Frosday: The Day Troy Dog First Met Fro (Kind Of)

June 14-16 is QUICKLY approaching! In fact as of today, WE are less than a month away from the Vurbapalooza stop of our Vurbmoto Shred Tour, featuring Jeff Emig’s Fro400 event. You can learn more information about the event here AND PRE-REGISTER HERE. It’s going to be a great time at a beautiful facility.

The year was 1997, my memory does not do me any favors when I’m trying to figure this out, but either way it happened. I met my hero Jeff Emig at Kenworthy’s Motocross Park, but not in the way that you would think it would happen.

No, Big Rick Dog (my dad) wasn’t going to splurge on some silly $20 pit pass, instead he was keen on walking miles and miles of fence throughout the day, casually stopping for two laps if I was lucky. However, I didn’t care, my dad had packed my Radio Flyer red wagon full of good snacks and drinks and he would pull me around in that thing all day long. I was short for my age and just six days away from my 7th birthday at the 1997 edition of the race.

I don’t remember if my entire family went that weekend, or if we met my dad up there on Sunday, after he camped out with his racing buddies all weekend for amateur day, but what I do remember is my dad pulling me all over on race day in my wagon.

What’s funny is that Kenworthy’s 1997 will forever be known as the hottest day ever in the history of the world, but I don’t even remember feeling hot. I’m sure I was, Greg Albertyn damn near passed out after moto one. He gave his podium interview laying on the ground with his shirt off, looking in pain. I wasn’t fazed and neither was my hero Jeff Emig.

The first moto is now infamous as Emig showed up to the gate wearing his all black Shift gear and sitting on his bike in blazing hot staging area. Most of the other competitors opted to get in the shade and get out of the sun, but not Fro. He was the defending champion, points leader, and coming off a 1-1 at Unadilla the previous weekend. He was playing mind games with his competitors, but at the time I had no idea. I was at a dirt bike track, the smell of premix and grilled corn filled the air in the very damp and humid environment.

After that first moto win by Emig, he sat on a hay bail right by the finish line. Kenworthy’s had the best setup for fans. Right by the finish they had this long path that went down the entire start straight, so you had the chance to high five your heroes as they came off the parade lap or after the moto. Well, my dad threw me over the fence right there and I walked under the floating banner towards Emig, who was swarmed by a handful of people as he cooled off from the race. I went to pat Fro Dog on his sweaty back. That’s when I mustered up the courage to whisper “good job”. My dad said that Emig looked at me and looked surprised.

I mean why wouldn’t he be surprised? Here is a kid who has no business being over on that side of the fence. Could you imagine if someone did that today at the races? I’d be tackled within 0.2 seconds, put in handcuffs, and I’d be banned from the races for the rest of my life. The 90s were awesome man. Emig and I spoke about this ‘meeting’ when he was a guest on the Squad Pod last year. I didn’t expect him to remember any of this, I just wanted him to know that we have met before. Who would have known that 27 years later that we’d join back up to work on really great projects together, including the Fro400 at Washougal next month!

Anyway, I immediately ran back to my dad on the fence line where he scooped me up and we spent the rest of the day at the track that holds a very important place in my heart today. The Kenworthy’s track was magic back in the day and you just had to be there to understand.

Written by Troy Dog

Faster than Slaw Dog. Editor-in-Chief

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