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Dream come true

Published May 8th, 2004







On May 1, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada, I was able to fulfill a dream of a lifetime – winning the AMA Supercross Series Championship.



As a kid growing up in Australia, I dreamed of winning the AMA Supercross Series championship. Some kids dream of winning the World Series, or the World Cup, or the Superbowl. My dream was to come to America and claim that championship that set apart names like Hannah, Johnson, McGrath, Bayle, Stanton, and Carmichael. All my friends and I ever did back home was ride, and then watch videos from the states. Watching Jeremy McGrath win and throw a Nac-Nac in front of a sold-out stadium was the seed for my dream.



Coming into the race in Vegas, I was nervous, of course, but I knew if I just rode a smart race, and stayed out of harm’s way, all of us at Yamaha would be able to spray champagne that night! I always envisioned myself winning the championship but those last few weeks I didn’t even want to talk or think about the idea because it made me lose focus on the race that weekend.



I had a ton of friends that were going to show up in Vegas. I bet I bought more tickets for that race than anyone! (I’m going to have to ask the promoters if they’ll give me a “Buy 20 tickets, Get One free discount” in the future!)



I slept in my motor home at the track, and woke up around 8am Saturday. I really didn’t have any trouble sleeping, as I was pretty tired from the press day, practice and the Yamaha dealership autograph session the night before. My fiance Ellie and I just watched a little TV and then fell asleep. Strange huh, considering what was to come the next day? After I woke up, I had a little breakfast (eggs on toast) and went to the Yamaha truck around 10am.



In between practice and opening ceremonies, I ate something light, then relaxed a bit. After that, I did some stretching, and got a massage from my trainer Jeff Spencer. In between my heat and the main event, I spent time with Ellie. When your life’s ambition is about to come true, it’s pretty heavy. I just wanted to relax with her and the people who helped make everything possible.



I rode the smart race, and stayed out of harm’s way in the main, finishing second to Kevin Windham. We had a press conference after the race that was about a half-hour or so, and then we went back to the Yamaha truck. It’s midnight now. Fans are still hanging out in the pits, and I signed as many autographs as I could, and did some interviews with various reporters. Normally, the team will watch the race on video to review and learn as much as we can. But not tonight!



Who was more excited between me, my family, and my friends in winning the champioship? Easy answer – it’s a tie – we are all so excited! We finally left Sam Boyd Stadium after 1am, and we went to the Hard Rock to hang out. I was just thinking about all that had happened in the past 24 hours. In winning the championship, its a feeling I can’t describe. I’ve wanted this title for so long ….



My dreams now? All I’m thinking about is winning the Nationals, and then defending my supercross championship. To all my fans in Australia, Europe, the USA, and the entire world – thank you for your support, and let’s keep this train rollin’!





Chad





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