn’t threaten us as much. This was the first week that I rode two days.
Not only just because the weather. Injuries as well. It was fun. I think I rode Monday and Wednesday. So, it was a good week. When I look on the paper and I see 13th, does that excite me? No. But the feeling that I had when I’m riding the motorcycle and being able to charge and scrub some jumps, I actually felt like I remember how to do this thing. I actually had fun tonight.
How about that heat race? A little glory there.
Great start. I wouldn’t say I froze up, but I didn’t flow like I needed to. I would have liked to have put up a bit of a fight and kind of get some flow and rhythm and whatever. I kind of rode a little tight right away.
When you came into the season, you knew you were hurt. You knew it wasn’t going to be good. Did you think before Anaheim, I’m just going to enjoy it anyway? Did you think you could enjoy it even if the riding wasn’t good and it turned out, I actually can’t? Or did you know all along, I’m not going to be happy with this?
Since Anaheim, off track it’s been amazing honestly. Anaheim 1 I felt like I burned the candle at every end. I really enjoyed that particular weekend. The race was horrendous. But as far as off track, it was awesome. For the most part that’s how it’s been all year long. It was just a matter of trying to dig yourself out of the hole. Breaking two ribs again at Phoenix was kind of a bit of a kick in the nuts. In some ways it let me reset and like, okay, at any point this can go away. As shitty as it feels, I actually want to be racing. I went obviously to Oakland, but I sat in the stands and I watched. It just was a bit of a reality check on, your results are not ideal but you’re still out there circulating and doing what you love to do. The fans are enjoying it. It kind of allowed me to go, let’s actually enjoy this. I kind of buckled down and just started working hard. I feel like in some ways it was a good kick in the butt and a reality check.
I know you got an old box van here. Did the other truck have a motor problem or something?
Yeah, we blew an engine. Tim was trying to jump it, I think. I don’t even know. We lost an engine.
I just want to ask about the effort that these dudes are putting in. No one’s handing you giant checks and you’re in Rolls-Royces to the races. This has been a grind for everybody.
It really has. Right when you think that you got it all sorted and we kind of just started to feel like we had a bit of a rhythm, we knew how to set the tent up, we knew where to put everything, then that truck blows up and now we have to basically grab bare essentials and then throw it in the box van. So, we’re really doing it the hard way, but it is what it is. You wouldn’t know it. Yeah, we do it, but I think we’re all working hard. We’re all enjoying it. The results and the effort that I’m putting in I think is being noticed by the team. I feel that those guys are not like hating life. They feel like we’re on the up. So, if all goes right, we should have our truck back for Indy. It’s getting a new engine in it, so hopefully Tim can get on the road Thursday morning.
It’s coming together. It just took until March, but it’s coming together.
I’ll be 38 [years-old]. This 37 thing didn’t work out that great. So, I think I’m going to be way better and stronger at 38.