By Jerry Matta
During the Glen Helen Mini Blow-Out Weekend, SoCal
XR's (Jimmy) ran into turbulence about the way wacky payback works. It was
brought to our (his) attention that some people (actually one person) weren't
clear on how it works. So after being verbally abused for about a
half hour in a pointless discussion that wacky payback sucks, I have
decided to define it so that there are no more misinterpretations about the
First off, What is it, how does it work, why do we use it? The answers are quite simple. It's a way to payback money in a non-standard fashion. Normally, in regular boring payback, First place gets the most cash, then second, then third, and so on. In the wacky payback format (at least ours), We have usually have three different payback scenarios that are picked at random, either by the winner or an indifferent person walking by, which in most cases is a points ignition Black Fly hottie. The first scenario is usually the standard format of first place by paid the most, then second, etc. with the exception of perhaps first stocker getting some money too. The second and third scenarios basically are just plain made up. Where last place could get the most money, first stocker, last stocker, fifth place, 20th place, or everybody gets paid, it just doesn't matter, because it's wacky payback. Basically, everyone more or less has an equal chance of making money, but that also means everyone has an equal chance not to make money, which means Jeremy McGrath could race with us, lap us all 6 times and walk away with only the glory of beating a bunch of vet riders on XR100's. Meaning he gets no money, none zilch, nada!
Why do we use it? Back in the early nineties, there were about five fast guys winning all the time, hence getting all the cash, then as they quit one by one, Jimmy began winning all the money. This led to whining and crying about how Jimmy's doing these races for the money, how Jimmy's always winning the money, nobody else has a chance, etc., etc.. All this led to nobody wanting to race and only a handful of people showing up to any given race. It became evident at this point that the little club that could was on the verge of folding. In fact, there were splinter clubs beginning to emerge. So Jimmy came up with the best idea since the CDI ignition . . . wacky payback. What wacky payback does is it stops any one person from dominating the purse all the time and give other, slower riders who work just as hard a chance to win money. It also stops various pros from barrowing someone's bike and smoking everyone and taking the majority of the money. This is most evident at Langtown, where the top five places are won (with the exception of Jimmy), by hired guns on barrowed bikes, which is fine for what it's worth, but this club is not about racing for money and big names, it's about racing for fun. The downside to all this is that we might not have as many big name pros racing with us as much, since there's a chance they won't make any money, but the club's thought on that is, "So what! If they only are racing to make some money, then we don't want them racing with us. We don't want or need their bad attitude." We only want people who are into it because it's fun. We are the ones who pay thousands of dollars (literally) to build our modifieds, work in vain to get our points ignition stockers to run right, spend countless hours in the garage rebuilding our motors, not them. They just borrow a bike, then bitch that, "I should get something for my effort." I say, "What effort?" How hard is it borrow somebody else's bike and beat a bunch of thirty-five year olds? (We're 40 now)
What is the result? In the last few years the sport of mini-bike racing has grown exponentially. We get a ton people showing up for our races and with the exception of the few outside cry babies, the atmosphere is so laid back, it's almost catatonic, and unless someone's bike breaks, everyone goes home happy.