- Privateer Profile:
- By Billy Ursic
On deck this week for the privateer profile is a 30-year-old rider form Dallas, TX. Austin has currently been doing a lot of traveling, since he lives in Dallas, and his girlfriend lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Austin thanks Racer X because he met his girlfriend at the Steel City after-party this past year. Other than that, Austin has been focusing most of his time and attention on starting his own riding school in Dallas, we would give you the website, but he doesn’t have one yet. He also has been racing some local events, which help pay the bills. You can show Austin and his sponsors some support by clicking on the logo/links at the bottom of the page.
Austin Squires: I turned pro in 1993, so for about 10 years I’ve been racing professionally.
It’s actually going really well. I’ve been down here in Texas since the week after the last national. I raced the Texas Pro Challenge, and then the Mosier GNC race, and some local races, Two weeks ago we just had a big money race down at Cycle Ranch in San Antonio.
I live here in Dallas, Texas. The first year I got out of high school, I started going to Florida for the winter, and I spent all winter down there. I would come back to Rhode Island to race the NESC races the rest of the year. When I started to get a little bit faster and got a national number in 1997, I started taking the show on the road a little bit and started doing some supercross', and I went out to California for the first time in ’98, it’s been a full-time gig. That is when I started to make decent enough money to be able to travel and race.
I had my best moto finish was a 13th at Southwick. It’s my favorite in the sense that it’s my home track, and I have an ungodly amount of laps around it, and I know exactly what it takes to be fast and strong there. But my favorite track on the circuit is Red Bud.
Yeah, It went decent. I got two Yamaha 450s, and those were the first four-strokes I ever rode. I got them two weeks before Glen Helen, so I really didn’t have a lot of time to get used to them. It took me until High Point to get used to them and to at least qualify on them. I had a really good setup with Yoshimura and Enzo, and I felt great when I would practice on them. But when I would get out on the race track, I would start riding it like a two-stroke. I felt I was up to speed at the Red Bud, because I was running in the top twenty in both motos, but I ended up fading at the end. The week after that, I was doing a local race in Michigan, and they had a quad-jump on the track. I was getting over it all right, but this one lap the bike hit neutral and I cased it, and I ended up breaking my right ankle. I was out for six weeks but only missed two races. Looking back, though, I just wish I’d had more time from the beginning to get my momentum going.
The power is awesome. I love that power. Handling-wise, there is no doubt it’s going to do some things different because of the weight and the distribution of power, but when that bike would step out sideways, you’d have to be real careful, because it wouldn’t correct it self like a two-stroke would – you would have to back way off. I had so many close callas and hard crashes that I was starting to get gun-shy on that bike, just because I couldn’t keep it going straight in certain situations. I got back on my 250 two-stroke for this race down in San Antonio last week, and I rode it maybe three times before this race, and man, I wish I would have this all year, because it’s so unbelievable!
I got sixth overall, and that was awesome because I went to that with no money-and I ended up making $1,200.
Well, a little bit of me is burned out on the whole lack of money. I like doing things 100 percent effort-wise. You know, chasing national, which is my love and my dream, it’s the only place I wasn't to be, but it is so underpaid that, for a guy like me to stay on the road all year, it’s just not feasible. I’m burned out on enthusiasm. It’s just so much effort for so little money, and I’m tired of borrowing money from people. For the last three races, people have sent me money to finish the series. And I was qualifying, running decent, running hard, but I just wasn’t making enough money. It’s not like it was years ago. Four years ago I ran the series, and I was running top-twenty just about every weekend, and I was making decent money. But now, there are so many teams, and the 20th place guy is on a team, he’s got a mechanic, and that is hard to beat right there when you’re a one man show with no mechanic and you’re washing your own bike between motos while they’re chilling. It’s just changed the progression of the sport. But in the same sense, the money hasn’t changed. So I’m kind of brunt out on racing for a living.
Well, I just started a motocross school here in Texas, and I’m just pounding away on that right now.
No, racing is it. Back in Rhode Island, I would drive limousines for three months until I would take off for racing, but that’s it.
I wish the AMA and Clear Channel would give more respect to the privateers. I wish they would understand what it takes to be on the road without the backing of a team. For a guy who loves the sport and wants to be professional about it, it’s so hard to do it. You have a guy that has just as much passion and enthusiasm as Ricky Carmichael, but he doesn’t have enough help.
There are a lot of people, especially this year, because it’s been my dream year. My buddy Scott Davis, he introduced me to these two guys, Alan and Jared from AJ Racing. Their main guy was Jeremy Chaussee, and they where looking for somebody. They have a fun Mover for all the nationals, and also would supply bikes, parts, and pay all the expenses on the road. So Schott introduced me, and they picked me up for the team. So the next day, here I am leaving the state of California, driving a brand new fun mover with two brand new bikes. It was just unbelievable. I’m thirty years old, and I’m thinking things are winding down support-wise, and I had the most support that I ever had this past year, so I would really like to thank those guys at AJ Racing. I have to thank Scott Davis also, for introducing me to those guys. And everybody on the road, who let me stay at their place, and everybody who sent me money to stay on the road, thanks!
As you can see Austin has been involved in racing for a long time. He has article after article written about him, to much to list. We will be adding more of Austin’s pictures and history as time goes on.