Friday, 09 September 2011 08:39

Swift Current SMX company making a name for itself

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By Brad Brown — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The competition strolls into events with three or four riders and a full-fledged entourage in tow. They fly in and stay at the fancy hotels. Some even pay their riders. Such is life with a $500,000 (or more) budget.

None of the above applies to Swift Current’s SMX Racing motocross team. Not yet, anyway.

Owned and operated by Jackie and Randy Maffenbeier, SMX is a relative newcomer to and, on the surface, a perennial underdog story on the national motocross scene.

Like any true underdog, SMX is making its name by beating the odds.

In 2011, its second year as an official racing team, SMX’s and Yorkton native Denaye Giroux claimed the team’s first-ever national championship, finishing first overall on the Canadian Motosport Racing Corporations’ Monster Energy MX Nationals professional women’s series.

SMX’s other rider, Shawn Maffenbeier from Swift Current, followed Giroux’s success by finishing sixth overall on the CMRC’s national MX 1 circuit – the top tier of pro motocross racing in Canada.

“That’s what we’re working toward is to be the best in Canada,” said Jackie Maffenbeier.

“But it’s not just Canada either. The international aspect of this national series is incredible. We were competing against South Africans, New Zealanders, Australians, Denmark, the Czech Republic, all over. It’s very exciting when you get to make a name for yourself.

“With that, hopefully, comes sponsorship and the chance to make a living at it.”

Maffenbeier says SMX is already starting to see the fruits of its labour in 2011.

They are looking to hire a mechanic for next year, and may also consider taking on another rider. Earlier this year SMX acquired a semi and trailer for travel to and from events.

Still, by necessity, the entire operation is geared toward maximum efficiency.

Sponsor logos are highly visible on the SMX rig, which is then typically parked in a high traffic location at each event. It also includes living quarters, which allows everyone to eat and sleep on site, saving on hotels and meals out.

For the last two years, Randy has handled mechanic duties for the team.

And yet Jackie doesn’t hesitate to suggest that Calgary-based Blackfoot Racing may be the only team on the circuit with a more professional look and feel.

“We do so much with so little it just looks like we have a lot of money,” Jackie said with a laugh.

“But the goal is for (Shawn and Denaye) to be paid and, eventually, for us to be paid ... soon... hopefully.”
In the immediate future, SMX is focusing on the final Saskatchewan Motocross Association event of the season, which goes Sept. 17 in Swift Current. Both Giroux and Shawn Maffenbeier will be racing, before turning their attention to the Supermotocross event in Montreal the first weekend in October.
Races on the 17th start at 10:30 a.m. and admission is $5. Close to 400 riders could be in attendance.
“It’s cheap to get in and it’s a lot of fun,” said Jackie. “There are a lot of great jumps, a lot of great racing, and it goes rain or shine.”

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