If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to get your feet dirty, feel the rush of adrenaline, and be surrounded by tens of thousands of screaming fans…come take a ride with me. Picture yourself on the ground level of the arena at the Georgia Dome, with tons of dirt clay under your feet brought in by hundreds of dump trucks, there is only one thing separating your from the crowd – it a few hours before show time. Join me behind the scenes of Supercross racing!
Em and I were invited to attend Monster Energy SupercrossLive at the Georgia Dome. We started our day with a special VIP lunch hosted by Jacki Short – she’s Andrew’s wife, friend, supporter, and recreational dirt bike rider. Andrew and Jacki met because of their love of riding – high school sweethearts. They’ve ridden together countless times, and she knows first hand the highs and lows of the sport. Her unwavering support of Andrew is undeniable. After lunch we headed to the Georgia Dome for a special behind the scenes tour of the track.
Behind the Scenes of Supercross Racing
SupercrossLive hosts these young riders before and in between rider events.
Riders queue up, waiting their turn to hit the track.
Do you know the difference between Motorcross and Supercross? Motorcross is held outdoors and Supercross is held indoors – but it’s obviously not that simple. Track conditions vary greatly with the two due to weather and environmental elements. “Monster Energy Supercross is an indoor dirt bike racing championship – a newer version of motocross, the sport’s original form. Whereas motocross takes place on long courses built primarily on the dirt and terrain offered up by nature, supercross races are made from dirt hauled into stadiums. Monster Energy Supercross is held from January through May in open stadiums (in cities with nicer weather) and covered domes. The track takes all the exciting obstacles of outdoor riding—jumps, turns, and bumps—amplifies them, and puts them in easy view of spectators.”
The Finish Line and final jump. See that man crawling to make his way to the top, yea it’s that steep.
Let’s just say it was scary trying to go up and down some of those jump hills, I can’t even begin to image what it’s like riding them. While I chickened out trying to make it up the final jump shot, Em was all for it – even running back up a second time. Fortunately we had our very own pit boss Sean to give her a helping hand – up and down.
We visited Andrew’s team truck where we finally got to meet Andrew himself, Mr. 29 or Shorty as his friends like to call him. We met some of his team mates and took a tour of the team truck. This is where the guys eat, sleep, play and fix their bikes while on the road. While nothing can replace the comforts of home, this truck had everything one could need for a comfortable tour across the United States. It’s truly a riders dream – especially a dirt bike mechanics.
Any piece or part that you could ever think of or need to fix a dirt bike is on-board! That’s Jacki Short on the left and Andrew’s mechanic on the right.
The track is massive and most definitely impressive – especially when you are down there seeing it first hand.
Before any racing can begin, the racers need to first qualify. Those boys can jump real high! There were 4 different qualifying groups – Andrew was in the final group because of his standing from previous races – this is a good thing. Sitting next to Jacki as Andrew left the gate was exciting – and then it happened, Andrew was down, on top of and under a dirt bike, having collided with two other riders. In that moment my heart both sunk for Andrew who had just come back from an injury and hurt for Jacki, because although she sees this time and time again on the course, it can’t be any easier to watch – especially if it’s your husband. Fortunately Andrew was okay, but was out for the rest of the race.
Remember Danica Patrick? Yea, she was at SupercrossLive to kick things off by holding the 30 second board for the NASCAR Holeshot Challenge, which brought four of stock car racing’s biggest stars off the pavement and into the dirt in front of almost 62,000 fans inside the Georgia Dome. Side note – speaking of Supercross fans, I had no idea what a dedicated fan base Supercross had. At my hotel I met people from all over the the United States that flew in to see this race. Back to the NASCAR Holeshot Challenge, which is arguably the most exciting element when included on occasion at a Monster Energy Supercross race as riders storm out of the gate in a bid to win 1st place in this one-of-a-kind race.
The position you start in at the gate really matters.
Stewart-Haas Racing #41 driver Kurt Busch gave the call to start the engines as Grand Marshal before Stewart-Haas Racing #10 driver, setting the stage for Bowyer, Roush-Fenway Racing’s #16 Greg Biffle and #17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., as well as Richard Childress Racing #3 driver Ty Dillon. As the board went sideways, signifying the start was imminent, six-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, who drives the Rick Hendrick Racing #48, dropped the gate and the four competitors launched down the start straight. Biffle had the initial advantage, but Bowyer gained ground and slipped by just before the finish line.
Bowyer was carrying so much momentum that he slid off the track and into a protective barrier. He quickly got back to his feet, and the massive crowd inside the Georgia Dome roared in support. You can see the full video clip of the NASCAR Holeshot Challenge here. The reason the NASCAR Holeshot Challenge is extra awesome is because Oakley, the official eyewear of Monster Energy Supercross, will donate $1,500 to the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center, a mobile emergency care facility made available to event staff, participants and crew members at every stop of the championship.
I think they were taking bets on which rider was going to win.
We had an amazing time with our new friends and really enjoyed all the new things we learned behind the scenes of Supercross racing. While Andrew will be retiring after this season, Supercross has definitely found a new fan in me – and in Em. I was actually not sure how she was going to feel about it, I almost didn’t attend because I didn’t think she’d be into it. So I showed her some clips I found of dirt bike racing and she was ready to board the plane before the video even finished playing. She LOVED every moment of the experience and has even picked out the colors for her future riding gear – a pink and purple helmet with rainbow boots and unicorns.
I sure do hope you enjoy this tour behind the scenes of Supercross racing! Are you a fan of racing events? Check out this Chasing the Dream video:
Disclosure: I received an all expense paid trip for myself and my daughter to attend the SuperCross racing event at the Georgia Dome. This post is a recap of our day behind the scenes of Supercross Racing. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.