On the morning of this year’s Anaheim 2 Supercross, I met Jeremy McGrath under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent with a box of magazines under my arm. Inside was every Racer X Illustrated that ever featured MC on the cover—and there were a lot. We rolled out the first magazine in 1998, by which point McGrath had already won more races than anyone in supercross history, and he remained the undisputed King of Supercross for years.
“Hard to believe Racer X is 20 years old,” said the seven-time champion and winner of 72 supercross main events as I spread out the issues on the table. “Basically, the career and path of Racer X as a magazine—and even before that as a newspaper—and my career path as a racer definitely paralleled each other, you know? It’s like we grew up together—you, me, DC, and the whole crew that’s been working on the magazine. And it’s more than just me being on the cover of a magazine. It’s like a family. We all know the ins and outs of each other because we’ve been around each other for so long. Back when this all started, none of us—you, me, Davey, Simon, Langers, all of us—we weren’t too PC about everything. The journalism on riders and athletes and industry stuff, the perspective has to come from the truth or you don’t have any longevity, right?