USA Insider No.56 presented by Answer – Houston Afterparty
Welcome to our weekly web-exclusive column, Transmoto USA Insider Presented By Answer. Penned each week by our man on the ground, Transmoto’s US Correspondent, Jason Weigandt, USA Insider presents the story-behind-the-stories of the AMA supercross and motocross scene.
There’s a tradition at the Houston, Texas round of Monster Energy Supercross that most folks don’t know about—because it happens well after the racing is complete.
The AMA Supercross tour rarely gets a break, as the 17-race series runs in just 18 weekends, with only this weekend off for Easter. For a few years, the Houston round came right before the off weekend, so road-weary team truck drivers, looking forward to a break, decided to celebrate. They pulled the trucks into a big empty parking lot in Houston next to the stadium, formed a giant rectangle, and turned the center into party city.
Most of the team trucks stock their coolers with beers, but it also helps that a Holiday Inn hotel is right next door to that parking lot. If supplies get low, you can always duck into the bar inside really fast. It’s the perfect storm for a supercross celebration, and even when the Houston round started moving around the schedule and no longer took place before the off-weekend, the truck guys did their best to keep the tradition alive. Then, this year, Houston returned to its old spot before Easter. The party was back!
This year’s Houston party was exceptionally cool because Ryan Villopoto got to celebrate wrapping the 2012 Championship, which is crazy to think about. He and the Kawasaki gang had a good time, and later in the night, Parts Unlimited ordered up some pizzas to deliver to the parking lot. But the parking lot doesn’t have an address! At one point, at probably 2 a.m. a pizza delivery car was spotted driving around the Reliant Stadium complex, looking for the party. So Villopoto ran off, trying to flag down the pizza man!
It’s pretty cool to see how comfortable RV has become in his own skin. There should be pressure that comes with being the AMA MX and SX Champion, but he seems to be enjoying his weekends more than ever. In fact, right before opening ceremonies at most races, myself and Steve Matthes usually head over to the Kawi truck to get in some good old-fashioned smack talk—RV and his mechanic Mike Williamson love to dish it out, and we try to shove it back at them. Such sessions help loosen up the whole team, and the loose attitude seems to be working.
Villopoto eventually tracked down the pizza guy, and a late-night dinner was served right there in the parking lot. It worked out well, because Villopoto and the Kawasaki boys have no shortage of plates.