Supersport rider Nolan Lamkin, who competes aboard the #52 Cycle Gear Racing Yamaha, was born and raised in Indianapolis. So, while this weekend’s Superbikes at The Brickyard event is going to be special for all the riders and teams, it is obviously going to be extra-special for Lamkin. We checked in with him and asked him a few questions:
As an Indianapolis resident, what does it mean to you to be racing at the Speedway this coming weekend?
It means so much to me. I’ve been to every MotoGP race at the Speedway, and I’ve also been to numerous F1 races there. My nickname that was given to me by (Jason) Pridmore is “Indy,” and that’s what all my friends from California call me. And now, Sean Dylan Kelly and my trainer Michael Torres also call me that occasionally, too.
I grew up by the track dreaming of the one day I might be able to race there. We took a field trip to the track when I was in 4th grade. We went and kissed the bricks, and we had quizzes in class about the Speedway. Granted, this weekend will be challenging with the cooler temperatures we have now, combined with never having actually raced on the track, tested there, or otherwise.
The thing I was looking forward to the most was being able to have my grandma be in the pits and maybe getting her on the pit wall. She is such a huge fan of motorsports and absolutely loves F1. She used to dislike motorcycles but, after seeing what I have been able to learn, she truly loves it. But, with fans only being allowed in the stands, that kinda stinks.
You mentioned the ticketing situation. Will family and friends still be attending the race weekend?
Yes, I will be having family and friends at the track this weekend. My brother is actually getting a custom-painted helmet for me to wear this weekend, which is so cool. I’ve had so many different people ask me questions about this weekend. My grandma has been giving out flyers to get people to come. For me, I’m not entirely sure who exactly is coming because I still have a job to do, and that’s my focus. But, knowing that I’ve got them there and even having the opportunity is so cool.
Speaking of your helmet, will you be running any kind of special livery or stickers on your Supersport bike this weekend?
No sir, the bike will still be the same. I’ve got some stickers that say “Indy” on them and I might put them on, but that would be the extent of it.
Will you be staying at the track throughout weekend, or will you be sleeping in your own bed at night?
Ha-ha, so I have gotten that question a lot. We will be staying at the track. It just would be so weird to sleep in my own bed. At the track, my dad and I have our own sequence that we go through to work through problems on the bike. So, to upset that would be terrible.
The toughest part is that I cook all the meals at home, so I have grown accustomed to cooking exactly what I want. When we go to the races, it’s difficult to find the right restaurants. So I would be lying if I hadn’t thought about driving home just to cook dinner properly.
Since you grew up in Indy, it makes sense that you are a racer, but why did you decide to race motorcycles instead of cars?
My dad got me into racing. He used to drag-race bikes, so he asked me if I wanted to do that. I said no, I wanted to do the turns. Then it turned into finding a go-kart track over in Ohio for me to ride at, and that’s how it started.
Also, my great-grandfather used to run a Norton dealership out of the back of his mattress store in New Castle, Indiana.
The difficult thing for me is that Indy is such a huge racing city, but nothing for motorcycles. That’s something that I want to change. I had been working to try to put on a training day at the kart track prior to COVID-19 happening, and then Indy got changed and the calendar was compressed. But, for kids, it is so difficult to get new riders on track, so I was working to put together a day at a kart track. I talked with Mathew Scholtz , who said he would love to ride if I could put it together, and he said he knew a couple of other people who would be interested. Get a bunch of MotoAmerica racers at the track and then make it super-cheap for kids and young riders to come out and get to experience being on track with some of the MotoAmerica stars. Since everyone was going to be in town, it would have been a perfect time, but with how everything turned out, unfortunately, it wasn’t able to happen.
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