When Steve Lamson was a professional motocross rider, his biggest worry, other than his finishes, was staying healthy. Now, as team manager for Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha, the 44-year-old Orangevale native still worries about finishes, but also the health of his team, booking flights, making sure the team trucks arrive on time, parts are ordered, media events and practice track time schedules. The list goes on and on, as does the busy Lamson.
“You have to be a multitasker, that’s for sure,” said Lamson in advance of Saturday’s AMA Supercross race at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. “Between working with our four riders, booking hotels, et cetera, it gets really busy during the season. But it’s fun. Luckily, my boss (team owner) Bobby Regan takes good care of me.”
Lamson is a 1989 graduate of Casa Roble High School and spent most of his late teens and early 20s living in Pollock Pines, where his family moved just after he graduated and turned pro. With his first victory coming in 1991 with Pro Circuit Honda, Lamson won the AMA Outdoor Nationals 125cc championships in 1995 and 1996.
After his last full racing season in 2005, Lamson opened a riding school at Prairie City SHRV. Still, he yearned to get back into the competitive side of the sport. He became a team manager for MBK Motorsports in 2007 and has worked for several teams in that capacity since then. He’s been with Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha since 2014.
Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb are Lamson’s top two riders. Martin won the 2014 AMA Outdoor Nationals title while Webb finished third. Webb has already locked up the AMA 250cc Supercross West title, the first of his young career. The other team riders include Aaron Scott Plesinger and Anthony Rodriquez. Both race during the eastern swing of the Supercross series. All four are expected to compete in the AMA Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships, which kick off May 16 with the Hangtown Motocross Classic at Prairie City SHRV.
When not at the races, Lamson and his team can be found tearing up the team’s track in Murrieta in Riverside County, which has become home to many of the top AMA teams and riders, much the way Mooresville, N.C., is to NASCAR teams and drivers.
“I can see the test tracks for Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and KTM from our track,” Lamson said. “(Murrieta) has great riding weather and really has become the hub of motocross racing.”
Lamson said he plans to either retire as a team manager or restart his rider school but has no plans to ever fully leave the sport.
“It’s the only thing I know,” he said.
Brad Sweet’s biggest fears as a race promoter were becoming reality on April 7 as heavy rain fell the day before the inaugural Brad Sweet’s Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown.
But rather than cancel or postpone the first World of Outlaws sprint car appearance at the venerable Placerville track since 1992, the Grass Valley native and 2014 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year purchased 25 huge rolls of construction-grade plastic sheeting and covered the quarter-mile clay oval and infield.
“We were going to run that race no matter what,” said Sweet, who finished a disappointing 15th but won three nights later in Calistoga – his second victory of the season. “We put down the plastic, the sandbags and started pumping out the rain water back into the fairgrounds.”
Sweet also brought in 1,100 extra seats, and a sellout crowd of more than 3,000 saw Donny Schatz take the checkered flag followed by Sacramento native Kyle Hirst.
“We ended up having a great show,” said Sweet, who is third in the Outlaws’ championship points chase, 53 points behind Schatz. “I’d like to do it again next year, and if we do, then it will be bigger and better. I have a few tricks up my sleeve.”
Spring Jam coming
California Modified Imports Racing will host the 19th Annual Spring Jam Car Show and Drag Race on April 26 at Sacramento Raceway.
The race is the second of five CMI Racing events this season. Race winners in their respective categories can take home $1,000. The car show offers cash prizes to best in show and in various categories.
For more information, go to www.sacramentoraceway.com.
Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @editorwriter001.