|ESPN.com: Snowboarding||[Print without images]|
|Victory is a dish best served by winners who have friends who run websites.|
Since 90 percent of the action sports superstars live (or at least spend a large portion of their non-shred time) in the tiny geographic area stretched between North County San Diego and Orange County, California, they can't help but hang out with each other. You can't get a cup of coffee, or a tank of gas, or spit off a pier down there without it landing on the head of some dude who was just on the cover of some magazine last week. What are they going to do, pretend they don't recognize one another? Might as well just say, "Heard you met Obama last week. Bet that was cool," and make plans to go skateboarding, or whatever.
It being the action sports world, loose coalitions have a tendency to form around a shared love of a particular activity -- not necessarily sports related. And inevitably the spots where these roving multi-sport bands of athlete celebrities wind up congregating with the most frequency end up becoming quite the hot spot. In the late nineties a certain beachside tavern played host to a hopping lineup of karaoke superstars, including a Mr. Sal Masekela, who grabbed the mic with such fervent frequency that there was a small ongoing debate over whether he was taking the activity too seriously.
These days, the Place To Be is an electric go kart racetrack called K1 Speed in Carlsbad. K1 is co-owned by NASCAR racer Boris Said and features an indoor track with 20hp karts that go up to 40 mph on the straightaway. Located right next to the TransWorld offices, and a couple "athlete representation" agencies, it's a convenient place to go for a hot dog and a quick race over a "business" lunch.
|Who else were you racing with? Oh, just Nixon founder Chad DiNenna, this dude Iikka who I think maybe snowboards or something, and then ... wait a minute! I thought she spelled her name with a z!|
"We call it 'Bad Taste Quick Race,'" says Todd Richards, who contacted ESPN to share the news about his head-to-head win against World Rally Championship racer, Ken Block at the K1 track. "This photo is of me smoking him at go karts. Pastrana only beat me by .07 hundredths. All you need to print is 'pro rally driver Ken Block sucks at K1. News at 11.'"
Richards lap time of 28.68 beat Block's time of 29.34 in their head-to-head match, but since K1 keeps records of all their racers times, our fair and balanced investigative reporting turned up evidence that Block holds the record lap time of 27.06 on the old track (K1 built a new track on August 23), a time that Richards has yet to come close to. Further digging revealed a recent matchup between skate hero Bucky Lasek, Bam Margera and Richards. Richards actually posted the fastest single lap time in that race (29.249 to Bucky's 29.668), but it was a 14-lap race, and Bucky finished first in the end -- followed by Richards in second, and Bam way down in sixth.
What are the stakes in the matchups? "Pride. Respect. Your soul," says Richards. "Yeah, we put our souls up, our souls' pink slips."
Asked if ESPN could have the exclusive GoPro camera footage of Richards beating Block again in a rematch, he answered: "Why rematch? I have the slip and I'm framing that s---."