Jimmy Jarrett checks in on how his summer is progressing in this week’s Wednesday Wrench. He’s been mixing it up in the AWRCS and CRA series and is already starting to think about next year. Read on and find out what might be next for Jarrett.
What have you been up to since the GNCC series left off for the summer?
I’ve been going over my start to the GNCC season, which I haven’t been really happy with. I’ve been riding and training a lot. I definitely want to be on the podium a couple of times by the end of the season. If it’s my last year-I don’t want to go out not finishing races. That’s my goal and that’s what I’ve been up to lately.
Where have you been training?
I actually just bought a house in Salem and moved in about a month ago. I’ve been settling in doing as many local races as I can. I’m finally getting into a routine. I sold my old house quicker than I thought and had been staying with a friend so I wasn’t really settled in at the beginning of the season. Now that I have my own place I’ve been able to settle into my routine. Things are becoming more normal.
What kind of training have you been doing to get ready for the second half of the season?
I’ve been doing a lot of cycling lately. I joined a cycling group a few towns away and we’ve been going on long group rides. I’ve been riding bicycle trails since I was hit by a car. I was too scared to go on the road. With a group I feel safer and it’s nice to be going somewhere instead of just riding back and forth on a trail.
What about racing?
I’ve been doing the local events, and I’ve gotten to do some racing with Jason Thomas. There’s some good competition between us and we’ve been trading wins. I’m also doing the vet national up in RedBud in a few weeks.
What series have you been racing this summer?
I’ve been doing the AWRCS series and then just the local CRA series. Those are some fun races. They’re putting up some pretty good money lately to get more people there so I’m trying to take advantage of that. Jason shows up to a lot of those so it keeps us pushing and it’s good for us.
Had you guys trained and competed together like that before this summer?
No, not really. With Scotty taking a step back and Jason doing his own thing it fit that we started doing things together. He moved to Pennsylvania so we don’t see each other a lot through the week but racing together on the weekend is definitely good for both of us.
It sounds like it’s definitely been successful!
Yeah it has! One weekend I’ll win, and he’ll get second, then the next race he’ll win and I’ll come in second. It’s not a runaway for either one of us. I’m definitely pushing to stay with him or stay ahead of him and I think he’s doing the same. Hopefully by the end of the year he’ll be at the top of his class and I’ll be at the top in mine.
Compared with the last few times we’ve talked, you seem reinvigorated. What’s given you the drive to come out fighting for the rest of the season?
I think it’s just that I know my career is coming down to an end. We’ve had like 8-9 races, and I’ve only finished three and not in the top 10 really. I go to other races and I have more fun and do so much better but nobody really sees that. I want to show people I still have the speed and my heart is in it.
You’ve taken over some managerial duties for JG Off Road- what’s new with that?
I’ve been making a lot more phone calls to sponsors for the entire team and the West Coast guys. With JT having his new baby he couldn’t go to some of the EnduroCrosses so I went to two or three of those to help the guys out there and that’s always a lot of fun. With managing- it’s easy to know what a racer needs if you’re a racer yourself. It’s definitely been a lot of fun and something I enjoy.
Did helping out the West Coast guys give you any desire to try out Endurocross?
Zero! (laughs) I did one and I think if I had a legit endurocross track and a good bike setup and could practice then I could do it. I just don’t have the bike to do it, and we don’t have any races around here. It’s a little out of my element and something I’m not prepared to do. I hate going to the races I don’t feel 100 percent ready for.
What do you think will be the deciding factor for you racing or managing next year?
I really don’t know. At this point, I know there are guys coming up that are better and deserve a ride. I don’t have a problem stepping back and helping someone like people have helped me in my career moving up. I think I’ll enjoy that aspect—of seeing someone grow. I’d like to see some riders that are younger or already established that I can help. If I can do that, that’s as good as winning for me.
It sounds though that if you do stick to managing-you’ll be in a happy spot.
I will. I’ve raced a long time and I’ve gotten to meet a million people and got to go to a lot of cool places. I definitely have no regrets. It’s the next chapter in my career. If I do it, I’ll do it that the best that I can.
Alright, Jimmy. It’s always great to talk to you. Thanks again!