Saturday, July 12, 2014





A racer, a hero, a world of hurts


February 20. 2013 4:29AM
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Ask Mike McDade if he's ever been injured and the Arenacross racer launches into an impressive list.


I broke my leg three or four times, he said. I have a rod and screws in my leg, a plate and screws in my wrist, reconstructive surgery on my face. I broke my collarbone three or four times, broke my sternum, all that little stuff. I could go on.


When he's racing his dirt bike, McDade said, he doesn't worry about the danger. He doesn't even think about it.


I guess you could say I think about it during the off time, but in competition the adrenaline takes over, said the 25-year-old Lawrence County native, who will compete Feb. 8-9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.


I have a winning attitude, he said. I just want to win.


McDade would like to be one of the top three finishers on the podium in Wilkes-Barre Township, but his actions have proven some things are more important than winning.


Last August during competition in Southwick, Mass., fellow racer Wil Hahn fell in a first-turn pileup and was on the ground with a damaged bike on top of him.


The bike was burning, McDade remembered. I went over and pulled it off him. It burned his chest protector.


Fortunately, neither McDade nor Hahn was injured. They resumed riding and, McDade recalls, finished 21st and 20, respectively, with Hahn coming in before the Good Samaritan.


I guess it was just instinct, McDade said of his good deed, which precluded him from accumulating points because he didn't finish among the top 20.


Many people noticed the unselfish act and wanted to let him know they admired him for it. Suddenly, he had many Facebook friend requests.


When I came off the track there were 20 or 30 people around my pit, and I had a lot of text messages on my phone. I didn't even know why, McDade said. It was what anybody should do.


Doing the right thing has become more important to McDade over the past two years, he said, because he is father to a son, Keegan, who is 20 months old.


It was like doing a 180. I have a lot more responsibility, McDade said, explaining how the baby motivated him to work a full-time job in the construction field as well as race. I'm taking care of my family and myself, he said.


Earlier this month, he did give up the construction work so he'd have more time to train for his demanding sport. I have to stay focused, he said.


McDade has a good chance of doing well, Amsoil Arenacross spokesman Brandon Short said. He has won one race this season and currently sits second in the championship for our premier Arenacross Class, Short wrote in an e-mail. Last year, he won what we call our Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Championship. He is without a doubt one of the rising stars of Arenacross, and he has been the biggest surprise of the 2013 season.


IF YOU GO


What: Arenacross dirt-bike competition



When: pro racing 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 and 9 and amateur racing at noon Feb. 10



Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Township



Tickets: $17.50, $10 children



More info: 800-745-3000





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