being a sponsored Amateur. Its most obvious
manifestation is in the size of the motor homes in
the pits—it’s like an arms race. Big contracts have
obligations, and they don’t come cheap. I have lost count
of the number of families that have taken out second and
third mortgages on their homes to keep up with Junior’s
racing career. Many have even lost their humble abodes.
Racing for a kid is about fun—family fun—and parents
should never lose sight of that.
Luckily for me, in my family, school was very
important. I had to get good grades to ride. Going to
school put me at a disadvantage, though. My competition
wasn’t in school. While I was attending classes, my
competition was traveling the country in massive land
yachts, going from race to race, and getting the
experience that was needed for the big races.
I begged my parents to home-school me. I felt it was
the only way to keep my dream alive, but they said no.
To me, school was holding me back from racing, but
looking back on it now, I see more clearly that racing
was holding me back from school. Although my parents
refused to let me be home-schooled, the principal at my
high school wasn’t quite as sure. Since I was missing two
and half months of school per year going to races, the
principal said that I had a decision to make (or rather my
parents had a decision to make)—either I quit missing
school days, which would mean missing the big races
in my Team Green contract, or enroll in home-schooling.
My family knew if I gave up my education I would be
putting all my eggs into one basket. I was shocked when
they said that it was all or nothing and we went for it.
I don’t want to do a disservice to parents who
homeschool their children to ensure them a better
education or to provide a safe social environment, but
let’s just say that home-schooled motocross racers just
feed the illiteracy rate in this country. It is hard to get
a job without a GED. The truth is that most racers who
have been homeschooled never get a high school
diploma. Not because they weren’t smart enough or that
they were bad kids; they just gambled their future on
the present. The harsh reality is that many of these home-schooled racers don’t get very far—in racing and often
in life. For many, injuries get the best of them. The costs
put the family into debt. Often, mom and dad split up
due to pressures along the way. The list is never-ending.
I am not yet a parent, but I plan to be one someday.
As a future parent, I feel it would be heartbreaking to
see my kid crash and go through tremendous pain. But,
to chase the dream, you must also accept the reality that
you will be injured at some point along the way. The
longer you last, the more trauma you see. I would like
to think that the number of friends I have who have suffered broken femurs, been paralyzed, had serious
LET’S JUST SAY THAT HOME-SCHOOLED
MOTOCROSS RACERS JUST FEED THE
ILLITERACY RATE IN THIS COUNTRY.
NOVEMBER 2014 / MOTOCROSS ACTION 95
With sponsors comes pressure. Finishing fourth at a big
amateur national in Texas was not cutting it.
Things started to get
serious when Daryl
took second place
on his KX65 behind
James Stewart at an
The hard work started to pay off when Honda gave Daryl a fleet of race bikes.