Loretta Lynn’s 2003: A Hillbilly’s Tale

While much of the racing at Loretta’s is for pre- and mid-teens, there are plenty of vet classes as well.

We’ve been talking to Afton, Tennessee’s David Albert, Jr. (who posts as Hillbilly on various moto boards) for the last few years. He’s a cool character who likes to do things his own way (riding a Husqvarna), and wearing No Bull riding armor that we like to tease him about. But he always posts funny stories about his racing exploits, and this year at Loretta Lynn’s is no different. He raced in both the Vet 35 Plus and Senior 40 Plus, doing amazingly well, considering he did it all on his own with no support crew at the race. Here’s his Loretta’s 2003 tale.

[IMAGE 1]

I leave Sunday morning about 4:00 AM. The first few miles on the interstate I can tell the rattles on the old motorhome are not the same. I get nervous thinking about past trips, turn up the tunes and drive on. Starts raining hard before first gas stop. I look for a Pilot gas store for the awesome coffee. See a big yellow sign and hit the ramp. As I pull out the fan is hitting something. Oh sh*t, my stomach churns.

I fill up then take off the cover. The fan is hitting the shroud. I eyeball things and see the engine (motor) is off-center over an inch (three inches Florida). The mounts have rotted and the engine is just lying in there. Putting it in reverse and brake gassing it gets some clearance and two Ancra tie downs hooked to frame and engine get me rolling.

At the Loretta exit I gas it and the fan is touching again. I pull into the old Pilot store lot and jack the engine back in place and reset tie downs. These delays put me at the campground at just the right time. I get into a new field that is grass, not mud. I’m set.

Sign up and walk the track, which is very wet. Worry about my motos being so close together and something happening to my good bike. Practice is dry and fun. I do all the jumps a few times then chill out and ride around. I got the track down and am ready.

It rains a lot Monday night so I decide to race my old bike in 35+. I get up at 5:00 AM and mount a rear tire, put on Flexxbars. You need white background number plates so I have to swap that out between bikes. The old bike front plate has a bar to guide the brake line. The new bike uses the stock guide that I modified. This is crucial and comes back to haunt me. I also swapped out the front wheel with a 756 on one and 739 on the other.

I draw 4 to gate pick for the first 35+ moto. Line up beside Earl May who is right of the box. No hot lap for me, I dig the mud so I just wait. Gate drops and we get a good jump but Earl backs out and lets them sweep by. I run past and then banzai the U turn and get a mid-pack start. The front brake line has no guide and I see it getting caught in the wheel now and then. Spooky. I pass up to 12th or so then fall and end up 19th.

I switch the stuff over to the new bike for the first 40+ moto and get a 34 pick to the gate. I line up far left and sweep in good. As I round the tree a guy is down and I stick it in his wheel. Last place. I dig down and ride hard. I fall once and kill the engine once. End up in 12th.

Next race is 35+ at 5pm Wednesday so I spend that morning prepping bikes. After seeing the brake line deal I modify the old bike guide like the new bike. I had the stock guide grommet zip tied with the hand guard so I clip it and set up the new guide. This is what comes back to haunt me.

I took a washer and cleaned bikes in my pit. LOL.

2nd motos tomorrow….

After cleaning up my beaters Tuesday I clean up myself and head down into the main pit area. If you take a cart or mini they make you turn off the road at area 3 then go through the tree camp that runs along the track. This is a f*cking zoo. Carts everywhere driven by kids, WFO.

I’m ready to take my switchblade and stick tires but I chill, don’t want karma goinbad. Then, that’s when I meet the splash kid. He covers two little girls up at this mud hole they were playing at. I’m talking eyes, head, and entire body. They couldn’t see to get anywhere. I get splashed good too, then set out in chase.

I’m thinking about what I’m going to do as I chase. Kill? Maim? Cripple? Then he rides up to some folks I know and I wait. Flat tires it is…..later.

I go make my call from the hilltop and ride the road back to my pit and lay down.

Wednesday comes and I get up, step outside and cut a hole in the air to walk through. It’s thick and it’s going to storm at some point, no doubt. If they keep on time my 35+ moto 2 is at 5:00 PM with 40+ Thursday at 7:30 AM. I’m hoping that rain delays both till Thursday so my hands will get warmed up in 35+, then I can push hard in 40+.

Either way I know its going to be muddy so I lower my forks in the clamps for a more stable ride. I stiffen up both ends for all the weight I’ll be carrying. Tape up some holes and spray the bikes with silicone and WD40 for cleanup later. I take a file to the pegs for grip and also use the file edge to scratch my levers up for grip also.

About 3:00 PM it storms. They stop racing for a long time then the sun pops out and they call us to the line about 6:00 PM.

Lots of bitching, I’m smiling. Can’t wait to beat these Yankees in the slop.

I line up far right. I just want to round the corner and then go down the right side and pass a bunch. They change the first turn back to the old way and I get covered up, blind, in fourth gear. Pull my tear off but nothing happens. It tore down the perforations and is still taped over my roll-offs, LOL.

I get it off about a lap later and start passing. Pass Earl May, Steve Burette, Bigelow and others. I get seventh, LOL… The old bike pulled good in the thick mud. I had welded the shifter solid last year to heel shift and when I would go through the deep ruts it would shift itself. LOL.

So now I got to ride this old bike in moto two because they got the frame number. I head back to Area 51 to wash and clean up, satisfied from a seventh place.

Wednesday night I hope for more rain. I see that not a lot of guys are ready for terrible conditions. They put two 65cc classes ahead of us so the start is about 8:30 AM.I line up inside again and just plan on staying up around the start then hitting the outside berm in the U turn to make up for my non-aggressive start. The start is still going the old way, which is straighter. I need no sight lap because I’ve seen mud before. Several go out, amazing, seemed like 10 minutes until they got back.

I got the tear-off over the roll-offs again, this time it won’t tear in two, LOL. I mounted a clear lens while drinking coffee this morning so I could see a little better in the early light. Worried about my hands though, in the 35+ Wednesday evening I never had trouble, but first thing in the morning I usually get cramped up. I took a long mountain bike ride at 6:00 AM to get body ready but that can’t prepare my wrists.

Anyway, the guys finally get back and the gate falls. I spin it up and a guy to my right gets ahead. I’m blind before I make the right. Pull the tear-off and head to the U-turn hitting the outside mounds of mud. Passing a load of guys I get in line about 20th, I guess. I easily pass them as most are lying down and wallowing like a pig. Makes it easy on the goggles when there is no roost when passing, LOL.

I catch Teggers (Tim Eggers) on about the 3rd lap. He is swapping damn near trackwide. I follow so I can get my timing down. It’s like a revolving door your gonna run through with it hitting your ass. He keeps about the same rhythm going and I pass heading for the tabletop.

I pass up to ninth and see the “1” card up as I pass the flag stand. My hands are in bad shape and I put the pain out of my mind for one last charge. I get three guys on that lap and come towards the checkers in sixth. Only its not the checkers, he has the white flag out! I don’t think I can make another lap, my hands won’t even close. My head just about blows up as I deal with having to go another lap. My thumbs won’t close around the bars and I’m four-fingering the clutch lever and can’t even feel it or the brake. I’m in deep trouble. Can’t fall or might not get the thing going again.

I ride wide and roost the guys every chance I get. They are on me and one doubles by in the back section. The other two get me at the finish line. I finish ninth, the only time I was bummed all week. I had tons of wind left yet couldn’t hold on to use it, that sucks…

I head back to Area 51 to clean bikes up and regroup for the finals the next day.

Each night on Radio Fox Jason and Kevin would give me some love. That was so cool to be laying in the motohome and hear your name on results and then get talked about for my riding style of standing up. I thank you guys for that…

On the “1” card I saw. The flagman shows the “2” card for 2 to go, then the white flag. Never is the “1” displayed. I’m not sure why I saw “1”. The card has a 2/1 on it because he uses it for starts. Maybe it was turned wrong? Not sure, but I blew it. If I could have held sixth in that moto my overall would have been sixth overall maybe.

After my moto Thursday morning I go lay out by the track all day and watch. It’s an amazing thing to see all the races and flaggers and tractors work.

I hook up with a father (60-ish) and son (30-ish) that I met last year. They just come to watch all week. Good to see ya again, Dave & Tim, see ya next year.

Friday comes and I get a good breakfast of yogurt, melon and peanut butter. Sitting in 12th (35+) and ninth (40+), my goal of top 10 is within reach. I figured top 20 would be good in 35+ so I’m stoked to be so close in both classes.

We got the board meeting (Ed. note: a group from one of the message boards that Hillbilly frequents had pre-planned a meeting at Loretta’s) at noon and I load up a case plus some extra in a backpack and head toward Dave’s place. I stop and chat with Tim and Dave a while. They tell me good luck; I tell them if I fold up stick me in my truck, LOL.

[IMAGE 2]

We all meet at Dave’s and have a laugh then I head off to get ready. Being motos seven and 10 leaves little time for getting ready and regrouped. I get goggles and gloves ready, bikes ready and fueled before the 1st moto at 2:00 PM.

I take my hot lap this time, riding slow and taking in all my lines I want to try. Track is just right for me, lots of holes and edges that I can force the rider I passing into taking. Lots of guys that have done well at LL’s are so easy to pass in places I can’t believe they try to go to block a pass. Inside I hope for a bad start just so I can pass. I get my wish.

As the 2 card goes up I check my levers. It is then I see the missing zip tie on the front brake lever guard. I about throw up my hand to take my two minutes but decide to ride it. I’m on the far right again, just wanting a safe top 20 start.

After the U-turn I get in line at what looks like mid-pack. Turning into the 10 commandments I go to double and clip a rear fender with the right bar end. It folds the guard back into the lever, locks the wheel and I eat dirt. I think about cutting that zip tie three days earlier and think about my wish of last place start. Time to go.

I pick up the bike and take off. This is my 2001 bike with over a 100 motos on it. I really dread the last laps because on Tuesday with a lap to go I kept watching for my shock to be sticking up out there somewhere. I was sure it wasn’t on the bike anymore. Now today I got to ride wide open, carrying much more speed than the first moto.

[IMAGE 3]

I pass a lot of riders. I take lines nobody uses, I was bree guys on that lap and come towards the checkers in sixth. Only its not the checkers, he has the white flag out! I don’t think I can make another lap, my hands won’t even close. My head just about blows up as I deal with having to go another lap. My thumbs won’t close around the bars and I’m four-fingering the clutch lever and can’t even feel it or the brake. I’m in deep trouble. Can’t fall or might not get the thing going again.

I ride wide and roost the guys every chance I get. They are on me and one doubles by in the back section. The other two get me at the finish line. I finish ninth, the only time I was bummed all week. I had tons of wind left yet couldn’t hold on to use it, that sucks…

I head back to Area 51 to clean bikes up and regroup for the finals the next day.

Each night on Radio Fox Jason and Kevin would give me some love. That was so cool to be laying in the motohome and hear your name on results and then get talked about for my riding style of standing up. I thank you guys for that…

On the “1” card I saw. The flagman shows the “2” card for 2 to go, then the white flag. Never is the “1” displayed. I’m not sure why I saw “1”. The card has a 2/1 on it because he uses it for starts. Maybe it was turned wrong? Not sure, but I blew it. If I could have held sixth in that moto my overall would have been sixth overall maybe.

After my moto Thursday morning I go lay out by the track all day and watch. It’s an amazing thing to see all the races and flaggers and tractors work.

I hook up with a father (60-ish) and son (30-ish) that I met last year. They just come to watch all week. Good to see ya again, Dave & Tim, see ya next year.

Friday comes and I get a good breakfast of yogurt, melon and peanut butter. Sitting in 12th (35+) and ninth (40+), my goal of top 10 is within reach. I figured top 20 would be good in 35+ so I’m stoked to be so close in both classes.

We got the board meeting (Ed. note: a group from one of the message boards that Hillbilly frequents had pre-planned a meeting at Loretta’s) at noon and I load up a case plus some extra in a backpack and head toward Dave’s place. I stop and chat with Tim and Dave a while. They tell me good luck; I tell them if I fold up stick me in my truck, LOL.

[IMAGE 2]

We all meet at Dave’s and have a laugh then I head off to get ready. Being motos seven and 10 leaves little time for getting ready and regrouped. I get goggles and gloves ready, bikes ready and fueled before the 1st moto at 2:00 PM.

I take my hot lap this time, riding slow and taking in all my lines I want to try. Track is just right for me, lots of holes and edges that I can force the rider I passing into taking. Lots of guys that have done well at LL’s are so easy to pass in places I can’t believe they try to go to block a pass. Inside I hope for a bad start just so I can pass. I get my wish.

As the 2 card goes up I check my levers. It is then I see the missing zip tie on the front brake lever guard. I about throw up my hand to take my two minutes but decide to ride it. I’m on the far right again, just wanting a safe top 20 start.

After the U-turn I get in line at what looks like mid-pack. Turning into the 10 commandments I go to double and clip a rear fender with the right bar end. It folds the guard back into the lever, locks the wheel and I eat dirt. I think about cutting that zip tie three days earlier and think about my wish of last place start. Time to go.

I pick up the bike and take off. This is my 2001 bike with over a 100 motos on it. I really dread the last laps because on Tuesday with a lap to go I kept watching for my shock to be sticking up out there somewhere. I was sure it wasn’t on the bike anymore. Now today I got to ride wide open, carrying much more speed than the first moto.

[IMAGE 3]

I pass a lot of riders. I take lines nobody uses, I was breaking ground everywhere. Never saw a pit board, never knew what position I was in. My hands went bad and hurt but I was able to ride on through. On the last lap I ran out of riders to go for. I pull off and it looks like I was about the second guy they waved past impound. Not bad, I thought, maybe with the mud moto things will be screwed up enuff to get a 10th.

I head to the motorhome, moto 8 just went out for their hot lap and 9 is in staging. I’m moto 10…

I pull the old bike up and lean it on the motorhome. Turn on the gen/airconditioner. As it starts cooling I shed my gear because I’m going back out in my vented stuff. I hoped GuyB got an action pic of the red gear. My kids liked it the best. I grabbed a helmet liner and got inside. I stood under the cold air and cleaned up my lid. The air was so cold it almost hurt. Listening to the radio I got an idea of how much time I had to kill. Bike was ready, least I thought, and my gate pack was ready with goggles in baggies with paper towels and water bottle. So I stood in the cool air as long as I dared.

I grab up my stuff along with a baggie full of ice and get the bike. I start to put my gloves behind the number plate when I realize I haven’t switched it. Grab the bike from other side of trailer and start digging mud out of bolt hole. It is then I see that my bike is front wheeless, LOL. I was about to kick it off the stand just a minute ago, LOL.

I get it all together again, sweating hard, and head toward line. On this trip is where the kid squirts my goggles with the blaster. Really pisses me off, lucky my bag covered them. When I turned around and pulled up to the cart he was scared sh*tless. His dad doesn’t know I’m there. I say “How’d you like to see that gun squirting out your dad’s ass?” Then give him my crazy eye look. His dad turns around with a puzzled look, prolly didn’t know his kid was squirting people. I head toward the gate.

I line up fourth gate from right. We are using the tight first turn now but the guy on the tractor has plowed it up well. Tuesday they left it glazed over at the left flick turn around the tree. Like a 20 by 20 area you could ice skate on. Made for lots of crashes. I practice a start then stop and eyeball the area. Looks good, all plowed up. I form up my plan and skip the hot lap, head to gate.

A guy to my right beats me out to the hard right; I let him go then cut under. Now it’s 75 feet to the left flick at the tree. I got a clear shot around the outside so I gas it hard. As I get to the left two bikes start flipping. If I slow any they are going to block my lane. I stay in the gas hoping to clear them. As I swing by the bike hits my left upper arm yanking my hand off the bar. I leave it pinned and turn left hard with my right hand. Nearly fall, get hand back on and head toward the U-turn. I’m in fourth gear now and a guy swaps in the mud, I touch his wheel the get by on the left side, still pinned.

Putting the bike through a hole I look for that outside pile of dirt through almost totally covered goggles. I see the berm but someone is in the way going slow. Right at the berm he falls, gets run over hard by the rider to my left, I hit his bike and launch over the berm through the banners.

Turning with the gas still pinned I head back into the track. Launch the berm, more banners, land and another guy wads on the exit and I clip that bike somehow and bounce off the last pile of dirt. Don’t believe I made it through all that. The U-turn before the whoops is another place I blast around the outside. I pass more then double out through them good. As I land and make the right I look up and see I’m around 10th place. Awesome…

[IMAGE 4]

Most roll the double/double; I jump it and pass a few. Telling my self to chill and ride the entire race. All I got to do is ride and I’m in. Looking ahead to get motivation I see how I’m gainingg on the rest of the field. Bike runs strong and turns well. It’s just too easy this time. I charge to last lap, seeing eighth on the pit board of the guy in front of me. That last lap was so much fun. I roll in ninth, eighth OA….

[IMAGE 5]

It was over too fast. These last motos came too close together to savor. I ride back to Area 51 with a big grin. I did it, not broken, and I got the goal I set.

[IMAGE 6]

Folks parked around me had all started to watch and listen, not believing I was there by myself and doing well.

I went down and watched the last motos with David and Tim. They were real proud of my ride and told me, pretty kool. Shook hands, telling them to be safe and see them next year. Walked over to scoreboard and saw I was in 8th/12th.Talked to Kevin Kelly again and Jason Weigant and then head back to pack up.

Later, after dark, I made a new gate in the fence and pulled out. Hope they didn’t get mad.

And that’s it folks, my moto adventure.

My oldest daughter made me a big trophy out of toilet paper and paper towel centers and pipe cleaners and stickers. They made banners and signs for their daddy. I planned on driving straight thru but decided to sleep in a rest area so they would be awake when I got there so they could see my reaction when I saw the stuff they made…

[IMAGE 7]

No plaque that I get mailed to me will compare to the trophy and signs my little girls made.

What a week… king ground everywhere. Never saw a pit board, never knew what position I was in. My hands went bad and hurt but I was able to ride on through. On the last lap I ran out of riders to go for. I pull off and it looks like I was about the second guy they waved past impound. Not bad, I thought, maybe with the mud moto things will be screwed up enuff to get a 10th.

I head to the motorhome, moto 8 just went out for their hot lap and 9 is in staging. I’m moto 10…

I pull the old bike up and lean it on the motorhome. Turn on the gen/airconditioner. As it starts cooling I shed my gear because I’m going back out in my vented stuff. I hoped GuyB got an action pic of the red gear. My kids liked it the best. I grabbed a helmet liner and got inside. I stood under the cold air and cleaned up my lid. The air was so cold it almost hurt. Listening to the radio I got an idea of how much time I had to kill. Bike was ready, least I thought, and my gate pack was ready with goggles in baggies with paper towels and water bottle. So I stood in the cool air as long as I dared.

I grab up my stuff along with a baggie full of ice and get the bike. I start to put my gloves behind the number plate when I realize I haven’t switched it. Grab the bike from other side of trailer and start digging mud out of bolt hole. It is then I see that my bike is front wheeless, LOL. I was about to kick it off the stand just a minute ago, LOL.

I get it all together again, sweating hard, and head toward line. On this trip is where the kid squirts my goggles with the blaster. Really pisses me off, lucky my bag covered them. When I turned around and pulled up to the cart he was scared sh*tless. His dad doesn’t know I’m there. I say “How’d you like to see that gun squirting out your dad’s ass?” Then give him my crazy eye look. His dad turns around with a puzzled look, prolly didn’t know his kid was squirting people. I head toward the gate.

I line up fourth gate from right. We are using the tight first turn now but the guy on the tractor has plowed it up well. Tuesday they left it glazed over at the left flick turn around the tree. Like a 20 by 20 area you could ice skate on. Made for lots of crashes. I practice a start then stop and eyeball the area. Looks good, all plowed up. I form up my plan and skip the hot lap, head to gate.

A guy to my right beats me out to the hard right; I let him go then cut under. Now it’s 75 feet to the left flick at the tree. I got a clear shot around the outside so I gas it hard. As I get to the left two bikes start flipping. If I slow any they are going to block my lane. I stay in the gas hoping to clear them. As I swing by the bike hits my left upper arm yanking my hand off the bar. I leave it pinned and turn left hard with my right hand. Nearly fall, get hand back on and head toward the U-turn. I’m in fourth gear now and a guy swaps in the mud, I touch his wheel the get by on the left side, still pinned.

Putting the bike through a hole I look for that outside pile of dirt through almost totally covered goggles. I see the berm but someone is in the way going slow. Right at the berm he falls, gets run over hard by the rider to my left, I hit his bike and launch over the berm through the banners.

Turning with the gas still pinned I head back into the track. Launch the berm, more banners, land and another guy wads on the exit and I clip that bike somehow and bounce off the last pile of dirt. Don’t believe I made it through all that. The U-turn before the whoops is another place I blast around the outside. I pass more then double out through them good. As I land and make the right I look up and see I’m around 10th place. Awesome…

[IMAGE 4]

Most roll the double/double; I jump it and pass a few. Telling my self to chill and ride the entire race. All I got to do is ride and I’m in. Looking ahead to get motivation I see how I’m gaining on the rest of the field. Bike runs strong and turns well. It’s just too easy this time. I charge to last lap, seeing eighth on the pit board of the guy in front of me. That last lap was so much fun. I roll in ninth, eighth OA….

[IMAGE 5]

It was over too fast. These last motos came too close together to savor. I ride back to Area 51 with a big grin. I did it, not broken, and I got the goal I set.

[IMAGE 6]

Folks parked around me had all started to watch and listen, not believing I was there by myself and doing well.

I went down and watched the last motos with David and Tim. They were real proud of my ride and told me, pretty kool. Shook hands, telling them to be safe and see them next year. Walked over to scoreboard and saw I was in 8th/12th.Talked to Kevin Kelly again and Jason Weigant and then head back to pack up.

Later, after dark, I made a new gate in the fence and pulled out. Hope they didn’t get mad.

And that’s it folks, my moto adventure.

My oldest daughter made me a big trophy out of toilet paper and paper towel centers and pipe cleaners and stickers. They made banners and signs for their daddy. I planned on driving straight thru but decided to sleep in a rest area so they would be awake when I got there so they could see my reaction when I saw the stuff they made…

[IMAGE 7]

No plaque that I get mailed to me will compare to the trophy and signs my little girls made.

What a week… gaining on the rest of the field. Bike runs strong and turns well. It’s just too easy this time. I charge to last lap, seeing eighth on the pit board of the guy in front of me. That last lap was so much fun. I roll in ninth, eighth OA….

[IMAGE 5]

It was over too fast. These last motos came too close together to savor. I ride back to Area 51 with a big grin. I did it, not broken, and I got the goal I set.

[IMAGE 6]

Folks parked around me had all started to watch and listen, not believing I was there by myself and doing well.

I went down and watched the last motos with David and Tim. They were real proud of my ride and told me, pretty kool. Shook hands, telling them to be safe and see them next year. Walked over to scoreboard and saw I was in 8th/12th.Talked to Kevin Kelly again and Jason Weigant and then head back to pack up.

Later, after dark, I made a new gate in the fence and pulled out. Hope they didn’t get mad.

And that’s it folks, my moto adventure.

My oldest daughter made me a big trophy out of toilet paper and paper towel centers and pipe cleaners and stickers. They made banners and signs for their daddy. I planned on driving straight thru but decided to sleep in a rest area so they would be awake when I got there so they could see my reaction when I saw the stuff they made…

[IMAGE 7]

No plaque that I get mailed to me will compare to the trophy and signs my little girls made.

What a week…