Hello ThumperTalk readers! It’s been a while, and a lot has happened! My absence hasn’t been a negative time, but rather a time of building and preparation for the success I had just a few days ago. As I said in my previous entry, things are always likely to change, and I’ll talk a little about that too. Let’s get to it!
In the weeks leading up to the largest amateur national, Loretta Lynn’s, the preparation was nothing short of busy. Working three 12- hour days in the Florida heat, the other day spent either on the bike training with, Ricky Renner, in the gym or on a road bike. One thing I hadn’t thought about, I hadn’t been on an amateur national gate since November 2015, and I was competing in two of the most competitive classes at the ranch. However, a little bit of ignorance was bliss, and it allowed me to come in with a level of confidence to start the week and only get better.
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX
At the ranch, the usual ups and downs of competition is an understatement. However, I found myself able to walk away with my head held higher than ever, accomplishing many firsts and doing it was more awesome than I could’ve imagined! In the 250A class, if something could go wrong, it did. A nasty get-together with another racer over a jump – first moto, a fried clutch – second moto, and a flat tire in the fourth lap third moto, it would’ve been enough for some folks to give up and go home. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it seemed like everything went right in the College 18-24 class. It was in this class that I got my first ever podium moto finish, moto win, and overall podium at Loretta Lynn’s! 5-3-1 for 3rd overall!
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, 250A Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX
This year was very different from the rest. With the guidance of Renner, and my long-time wrench, Amish Sam, we came into things with more strategy and well-thought out plans for success, rather than “just go for it” mentality. I am not an inside starter… but this week was different. The slight disadvantage of a 250 against 450s, I had to get a good start to set myself up for the rest of the moto, rather than trying to get a holeshot from the center of the starting line and putting myself in a spot to potentially get pinched off and shuffled to the back. We made a few bike changes throughout the week, different gearing, different piston, and new mapping (big thanks to Doug @ Kawasaki for helping me). More than anything, I was open-minded to achieve the success I wanted along with hard work and effort it ultimately created the scenario for success, and more confidence which allowed for greater accomplishments.
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3, Photo by Ricky Renner
I believe the most exciting thing that happened last week was the last moto of the week, College 18-24, when I had my first ever moto win at Loretta Lynn’s! Perhaps you have experienced the feeling when you are leading, thoughts of, “just stay up”, and there’s a good chance of caving under the pressure. I went from 6th to 2nd in about 3 turns, and from there I passed into the lead by the 3rd lap finishing 8 seconds ahead of second place. When I passed into the lead and started to pull away, there was no sense of “don’t go down”. Instead, I was feeling confident and pride in myself. It felt like it was another day doing 20-minute motos… just nailing the lines, clicking off laps, in control, and CALM. It was at that moment I realized, that this is what I have trained for, all the preparation, to be in first place, at the most prestigious race of the year. To feel calm and comfortable in the most coveted spot. How awesome to be at the highest level in amateur racing of the year, leading the race, and feeling like it’s another day at the office, the sense to just keep it flowing! Going forward with this new confidence, I believe is a great stepping stone for further accomplishments at other national events and even into professional racing. I just had to have the breakthrough and get the momentum going!
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3 Win & Awards Ceremony, Photos by Ricky Renner
As mentioned in my last blog, plans change. I will be staying amateur another year. This decision has been unanimous with those who support me. I have missed a full year’s worth of gate drops, training and practice, and want to give myself adequate time to fully re-integrate back into the top level of amateur racing/competition. When I go pro, I want adequate support behind me, and to have all the tools necessary to create waves, and go in with the speed to be competitive off the gate drop. I will continue to document my journey in the A class, Arenacross run, and further. Be sure to check in and click the follow button for future blogs! We are always keeping it interesting in the Meshey camp.
I want to thank everyone who helps me along this journey. Wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all of you! Jimmy, Mike, and Eddie at Cycle Springs Powersports, Chris and the whole crew at Race Tech, Erik at Boyesen, ThumperTalk, Mike at FLY, Brad at EVS, Dien at Acerbis, Rich at EKS (X) Brand goggles, Rob at Dunlop, RoostMX Graphics, Simon at Mika Metals and DT1, MotoSeat, Kevin at Tamer Holeshot Hookup, Gregg at Lynk’s Racing, Dale at Bulletproof Threads, Andrew Campo, Ricky Renner for stealing my candy, Amish Sam, Momma Meshey, Keith, Amanda, Adam, and Lauren. Also, a huge thanks to everyone at USF Health, especially Dr. Tabatabian and Dr. Welsh for bringing me back to good health! Also, I look forward to my future with Wiseco, big thanks to Al and Kevin over there!
Photo by Ricky Renner