Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 31 August 4

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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VOLUME 57 ISSUE 31 AUGUST 4, 2020 P109 about Rodney Farris. The first is that he had a handshake like a vise, and if you just offered him your hand without paying attention, he would damn near try to break it just to get your attention, a smile on his face the whole time. The second is that he charged as hard as anybody I've ever seen, a memory that Adkins more than backs up. "Rodney was not one to slow down to go fast," Adkins said. "He was always full tilt." Adkins' admitted that sometimes that wide-open attitude spilled into his personal life, and Rodney actually got mixed up with drugs in the middle of his career. It is worth bringing up only to say that he wised up and turned his life around. I didn't know anything about that. I didn't know him that well. What I did know of Rodney was the same thing that I see in a lot of talented privateers: an intense focus, drive and desire to win. This first started to really show in 1993 and 1994, when he finished fifth in the AMA Grand National standings both years. Come 1995, when I first started covering the AMA series as a green-behind-the-gills dirt-track reporter, I watched him ride with the kind of authority that would lead you to believe that he had won several Nationals, even though he had never won one. Adkins remembered that but for bad luck, he would have won several. "He led Parkersburg right up to the last lap two years in a row, and one year we broke a coil bracket and the next year we split an oil tank," Adkins recalled. I vivdly remember him being a real threat at the Memorial Day Spring- field Mile in 1995 as well. Come about lap 15 at Du Quoin on July 2, I was convinced that it was going to be Rodney Farris' turn to win. Adkins remembered that, too. "At Du Quoin, I swear that he was going to win," Adkins said. "At the time, he had led more laps across the finish line than anybody, and he was at a point that day where he had practiced both our motorcycles and told me that he could win on either one of them. He was upbeat." Instead, two laps later, it was Rod- ney's time to leave. As I spoke with Adkins, he discussed the emotions that he felt then and since that day at Du Quoin, but regret was not among them. "If I had told Rodney that day, 'Hey, let's put this stuff in the truck and go home,' He would have told me, 'Well, you can do that if you want to. I'm going to find something to ride.' He was going to race no matter what. That was what he knew. That was who he was. I'm a firm believer that when you come into this world, your ticket is punched and you're go- ing to leave on time. Rodney wanted to race, and he wanted to win. He believed he could, and that's what he was doing at the time. What hap- pened was certainly nobody's fault." I felt a little better after talking to Adkins, who admits that not a day goes by that he doesn't think of Rod- ney. I must admit not sharing Adkins' feelings about Rodney simply be- cause I didn't know Rodney that well, but I can tell you that not a day goes by that I don't think about Will Davis or Davey Camlin or Andy Tresser, not a week without thinking of Aaron Creamer or Ricky Graham, people whom I knew very well. I know that's the same for a lot of people. I just thought it was important to take this time to remember that Rodney Farris has been gone for 10 years. I didn't know him that well. Somehow, today, that makes me sad. CN This Archives edition is reprinted from issue #33, August 24, 2005. CN has hundreds of past Archives editions in our files, too many destined to be ar- chives themselves. So, to prevent that from happening, we will be revisiting past Archives articles while still plan- ning to keep fresh ones coming down the road. -Editor Subscribe to nearly 50 years of Cycle News Archive issues:

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