The start of the 2017 season could literally be considered only days away now, and the anticipation of what the New Year brings is beginning to peak. Teams are solidifying, testing and tuning for the challenges that lay ahead. By all indications the challenges should be many for the masses in every division. This season is likely to produce some of the best racing we have seen to date across the board.
Even though the FLY Racing ATVSX at Daytona is only points paying for the AMA Pro ATV class many are eager to get out and introduce the world to new programs and attitudes. The announcements were many in the off-season as we heard, but from what I've heard recently there are still some that have not been announced and many will do so at the opening round.
Recent reports from Jeffery Rastrelli are that he had a good run at Argentina’s Enduro del Varano where he finished 3rd overall making him the top finishing American in the races history. Jeffery said that he also made the podium at a Moto style race there the night before the big race. It is a big race with nearly 500 entries all taking off simultaneously on a track that produces only about nine minute lap times. Congrats to Jeffery and we expect to hear more about this in the near future.
Rastrelli told me is back home in Florida and back to training at his new practice facility. He added that there have been a lot people there and that the season from where he sees it will be another great one. On a personal front for him he has secured a new sponsorship with Maxxis tires and said that more deals are still being secured only days from the start of season. He stated that he is ready and he is excited to get things underway.
Cole Sepesi and the 345 Motorsports crew are busy themselves. Cole purchased property in Florida last year and has been busy preparing for his rookie season in the AMA Pro ATV class. Last year Cole had a great season going then a crash at Illinois’ Sunset Ridge slowed him down. Cole said, “I was unconscious for 7-9 minutes but they said that it was not a concussion but just the body's way of protection when receiving that severe of an injury.” Cole also said, “I had a lacerated liver which healed naturally within a week, however in my back there was nothing broken but I had a contusion which put me in severe pain when doing physical activity. I had to stop racing Pro Am and focus on winning Pro Sport. It was a struggle training because I had come to a stop on off weeks trying to let my back heal then would go race and be in pain.”
Anyone who knows Cole’s talent and determination realized something was up last season after that crash as he rode well, but knew something was off. It is likely that Cole will be a threat as he has been training and pushing toward the new challenges. As far as what's going on right now he said, “I've been doing really well. Currently I am doing some shock testing with the Bumblebee Harold Goodman. It's been a great off-season having my own training facility. I have Troy hill down with me to train with as well as riding with Wienen and Brown quite a bit. I'm excited for Daytona for my rookie pro debut and to get back to racing!”
Cole also said about the upcoming season, “I'm excited! The Pro class is a dream come true for me and I'm looking forward to learning to race with so many fast people. I will also be running pro am which we believe I will be a title contender in. I expect nothing less than a championship for myself. My bike is by far the best it's ever been and I have made massive improvements in my riding and training to where I feel I shouldn't lose!”
Team Nine6Nine Motorsports is working hard and an official press release is expected soon about the new solar energy company that has signed on as the key supporter for the young growing program. As good things are going there has been some not so good news as well. Though it's not so good it is actually really good when you look at the big picture. Reports from the camp let us know that Logan Stanfield was involved in a very scary crash that sent him to the hospital.
Logan told me this morning, “Well we were training down at Orlando MX and there was a jump about 120 feet and mid air my motor blew up so I jumped and was about thirty feet in the air and landed on my back. I hit hard and had a compound fracture to my t-12. I had to have surgery and I have a fuse in my back. They put two rods and four screws in but now I am actually doing a lot better and walking around and I am out of the hospital. I'm actually sitting with the team right now eating breakfast. I'm doing pretty good just super sore.” It sounds like a close call and Logan is very blessed. He also told me he didn't know how long he would be off but he was going to make sure he was ready before he came back. He knows that he has a long career ahead and is working toward the big picture.
That's a wrap from my view this week in the ATV Racin’ Nation and by all accounts things are still good. Hopefully everyone is as ready as it appears and the debut of 2017 in a few weeks is highly anticipated by the entire racing world.
That's it for me for now. Let's check in with Gloop's Loop and with Ken “I drove all night” Hill. Till next time God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.
In The Loop with Gloop:
Keeping up with Ken Hill:
Can you believe we are just a few weeks away from another season of ATVMX racing! Last week I was having a nightmare shoot with our champion Chad Wienen and soon I will be watching him among others all go for the win at the Daytona ATVSX! Now the nightmare I was talking about was the wind that moved in just as we wrapped up the photo-shoot so I was very grateful it held off but we all took a sandblasting because one simply does not shoot when the champ is riding no matter the conditions! It got me to thinking though; we have had two incredibly beautiful races at Daytona where sunshine and sunburn ruled the day but what if weather impacts the event? No doom and gloom here just a friendly reminder to be prepared for anything and everything!
When I returned from my first run south the other day, the wife asked if she could upgrade her old Trac phone. This was a shock because if you think I am technically challenged well I am here to tell you she is even worse. She doesn’t do the social media thing and her phone is mainly used for emergencies and to call me to make sure she got everything from town so a high priced super mega cell phone was not a must have. So off to the store we go and ended up getting a new phone and new service that cost what my phone usually does so it was a win win. They even gave us a $200 store card and I figured a Bluetooth earpiece and a cell phone holder for her Jeep would round out her newfound technology. I spent the last of the gift card on a Bluetooth speaker so she could listen to her music as she works in the garden. I figure she will use it once and then I will take in the abandon refugee and put it to work but hey, it’s the thought that counts!
Now I got the new phone and she took my old phone and I am very pleased with how much better it seems to work with social media and in fact, I actually am liking it better in every aspect except that its slippery and hard to hang on to and the buttons are so sensitive that sooner or later it will allow me to screw something up haha! So if you see me out there fumbling with my cell phone, dropping it in the mud or generally looking like fish out of water with it you will know I am neck deep in the struggle. I do watch many of you whip out your phone, pound on it like you are die hard rock piano god and then point it at the sky and fire away picture after picture! The younger folks out there will never know that they hold more of a computer in their hand than my generation even could fathom. So what does this have to do with racing? How about you put that phone to work and get yourself some exposure! Maybe have those that help you at the races document your day or weekend through pictures and video! Never before can one handle the majority of their advertising and promotion on their own and have that info updated within seconds and minutes after an event takes place during the day.
I know Racer TV is on it and they get what they can just like all of us who work the media side of this and other than a few posts Racer TV footage and images are used in a different manner and seen later unless we are live. And of course when we are live, those who find glory on that day are the ones targeted leaving the rest of you high and dry. Now that is not by design, he winners get the trophy, the cash and the attention but that doesn’t have to be the way it is. You control what you put out there and you can use this to help leverage sponsorships! Yes, it is extra work but those that go after it are always looking for an edge and you can hone your social media to develop a following and promote, yes, promote! My wife, well she won’t be known as a garden goddess simply because she will roll her eyes at me if I tell her to video a clip or two of her doing garden work but have you ever seen some of the clips on the YouTube and the immense views they get? Money is being left on the table and I guarantee you that money will be scooped up by someone else who has the insight, forethought and work ethics to go after it! If you do not know how to make a video clip or do a self styled interview ask someone who is tech savvy who can teach you and ask for someone to help you film it if needed. A quick before and after race interview explaining what is going on is all that’s needed, nothing fancy just good promotion and attitude!
Getting the video out quickly is paramount as the day speeds by and if you are doing it right old info is just that, old. Facebook live works as long as you have good cell service but do not discount the YouTube and other vehicles that buzz through the social media world. Use them all and see what works best for you! Make up a “tag” list and copy and paste it into your posts to save time and try to showcase those who support you in pictures and videos. Pretty simple, efficient and you have control of your media! So a few videos and pictures that take up less than 10 minutes of your day, a very small amount of investment for what could pay bigger dividends down the road.
My own struggle with my slippery new phone full of bells and whistles and buttons in different places had me stuck on a video the other evening. Lucky for me it was of Joel Hetrick filmed by Ripitupfilms and as it kept playing over and over as I tried to get out of that screen it became apparent that Mr. Joel is looking smooth and fast which doesn’t bode well for anyone lining up on the gate with him. Many feel this season is his for the taking however so much can happen that I wouldn’t want to predict anything making this exciting season getting ready to load the gate! It could be another nail biter or it could be a run away or a mix of both but I think the highs and lows will be seen this season. The competition level is insane, the will to win may have never been this high and that will either make for a great season or one of utter disappointment for those who can’t make it all click.
That is all from me this week. I will be working on this phone with some grip glue and practicing non-stop so when the gate drops I will be ready to do my part with the electronic leash! God bless you all and safe travels!