Thursday, September 10, 2015

All Worth It...Chris Canning.

How far are you willing to travel to race motocross? Do you keep it local, just hit the big ones or travel hours for a weekend of fun? That answer for a a racer in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is 12,907 miles. Trips across country, often back and forth from east coast to west, just hoping to get in the show or crack that top 20.

The pro schedule is grueling to say the least. Once you make it to the races the rest of the pressure builds. Week after week of trying to get that one lap in the top 36. Trying to avoid the do or die consolation race. 

This past season there was a guy, not on a factory supported team, not under a semi and not even out of his own van for the entire season. 

Coventry, Connecticut's Chris Canning qualified at 11 of the 12 rounds in the 250 class. Not without overcoming struggles on and off the bike. The miles on the road and countless laps on the track would pay a toll on Canning.

Photo: Jim McMillan

Round 2 at Glen Helen would show his best result with a 19th in moto 2. His 2 points scored would be his only points of the season but consistency of qualifying and finishing motos strong would end the season with Canning 41st overall in the 250 class championship points.

Just after Glen Helen, 967 miles from the next round in Lakewood, Colorado. Traveling through Utah and then, stranded. The Ford 7.3 van that Chris planned on taking him across the country only made it half way to round 3. "My biggest struggle as a racer is paying for everything." Now an expense that was unexpected. Chris would rent a Uhaul and with his determination to not be stopped, he'd be on the line at Thunder Valley. He'd also have to fly his mechanic home to get a truck and meet him back at the races. 

Canning would only miss qualifying at RedBud, in fact he never even got an attempt to qualify. During an opportunity to ride the week prior of the race, Chris' bike would break an engine and put the number 376 machine out for the weeks national. He'd continue on to Millville with a fresh motor and pick up right where he left off. Getting in the show round after round.

Photo: 173 Photos/Brianna Kobel

The 21 year old tries to fit in working, riding and working out all while trying to perform as a racer. He's received a little help from the guys at JWTF (Jimmy Weinert Training Facility) in Maysville, North Carolina. Making sacrifices that Chris says are "all worth it when your lining up on the gate."

Chris is sponsored by: JWTF, Kaplan Cycle, Manchester Honda KTM, Loud Fuel Co., Powerband Suspension, 6D Helmets, Yoshimura, Novik Gloves, STS Graphics, Sidi Boots, and JARD.

Follow Chris on Instagram @canning598

Chris Canning is the reason we #cheerprivateer. Getting it done on pure determination and for the love of the sport. "I'd rather be broke sending my dirt bike all over the country, than doing anything else in the world." We hope to see Chris on the gate for some Supercross events this winter.

-Kyle Pesci

1 comment: