With the break in action in the Great Outdoors, I wondered what I would find to write about this week. Scanning through RacerX online I always seem to find something of interest to comment on, but nothing jumped out at me until I was reading the Conversation..
I always told nothing stirs up people more than a discussion of politics or religion, well I would like to add motocross to that short list. The reason I say that is, because I noticed that when someone states an opinion, that can be taken to be the slightest bit negative towards a rider, it automatically triggers some very strong responses. While some people take it in stride and bring out facts to contradict the offending poster, others immediately attack the character, intelligence and family heritage of said poster. Unfortunately and unfairly, that is how we form opinions of each other on line, through the conversation. We will decide if we like or dislike a individual just by the way he comments or by which rider he supports. We will be both judge and jury, based solely on how well someone communicates their thoughts and opinions about moto.
Now, I realize we fans can be very passionate about moto and this sparring is mostly in good fun. Its not meant to be as mean spirited as it may sound, especially since in this day and age, trash talking has become an art form, an accepted part of all sports, even ours. I would go so far as to bet that if we all met at the races and hung out for the afternoon, we would end up leaving the races as great friends regardless of our previous online opinions.. What do I base this on? I am glad you ask…
In 2012 I started talking to Bucky394 about meeting while attending the race at Millville. On race day I saw this golf cart with a sign looking for BD25..I stopped him, introduced my self and through the day made a friend for life. The following year, as we planned for Spring Creek, we thought how fun it would be to have a poster party of sorts, so we invited BillC, Ripdown, MXBob and a couple others to get together and enjoy the races. Unfortunately, many could not make it, the only one who could was BillC. The night before the race, we met in Zumbro Falls had a beverage and got to know each other a bit. The next morning, BillC was quick to buy Bucky, his wife, me and my wife breakfast before we headed to the track. That evening, after the races Bucky treated us to a steak dinner at his place, while we all watched the recorded races and bench raced about the day. This year it was just Bucky and I, as Bill was unable to make the trip. The day before the race, Bucky received a big envelope in the mail, but in his haste did not open it until the day after the race. In it he found a $20 bill taped to cardboard and a note from BillC wishing to buy our breakfast once again..how cool was that???
Which brings me back to just how wrong we can be about people online. It is key to remember, we are all just expressing opinions, to which we are entitled, based on our experiences. While we may fuss, fight and argue with each other in the Conversation, in real life we would end up respecting each other and being great friends.. We are part of a huge family, created by our love and passion for the greatest motor sport on earth..Motocross/Supercross!!
Things just got a little more interesting in the 450 class, while in the 250 class we had a new winner for 2014 and only a minimal change in the points chase..
After taking second overall and only gaining 2 points on Roczen at his home track in Minnesota last week, Ryan needed to bounce back, get max points on the day and close the championship point deficit. For that reason, Washougal was a good place for Dungey to be since Ryan has always ridden the Shou very well. Matter a fact Ryan has a habit of winning there. In 07, at his first pro race in Washougal, Ryan finished 3rd overall, going 3-2 behind Townly and Villopoto. The following year Ryan went on a overall winning streak there, one that was not interrupted until 2013, when Villopoto took the 2nd moto win, leaving Dungey to finish 2nd over all.
The Shou fit Dungey today and his mastery over this track was on display. Ryan did just what he needed to do, win both motos and he did it in convincing fashion. Eli Tomac made his presence felt by finishing 2nd, running down Roczen in the first moto and running away from him in the 2nd. Roczen went 3-3 on the day, which is a great finish, yet he surrendered 10 points to his Championship rival. The points difference is now down to 14 with 3 races to go…This season looks to go down to the wire, keeping us all watching from the edge of our seats…
Marvin Musquin showed today why he won two world title on a 250. He like his 450 teammate set the fastest practice time, then went out and won both motos by comfortable margins. After his season got off to a slow start do to healing injuries, it is nice to see Marvin get healthy and show his incredible talent. Blake Baggett had a rough first moto which saw him fall multiple times and finish 5th behind points leader Martin who was 4th. Second moto he rode better and captured 2nd where he made up 2 points on Jeremy whose 4th place finish was good enough to be 3rd over all. Cooper Webb, who sits 2nd in championship points went 3-5 tying Martin with 36 overall points on the day, which did not aid him in his title hopes. Pourcel my pick to win, holeshot each moto, first moto he held on for second, but he faded badly or had bike trouble second moto, ending up 15th for 8th overall, which leaves him tied for 5th with Justin Bogle in the Championship points.
Next week is a well deserved break in the schedule. Riders in each class will use the time to rest there worn down bodies and plot their strategy for the 3 race stretch run to the title. While the 250 class looks to be sewn up for Magic Martin, as it would take a collapse of monumental proportions or an injury to wrestle it from his grasp, strange things happen in this sport of ours…Just 3 weeks ago Roczen looked to be invincible and have the 450 title ready to slide over to RCH with him…now while still in the cat bird seat, it is becoming a hot seat..do to the Championship pressure and the blistering pace Dungey and Tomac have been running…
It is really gettin good folks!! Enjoy the races everyone and Thanks for reading my BS
The boys of summer now go to the great northwest to race another premier facility. Obstacles, Horsepower Hill and the Shadows usually come into play at some point in the day, influencing who will be victorious at the Shou..
Tomac torched them in Minnesota, Dungey dunked them in Budds Creek and Roczen rocked them at Red Bud, while Stewart slammed them at Hi Point.. Can Canard whip’em at Washougal to claim his first 45o win in the Great Outdoors?
These 5 riders are on a different level than the rest of he field and on any given day each one can dominate the others. That is what makes picking a winner this week so tough. This week I have to go with Dungey once again even though I was wrong last week picking him. Ryan has so much prior success here,(sound familiar) even being able to beat his arch Ryan on this track a few times. The Eli and Ken rivalry should make for a great battle for 2nd and 3rd with Trey right there pick up the pieces if either of them make a mistake…James could be right there with them if he can put the past 5 weeks behind him..not an easy task..and I just got word he will be missing Washougal..so what ever is wrong with James, a get well soon goes out..
This is another track that the French Connection of Musquin and Pourcel, will ride very well, but can one of them finally win? Lets see, in their favor is the fact Jeremy Martin has such a big points lead, it is hard to see him push it unnecessarily. Cooper Webb will be going for it, still wanting to prove himself in the worst way and has been susceptible to mistakes in doing so. Baggett is a racer, who will not quit, regardless of the points deficit, whose speed can not be questioned, but his starts can. Anderson has shown us all he can win, while Bogle has crashed when running the leaders race pace a couple times. Dang this class may be even harder to predict than the big bikes…but I am going out on a limb and say Pourcel gets his first win of the year..
When filling with fuel to make my return trip to Oklahoma in Rochester I met an Australian at the gas pumps. He had flown over to see his first ever outdoor national and spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Spring Creek. I ask if he was headed back home and he told me was going to drive to Billings, Montana then fly to Washington and attend Washougal. I told him I was jealous and that he was liven the life…His reply was simply ” Life is short, You got to enjoy it Mate! ” With that we climbed in to our vehicles and drove off, I followed him to Albert Lea where I went south the whole time thinking how right he is…Enjoy the races everyone, whether your rider wins or not, because life is too short to sweat the small stuff… Thanks for taking time to read my BS ….
I really enjoyed Millville this past week, the additions to the track were great, the racing was close and intense, but my favorite part was meeting the Martin family! I would like to Thank them all for the kindness they extended to me!
On Friday, Alex was the first one I got to meet. Bucky introduced me as BD25, to which he replied “Really you give me his screen name”…we got good laugh out of that, which showed his sense of humor! After a firm handshake and telling him my name was Billy, he was very polite and forthcoming as I asked him a few questions. On Saturday, after the races I listened as Alex excitedly talked about the Geo Metro he was fixing up..How down to earth is that??
Next was Jennifer, she is Jeremy’s twin sister, a very pretty girl, with a bubbly personality, who shares her brothers blonde hair. She was quick to talk about how proud she is of both of her brothers. I saw her a few times over the next two days and although we did not talk a lot, her constant smile spoke volumes..
I then got to meet the spark of the family, Gretta..She is an absolute gem! She was warm, friendly and very quick with a smile..and when she laughed the whole area lit up! We seemed to hit it off right away, we talked for several minutes before she was called away on business, but when she returned, we started right where we left off. It is no doubt where the family gets its sense of humor and positive attitude…I came away very impressed with her and feel like I made a friend..
It was race day when I finally met Jeremy. He was very busy, but amazingly calm and laid back for the situation he was in. He took time out to chat for a few minutes, flashing that Martin smile and treating me as if he had known me for years. He is such a genuine young man you can not help but come away impressed with how mature he is for his young age. After the race he was just as low key, you would never have known he won a National except for all the people who wanted a piece of his time. It was very cool to see him give Bucky the jersey he wore when he won the first moto, stating “This is for you Bucky, my biggest fan!”
Shortly after meeting Jeremy, Bucky introduced me to Johnny. I had met Johnny briefly in winter of 2000, when he was in Oklahoma riding, escaping the Minnesota cold. We talked for a few minutes and I invited him and his crew to come up and ride the track in my back yard..They stopped by on there way back to Minnesota that year, only to be stifled by the stiff Oklahoma wind. I asked him if he remembered stopping by..”Vaguely” he answered, but when I brought up that I was the one who showed up a week early for the race in 01, that he remembered. A smile quickly came to his face, “Yeah, I was on the tractor on the hill, I got off to see if I could help you.. I sure got a good laugh about of that.” He then was very kind and gracious, taking time to answer several questions about how he maintains Spring Creek, even though he was right in the middle of hosting a National…
Motocross is a family driven sport, without family supporting and guiding them, riders would not get very far. After meeting the Martins, I am even more convinced of this. The Martin family exemplify all the good things in life.. hard work, respect, love and lots of laughter…It truly is the recipe that will lead one to success in any field and The Martins are a fine example!!
To start off I want to thank Bucky394 for all his hospitality over the weekend. He transported me to and from the track on both Friday and Saturday, plus he introduced me to the entire Martin family. I will post about them a little later..but now to the races…
The addition of Martin’s Mountain to the track was simply genius. For those of you who watched on TV it did not do it justice. While the uphill jumps and climb were impressive, the down hill drop offs where flat out scary looking. No longer will the sand whoops be the most talked about obstacle at Spring Creek.. I ask Johnny Martin when he started on Mount Martin and he told me last fall and that the drop offs were made to help slow the riders down before the reached the bottom.
A larger than usual crowd showed up, on a simply gorgeous day, to watch the local boys do battle on the revamped track. They were rewarded, as in the 250’s Jeremy took the first moto victory going away, following that up with a solid second, to garner the overall win. Adding to Martin’s day, he saw his points lead grow substantially, as Webb had trouble the first moto finishing 9 and Baggett lost points both motos going 4- DNF. Jeremy now has a 43 point lead over Webb and 56 point lead over Baggett with only 4 races to go. Unless disaster strikes the smiling Minnesotan, the title should be his before the last race of the season takes off. The older Martin, Alex had a solid day in front of his family and friends also. After a 12th place in moto 1, Alex ran 2nd for several laps in the 2nd moto, finishing 7th. That was good enough to land him in 8th overall for the day and keep in in contention for a top ten at the end of the year..
Dungey was not able to win for the partisan crowd do to a very fast Tomac and a couple of the silly mistakes. In the first moto, Dungey hole shot the race, only to Kenny pass him half way around the track. Then Ryan fell over in a corner, while running 2nd to Roczen. This allowed Tomac by and the best Dungey could do was a lonely third, as Tomac took it to his ole 250 rival Roczen, pushing him to his limit before taking the lead and getting his first 450 moto win. Second moto saw Spring Creeks second ever red flag (the first in 89 in the 250 class) when Shorty’s gate did not fall. After the restart it was all Tomac as he lead Dungey around the track. Just past the 1/2 way point Ryan started to close the gap and with 2 laps to go it looked like he might be able to make a move on Eli, but another silly mistake, running into the back of a lapper, put him on the ground. Ryan was able to get up and going still in second, but any chance of winning was gone. The good new for Dungey came by way of Trey Canard, who was able to track Roczen down and pass him for 3rd leaving Kenny 4th losing 2 points to his KTM teammate Dungey.
The series now goes to Washougal, in the 250 class Jeremy Martin has a strangle hold on the points battle, while in the 450 class, suddenly Roczen’s 24 point lead looks a little shaky. The emergence of Tomac and Kenny’s second moto troubles, one would have to guess that any thing can still happen.
It is now the time of year we will see what the Boys of Summer are made of! The season has only 5 rounds left, to those riders who say they are not thinking of the points, just taking it a race at a time, I call BS.. They all know where they stand and what they have to do to reach the goal they set before the gate dropped at Glen Helen.
Roczen has looked either spectacular or better each race, until last week at Budds Creek. Was it just an anomaly or will the second half of the season reveal a chink in the armor of the German Wonder Kid?
Dungey rode like we all knew he could and wondered why he didn’t! Ryan is in the stretch of races I expected him to win, Budds Creek, Spring Creek and Washougal. If he can do that, gain some ground in the points standings and force the title down to the last 2 races, the season will be one of the best in years regardless of which rider wins..We fans will!!
Canard has ridden Millville well in the past, almost getting his first 450 outdoor win there last year. You can bet the 41 will be on the gas trying to repeat last years success.
Stewart has had 3 bad races in a row, for a man with his pride that has to be a hard pill to swallow. James took the overall here last year, it would be a great spot to get things back on track for one of the all time greats..
The 250’s have just as much going on if not more! Home track for the Martin boys, the French Connection rides this style track very well, Baggett is well Blazing Blake, Anderson wants to prove the first moto last week was not a fluke while Webb wants to get his second win also.. then there is Bogle, the kid has led laps, but made small mistakes trying to hard. if he would just find that Zin spot while out front he could pull off the upset and get his very first outdoor win!!
One thing for sure, I will be there cheering for them all!! If you love moto, this is the best time of year!! Enjoy the races everyone!!
PS If you see a guy wearing a white BD25 cap backwards taking pics, stop me and say Hi ..As always thanks for taking time out of your day to read my BS!!
The 1st time I went to Spring Creek in 87 this Okie felt an odd kinship to the area, I could tell it was special. The track was laid out in a valley, it traversed the steep hills on either side. The track was tough, one that showcased the talent of riders I saw that day. Rick Johnson conquered the track with Ron Lechien not to far behind in the 500cc class, while local hero Donnie Schmidt won the 125 class over Suzuki teammates Erik Kehoe and George Holland. When I left that day I knew I would return to Milliville!
In 88 I went back to watch fellow Oklahoman Guy Cooper display his high flying style on the challenging course. Donnie Schmidt had him covered that day but Cooper was 2nd overall and very pleased. Finishing 4th that day was a kid named Damon Bradshaw, it was easy to see he would make a name for himself. In the Open class RJ and Lechien put on quite a show as they opened up a big gap on the other riders. Johnson won Lechien was 2nd and a Yamaha mounted Jeff Stanton rounded out the podium just ahead of Jeff Ward. After the races, Guy got me into the pits and introduced me to Honda team manager Roger Decoster who was gracious enough to take a photo with us which highlighted that trip.
When I showed up in 89, it was as a member of the press. Bob Carpenter, editor of SuperMotoCross, had hired me to cover the race and do a feature on Donnie Schmidt. Only trouble was that Bradshaw kid stole the show and was the story of the day, winning the 125 class, while Schmidt struggled on the privateer Honda. Meanwhile Ward took it to the Open class leaving Lechien a familiar 2nd, with Honda teammates Stanton and Johnson 3rd and 4th. I submitted my story but the magazine folded before my article reached print.
I had to miss the next couple years do to the birth of my son in 1990 and work, but in 92 I talked a friend into making the 700 mile trip telling him how beautiful the facility was. Only trouble was, we ran into Glen Wales, a friend of mine who did the 1-900-INF-MOTO line coverage at the Outback. After eating we managed to drink several shots of tequila as we bench raced, something that was regretted the next day, as Spring Creek was extremely hot and humid. The weather had little effect on Stanton as he took the open class over Kiedrowski and Bayle. The 125 class went to Larocco with Tichenor and Henry rounding out the podium. Even though I sweated more the any of the riders,I still had a blast in the valley..
I missed a couple more years getting my Kawasaki dealership off the ground, but in 96 I got in touch with some family from North Dakota and we met there to enjoy the races. It was a great time, family and racing always make for a wonderful way to spend the day. We watched Emig go 1-1 and Hughes 2-2 in the 250 class, while 125 specialist Steve Lamson took that class over Dowd Craig and Reynard. It was so much fun we decided to meet there again in 97..
So sure enough, we did and once again we were treated to something special. This new kid Ricky Carmicheal in the 125 class, he was cocky but very fast in winning going away that day. Lamson and Windham finished 2nd and 3rd, but you could see special written all over little RC. Emig once again ruled the 250 class with Dowd and Larocco giving chase. The most memorable part of that trip happened back at the Holiday Inn where to my surprise Mcgrath and Button had the room next door. Lets just say that is a story for another time, but for the night the King of Supercross let me and my cousins tag along to one great party..
It was 2001 before I could get away to Spring Creek again. 5 of us rented a van and we left home at 4 pm Friday and drove through the night arriving at Rochester at 4 am. After getting a room and a few hours sleep we rushed out to see Saturdays practice. Funny thing though, when we got there, no one was there, just workers setting up bleachers and a few tractors and dozers working on the track. One of the John Deere tractors stopped and asked what we were doing there, we replied we had come to see the races..the tractor operator happen to be Johnny Martin, owner of the facility, he began laughing and told us we were a week early for the race…felt very disappointed and pretty dumb, but I still blame it on Cycle News..that was the date it had listed as race day..
04 was the next time I made the trip up to Millville, this time it was with 3 other friends and we rode our street bikes the 700 miles to moto paradise. I still remember the anticipation as we made our way through the winding rodes to the track. Once there, Believe the Hype t-shirts were every where, as Alessi was making his debut. We all know how that turned out, RC dusted the youngster going a unchallenged 1-1. In the 125 class James Stewart did the same thing, making it look so easy. We rode off that day knowing we had watched 2 of the best riders to ever throw a leg over a dirt bike..
Two years later I drove 2 of my very good customers up to see their first outdoor national. We were met with a chance of rain, so before heading to the track we stopped at Wal Mart and purchased a rain poncho just in case. The first moto’s were sunny and the track perfect. During the short intermission we walked back out to the van and drank a couple of beer, just as we headed back they started the 125 race and shortly there after it started to rain. We grabbed our ponchos and rushed up to the track which was quickly turning into a quagmire. Riders stuck, their motorcycles standing up all alone as the rider abandoned them. I had never seem such a thing, but they kept racing. Broc Hepler won the second moto, Matt Goerke was second and an impressive rookie named Ryan Dungey took 8th. When the 450’s lined up the track looked impossible to ride. Chad Reed and James Stewart had trouble the first lap, but here was Ricky Carmicheal still doing the doubles and tripples on his way to lapping the field. To this day it was the most impressive display of talent on a motorcycle I have ever witnessed.
The economy forced me to close my motorcycle shop just before the start of 07, so I was forced to miss the next few years as making a living was my main focus. I kept up with the moto scene by reading magazines and RacerX online. In 2011 I found the comment section and before long I was hooked. I enjoyed it sometimes more than the article posted. I started posting my self in 2012 and through that got to know Bucky 394 who lived just down the road from Spring Creek in Zumbro Falls. He encouraged me to come back to Spring Creek. I agreed with him and told him I would be there.
When the race rolled around in July of 2012 I made the ten hour drive up. While walking around the pits, to my surprise, I saw a golf cart go by with BD25 on it so I waved him over. Bucky and I benched raced awhile and then enjoyed the races. Dungey dominated the Villopoto-less field in the 450 class while Tomac handled Barcia and Baggett in the 250 class. Afterwards we chatted a bit with me declining an offer to stop by Zumbro Falls for a cold one as I got in the car and headed home arriving at 5:00 am.
That is where the story takes a turn. That night in the bar, Bucky mentioned to someone that he met Billy Disney, only to be told that the town was founded by William E. Disney and the cemetery was full of Disney head stones. Over the year he found a couple of his friends were former Disneys, which raised the question, were they part of my family?
My wife found this all very interesting, so over the winter we did some research. It was inconclusive, but when I made my 2013 trip to Spring Creek she rode along. Bucky evened planned a poster party for those of us who post. BillC made the long trip out on his Ducati with a friend of his and the 3 of us got to all know each other. I must say BillC is really a nice guy, even bought our breakfast that morning before going to the track. Of coarse we enjoyed the races, Stewart and Canard battled hard for the top two spots and Tomac once again ruled the 250’s. For my wife the highlight was when Jason Weigandt stopped to speak to us, she thought it was cool he took the time to do so..
Here we are in 2014 and I am getting ready to make the trip once again. I think over the years I have logged over 15,000 miles and 200 plus hours driving going to and from Spring Creek, not regretting any of it. I never know what will happen on these Millville adventures, but they are always a lot of fun. So if you see a guy walking around with a smile on his face and a camera around his neck wearing a white BD25 cap, stop me and say Hi..become part of my Spring Creek family!!