Hey everyone! I hope you all have been enjoying the sun as much as I have! This past week was absolutely crazy and far from the "normal" routine that I am used to. Everything from the hot weather to what was happening in the racing community made it really feel like summer! There were three major events that happened in the Great Northwest over the weekend and I don't think anyone could have missed what was happening.
On the 21st the 45th anniversary Thursday Night Motocross race was held at Portland International Raceway, and on the 22nd Factory Honda as well as the Honda Troy Lee riders where at autograph signings all night and it all led up to the grand finale, the AMA National held at Washougal MX Park.
The crazy weekend kicked off with the 45th anniversary race at Thursday Night Motocross in Portland, OR. TNMX (Thursday Night Motocross) is the longest running "under the lights" race on the West Coast. Each year it draws more and more spectators with bigger sponsors and more vendors. It's actually become more than a summer series but now a main attraction for people in the Portland metro area. I was amazed at the numbers of people I saw this year. With the race on a Thursday, and only two days before the big national I think it was amazing how many local and out of state riders, as well as spectators showed up! There were 350 amateurs that signed up, as well as 52 pros that participated in the $15,000 pro purse! Crazy is just one word for it lol!
But possibly the coolest thing about this race are the pros that show up to give everyone an amazing show! Last year the Alessi brothers showed up, this year we had some really fast guys that were racing the TNMX Race as well as Washougal Nationals! Tommy Weeck won the overall at the anniversary, as well as placing 6th in the first 250 moto at Washougal. Ben Lamay and Austin Ullrich rounded out the top 3 in the open pro class at the TNMX race. The factory team of Moto Concept showed up in their national semi. If you didn't come out to this race, you missed an awesome night of racing; make sure you get out here next year!
So after a long night at TNMX I ended up getting home around midnight. I got up the next day and drove to Motosport Hillsboro in Hillsboro, Oregon to shoot the Honda Red Riders that were going up to Washougal the next day. And for those of you who don't know, when I say "shoot" it is just lingo for "photograph" : ) The autograph signing night was epic! I got to meet some of my favorite riders, and most of the big names like Reed, Canard, Barcia and Tomac. It was a really special thing actually. Scott Russell called me last week and asked me if I wanted to come do all the media coverage for the event, and meet the riders. I couldn't say no! I got to spend over 2 hours before and after the signing talking with the riders and mangers. What was really cool was talking to the riders one on one, about things on and off the track.
There where tons of people and fans so excited to meet their favorite riders, and probably one of the coolest nights for me as a racer, ever. I got to meet a couple of my own fans! I met this girl that asked me to sign a sticker of myself. Ha ha definitely something I wasn't expecting for the night, but it was awesome! It was a really great way to talk to the riders one on one and get to know them a little better. It's also always fun to get your favorite hat or t-shirt signed by your favorite rider.
And after 2 late nights in a row I was still super pumped on what was to come the next day. On Saturday I headed up to Washougal with a good friend of mine ready to start the long, and what looked to be, hot day. Now for those of you that have never been to the Washougal National, or have always stayed the night up there before the race, I just want to advise you to head up early.
I thought I was going to beat the crowds by leaving after practice started, and as you can imagine that was a bad idea. I think it's safe to say that the only good time to get up there is first thing in the morning lol, before anyone is there at all.
But back to the racing, the track looked so sick! The perfect mix of sand and water made the already brownie like dirt even tackier and rutted up nicely. Even though it was bound to be gnarly at the end of the day, the track was in really great shape. The first thing I did was go watch some practice motos with some of the local boys trying to get a good average time, which was really cool because lots of the local riders did really good and even got good over-alls.
With practice then done and the racing only 2 hours away, I decided to go to vendor row. There I ran into Jarrod Rogers and his family at the MotoSport.com trailer handing out water. And not just water, but FREE ice cold bottled water with MotoSport.com foam koozies, as well as sun screen and free ear plugs. So I stayed to help hand out the water with my brother and dad while the other workers could go take a break. And honestly I think it was the highlight of my day seeing people so happy to not have to pay to get water. Especially since it got so dang hot out! It was cool getting to talk to fans and talk about the motos and just see all the excited kids and families ready for the long day of racing. I can't even explain how awesome of a idea it was for MotoSport to do that. I really think proper hydration is a huge deal in this sport, even for the spectators and it would be cool to see that at every national, along with every race in the summer!
Once the racing started I was back at the fence watching. The first motos, both 250 and 450s had some great racing in them! It was a huge bummer to see Trey Canard go down in the second moto though. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and Trey. I know He is a strong person and this won't hold him down, I just hope to see him in time for SX!
So there ya have it! My crazy weekend in a nut shell! Make sure to check out the results and race footage from Washougal if you haven't already. Also, if you are in the neighborhood head out to TNMX sometime this summer.