So I get a call from homie Connor Welles over at Road Rider a couple weeks back—he tells me that the Road Rider boys are putting together a small old-school spec-race up at the Sonoma Raceway, and he says that Wheelbase should come out and get in on the action. He further relates that the event has to be low-key because the raceway has only agreed to let 35 riders on course—and oh yeah—it’s all happening in a week and a half!
I remember thinking to myself: “What! Aint nobody got time for a spec race in a week in a half, bro!”
Anyway, I kept my immediate outrage to myself and my eyes and ears open for further details. A Facebook message thread was soon to follow and a list of riders and some solid details began to materialize.
The list of riders wanting to participate filled up and was confirmed within a couple days, and there were some heavy hitters in the mix. Louis Pilloni, James Kelly, Zak Maytum, Byron Essert, and Liam Morgan, among others, were all scheduled to be included in that number of only 35 racers.
The details of the race were simple: Road Rider was giving a $1000. for podium, the race was happening on March 22 at Sonoma Raceway, 35 racers only, no reverse kingpin trucks allowed, no precision trucks, top-mount only, all wheels are a go, and a limited board length of no longer than 30 inches.
It was all beginning to come together, so I threw some fresh undies and a couple socks in the camera bag, grabbed my board, gave absolutely zero-fucks, and hopped in the car with Louis Pilloni and James Kelly of Skate House Media. We left Los Angeles at 5am Friday morning and were in Sonoma by 2pm—post a Berkeley park session along route, some sushi, and a Landyachtz homie sighting. Word!
I’m not in the mood for a drawn-out race play-by-play, so I’ll give you a couple highlights and be on my merry way. The San Pedro Shred is this Saturday and I got hella shit to do.
Anyway, the best part of the race, for me, was watching Liam Morgan wobb-out on James Kelly’s janky setup and subsequently having to abort mission ¾ of the way down the hill—ultimately ending in him hopping off the back of the board and sustaining some serious leather shredding. Ha ha! So much awesome right dar! Btw, no harm came to Mr. Greasy—his swag remains intact—ha ha! It was also a major honor to skate and hangout with downhill legends: John Hutson, Jamie Hart, and Mike Goldman.
In the end, Max Capps was the racer out front, followed by Kyle Wester, Zak Maytum, and Jimmy Rhia.
This small homie-event was a nice change of pace, and ultimately a great day of classic downhill skateboarding—we need more races like this one! Anyway, thanks Road Rider for putting this rad event together. It’s always fun to mix things up. I have a feeling we’re gonna be seeing more of these spec races in the future.
Stay skatin’ and stay shreddy!