Whether it’s the “Country Dog” caricature emblazoned across the front of Roger Hayden’s #95 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike or the “Jiggy Dog” moniker that has defined Monster Energy/Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha Supersport rider JD Beach for more than a decade, canines are very well-represented in the MotoAmerica paddock. And that’s especially true on race weekends at tracks where man’s (and woman’s) best friend are allowed to roam the paddock with their humans.
But, when it comes to the dogs of MotoAmerica, none is more notable than Crash Dog.
A soft-coated Wheaten Terrier mix, Crash was adopted from the Gwinnett (Georgia) Animal Shelter in 2011 by RM Racing owner, technical director for Rickdiculous Racing, and long-time MotoAmerica paddock fixture Rick Matheny and his wife, Helen. Crash got his catchy name not from the sight of a downed motorcycle, but from the excitement he displayed when he first arrived at home after being rescued. Racing around his new house with his excitement level right on the rev limiter and with his tail wagging like a desmodromic valvetrain, the new pup proceeded to knock over pretty much everything in the path of his reciprocating appendage. And, thus, Crash got his name in short, calamitous fashion.
In May of 2012, Crash finished his training as a therapy dog. He has completed more than 500 visits to schools, hospitals, libraries, assisted living facilities, and, of course, the MotoAmerica paddock, and he currently holds the official title of TDIG (Therapy Dogs International Gold). A constant source of comfort and joy for everyone who meets him, Crash loves to give out hugs and make people smile.
Crash makes an annual appearance at Road Atlanta, and he’ll be at the track with Rick and Helen during the Suzuki Championship at Road Atlanta, which is the opening round of the 2018 MotoAmerica Championship, April 13-15.
Be sure to stop by Rickdiculous Racing’s paddock setup. Say hello to riders Jason Aguilar, Hayden Gillim and Gauge Rees, meet Rick Matheny and Helen, and, of course, get some hugs from the one and only Crash.
But, don’t set your coffee cup down near that flailing tail.