Every week, I scour my contacts list to serve up five hard hitting questions that simply need to be asked. This week’s article is delivered with a mother’s touch as we include amateur phenom Jaydin Smart’s mom, Jocelyn. Order up! Let’s get into it.
Jocelyn Smart – Moto Mom to Jaydin Smart #4
Vurbmoto: When were the first discussions about getting Jaydin into riding and racing? Was the sport new to you?
Jocelyn: From the moment I found out I was pregnant we knew we would have a riding partner for life! My husband and his father both raced cross countries. I started racing as well and we would spend a lot of time camping and riding. I think Jaydin was just born obsessed with two wheels and was fearless from the beginning. When he was 2, he started riding a 50cc dirt bike. He LOVED to jump and that’s when we found his passion for motocross and supercross.
How soon in Jaydin’s start to racing did your family decide to take this seriously?
Jaydin stared racing our local motocross series when he was 4 years old and about one year later Jaydin earned his ticket to race at Loretta Lynn’s as a AMA 4 In the 50cc 4-6 limited class. After that we were hooked on the national circuit.
How do you and your husband decide up the responsibilities with Jaydin’s racing program?
The decision always comes down to work. Patrick [Jaydin’s dad] owns a welding and fabrication business, and work can be seasonal. Jaydin and I do a few national races solo and I will take him to training when it’s a busy season. But honestly, we are so lucky to be able to attend most races and training as a family and that is super important to us.
What have been some of your best resources and support systems in finding your way in motocross?
Cobra motorcycle has been one of our biggest resources since Jaydin was 6 years old. When he got the opportunity to become an elite ride for them it opened the door for us to meet more of the industry and start building a really strong team. We are lucky to have a few sponsors locally who have financial helped us get from race to race like Gold Country Casino and Resort, Skyline Steel and Erectors and Justin Costello with State Farm. Without them honestly, we wouldn’t be able to attend most of the national races we do. This sport is expensive, and their sponsorship really helps take a lot of the pressure off. We have some awesome friends in the moto community that have helped us and continue to do so. Even though this sport is dangerous, and our family has seen Jaydin go through a gnarly injury early on, they have always supported or decision to let Jaydin keep racing. Patrick and I try to communicate and be on the same page with ever decision that comes our way and it’s really made our marriage stronger over the years. It’s not always easy but we are in this together and try to make everything as stress free as possible.
How do you keep Jaydin grounded throughout all his success
I think the biggest thing we do to help Jaydin stay grounded is just let him be a kid. He has many interests, and we try to feed them all. When we train, we train hard, but we also take a few weeks off after every big race. It necessary for us as a family and I believe for Jaydin to not get burnt out. He’s always been very independent so as far as racing and riding goes, Jaydin makes the decisions. He gives us the green light on which races he wants to attend and when he wants to practice. We do hold him accountable and tell him we will do our best as long as he is trying his best. This sport takes a team and right now we have an awesome group of people on our side. He recently made the decision to go back to public school full time and honestly, it’s been refreshing to have a little normalcy back into our life. For the last two years we homeschooled both of our children and it was great but when they asked to go back to regular school, I couldn’t say no. We pretty much are just living for our kids and trying to give them a “normal” childhood mixed with the crazy dirt bike life and so far, it’s going awesome!
Shae Bentley – 2000 West Coast 125 Supercross Champion
Vurbmoto: Aside from your championship, what do Shae Bentley fans bring up the most when you meet them?
Shae: The first thing that is normally brought up is either why do they call me Shag Nasty, or “I freaking won!”
You’re one of the few individuals who beat Ricky Carmichael in the amateur ranks, what was the key to beating him straight up?
The key to beating Ricky in the amateur day is there was no key. You had to be on top of your game in the second moto. He was unbelievable and it was an honor to grow up with him. He showed me so much an helped groom my career.
Do you think your career would have been longer had you not won that championship?
I believe my career was everything that it was supposed to be and would not have changed with or without the championship. Everyone that knows me knows that I wanted to be so much more, but I gave it everything I had, and it was a heck of a run.
Did you transition onto four-strokes at all before calling it a career?
I did transition onto the four-strokes and I always felt good on them, I was just already spent and your body isn’t supposed to go through all the injuries I put it thru and then trying to climb back up the ladder. Yeah, I was spent by then.
If you had to do your entire career in motocross including amateur days over again, would you? And what would you do differently?
The only thing I would have changed was trying to slow things up and enjoy the ride a lot more cause it all happens so fast. I also would have healed all the way up and went out there and kicked ass. I loved every bit of the journey and now to sit back and be a fan. Heck of a ride.
Andy Gregg – Owner Operator of Guts Racing Inc.
Vurbmoto: when you started making Gregg’s Ultra Trick Seats, did you ever imagine seeing as many Guts Racing Seats at the track worldwide as we see today?
Gregg: When we started, we never imagined seeing Guts on factory bikes or in other countries for that matter. Our focus at that time was just to make enough money to pay for our expenses at amateur nationals like Loretta, Lynn’s, Ponca City, and World Mini. I just wanted to race and my family needed a way to pay for it.
What sets your products apart from the competitors?
I’m not sure what separates us from our competitors to be exact. I do feel that we offer a few things like how efficient we are at filling orders. Coming from an upholstery background, we do focus a lot on the fitment of every cover for every year make and model. One other thing that we offer is the seat foam, so we have the capabilities to offer something for every rider.
When did you first start to feel that Guts Racing was gaining momentum in the marketplace and what do you attribute that success to?
I really noticed a momentum change when we went from private label manufacturing to focusing on the Guts brand. In 2013 I went to San Diego Supercross was just a standard fan fest ticket and some product in hand and talk to every single team that would give me the time. On that day, RCH Suzuki was willing to listen to what I had to offer.
When a young athlete submits a resume looking for support from Guts Racing, what do you look for in order for you to offer support?
So, when anyone sends me a resume regardless of age or ability the one thing I’m looking for is professionalism. I’m also looking to see how many races riders attends per year. I really don’t care how often someone is training. If you’re at the track, there’s a better chance for someone else to see our products.
What’s a product or idea that wasn’t as successful/popular as you thought it would be?
One product that sticks out to me that wasn’t very popular or successful was the carbon fiber seat. We spent a lot of money and time getting the carbon fiber seat bases perfected, but they really didn’t sell.
Josh Greco – Career Privateer
Vurbmoto: You’ve been at this for a long time, what made you want to live the privateer life?
Greco: I just love riding my dirt bike. I’m going to do it as long as I can. I can start a regular life/ career when I’m no longer able to be competitive.
What has been your best opportunity offered your way through out your career?
The coolest opportunity I’ve gotten is to go a race in Hawaii. I never get to go on vacations and it was my first vacation I’ve been on and I got paid to race my dirt bike in an awesome location.
What has been the best offer for support that you didn’t end up taking?
I’m not sure the best offer I’ve refused in my career but I’m very head strong and set in my ways and beliefs so if someone comes along with financial support but thinks they have control in what I do and I don’t agree I’ll turn them away no matter that amount of help it could have been.
How much support do you get from fans who just want to see you be successful?
I have the best fans out there with so much love and support, it’s amazing! I could go on and on with stories about some fans almost every weekend. All I can really say to keep it simple is I wouldn’t be out here without the support I get from every single one of my fans.
What does life after moto look like for you?
I want to stay in the industry. I’ve been building a business plan to start my own privateer transport team. I’m trying to get it all together while I’m still racing to really get the budget down properly before I’m done, but I want to be the means to make it affordable “even profitable” for a privateer to go race a season. Allowing them to be able to financially gain from sponsors to get their spot and a home for the weekend so they have the comfort of a factory set up just with their own equipment “like the old team Gus “just a newer revised version”.
Spencer Owens – Professional Photographer
Vurbmoto: How did you get into photography and what was your first pro level camera?
Owens: I’ve been taking photos since the age of 5. My mom would buy me disposable cameras to mess around with. I used to race growing up and when I was 14. I shattered my tib/fib, knee, ankle, and had gnarly nerve damage in my right leg training for a Loretta’s qualifier and it kind of made me not want to do it anymore. When I started walking again, I did some acting in LA through an agency, so I learned a lot about the production side of film and photography. I wasn’t happy there, so I closed that chapter. When I was 17, I went to the track one day to shoot photos for fun and companies started liking my work, met Simon Cudby (The Photography GOAT) at a race and the rest is history.
Who did/do you look up in the photograph world?
Honestly Simon Cudby has been my idol since I started photography. I’d have his posters and covers in my room growing up. I really like Garth Milan’s work, and I love that he shoots everything, not just moto. Mike Emery is a legend, Ryne Swanberg, Callo Albanese in F1, as well as Kym Illman.
How does learning to film differ from learning how to take good photos?
There’s a big difference for me personally. Photography is easier in my opinion. Once you get your settings to where you want them, you can just pick a shot a run it. Where film you have sound, smooth hand work, and the editing requires much more focus. I enjoy both, I’m challenging myself to get better at video this year. So working with guys like Wes Williams and Jason Crane, I try to soak in as much knowledge as I can. My friend Cole Beach always hooks me up with tips as well.
Who has been the best rider to work with on a photoshoot?
On the pro level, I’d say Tom Vialle, Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb, and Deano have been the easiest guys to work with one on one. They’re professional, and at the end of the day we all want to get the job done. I really like working with amateur kids too. They appreciate the opportunity, and they want sick photos. Pro’s get 200+ images of themselves every week! An extra photoshoot during the week just takes time away from their recovery and I’m considerate of that.
How did your experience at World Mini go working with the whole crew at Vurbmoto?
Dude, World Mini was by far one of my favorite “work trips”.
I had never met anyone from Vurbmoto in person when I got there (except Wes, but we’ve only done one shoot together), and I feel like we all left as friends. They did an awesome job putting on the event and created a fun atmosphere for everyone that came. Honestly though, our trip next door to “Mexico” for a concert that was my favorite part. It was the fact that we had to jump over a river and slip through a fence to get in that made it 10x more memorable. Being a fan of the sport for so long and growing up watching world mini highlights on Vurbmoto, it was an honor to be a part of the team to try and bring it back. I studied old photos going into the week to try and capture some iconic images. I can’t wait to see the crew and again and crank out more content!”