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Scott Meshey is living a purpose-driven life in a results-oriented industry

Relive the best moments from Supercross Round 9 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

SuperMotocross rider Scott Meshey is living a purpose-driven life in a results-driven industry.

On a given week, 22 riders make their way into a Monster Energy Supercross 450cc Main Event. It is easy to overlook the 50 or so riders who don’t finish in the top 10 in a majority of races. It’s even easier to skip past the riders for whom making the night show is the first and most important milestone of their weekend.

Scott Meshey 04 - Ashley Watkins

Meshey’s last Supercross Main came last year at Foxborough, Massachusetts, a race in which he finished 21st after advancing through the Last Chance Qualifier. In fact, all of Meshey’s Mains have come via that path, riding an extra race than most factory riders on those nights. Part of the reason for the hiatus is because Meshey missed five rounds with a broken hand sustained in a freak accident while training during the week following Anaheim 1. Meshey cased a jump and when he landed on its face, the momentum pushed his hand into his chest.

“I came up short on a triple into a rhythm section,” Meshey told NBC Sports. “I didn’t quite get the lift I was anticipating and my weight kind of shifted forward into the next jump. My chest hit my hand and I fractured my third and fourth metacarpal in my right hand. And I had a partial ligament tear in my thumb. I didn’t crash or anything. Surprisingly, I saved it before I took off the next jump. But that was enough. It was just about six weeks off the bike before I was able to get back on and start practicing again before going to Arlington.

“I’ve cased jumps many times. I’ve cased the triple, I’ve cased the finish line catapult, I’ve wrecked in the whoops, I’ve crashed in rhythm sections: I’ve done it all. And I can’t say that I’ve ever had something happen like that, where I came up short on a jump and I didn’t even go down - but just from the impact of kind of how things connected caused the injury. It was obviously a serious one.”

MORE: What success looks like at Team Next Level

On his return, Meshey barely missed the night show for the Arlington Triple Crown. Given the number of scratches from morning qualification, Meshey figures he came up three-tenths of a second short. And he knows exactly where the time was lost. Coming out of the whoops on his fast lap, the final mound of dirt broke down more than anticipated, which caused his nose to push in the next turn. That stalled his momentum ever so slightly.

It was less of a disappointment than one might expect. Meshey would not have been surprised to be two or three seconds off the pace in his first race back, so three-tenths was just fine. It also gave his hand one more weekend to heal.

The maturity to accept what the night gave him is part of what makes Meshey special in the sport and gives him the ability to balance his true purpose in racing with the best possible results.

“I had just turned 23 when I had raced my first supercross race,” Meshey said. “Part of what helps me a lot is my maturity on a bike. That is something has helped me to be more methodical about my progress and be more mindful.

“Of course, the inner racer in you sometimes gets the best of you and you make bad decisions because you just are too much in the heat of it, but you see guys like Zach Osborne, even Ryan Dungey who came back after years of not racing professionally, comes back and does so well. Christian Craig, and that’s just a short list. Eli [Tomac] is arguably a living legend. He’s at the top of his game and he’s been doing it for so long.

“Experience is something that pays off. Maybe a younger rider, overly eager or overly hungry, may be a little less methodical and not look at a long-term picture.”

In a sport where 30 has traditionally been considered geriatric, entering the sport in one’s 20s is challenging. But in Meshey’s list of riders, it bears noting those timelines are changing.

Scott Meshey 01 - Ashley Watkins

Purpose Driven

For Meshey, immediate results are obviously a big part of the equation. Each night show made and every Main he races factors into his overall purpose, but coming into the sport later than many riders currently in the field has given him a different perspective on his results.

It’s not as if the end of his career is around the corner, but Meshey is aware that it is an inevitability.

While Meshey made just two Supercross Mains in 2022, he also qualified for seven Lucas Oil Pro Motocross rounds last year with a best finish of 20th in the MX season-ender at Fox Raceway in Pala, California - a brutally hot race that was physically demanding.

But raw results are not the only thing driving him.

A privateer, Meshey is part of the Team Next Level family with their goal of guiding riders up life’s ladder. The goals of the team mesh with the 25-year-old rider.

“I give all of myself for a higher purpose because it’s what I love doing,” Meshey said. “I give all of myself because it’s what I want to do for myself, for my sponsors, for the people around me, for the people that are supportive of me and ultimately for God as an overall purpose. That’s really something that tapped into my core values. It’s more than racing.

Scott Meshey 02 - Ashley Watkins

“We have an obligation to our sponsors and we have the privilege of having people look up to us as professional athletes. And we have the obligation to be our best selves for a higher purpose. There is an alignment of values [with Team Next Level Racing]. [Team principal] Kris [Fagala] is there for the riders for whatever, not just on race day. He’s made it a clear that you can ask him anything, spiritually, religiously, if you just need somebody to vent to, if you need somebody for advice, if you want to talk to him about business or want some sage advice or some guidance and overall perspective.

“A lot of the industry is ‘results, results, results’. Of course, results are important for the team and it’s an important part of what we do, but overall, there is a very large priority placed on growth as an individual and growth within the sport and giving back.”

Meshey not only rides, but as a privateer he needs additional sources of income to keep his dream alive. Meshey does web marketing and owns a fuel-distribution company named Meshey Racing. His business interests create a natural bridge between current competition and longevity in the sport.

“Regardless of how I do in racing, for me and my purpose as a man, I feel like it’s important to have as much fulfillment in this life as I can, no matter where that lands me,” Meshey said. “I’m trying to position myself in a place where I will be able to closely interact with the motocross and supercross community and be able to have my impact in any possible way. So life after riding will still be part of the SuperMotocross series. But I will continue to race Supercross and the SuperMotocross series as long as it makes sense.”

UPDATE: Scott Meshey crashed Friday morning on Press Day in Detroit and suffered a fractured tibia that the team believes will end his season.