On Saturday morning at the 2017 Spring Creek MX, members of the media assembled at the Red Bull KTM team truck to hear Trey Canard’s retirement speech. Shortly after the 2008 250 East Coast SX and 2010 250 MX National champion shared his feelings on racing at the sport’s highest level, we grabbed a few minutes of time to discuss the news for a one-on-one interview. Open as always, Canard revealed to us that his most recent serious crash resulted in a serious concussion and was a deciding factor. What comes next for Trey and wife Hannah? The immediate plans are unclear, but here’s hoping we see him in the pits for years to come.
First off, congratulations from everyone at TransWorld Motocross. We've had a lot of fun with you over the past few years. Looking back, has this career been as exciting as you expected?
It's far beyond everything that I ever dreamed of as a kid. I didn't even know that I would make money doing this. I kind of thought I would maybe do well in amateurs and that'd be it, maybe be a privateer or something, and when I look at it from that perspective, this is so far beyond what I could have ever dreamed of. Obviously, looking at things I feel like I had a little more in me at times and I wanted to win a 450 championship, but I did everything that I could and gave it my all. I have no regrets.
Did you come into this year thinking this was it, or were you looking to see how it would go and possibly extend?
I've alluded to it a little bit, but I've had some struggles since I broke my back. That was a really scary thing for me. There were times where I'd think to myself, "Man I just need to be done." Then I'd just snap right back out of it and realize I've still got a lot more in me. Signing with this team really brought a lot of excitement. Change is good for that. I was ready to race two or three or four more years, but right off the bat, it went south. I hurt my shoulder in that second practice in Anaheim. I tried so hard and I wanted to push past it. I did everything I could. I've just gotten to the point where mentally I'm just not there. I'm pretty fearful, and I'd say that's pretty reasonable after all of the things that I've been through in my career. I look around and think about the fact that I've got a great life and I'm grateful for the career that I've had. I appreciate what I was able to do.
Did Ryan stepping away have any impact on this or no?
No, this was me. It maybe made it a bit more difficult to leave the team with just one rider. This was all my wife and I. I sat down and told her that I don't think I can do this anymore, and when you reach that point I think it's time.
You said that this last hit was the one that rattled you a bit. Was that the breaking point?
Yeah definitely, I really struggled at RedBud. I was super anxious and I didn't feel like I was in the moment and riding like I needed to. I went home Monday and I wanted to push through it. I had another big crash and that was it.
You alluded to this in your speech, but how big was it to have so many people support you for as long as they did?
It was amazing. Not many people can go their entire career and have a group of people behind them the way that I did. I'm so grateful, right off the bat I had the best, and I'm really grateful for that. Beyond that, there were never any bridges burnt with the teams. It was so cool for me to have Honda here. Everywhere I've gone I've had friendships and great acquaintances everywhere I've been.
When you got hurt at Los Angeles a few years ago, you did a lot outside of racing by going on a mission trip and meeting Hannah and all of that. Do you see yourself doing something like that again?
Yeah honestly, these last two weeks have been so difficult making this decision. I haven't put any complete thoughts into what's next, but there are things that I'm excited about. I feel that when you race, you do well or you don't do it. I've put a lot into it, so this is going to free up a lot of time. I am excited to be with my family and do things like I did in 2012.
Are you moving back to Oklahoma full-time?
What's the immediate vacation? Where are you going?
[Laughs] I don't know! I'm still trying to wrap my mind around all of this. We'll see, we might just go spend some time with some friends, and we're thinking about maybe going to Mammoth, maybe do New York. I don't know, we're trying to figure it out.