Fathers Day has a different significance to everyone, but when you're a motocross racer, it's usually about thanking your dad for doing what he did to get you to the point you are as a racer. But in modern years, there is an increasing number of motocross racers who are themselves fathers, so Fathers Day becomes less about their own dads, and more about being one.
Chad Reed celebrates his third win of the year with his son Tate on his shoulders on the day before Fathers Day. (Photo: CoxMX.com)
This year, Fathers Day fell on the day after the Budds Creek AMA National, and although the perception in the past has been that becoming a father while you were still racing made racers soft, what really happened at Budds Creek is that we learned that's not the case, in either class.
To start with, we had Chad Reed. Reed has already been on a tear this summer, winning two of the three nationals coming into Budds, although the second of those two - Texas - was sort of handed to him when Ryan Dungey's bike died with less than two laps to go. But it wasn't a long shot for him to take the win at Budds Creek, even though rival Ryan Villopoto had recently caught fire at High Point the previous weekend.
Reed still has the same points lead as he had prior to Budds Creek, 15 points over Ryan Villopoto. (Photo: CoxMX.com)
Reed's wife Ellie and son Tate were on hand at Budds, as they were last week at High Point. But at High Point, Reed lost to Villopoto. At Budds, Reed had an "off" first moto, but then turned it around to work his way forward and win moto two, just as he had done at High Point the previous weekend. This time, though, he got to celebrate on the podium with his son, on the weekend of Fathers Day, giving Tate his first taste of what it's like to be a winner in the sport his dad has chosen.
And then in the 250 class, we had Tyla Rattray. Rattray is also a new dad - newer than Reed - and he has never been better since he came to the USA. Since he became a dad, his racing has improved. You may even be able to say his focus has improved. He says it has, and he says it's in part because he's not just racing for himself, he's racing for his daughter, and for his wife. For some people, that is a much bigger motivator than just racing for your own selfish glory, and Rattray is one of those people.
Tyla Rattray won his second race of the year, and leads the 250 points, and he's also a dad. It was a daddy sweep on Fathers Day weekend at Budds Creek. (Photo: CoxMX.com)
Rattray couldn't quite chase down teammate and title rival Dean Wilson in the first 250 moto, but in moto two he stayed strong, holding off teenager Justin Barcia for the entire moto to win the moto and overall, extending his points lead over Wilson by a couple of points in the process.
Because Rattray's child isn't quite old enough yet, she couldn't be at the race to celebrate with dad, but you can bet that she did plenty of celebrating with her pops the moment he walked in the door on Fathers Day.
Rattray (28) leads Justin Barcia (17) in the second moto. (Photo: CoxMX.com)