All-time Motocross legend Ricky Carmichael was back at RedBud Wednesday.
No, it wasn't to prepare for this weekend's RedBud National race in Buchanan, it was to host a clinic for more than 100 amateurs as part of his Ricky Carmichael University.
"I've watched him a lot growing up so its pretty huge to see him in person riding on the same track," 13-year-old St. Joe Michigan native Dar Comfort explains. "It's a great experience. I've never done anything like this. Getting to ride with all the big guys in the sport is amazing."
Armed with a number of professional riders, Carmichael is teaching these kids and adults important lessons.
"We want to help hone their skills a little bit more and improve on what they want to to do," The multi-time RedBud and 8-time Motocross champion explains. "Get a little better in the corners, jumps, starts. "
16-year-old Stevensville native Drew Mead says he pretty much taught himself how to ride. He feels blessed on how many pointers he received Wednesday that can help him moving forward.
"It's crazy in my opinion---they've helped us so much in such little time," Mead says. "They're trying so hard and it's definitely working."
Carmichael retired from Motocross in 2007 to pursue a career in Nascar but he still loves giving back to the sport that made him famous.
"To now be more like a teacher, it's fun," Carmichael says. "I enjoy my role in this sport now. I don't think I'd want it any other way. I'm pretty fortunate."
Carmichael's final race at RedBud in 2007 drew more than 29,000 fans. There's no place he loves more.
"This is the roots of motocross," Carmichael says of RedBud, which is now in its 40th year. "The vibe here is unexplainable. The crowd is so much fun, they get into it. They're genuine and they are always having a good time."
That crowd would like nothing more than to see Carmichael, now 33, come out of retirement this Saturday.
"If you stuck me out there this weekend it wouldn't be pretty," Carmichael says with a laugh. "It might be good for one or two laps--three laps max. Anything beyond that would be an embarrassment to myself, my sponsors and my fans."
Those fans would love for Ricky to come back anyway. After all, this is home.
The RedBud Nationals are all day Saturday with opening ceremonies beginning at 12:30pm and the first major race starting just after 1pm.
The Finals will be broadcast live on WNDU at 3pm Saturday.
Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids ages 6-11.