Supercross track at Detroit's Ford Field Supercross track at Detroit's Ford Field

The Vallee Report - Just some random thoughts while I wait for our race season to begin.

Written by  Todd Vallee on Friday, 29 March 2019 20:15

With no more Supercross action in Toronto, Gary, Heather, Kim and I headed to Ford Field in Detroit to join many other Canadians taking in the action (the B-Team was out in full force). After a quick stop at Dollar Tree in Mexican town (everything is a dollar but they still have a flyer???), we headed to Nemo’s for a quick bite before the race. Voted the number three best sports bar in America, Nemo’s only serves chicken and fries or burgers and fries but those burgers are the bomb. Off to the race and like every other Supercross event I have attended, it was excellent. It seems to be a great mix of intense racing mixed with tremendous entertainment energy. With the excited announcer who has to be hopped up on Red Bull, pyrotechnics and endless action, Supercross never fails to please. Bonus for us as it was a Triple Crown Race so extra feature races were on the menu.

I feel like a fool but I’ve never noticed Detroit’s fascination with predatory cats until I hit the concrete jungle of downtown. Detroit Lions. Detroit Tigers. What the hell were the Red Wings thinking? Didn’t like Detroit Cheetahs? Or maybe the Detroit Cougars? I guess that last one may be a totally different column…….

Speaking of Supercross, is there anybody out there who picked Cooper Webb to possibly take the title other than perhaps Cooper Webb’s mom? Webb is a contender every week and is looking pretty good on that bright orange KTM. Stay tuned.

AFT has done a complete flip on the front fender rule. After banning front fenders last season, they are mandatory for this year. This change could have a bit to do with safety but I’m guessing with increased manufacturer support it has more to do with the bikes looking more like the ones you see in your local showroom. Regardless, more manufacturers involved in the sport is always a good thing.

The first AFT round is in the books as the Daytona TT took place on March 14th. Alex Dumas and Brodie Buchan took their shot at the TT but despite valiant efforts, they were unable to make the final in the event which saw 64 riders competing for just 16 spots in the Singles main event. 57-year-old motorsports legend Jeff Ward tried at the TT as well, but a bad start in his semi wrecked his chances of making the final. I attended the first two Daytona TT’s and watched this one on the computer but I’m still not a fan of the layout. The two hairpin turns at the end of the track just don’t do it for me. Shouldn’t there be at least one turn were the riders are on the gas in full lock, with both feet up on the pegs powering out of the corner?

A couple of days after the Daytona TT there was an outlaw race at New Senoia Raceway in Georgia, which is a clay short track. Buchan and Trent Pickle took part and as a fan I’ll admit the racing was fun to watch although I still get sketched out by the concrete walls that surround many of the American venues. Social media lit up after this race as fans praised the many different racing lines available to the riders and the action that created. I almost feel bad because practically every track we have in Canada offers a multitude of racing lines with incredible action at each round. The Dash for Cash race from our round at Flamboro Downs last year has been shared well over 600 times on social media receiving plenty of praise, mostly by excited residents of the US. Cross the bridge and come see us my American friends. I promise it will be worth it.

How cool is it to be Sean Dylan Kelly right now? The 16-year-old not only finished a very close second in the Daytona 200 but he actually sat on the pole for the race. Picture most of the other 16-year-olds in North America playing video games while Kelly was riding at death defying speeds around the most iconic superspeedway in the world. Wonder if he is on the radar for any MotoGP teams?

Don Galloway had another successful trip to Georgia and Florida during Bike Week. Riding pretty well every vintage class you can think of on his fleet of pristine bikes, Galloway once again gained his share of podiums throughout the week. Congrats Don. Dustin Brown ran some races at Bike Week as well and picked up the checkered flag in the Super Singles class at Volusia Speedway.

Family day has come and gone and like many others I consider those in the racing world to be “family.” I was pleased to get a call from CSBK Series announcer Frank Wood on Family Day and we spent a good two hours talking about everything regarding two wheels. I have shared the announcer’s booth many times with Frank and have the utmost respect and admiration for him. After a few years now I think the feeling is ALMOST mutual. Thanks for the call my friend. We’ll see you at the track soon.

Finally, my wife and I cancelled our annual trip to Bike Week this year choosing instead to allocate those funds towards a trip to Cuba for us and the kids. We had a blast in Cuba and I don’t regret our decision for a moment. Two days after getting home from Cuba however my daughter hopped on a plane with some friends and flew to Bike Week without mom and dad. Well played Taylor. Well Played.

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