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Behind The Board #12 - Road Rash & Bad Back = Positive Results


Recapped By: Carl Hein


Another off weekend, this was great to me and the rest of the hobos traveling the SX series. I finally got to go back to California, where I live and pay rent, for the first time in two months. I appreciate all of the couches, floors, and air mattresses my friends have provided me with but nothing beats your own bed y’know? After Houston, Jimmy, JSR’s mechanic and Cameron, the Chilean who rides for Blackfoot Honda’s mechanic and I left right after the race to drive to Chicago.   We all had flights out of there on Monday. So we drove all night and arrived at my friend Denny’s place around 6pm Sunday. We immediately went out for dinner and Jimmy and I were basically ready to go but Cameron must have thought that he was due on the runway in Paris later, because he showered for an hour then popped out with his hair all done up and a turtleneck sweater on!  We all laughed at him and his stylish ways. We just started calling him turtleneck after that.


While I was in California I did a whole lot of nothing for a few days, went to Vegas and spent a whole lot of money, didn’t think about racing, didn’t think about anything to do with racing. It was nice because I have been going pretty much every day since X-MAS. After getting back to LA, I drove down to San Diego to get some welding done on an outdoor frame, and after that was over, Alan Brown, Kyle Lewis’s mechanic, our friend Chuck’s two kids and I started racing in his parking lot behind the shop on a KX 110, a Z50, a KTM 50 and I got the honor of getting a Yamaha moped. We set up cardboard boxes and made a little track. Things got a little heated later on and we started adding up moto scores for the overall winner. One of the last races I was winning, having just made the pass on the 6 year old and I was pulling away when disaster struck. I guess I was pushing the moped beyond its limits cause I lost the back end and skidded to a stop. The end result was a huge road rash on my leg and profuse bleeding, followed by a week of constant pain. As I write this I am still taking 6 motrin a day just to get through a day (you can see a picture of it if you care to in Nick’s Photo Gallery)


Being a mechanic a lot of time is spent traveling.  I’m sure I’m not telling you guys anything new but I started thinking about it on my flight out to LA. I flew 36 times last year.  That’s 36 out of 52 weeks I was somewhere other then home for 3-4days at a time. The prior years before that when I drove to all the races on the circuit it was always 35-40 thousand miles of driving a year. One time I flew to Vancouver Canada, then took a bus to Seattle, then a train to Astoria Oregon upon arriving there I hopped in a truck and drove to LA, talk about planes, trains and automobiles!  My life is airports, restaurants, and gas stations. Its fun sometimes but other times it really gets to ya. I sometimes can’t wait till I have a job where I can get off at 5 and drive home to my house in the suburbs, with the white picket fence, my wife, my 2.5 kids and my trusty dog. But until then I will continue to drive around the country, and I will continue to see some scary people in truck stops and I will keep thinking of all the yahoos who tell me they would love my job. Don’t even get me started on Europe and all of its fun. That’s another column right there.           


On Saturday morning Nick and I had a live morning show to do so we had to be at the track at 8:30. On Friday the track builders never have the whoops built because they don’t wear want them to wear down during practice. So on Saturday we were the first people to see the whoops, so when I was warming up Nick’s bike on the stadium floor the thought occurred to me that I could be the first person the RIDE the whoops! I clicked it in gear and with my shorts and no helmet, I blitzed across the fresh whoops. I think Nick and Denny, CCE’s pr guy almost had heart attacks as I doubled doubled my way thru the section. I did it!! I was the first guy to ride the whoops……It was cool. Then to celebrate I rode beside the track showing the thousands of empty seats the number 1, as if I had actually won the damm race, that was also cool.


So anyway back to the race, during the week Nick had hurt his back at the gym, (no doubt he was squatting three-four hundred pounds) and during the first practice session he commented that his back was a little tight. It was during the second one that his back got REALLY tight cause he only rode three laps or so before quitting (you may once again view photos on the web site of Nick attempting to loosen his back). It was so bad he couldn’t even stand up when we got back to the box van. I was thinking it was going to be a long night, maybe not even racing kind of night. Nick got some stretching and some massage work done by Sara Stanton and he was kind of ready to go. He decided to skip the opening ceremonies to keep warming up and keep limber. I was hoping to sub in for him but I couldn’t squeeze his pants on…but keep your eyes open because I maybe coming to an opening ceremony near you. The heat race was all right; I was just impressed with the fact that he could ride. Things didn’t look so good earlier after all. He then rode in 6th in the semi for a while and they only take top 5 and I was thinking “here we come LCQ” but then on the last lap he made up some time on Damon Huffman and put a sweet move on him in the 2nd last turn to take the final transfer spot. Whew!!


In the main we didn’t have such a good pick so we were 3 gates from all the way left. Now if you’re a regular reader, you will know that I have been going on and on about the bad starts that we have been getting. Some people have emailed me and told me to stop beating the horse, its dead already! Anyway this start was awesome, Nick came from the outside and was going to come out at least 5th or 6th by my count, then he just kept going…….and going and then he jumped over the berm and onto the concrete! He said that a few guys came in hard and took the line away and he had no choice but to go over. Then when he came back on he almost crashed trying to wheelie the tuff block. So here we were, 16th and a gimpy back. It didn’t look so good, but the NYK kept charging and working his way thru the pack until he got to 11th, where it looked like he was going to finish. But Kyle Lewis and Damon Huffman were busy slowing each other down by dicing and Nick managed to make up a lot of time, on the 18th lap he passed Huffy down the start straight, then on lap 19, He out braked Kyle down the same straight and squeezed by him in the left turn before the whoops. It was a great ride, he never gave up and at the end he was still riding hard. Ninth place was very unexpected and we are more then happy to come away from St Looey with that result. Next week it is the hometown race in the Pontiac Silverdome and I’m sure the crowd will be behind him.


Thanks for reading this far, I feel like I should maybe give away a prize or something for the regular readers who have made it this far. Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do…soon…when I think of something cool to do for one of his signed jerseys. Remember to email me any questions or comments you have, I try to answer all of them. Thanks again and see ya next week……


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