The next day at work I witnessed easily the most disorganized and chaotic shop atmosphere I had ever seen in my life. As I was moving in my rollaway toolbox, I realized this place was not a race shop, but a three-ring circus. There was a constant stream of racers wanting parts, bikes prepped and repair work. No one was in charge of anything. I was flabbergasted.
Gary introduced me to a few race team 125 pro riders (Davey Williams, Bob Hannah and Gary Denton) who were all there at the time. There were plenty of other DG-sponsored riders not there at the time. Since I was previously focused only on the 250 and open pro class riders that Rex Staten raced against, I had never heard of any of these 125 pro riders. All of the racers hanging out in the shop were engaged in non-stop racer trash talking. I paid no attention to the trash talk. I knew from experience that trash talk ended at the 40-minute mark of a race. I wasn’t too impressed by any of them at the time.
Gary Harlow briefly introduced me to the other DG race mechanic, Rocky Williams (Rocky was the older brother of DG 125 pro Davey Williams). Suddenly, Gary disappeared into his front office letting me fend for myself. There was a big CMC $1000 pro-purse race at Saddleback during the upcoming weekend, and the DG team bikes were nowhere near ready to race. I realized I needed to quickly connect with Rocky so we could set priorities and make a game plan for getting the bikes race ready. Unfortunately, as I quickly learned, Rocky was 90-percent deaf and not exactly happy to see me come on board. To say the least, I had many immediate challenges in front of me.
As time played out, I learned that Rocky was a very hard worker, and a very good mechanic. But, understandably, Rocky focused on working on his brother Davey’s bike over any other task. I couldn’t blame Rocky for his priorities, and there was no way I could change them. It was clear that the other DG team riders were looking to me for some much-needed attention and technical help.
Story Index (Click on any title to read the episode)
Episode 1: Understanding The 70s SoCal Motocross Atmosphere
Episode 2: My Road Into Motocross
Episode 3: Getting a Foot in the Door
Episode 4: Reality in the Race Shop
Episode 5: Building a Race Team
Episode 6: Building the Team Bikes
Episode 7: Understanding the Goals of a Racing Business
Episode 8: The DG Front Office
Episode 9: The Competition
Episode 10: Painting the SoCal Racer’s Atmosphere
Episode 11: From Mechanic to I.T. Before There Was I.T.
Episode 12: A Few Words About Engine “Formulas”
Episode 13: Mechanic Buddies
Episode 14: 1976 Turning Points at DG
Episode 15: Facing the “Race-Gas” Era
Episode 16: The Retail Chamber Birthplace
Episode 17: The Mammoth Motocross Classic
Episode 18: The DG/Saddleback Launching Pad