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Behind The Board #6 - The Unobtainable Van

2/15/2002

Recapped By: Carl Hein

 
 
VRM:

Well the 02 Supercross series has headed east, no more beautiful sunny weather, fake tans, fake boobs or fake people for that matter, it was time to take it to the right side!I was kind of looking forward to the shift, just because out in California everybody's there, all the sponsors, all the media, all the friends and family. I enjoy talking and meeting of everybody but sometimes you just donít want all of the distraction that goes with it. It makes it hard for me to focus 100% on my job and Iím sure the riders feel the same way. You think RC wants to worry about getting his second cousin from his stepsister's family an extra pass?I donít think so and for the record I have no idea if RC has a stepsister or even a cousin for that matter.Iím kind of looking forward to the shift not really all the way, you see, I had been (key word- had) been a factory mechanic for the last 2 years, Iím not going to mention the team but lets just say I never greased a linkage.Anyway as a factory mechanic you get everything paid for, airline flights, money to eat with, your own hotel room, rental cars, hookers who dress up as a clown for you, everything a man could ask for. Well now on the Moto XXX, our money tree isnít as big as those guys, so we have to drive the races, share a hotel room, no money to eat with and sadly no more hookers/clowns.

 

After the last Anaheim I went over to the top secret Moto XXX race shop (nick's garage) on Sunday to get ready for my journey to Indianapolis. I switched over practice bikes, so now he has a new fresh bike to ride and I turned the old roach out one into an outdoor bike for him to ride occasionally. Some riders like to switch it up sometimes by doing some other type of riding depending what theyíre competing in.I know that Vuillemin and Tortelli also ride 125's to keep themselves sharp and help with keeping momentum in the turns so I did this for Nick.I also laced a new wheel, oiled some filters and looked for stuff to do that I thought might help him when Iím gone. I have no idea when I am getting back to so cal before Vegas so I want to cover all the bases so he doesnít run into any problems. When this was all done I watched a little bit of the super bowl as well. The next day I washed and cleaned his race bike all up, because I was going to be driving for 3 days this week and I had already done all the major work the week prior.I really only did some "GĒ and G" this week. The next half of the day was spent at home depot getting things for the box van and installing a shelf, a pipe rack, a cupboard for Nickís things, and other things to help me out. Nick came out and gave me a hand doing all this stuff, which I thought was pretty cool. Some riders would have continued sitting on their pile of money in the living room while leaving a window open to yell at the "stupid" parts-changer who was doing it all wrong.Not Nick though, he does help out with those kinds of things.Monday night I received a call from a friend of mine who races pro saying he wanted to drive with me to Indiana because he had recently sold a van and had found one for sale in Indiana that was "perfect".His plan was to come with me out there, buy this van then turn around and drive back to California in it. I said that he was a few sandwiches short of a picnic for wanting to do this but hey, a little help driving was always welcome when driving cross-country. Besides I thought, this wacky-job was a privateer who drove the whole circuit a few times he is as hard core as it gets, we'll get there in no time.

 

Tuesday afternoon we finished loading up and we were off to the races (literally). The drive went well, it was about 30 hours total right to the dealership where my friend was going to buy his dream van. As expected during this drive my hardcore privateer buddy drove about 80! I was not that pumped on this, as playing the "rest one eye while driving game" is not one of my favorites. We arrived on Wednesday night and got a hotel. Thursday morning got up went to the dealership and found out they sold the van the day before. It was so sad that all you could do was laugh. My friend did not take this news well, Iím sure that the little children in the showroom had never heard those words before, as well as see a piece of glass wobble and not break when struck with an open hand. Now he was screwed, I told him to come with me to Indy and maybe he will find a van up there, if not he could fly out on Sunday morning back to California.

 

We arrived in Indy and got a good nights rest, everybody was happy even my buddy who had found another "perfect" van only 5 hours away in Michigan. We woke up on Friday morning and went to practice. Indy kind of sucks cause, as privateers you donít get to pit with your truck inside, only the semi-trailers get to go in there, so we have to unload and leave on the floor, everything we think we're going to need for the weekend. This turns into an ordeal because the rent-a-cops in yellow jackets like to, for fun Iím sure, make us do it all in 10 min. They start yelling at you to move it as soon as you pull up and are starting to think about what you're going to need.

ahhhhhhh.....more privateer fun.Oh yeah my buddy woke up at dawn, caught a greyhound to Michigan, 5 hours later he got there only to find out the van was a V-6, which he didnít want and forgot to ask the dude, so he then hopped on a plane and went flew back to Indy the same day. And people wonder where I get inspiration for these columns.

 

The race on Saturday went ok for us.Nick didnít look real comfortable out there, I think he had a hard time adjusting to the soft, rutty soil of the track.He has been riding on hard pack the last 2 months, I guess everybody had been, but some guys adjust better then others. Maxxis had made a real special one-off tire for us to try and Nick really liked it, so it was a great help to us out there. Hopefully we can get more for Minnesota. In the main Nick had a terrible start and came by me in 19th. He rode hard the whole race, never got tired or gave up and finished a decent 11th. As a mechanic, thatís all you can ask for, for the rider to leave it all out on the track for you, he may not be "on" that weekend but you canít complain about the effort. Thatís three 11s in a row for us, good score if you're playing scrabble, but I know we can do better. Nick has been riding well, I wish more people would see it. It really kills when you donít get a good start and a lot of good riding and hard work goes unnoticed when you come from the back to the front like weíve been doing. One good thing is that we moved into the top ten in points and therefore we can take part in the opening ceremonies, those are pretty cool, CC get everybody a little pumped before the race even starts.Oh and by the way, I left Indy on Sunday morning not knowing what happened to my friend and his search for his dream van, if youíre out there Austin Squires, national number

84 call me and tell me what happened. I donít know where you are!!!!!

 

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