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MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE | TPJ FLY RACING TEAM

A LOOK INSIDE THE PRIVATEER TEAM’S JOURNEY

At a young age, you might’ve been making dirtbike noises on your bicycle, dreaming of throwing nac-nacs like Chad Reed, and getting the big cardboard checks like James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey.

As you get older, the dream never changes, but the journey gets harder. Racing isn’t cheap; it isn’t easy. The pros make it look easy -- but it takes a lot of heart and a whole lot of guts.

Every privateer who lines up at the pro level knows their chances of winning are slim. When you roll into the gate on the bike that you brought in the back of your truck, and Ryan Dungey is suited up next to you – it’s intimidating.

And Ted Parks knows that better than anyone.

Every champion was once a privateer, and Ted Parks got an ‘extended warranty’ on his heart to keep helping them get there.

The TPJ Fly Racing team, (originally dubbed the Privateer Journey race team) has been helping underdogs get to the big leagues for years. Owner and founder Ted Parks is dedicated to seeing the success of up-and-coming athletes, and he works tirelessly to help them out. Even after a heart attack last fall, Ted Parks continues to keep it ‘wide open’. If you ask, he will tell you that the Man upstairs gave him an extra 100,000 miles so he could keep pushing his purpose – he considers it an extended warranty on his heart.

Fitted in shiny cowboy boots and a big cowboy hat, Parks might be running down to the managers’ tower to spot, or he might be back in the pits helping mechanics. His peers and competitors within AMA Racing voted him the 2015 Team Manager of the year, and he takes his role very seriously. If you’re hanging with Ted Parks, you have to run to keep up.

Despite the fact that Parks would try and run the whole show on his own, he has built up a small staff that works very hard to help him grow and expand the TPJ Racing team. The #TPJCrew is a dedicated group of individuals who are passionate about the sport and helping the riders ‘get to the big leagues’. The massive 200-foot pit set up is hard to miss at the pit parties – and it’s set up by just two guys – Ethan Curley and Shane Doyle. The TPJ Racing riders are also given tools to help market themselves – the TPJ Racing media manager Anna Glennon works with the riders on their image and how to promote sponsors, and also manages the TPJ Racing media. With a fresh pit set up and a new outlook on media, the TPJ Fly Racing team has revamped its program to give its team riders a more professional experience, helping prepare them for the grind of being on a factory team.

Last year, the TPJ Fly Racing team reestablished themselves as The Professional Journey – focusing on giving privateer athletes the tools and experience of a professional level team. The TPJ Fly Racing team works to build these athletes into the future champions of the sport, giving them a chance to have a professional pit, helping them learn how to market themselves as professional athletes and to understand the effort that goes into operating and being a part of the professional team. With the help of a full slate of big industry sponsors, the riders on the TPJ Fly Racing team have everything they need to get themselves out there, and get into main events.

If you ask, he will tell you that the Man upstairs gave him an extra 100,000 miles so he could keep pushing his purpose – he considers it an extended warranty on his heart.

This season, the TPJ Fly Racing team is supporting a line up of ten riders for Monster Energy Supercross. The 250 team consists of James Milson, Dylan Merriam and John Short, and a west coast rider – Broc Shoemaker. This season, Broc Shoemaker celebrated making his first ever main event as a part of the TPJ Fly Racing team.

In the 450 class, the TPJ Fly Racing team supports Suzuki riders Dustin Pipes, Nick Schmidt and Teddy Parks Jr., as well as Chad Cook, and Adam and Tyler Enticknap. They have celebrated several main events with Nick Schmidt and Adam Enticknap – and the rest of the team continues to get closer to earning tickets to the main.

The TPJ Fly Racing team hopes to spend the rest of the season growing the image of a professional-level team. As their riders continue to excel, the team will look for new ways to support them and get them to the next level.

Every champion was once a privateer, and Ted Parks got an ‘extended warranty’ on his heart to keep helping them get there.

To support the cause of the TPJ Fly Racing team, you can purchase a TPJ Racing tee for $20 by visiting www.tpjracing.com/shop

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