This is the second time that I’ve been to Loretta Lynn’s.
This year, the Coombs family had to work extra hard in pulling off the event because of the amount of rain that fell. It was incredibly muddy at times. My hat’s off to Timmy Coombs and his whole track crew, along with Rita, Carrie, and Davey – they did a great job organizing all aspects of the event. Some of the rain storms that came thru the area were truly unbelievable – the worst I’ve ever seen.
The facility at Loretta Lynn’s was packed with motorhomes as far as I could see. It’s amazing to see how far the sport has come, and how the riders of the 70’s and 80’s are bringing their kids into the sport today.
The first time I went to Loretta’s was in 1990. I went there for Honda. I made contact with Jack and Ann McGrath, and talked with them about Honda working with their son. Perhaps you’ve heard of him – Jeremy McGrath. Honda was looking for riders to hire for their new 125 team with Pro-Circuit for 1991.
So, out of Loretta’s came Jeremy. He won the 125 West supercross series the following two years. In 1993 he graduated to the factory Honda team, and won his first of many AMA 250 supercross titles, demolishing all my records in the process, and setting an incredibly high standard for anyone to follow.
This year, in coming to Loretta’s, my job was much the same – only now for Suzuki. I met with some of Suzuki’s upcoming talent (Eli Tomac, Josh Lichtle, Brian Gray, Davi Milsaps, Broc Hepler, and others) that I’ll be working with. And, I watched for potential future talent.
I did get put in my place though. I went to introduce myself to Davi Milsaps mom. And she asked me “I don’t mean to be rude, but what have you done in the sport? Were you known as a smooth rider, or an aggressive rider?”
At that point, I knew it would take some time for me to win her trust to work with her 15 year old son. ; )
Also, she was not very hip to the idea of her son coming out to California to train with me for an extended period of time because she wanted to make sure that he keeps up his training routine that she’s overseeing.
She works very hard to keep her son fit and dedicated. She loves him, and supports him 100%. She’s done a great job too. Davi had some great races here, and was one of the most dominant riders. I admire her a lot – for how strong of a person she is, and the position she takes regarding her son.
One thing I need to remember is that today’s kids were not even born yet when I was at the peak of my racing career. I’m not offended if someone doesn’t know what I’ve done or my background. It’s just part of the job. And I feel very confident in my abilities as a coach to prove to them what I can do to help make them champions.
Suzuki has put a lot of attention towards these riders, and I’m going to do the same. We are going to build champions, and we are going to put Suzuki back on top again.
It would be hard to document every race & every rider. If you’d like to see the results, please visit this link
Photos TFS & Toe
|Jeff Emig (Yes, that Jeff Emig!)|