ITS TIME TO RECOGNIZE!
If you've been to Budd's Creek,
you know or know of him. If you haven't been to Budd's
Creek, you must be reading this after awaking from a 34-year coma.
Mr. Beasley is the owner and operator of one of the most premiere
tracks in The United States. If you doubt that, make sure
that you are there on September 23rd of this year. A very
friendly and warm, but very busy guy. Mr. Beasley, who
prefers to be called by his first name "Jonathan" is a hard worker
and has nothing but praise for his staff, supporters, and friends.
In this interview we sit down with the man, the legend himself,
and find out the origins or Budd's Creek, talk about the Crash
that led to the naming of Henry Hill, how Big Gulp got it's name,
why the track usually runs backwards, and some other information
that might interest you, including a connection to Loretta Lynn's
that goes back to even before it was Loretta Lynn's. The
interview starts now:
Jonathan Beasley: Hello (roaring...of some kind... in background)
Marylandmotocross.com: Hi Mr. Beasley, this is Ese'
from MMX. I was wantin' to do an interview with you, but it
sounds like you are are on the track.
Da Beaz: You're gonna have to yell at me; I'm on
MMX: THIS IS ESE' FROM MMX.com!
Da Beaz: Ah, how are you sir?
MMX: THANK YOU FOR ASKING. I AM WELL I
WOULD LIKE TO DO AN INTERVIEW WITH YOU IF POSSIBLE!
Da Beaz: (Laughing) Interviews are after dark all
MMX: GOOD IDEA!
Da Beaz: Sorry, track hours are from daybreak to
MMX: I'LL CALL YOU LATER!!!
Da Beaz: You're gonna have to call me later.
I love you guys though. Do you mind?
MMX: Not at all, thank you for your time
Da Beaz: (pause) ummm yes this place was worth
every dime. See ya Jess-say.
MMX: IT'S ESE' !!!
Da Beaz: (dialtone)
Vance: Did you get it?
Ese': Nope - unfortunately I got hosed.
Vance: Kevin's not gonna be happy.
Ese': I know.
Vance: Want me to hide the frying pans?
Ese': Good idea.
MMX: Hello, I'm trying to reach Jonathan
Da Beaz: Yeah, I got some time, we are just
settling up here, 15 mins would be great.
MMX: Okay I'll give you a call back then.
Da Beaz: Yeah, we just got done, your timing is
incredible. I literally just shut the machine off right as you
called. Let me get a couple guys taken care of and outta here
with orders for tomorrow and call me in 20 mins.
MMX: Sounds good. Talk to you then.
Da Beaz: Ok.
<20 mins later>
MMX: Hey Mr. Beasley!
Da Beaz: Hey, sorry about earlier; it's been a
long day. Driving off the property right now.
MMX: Not a problem at all. We appreciate you
giving us the time.
Da Beaz: My pleasure. So how's your website
MMX: It's going okay. It's always a work in
progress. Michael has
Kevin working hard and violating several labor laws I'm certain.
Da Beaz: That's good... I think. You guys
making any money off of it? By selling banners, or how does that
MMX: The site does some paid advertising and we've
actually gotten quite a few donations, Kevin and myself don't make any
money off of it, to be honest I think we're losing money (laugh)
Mike and Kevin handle that part of the business I'm just here cause
I'm a party liason. Kevin said I'd be swimming in the ladies,
but they don't notice me. I'm not sure if it's because I'm brown
and the track is brown so I have a natural camouflage, but, meh, who
Da Beaz: Interesting. I've talked to Steve
Burns, Factory Spectator, do you know who I'm talking about?
Mototalk. That's like the biggest website in the country.
He was telling me how much it takes to put the whole thing together
and keep it operating every month, and all that other stuff.
Man, it can be a real chore.
MMX: Yeah, it can be a little daunting, but Mike
has Kevin beat us with frying pans to keep us and the schedule on
track. But, Hey! I'm supposed to be interviewing you, so lets
get our priorities straight. Let ME ask YOU
Da Beaz: Okay... Go ahead
MMX: All right; Why Motocross?
Da Beaz: Why Motocross?
MMX: Yessir. From the very beginning what
led you to Motocross?
Da Beaz: (quick answer) I like pain.
MMX: (Laugh) Well, never heard someone ever state
it so obviously, but I can see that is a very popular reason.
Da Beaz: Well, there's no shortage of pain in the
sport, but I'm sure you've witnessed that.
MMX: Yeah, I've seen some really nasty spills,
crashes, and I've even seen Stephen "Sir Shuck and Groove" Plank get
thrown into a bush or two. So how long has Budd's Creek been
Da Beaz: 33 years. Ever since I was in high
MMX: Wow, that's
quite some time. Were you a little apprehensive when you first
opened it up?
Da Beaz: Uhhhh, yeah, I was somewhat. It
actually started as a club. It was a bunch of guys made up from
The Navy. There was another track about 15 miles away from
Budd's Creek. It got closed down. That same year, 3 tracks
in the got closed. There was one in Waldorf, one in
Hollywood, and one in Dunkirk. All got closed down at the same
MMX: Hmmm, that's a weird coincedence.
Da Beaz: Yeah, well I saw it as an opportunity
MMX: Coo... So, when did these words cross your
mind: "Man, I really have something here"?
Da Beaz: (Laugh) I'm hoping that I'll be thinking
that this coming September 23rd.
MMX: Why don't you inform those very few who may
not know what you're talking about on what is going to happen.
Da Beaz: Motocross of Nations.
MMX: Can you give us a little more background on
that or is it secret?
Da Beaz: Hey did you know it was coming?
MMX: I've heard several people talking about it,
just wanna give some info to the "non-believers"
Da Beaz: Well, it's the biggest motocross race in
the world. It's like the Olympics. Hey, if I lose you call
me back, cause I'm going through a bad arejerojjowi...ejaioih...
MMX: Okay, now I'm losing you.
Da Beaz: ahohwo^*&KLH...UIOYO....iy80y9
MMX: Definately losing you
Da Beaz: OY82jhw..............
MMX: Lost ya.
<5 mins later>
Da Beaz: Sorry about that.
MMX: Not a problem, you warned me. And
yeah the ride to and from Budd's is hairy scary on the cell. So
you were saying about the Motocross of Nations?
Da Beaz: Ah okay. Well, like I was saying,
it's the Olympics of the sport. Its' only been in The United
States once in 60 years.
MMX: Wow that's crazy.
Da Beaz: Yeah, so it's coming to Budd's Creek
September 22nd, September 23rd.
MMX: Wow, that's kinda like making first
contact with aliens isn't it,
at least on a similar magitue me thinks.
Da Beaz: Pretty close
(laugh) Oh man, it's gonna be first contact with the bankruptcy
lawyers if it rains.
MMX: (Loud laugh, pause) Ahhh, I don't
hear you laughing though.
Da Beaz: (Laugh) Man, it's insane. The cost
is 10 times the cost of putting on the Pro Nationals
MMX: That's insane. But, while the
topic of The Nationals is up. Every year, you usually turn the track
direction around after the Pro Nationals, but you neglected to do this
year. care to explain yourself sir?
Da Beaz: That would be because we are having to
focus more on getting the bugs worked out on the September race.
MMX: Fair enough. Back to the Motocross of
Nations, do you have any predictions on who will walk away with the
Da Beaz: Tough one. Uhhhhhh... I'm gonna
sayyyyyy... Belgium. Belgium or The United States.
MMX: So all the work you've done. The
plowing, the new fence, and
everything else... it's all centered around this one race?
Da Beaz: That's it. We've been working on
parking lots 17 hours a day for the last month. We are...
just...getting a lot done.
MMX: Will there still be hairscramble racing at
Budd's Creek. In
clearing for the parking lots, alot of the woods are gone.
Da Beaz: Its done. They're all parking lots
now. Not nice if you're a hair scramble racer, but sacrifices
had to be made.
MMX: We'll have to shed a tear for hair scramble
racing, but moving on, what would you say is your favorite thing about
Da Beaz: Hmmmmm... I'd say Dial Chemicals.
MMX: Care to elaborate?
Da Beaz: No.
MMX: Okies... Flip that coin then - what is your
least favorite thing?
Da Beaz: Injured Riders That is definitely,
without a doubt, my least
MMX: Well, you keep leading into the next question
perfectly: Tell us about the fateful day that Doug Henry had his
Da Beaz: Actually Ese', it's connected to that
question you asked a little while back. Doug is the reason that
I made the track run backwards. When Doug came back, I turned
the track around so he didn't have to look at that hill. That's
the Genesis of the track running backwards.
MMX: So you were near him when it happened?
Da Beaz: Ummm... l, actually, was on the other
side of the hill when it happened. I came over to make sure that
nobody ran into him, but I was on the other side of Henry Hill when it
happened. I wasn't "with" him.
MMX: So the story behind the crash involves him
being wide-open on the
Da Beaz: Doug was wrecking coming up to the jump.
Instead of being thrown clear of the bike he ended up being on it and
hit the jump, 4th gear, wide open; off the top of that hill.
MMX: Was that the jump he broke his wrists on?
Da Beaz: No that was a separate incident.
The jump on Henry Hill caused him to break his back in 3 places.
2 years later he broke both wrists on a different jump. I dunno
if you heard, but he's paralyzed now. It happened about a month
ago. It's a real shame. I remember when he had a titanium
cage put around his spine. They did a procedure that was never
done before. They pretty much gutted him and installed the
cage from the front and then
put him back together. But, it is a real shame that he's
paralyzed now. He's a great guy.
MMX: Some of the crashes I've seen occurred on Big
Gulp. I was just curious how that hill got it's name. Is
it because it "gulps" up riders?
Da Beaz: No. (chuckle) Actually, 7-11 used
to be one of our sponsors for 3 Nationals. That's how we came up
MMX: So, you've actually chaved down the size of
Big Gulp, right?
Da Beaz: It keeps getting various changes.
The same thing can be said for a good deal of the track. Now
that I don't have a Quad National, Big Gulp probably stay the same.
It's not nearly what it originally was though.
MMX: One of the growing concerns in motocross is
Hooliganz, do you perceive them as a threat, or are they part of the
Da Beaz: Are you talking about M.A.M.A.? You
can't talk about them that way.
MMX: Well not all of them. Just a couple
like Michael "Timex" Anderson, Zeke "2Ns" Zieman, Tammy "TLP" Posey,
Derek "Bubba Berk" Lemke, Stephen "Sir Shuck and Groove" Plank, Joel
"the Sweeper" Adams, Matt "Gravyboy" Garvey, Amanda "Brownie" Brown,
Chad "The Ricky Martin of Motocross" Wages, Devon
"It's me Pilkey" Pilkinton, Michael "M-Unit" Groves, Tyler "Lil
Donkey" Kirschner, and Todd "The Wilcom Effect" Wilcom, you know,
people like them.
Da Beaz: Some of those are "Upstanding American
Kids". I don't consider them Hooligans at all. They really
just need to straighten their hats up and that'd make me happy.
MMX: What advice would you give someone that is
racing at Bud's Creek for the first time?
Da Beaz: Be Careful. (Laugh) It's crazy. At
Loretta Lynn's past, there were two broken femurs during the first lap
of practice. It's ridiculous. I'd strongly advise people,
no matter what track they go to, that they should learn it, before
they ride it. 2 broken femurs in the first lap of practice is
pretty unacceptable in my opinion.
MMX: Have you seen a lot of people trying to copy
"The Bubba Scrub" at Budd's?
Da Beaz: Yes I have, though none have
perfected it like he has. That's for certain.
MMX: Okay, before I forget we need to quell a
rumor. Someone, I won't say who, but their name begins with
"Bubba Berk", said that you may be changing the start line for
the Motocross ff Nations race. He says it's going to be down
near where they used to do BMX. I don't put much stock in what
he says though, cause no one else has said anything about it.
He's about 5 strokes short of a 4-stroke engine if you catch my drift.
Da Beaz: It'a already been moved. Bubba's 2
weeks late and $15 short. All of the riders have been
doing races from the new gate. (Laugh) Honestly, it
IS now down in the bottom near where the BMX used to be. We
literally started it on March 31st during the Vintage race. They
were the first people to ever use it. FYI, the old start area is
gonna be a giant vendor/food court sort of deal for The Nations race.
MMX: Sounds awesome. I think that's a veray
good move on your part.
Da Beaz: Yup.
MMX: So I guess you got every turn covered and
every corner covered?
Da Beaz: We sure do, plus just about everyone can
see the start now. Not just 100 or so people like where it used
MMX: Punk rock! Well, this next question may
get you in trouble, but here goes: Who are your favorite
Da Beaz: Of all time, in order; David Bailey, John
Michelle Bale, Stefan Edwards, Ricky Carmichael, and Ricky Johnson.
MMX: Do you know if Mr. Carmichael is going to be
putting in an
appearance at the MX of Nations?
Da Beaz: He's going to be putting in 2 appearances
at Budd's Creek this year. He's retiring at The MX of Nations.
That'll be his last race.
MMX: That's pretty exciting news.
Da Beaz: Yeah, especially if Stefan comes out of
retirement, which I've heard.
MMX: Another rumor. Did Bubba Berk
tell you that?
Da Beaz: No, it's just the word on the track.
But, Meh, Eh, you know...
MMX: Can you give us a little background on your
history of racing.
Da Beaz: That's a short story: I sucked.
You can quote me on that one.
MMX: Were you better than... say... Kevin Duffy?
Da Beaz: Well I never raced him and I've never
seen him ride, but I can honestly say that I'm certain he's better
than I was. I was not anywhere close to as good as his nephew
Gregg and that's for sure. I only rode like him in my dreams.
At my peak I was an intermediate B rider.
MMX: Well, who knows if you had decided to pursue
racing instead of being a track owner, we wouldn't have Budd's Creek
Da Beaz: Yup, that's for sure. I don't think
me racing past the amateur level was ever a consideration though.
MMX: What about your son Ezra, is he doing any
Da Beaz: Mmmmm-no. Trying to teach him how to play
MMX: Oh, really?
Da Beaz: No, but, motocross is so dangerous now.
Bikes have gotten so fast and the suspension is so good. I mean,
you used to know when you were out of control, but now, you have very
little or no warning before stuff goes wrong in a big hurry. I
still love the 2-strokes. The 250 is all I need and I weigh 250
pounds. It's plenty fast for me. It's amazing how the Pros
and even some of the younger riders can ride em the way they do.
MMX: That's very true. One might argue that
you would need Jedi-like reflexes to handle them.
Da Beaz: I dunno about all that.
MMX: (Waves hand) You... would need...
Da Beaz: (Laugh) Yes, Yes I agree you would.
MMX: Well, thank you for taking the time to grant
us an interview.
Da Beaz: Hey, no problem, I'll tell you what I
tell everyone. If you need to reach me, after sunset is your
best bet. We're going from 8 in the morning to 8 at night and
MMX: Yeah, they wanted me to call you really
early, but here in
Tennessee I'm an hour behind. I was like "I am NOT waking up 5am
to call him for an early interview"
Da Beaz: (Laugh) I was wondering about the 901
area code. Where abouts in TN are you?
Da Beaz: Oh wow, what a great town. Probably
the most underrated town in the country.
MMX: Uhhh, I believe that was the most overrated
comment about this town I have ever heard. You must have been to
a different Memphis.
Da Beaz: Ha, well sorry you don't like it.
Well, my family is from Jackson. The actual graveyard at
Loretta's, you been there?
MMX: No I have not been yet, but I keep getting
invites. Ones of these years I'll jump on it.
Da Beaz: Ah, well that was my family's property
during the Civil War.
MMX: That's pret-ty cool.
Da Beaz: Yeah, the graveyard when you pull in to
Loretta's. I'm related to everybody there. I didn't know
that till ten years ago. My grandmother was 94 at the time.
I used to drive down and spend the week with her. Just drive up
to the track that was like 40 miles away from her and attend.
One day it was like 70 degrees and I wanted her to come with me.
On our way
there she asked where we were going. I told
her and she said "That's in Hurricane Mills, isn't it?" I told
her yes and she said told me that that was my grandfather's farm.
I was shocked.
MMX: That would be a shock for me too, but for
Da Beaz: (Laugh) Yeah, I thought it was
amazing, because this guy was 37 years old, in the Confederate
Calvary, his horse was shot from underneath him and broke his leg
during a battle along Hurricane Creek. He stayed with the family
while his leg started to heal. He went back at the end of the
war and married their daughter and it was their property.
They're laying side by side in that grave yard when you pull in to
MMX: I definitely will keep an eye out for it and
have something cool to point out when I go. Well, thank you for
your time. Is there any sponsors or people that you would like
to give a shout out to?
Da Beaz: Man, I would be shouting out for days.
Everyone in the motocross industry has been very good and very helpful
to me. I try my best to thank them all.
MMX: Thanks again sir.
Da Beaz: Thank you. See
you on September 23rd for Motocross of Nations