The T-Dog Squad is growing. We are growing so much that I can’t afford to have an event go by where we do not have an athlete participating in it. We don’t add JUST anybody either. You have to be hand picked after an extensive three-step process that is so secret that I can’t even talk about it here. We have the most ELITE riders on our team and joining the T-Dog Squad is a prestigious honor.
Loretta Lynn’s is next week and since our ELITE Amateur athlete Ashton Bloxom has been on the mend from a very bad shoulder injury since last fall, we were honestly going to sit Loretta’s out and not support a rider. However, a few months ago while Area and Regional qualifiers were going on, I noticed movement in the Steven Mages camp. Mages had come out of “retirement” to qualify for Open Pro Sport and 25+ classes. I wasn’t in shock because Mages has always been very fast, he has tremendous skills on a dirt bike, and he is the poster child for Men’s Fitness Magazine. So, I recruited him to join the team for the week.
Why did I choose Mages? I grew up racing with him! Well, I was in the same races as he was, but he would lap me on the second lap every moto. When we were in the 80cc (it was the 80c class back then) the Team Green teammates of Justin Weeks and Mages would battle every lap of every single race that I would go to in District 11 MX. It was the hotbed of racing back then because we also had Honda’s Shawn Rife and Suzuki’s Walker Brightwell (we miss you Walker!). It was a stacked field. I started racing when I was 12 and in no way, shape, or form was I ever going to the level these guys were on.
The first memory I have of Mages was him jumping over my head in a rhythm lane at a local track called Treaty City. It was practice. The number 33 KX he was shredding was very trick and he had a custom helmet and his gear had the Team Green logos and I was star struck. I was on the same track as a Team Green superstar! To 12-year-old me it was awesome and to 31-year-old me, it’s even cooler to look back on. These guys would show up to Kenworthys and jump the famous Widowmaker double, which was huge back in the day. Look it up or ask your mom about it because she was there.
Mages went on to have a very successful Amsoil Arenacross career on his own program and other teams through the years. He finished inside the top ten in points many times and even won some premier class races, with a lot of podiums. I need Clinton Fowler to help me find and put together the actual stats because Mages had a great run. I know he had a plethora of Lites wins on his resume and if you want to know what plethora means, it’s a large number. Mages did give the 250SX West Region a try one year as well and made some mains. I think his best finish was a 15th if I remember correctly. When the AX series went away, Mages stopped racing professionally and created his own floor cleaning company, Pride Floor Care Services. He’s also dabbled in the country music world under the name Steven James and he’s been dropping heat left and right.
While watching Loretta’s, be sure to look out for Mages. I’m very confident that we can podium in the 25+ class with consistent finishes and we will be in the top ten of Open Pro Sport. Not bad for a guy in his 30s, eh? To have Mages run my brand and race Lorretta’s is a full circle moment for me. He’s a local racing hero, a genuine human being, and any time I could give him press through the years was an honor. As the late great Christopher “Big Black” Boykin always said, “DO WORK SON!”