Let’s introduce the people behind the stars
Let’s introduce the people behind the stars
A Short BTO Sports Team Profile
I had the pleasure of getting to hang out with Andrew Short and the BTO Sports – KTM Racing Team at the Seattle Supercross, it’s an experience that I don’t take for granted and is hard to put into words. I have a tendency to take things a little bit too far so I tried my best to be respectful of the job everyone on the team was doing while I was making waffles, roaming around the semi, drooling on Shorty’s bike and explaining the marketing potential of a shake weight. This Short profile isn’t about how much fun I had at the Seattle Supercross you can read about that later this week in Moservations.
I wanted to take the opportunity I had to talk with some of the team members and ask what it takes to run a race team. I had a lot of questions about what it takes to get Andrew Short to the race each and every week. We’ll look at a couple of team members each day through-out this week to see what happens behind the big BTO Sports tent, I asked the hard hitting questions or at least the questions I wanted answers too. Another big thanks to Andrew Short and the entire BTO Sports Team for tolerating me this weekend, I had a ton of fun and even learned some things.
Who better to start this BTO Profile with than the man that literally gets the bike and/or the parts that make up the bike to the race everyweek the truck driver for BTO Alex.
Moser: Lets just start with your name and what you do here at BTO Sports?
Alex: .My names Alex and I drive the transporter/truck driver.
How long you been driving truck for Team BTO Sports?
This is my second year.
So when you’re trucking and on the road do you have an alias name like Snowman what’s your name on the CB, they still do the CB thing right?
Oh yeah, yeah we usually cruise with about three or four deep, and they’ve been calling me Klinger lately.
Klinger the guy from Mash, you don’t look like Klinger?
I don’t know where they come up with these crazy names but it seems to change week to week.
|Here’s Alex- he gets the whole team to the race. Literally. Photo by Moser|
So hows love life on the road do you have any lot lizards stories?
It’s kind of lonely, when I signed up for this gig I alway heard all these stories about getting flashed and girls driving around half naked, but it’s like a white wolf you just never see it. I’ve been cruising across the country back and forth for a long time now and I haven’t seen anything I couldn’t even get a big girl to give me a little love.
Yeah so it’s a little lonely but it is what it is, good windshield time.
What did you do before you started driving truck here?
I was one of those couch surfers, I just kind of did my own thing. I had a company and did some construction for awhile and loved the moto industry and loved being around it.
So did you grow up riding bikes?
I grew up riding and you know the same story, chased the dream and got hurt. Ended up driving a truck, got hurt racing again, so back to driving truck.
So what’s your job description what all are you responsible for besides getting the truck to the races?
I’m a full time babysitter for the mechanics (Said loudly in the direction of the mechanics)
I’m the washer, I’m the cook, and I’m the glue that keeps this team together
I like that, you’re like the dad.
I’m the dad the mom, I have to make sure they’re all nice and tidy, (turns to one of the mechanics and says) hey tuck your shirt in boy, you know stuff like that.
So you have to wash the truck each and every week when you get to the race?
Well this week it was a bummer because I had to wash it twice and then hose it down a third time because it was such a long trip and was pretty hammered from the snow. So we washed them at the hotel and then drove to the track in the rain and had to rinse them down again, the cleaner the better.
Lots of washing, so what are your tricks or tips, a pressure washer, special soap for spotless shine?
We have deionized water tanks that gives you the spot free water, and some super sudsy foam soap that gets any grim off. The cleaner you keep the truck the easier it is to keep it clean. It takes about four hours to clean it.
How often do you have to wax it?
Usually about three times a year and polish the wheels every race, keep them shiny.
So when you’re driving do you double clutch or just fake it.
No no no there is no clutching when driving trucks, only time you use a clutch is to take off everything else you just slip.
What are your tricks to staying awake on the road?
Redbull, coffee, more Redbull, anything with caffeine
How many miles to the gallon does this baby get?
About 4 MPG.
Do you team up with any of the other drivers to draft with or whatever?
I’m usually first or last, it’s not really a race to get there but I usually cruise with, JGR, and TroyLee, that’s our wolf pack.
How about peeing on the road do you use the bottle trick?
No, no peeing on the road, I tried it once and gave myself a golden shower never again
Alright thanks Alex any other thoughts or words of wisdom?
Girls show some love out there for the truckers
Nathan Lynn Alexander is the mechanic for Andrew Short. He started wrenching for Shorty last year on the L&MC team and is now working with him over at the BTO Sports team. I’ve known Nate for a little while now he’s a good guy, great guy, pretty quite and very witty with his comments. This is what Nate reluctantly had to tell me in Seattle
Moser: We’ll be professional about this, what’s your name and your position?
Nate: you already know my name.
What’s your middle name?
And what is your position here at BTO Sports Mr. Alexander?
You already know my position, why you gotta ask these questions.
I’m doing a team profile bro?
You need to be prepared, you already know all the answers to these questions.
You want me to answer the questions? You want me to do your interview for you?
Alright, this is going to be awkward. Lets talk about what you do every week?
Grips and graphics.
What do you do that most people don’t know about?
Grips and graphics, I’m just kidding.
Do you even have to do graphics? Like what do you and don’t you have to do. So Factory KTM does the motor and suspension.
I build this chassis each and every week
|Here’s Nate tightening up Shorty. Photo by Moser|
So you build it from the frame up?
Yup everything except for the motor.
Lets talk about how you do that, how long does it take?
It takes me a long time because I’m really slow.
Well what’s a long time I didn’t say it was a race?
Sundays I’ll start at like 8:00am and finish around 7:00pm
So you build it the day after the race?
Well this week was different, because I flew in and out late. So I got here Thursday around 5:00pm and tore it down at the hotel in about an hour and then you just have to clean everything. Then they moved the truck to the stadium so it was around 8:00pm I started building it and I didn’t finish until around 4:45am Friday then went to bed.
I saw you send out a tweet at like 5:00am and was wondering what you were doing up so early and you hadn’t gone to bed yet?
People like to hear how often you switch out stuff so, like a frame will make it an entire Supercross season or…
Yeah a frame will go a whole season.
Graphics like every week?
New plastic and new graphics every week. Chain every other week.
Do you have to change the air filter in Supercross at all on race day?
It depends, this week I have an outdoor air filter in there.
What’s the difference?
It’s like a stock air filter.
So just thicker, because it is going to rain?
Yeah, the other air filters we usually run are thinner.
More air is faster right?
With footpegs do you sharpen them or just swap them out?
You don’t have to sharpen them very often.
What brand are these? They appear to be really sharp.
Usually every week.
No hump in his seat, why doesn’t Shorty like a hump?
He’s not like you he doesn’t ride humps.
He doesn’t hump it?
Georke’s mechanic JR Boyd interrupts – “Don’t let him lie to you I did the seat cover this week but if the seat cover falls off it’s Nates fault.”
There’s not much grip tape on Shorty’s bike, does he not use his legs much or, doesn’t straddle it much?
Grip tape is more of a look thing.
Or does he squeeze the bike so hard he doesn’t need griptape?
The grip tape weighs too much.
So these have batteries, why isn’t there a charger hooked up to this thing?
You don’t need a charger.
How many starts do you get before you have to recharge that baby?
It recharges itself.
Really when it’s running? I honestly don’t know are you serious?
Yes I’m serious.
So earlier you were bleeding the hydraulic clutch and brake so how often you bleed those?
Every race or every other race.
What about like brake pads?
I scotch brite those ones.
Is that to break them in?
No those are two races old, I just clean them up to make them look good.
Well they do look good, your whole bike looks good Nate but I wasn’t going to go there and be creepy. But do you have to brake in brake pads?
With Andrew, yes.
What else do you want to tell me about this bike, when you tear it down do you pressure wash it first.
So obviously you go down to the start line, do you go on track walk with Shorty too?
No I do other stuff.
What’s your theory on the starting line you’re a pretty talkative guy so I’m sure you’re really chatting up Short on the start line?
Andrew doesn’t want me to talk to him he’s focused.
What about gate prep, what do you wear when you go down there, shoe wise?
These shoes (skate style shoes) because he likes it loose.
Really he likes it loose?
That’s his new thing, the bike gets too much traction so he preps the gate himself and leaves it loose.
So you don’t even have to prep the gate so you don’t really do anything.
I just hang out.
This mechanic thing is easy.
I just shake weight down there.
You’re going to wear a fanny pack this week instead of a backpack what’s the thought behind that?
I don’t think it’s necessary.
The backpack is too much?
Yeah it’s heavy.
Did you decide what your going to put in the fanny pack?
Is the shake weight going to fit in the fanny pack?
Well that’s a problem, maybe we can get you a belt loop so it could be like swinging from your belt. We can totally make this shake weight fit inside the fanny pack.
Thanks for reading this Short profile and stop by tomorrow for some another BTO Team member profile. Please send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org