Scott Meshey is living a purpose-driven life in a results-oriented industry ‘What else?’ A lot for Chip Ganassi, whose racing teams are off to a strong start in 2023
Supermotocross racer Scott Meshi lives a life of purpose in a performance-driven industry.
Each week, 22 riders compete in the Monster Energy Supercross 450cc main event. It’s easy to overlook the 50 or so riders who don’t finish in the top ten in most races. It’s even easier to miss the riders for whom the night show is the first and most important milestone of their weekend.
Meishi’s last Supercross took place last year in Foxborough, Massachusetts. race in which he finished 21st after passing the Last Chance qualification. In fact, all of the Meshey’s Mains have gone this route, completing an extra race on those nights than most factory riders. Part of the reason for the break is that Meshi missed five rounds with a broken arm sustained in a bizarre training accident during the week after Anaheim 1. Meshi made a jump and as it landed on his face, momentum pushed his arm into his chest .
“I missed a triple in the rhythm section,” Meshi told NBC Sports. “I didn’t get the lift I was expecting and my weight sort of shifted forward on the next jump. My chest hit my arm and I broke the third and fourth metacarpals of my right hand. And I had a partial torn ligament in my thumb. I didn’t crash or anything like that. Surprisingly, I saved it for the next jump. But that was enough. It only took about six weeks off the bike before I was able to get back and start training again ahead of the trip to Arlington.
“I scored jumps many times. I busted a triple, I busted a catapult at the finish line, I crashed in the whoops, I crashed in the rhythm sections: I did it all. And I can’t say that something like this has ever happened to me when I failed a jump and didn’t even fall, but simply because of the way something contacted and caused an injury. Obviously it was serious.”
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Upon his return, Meshi barely missed the late-night Arlington Triple Crown show. Given the number of scratches in the morning qualifying, Meshi believes that he lacked three tenths of a second. And he knows exactly where the time was lost. Coming out of the whoops on his fast lap, the last pile of dirt collapsed more than expected, causing his nose to jostle into the next corner. This slowed him down a bit.
This was less of a disappointment than one might expect. Meshi wouldn’t be surprised if he was two or three seconds behind the pace on his first run, so three tenths was fine. It also gave his arm another weekend to heal.
The maturity to embrace what the night has given him is part of what makes Meshi special in the sport and enables him to balance his true racing goal with the best possible results.
“I just turned 23 when I raced my first Supercross race,” Meshi said. “Part of what helps me a lot is my maturity on the bike. This is what has helped me to be more methodical in my progress and to be more mindful.
“Of course, your inner racer sometimes gets the better of you and you make bad decisions because you’re just too into it, but you see guys like Zach Osborne, even Ryan Dungey who are back after years away. racing professionally, coming back and doing it well. Christian Craig, and this is just a short list. Eli [Tomac] perhaps a living legend. He’s at the top of his game and he’s been doing it for so long.
“Experience is what pays off. Perhaps a younger rider, overly impatient or overly hungry, might be a little less methodical and not look at the long term picture.”
In a sport where 30s are traditionally considered geriatric, it’s hard to start exercising at 20. But it’s worth noting on the list of Mesha riders that these dates change.
For Mesha, immediate results are obviously a big part of the equation. Every night show and every main race he competes affects his overall goal, but coming into the sport later than many current riders has given him a different perspective on his performance.
The end of his career is not far off, but Meshi realizes that it is inevitable.
While Meshi only made two Supercrosses in 2022, he also qualified for seven rounds of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross last year with the best record. finishing 20th at the end of the MX season at Fox Raceway in Pale, California – a brutally hot race that requires physical effort.
But naked results are not the only thing that drives him.
Meshi, a privateer, is part of the Team Next Level family, whose goal is to guide racers up the ladder of life. The team’s goals are the same as those of the 25-year-old rider.
“I give my all for a higher cause because that’s what I love to do,” Meshi said. “I give my all because this is what I want to do for myself, for my sponsors, for the people around me, for the people who support me, and ultimately for God as a common goal. It’s really something that touched my core values. It’s more than racing.
“We have an obligation to our sponsors and we have the privilege that people look up to us as professional athletes. And we have a commitment to be the best for a higher purpose. There is an alignment of values [with Team Next Level Racing]. [Team principal] Chris [Fagala] there is for racers for anything, not just race day. He made it clear that you can ask him about anything, spiritual, religious, if you just need someone to speak up, if you need someone for advice, if you want to talk to him about business or want to get wise advice or some guidance and a general perspective.
“Most of the industry is “results, results, results.” Of course, results are important for the team, and this is an important part of what we do, but in general, a very high priority is given to personal growth, growth in sports and return.
Meshey not only rides, but as a private owner he needs additional sources of income to keep his dream alive. Meshey does web marketing and owns Meshey Racing, a fuel sales company. His business interests create a natural bridge between current competition and longevity in the sport.
“No matter how I race, for me and my goal as a man, I feel it’s important to have as much fulfillment as possible in this life, no matter where it takes me,” Meshi said. “I’m trying to position myself in a place where I can interact closely with the motocross and supercross community and be able to make an impact in any way possible. So life after riding will still be part of the SuperMotocross series. But I will continue racing Supercross and the SuperMotocross series as long as it makes sense.”
ST. SAINT PETERSBURG, Florida. This is Chip Ganassi’s trademark phrase, known to those lucky enough to see the other side of the self-proclaimed regular guy whose teams have achieved outstanding results in auto racing.
Although he often comes across as gruff and sometimes reserved in interviews, Ganassi actually enjoys arguing with small groups of reporters, challenging their claims and questions with a biting Pittsburgh wit honed over decades in garages and paddocks around the world.
The namesake of Chip Ganassi Racing often spices up his phone calls and conversations with two words that get to the point and invite further conversation.
During a March 3 meeting with four reporters in the hotel trailer of his IndyCar team – two days before Marcus Eriksson. opened the 2023 season with a win at the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg – there was no clearer sign that Ganassi was very happy about his return to fighting the media (especially after he did not give an interview for several months during the 2022 season while being involved in contract litigation with Alex Palow).
“What else?” he asked half a dozen times between a dozen deadpan barbs and razor-sharp stabs.
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