SUPERCROSS: behind the scenes
Just taking a moment to reflect on my first season working at Monster Energy Supercross.
The feeling of going from the outside of the race rigs to being inside and in the action is not one that can be described. Suddenly being plunged into the “in” crowd, and having the people you once fan-girled over ask you how school is going — that’s pretty neat. I had the awesome opportunity to work as the media manager for the TPJ Fly Racing Supercross team for the 2017 Supercross season. I kicked off the year at the season opener, and kept the throttle pinned until Las Vegas. It has been a lot of work to balance the work for the team as well as a stacked semester of college courses, training for racing and maintaining my own business — as well as trying to be social and do normal people things.
Each week I had the task of coordinating press opportunities for our riders, doing live media updates, shooting photos, writing press releases, working with sponsors… the list goes on. It was a lot of work, I won’t lie, but the experience was immeasurable. Seeing the TPJ Racing brand grow and flourish as I worked was one of the most rewarding pay offs in my career. The TPJ Racing team is one of the most unique teams in the sport, and they truly have a heart for the riders and the sport itself. Ted Parks is committed to getting these privateers to every round, rain, shine or flat tire — he will be there.
As someone who has been behind the scenes for a season, I have to commend the industry for putting on one of the greatest shows on earth. The athletes work and train harder than anyone will ever know, and they each fight their own unique battles that fans may never know about. The Feld Entertainment crew put together an incredible team that literally builds Supercross every single weekend. And the the race teams put forth maximum effort and place all bets on their riders no matter what.
From the outside, fans get to see the show. They see the results, the racing, the action. But they often don’t get to see the before, the after. Fans don’t see the pain in the face of a rider in the Alpine Stars mobile medical unit after a nasty crash. They don’t see the tears welling in the eyes of the privateer who was one spot off from his first career main event. And they certainly don’t see the hard work of a team driver, or the crew that sets up the pit space.
In a sport like Supercross, there are stories forming every moment. Truthfully, it’s impossible to capture and share them all.The magazines and Fox Sports and Feld, they all do a great job. But to be there, behind the scenes, that was the biggest blessing of my adventure. I spent a lot of time dodging bikes that flew off the track while I was trying to snap the perfect photo. I was sitting in the medical unit while Tomac had his knees checked, I stood feet away from where Reed was blown off the track, and I was right there when Osborne swept his wife and daughter up for a hug after winning the championship. I was there for everything, not very many people have that opportunity.
Now that Supercross is over, and I’ve wrapped my second to last semester of college, I’m home for the summer. I now turn my attention to the 2017 Jet Ski racing season, and have my sights set on another championship. I will also continue to work with the TPJ Fly Racing team for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross outdoor season. I will have lots of news about my race season coming soon, so be sure to stay tuned.