Callaghan ticks off ‘bucket list’ item as mechanic for AMA Supercross racer

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When Chatham native Cameron Callaghan got the opportunity to be a mechanic for a veteran motocross rider in the first championship series in the United States, he didn’t hesitate to take it.

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The 23-year-old, who is responsible for keeping Alex Martin’s bike race-ready, can also be seen in recent ‘Troll Train’ videos Martin posts to YouTube about life on the Monster racing series. Energy AMA Supercross Championship.

Callaghan was working at Kejay Farms in Pain Court when he received a text late last year from racer Phil Nicoletti asking if he was interested in joining the Muc-Off FXR Club MX Yamaha team as a mechanic from Martin.

The two had met in 2019 when Nicoletti came to Canada to compete in the Canadian Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series while Callaghan was the mechanic for racer Shawn Maffenbeier.

The Canadian team folded after losing their sponsor and Callaghan returned to Chatham.

While he’s happy working in agriculture, Callaghan said being a mechanic in the AMA Supercross series, which he describes as the NHL’s equivalent to hockey, is something he wants to do.

“It was my dream and I felt it was cut short when the Canadian team closed and then this opportunity came,” he said.

“If I hadn’t had that bond with Phil, none of this would have happened,” he added.

ProvidedCameron Callaghan, 23, of Chatham, works as a mechanic for AMA Supercross Championship Series racer Alex Martin. jpg, CD

Being a top-notch motocross mechanic comes naturally to the Ursuline College Chatham graduate, who said, “I just taught myself.”

Callaghan partnered with Martin at a pivotal time in the veteran racer’s career. Martin, who made a name for himself racing in the 250 class for several years, recently switched to the 450 class.

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Callaghan said Martin already knows his history as a mechanic and is familiar with the 450 class of bike.

“He trusted me pretty much straight away,” Callaghan said. “We gelled really well, right away.”

Taking on challenging new work while the cameras are rolling producing ‘Troll Train’ videos is something Callaghan is also getting used to.

“That’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s quite interesting, I’ve never done it before, it’s like a mini TV show.

“It’s fun, you don’t want to have a bad time on camera,” he added. “It keeps the mood.”

While the team likes to keep things light, Callaghan said his abilities as a mechanic depend a lot on him.

“Every time that bike comes out on the track, it’s someone’s life in my hands, per se,” he said.

There is no room for mistakes on the mechanical side of the business, he added.

Callaghan returned home to visit family in Chatham after the team drove through California, racing in Anaheim, San Diego and Oakland. The Muc-Off FXR Club MX Yamaha team will be in Detroit for a Monster Energy AMA Supercross race at Ford Field on March 12.

Callaghan said he knows quite a few local people who already had their tickets to the event.

ProvidedCameron Callaghan, 23, left, of Chatham, is the mechanic for AMA Supercross Championship Series racer Alex Martin.
ProvidedCameron Callaghan, 23, left, of Chatham, is the mechanic for AMA Supercross Championship Series racer Alex Martin. jpg, CD

As he basks in the excitement of being part of races that take place in sold-out stadiums, Callaghan said: “It’s not something I want to do forever.”

He added that Martin, who is “technically a rookie” at 32, wanted to upgrade to the 450 class before retiring.

Callaghan can see himself returning to farming when it’s time to end this venture.

“I don’t like sitting in an office,” he says. “There is always something to do on a farm. You’re always on the move and have new challenges, so it’s a bit like racing, there’s always something going on.

eshreve@postmedia.com

About Todd Wurtsbach

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