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Behind The Board #10 - Nick Rides Well at the Big Sleezy


Recapped By: Carl Hein


This week the circus was in New Orleans and the "big sleezy" is always a fun race to go to. The Superdome is right downtown in the city and our hotel is within walking distance of it. There's also a street nearby named Bourbon that seems to attract a lot of people. There’s an arrest every year when the SX series hits town, 2 years ago a CCE employee got yanked into jail for baring her hooters, then another CCE guy got the book thrown at him for showing some ladies his sausage last year. This year CCE will be proud to know that none of their employees got arrested (as far as I know) and the lucky winner this year was one of the factory mechanics. I have never been arrested down here but did get yelled at by the police for throwing a hot dog into a crowd.


If any of you have ever been down Bourbon Street you will agree with me in the fact that it has to be the dirtiest street in America, there is trash everywhere and people are throwing up in the gutter. For sure the bubonic plague was started on Bourbon Street. I have also seen a few rats running around the streets having they're own little party.


Anyhow, I stayed down in Gainesville again this week after Daytona, and made the eight-hour drive to “nawlins”. On Thursday night Jason Thomas and I went to the Harrahs casino and I promptly lost a hundred bucks. That was wonderful enough but then the other players and the dealer started kind of yelling at me cause I hit on a 13 when the dealer had a four showing. They started talking to me like I was four years old telling me the rules of blackjack, I got very upset and there was some words exchanged and we left shortly after that.


Friday practice went well for us and Nick said that he was pretty happy with the bike, we were switching between a 20 and 21-inch front wheel to try and get the front end to settle down. We settled on the 20, besides who ever said an inch matters? Not any of my girlfriends, that's for sure. The pits in New Orleans is a another example of the difference between factory and privateers, the factory guys were right in the mix and we (the scummy privateers) pit about half mile away in a parking lot. It always smells down there by the stadium and this year for the first time there was no massive crawfish boil going on to make the smell worse.


After that track we raced on last week this week's track was a masterpiece.  I think the dirt wurx guys, who normally do an excellent job, were coming to work a little hung over everyday because the track was really simple. They put some whoops before the finish line that the guys just rode thru and another section was really basic, the guys barely left the ground. The riders really didn't have to push themselves too much this week. That's a good thing sometimes because when you make the track too difficult it caters to 2 or 3 riders and everybody else kind of struggles. There was no struggling for Nick Wey on this day however as he rode very well and had the seventh best time out of everybody.


Saturday night came and as we had a bunch of time to prepare prior to the opening ceremonies  we took part in, which is always cool. They have a little steel tabletop that the guys ride up on and salute the crowd, and this night Nick pulled a cool wheelie up onto it and got all sideways and looked kind of sketchy. It was funny and afterward he told me he was out of control when he did it. He did a front "brakie" at the end of the start straight and because he went out 2nd the crowd saw it for the first time, and they all went "oooooooo", then when the other guys all do it they look like copycats. I like to think of Nick as an innovator!


We got a really good start this weekend in the heat and he was all over le cobra, a couple of times I thought he was going to pull the pass but wasn't able to and finished 5th.  A very good ride and we went into the semi looking like it was ours to win.  This year we have finished 5th in the heat four times which would always usually mean that we were favorites to win the semi, however we had not been able to seal the deal yet this year.  Jean-Sebastian Roy holeshot the semi and Nick was gaining some ground on him when he went down and for the first time we had won the semi. I don't care what it is, a main, heat, semi or even an east coast four stroke national, it always is rewarding for a mechanic to have his rider win. And it was really cool that Nick took the time to thank me a couple of times up there. Getting a mention on the podium is always cool, as well.


Some heavy hitters missed the main on this night, Damon Huffman, JSR and our teammate Kyle Lewis all missed out on the 20-lap extravaganza. When we lined up for the main we had the ninth pick on the gate and the first eight guys lined up to our left, that left Nick with a middle of the road pick. On the start he got a good jump but got bounced around a little bit and came around in 16th. From there he rode real well picking his way thru the pack. He slammed Isaiah Johnson hard in one turn and made me proud.  He put his head down and charged hard all the way and finished 8th. He rode very well and the last laps he was gaining a little bit on Lusk who was in 4th.


It was again another impressive ride and I hope that we can keep this up after our little slump that we were in. Daytona was great and now this week another good result. Things are going to be really looking up for Nick here in the near future I think. Thanks for reading and feel free to email me with any questions you might have…….see ya next week 



Steve Matthes



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