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Ryan Beat Overcomes Tragedy to Get Back to the 2016 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

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Ryan using strong restarts to keep himself in second place

Ryan using strong restarts to keep himself in second place

Ryan is battling for the lead with several different trucks

Ryan is battling for the lead with several different trucks

Some things in life can change as fast as a falling rock, or a person falling. After a great start to the 2016 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORS), Ryan Beat found this out the hard way. In the first two rounds of racing, Ryan drove his Rockstar Energy, K&N Filters Pro Lite smart and fast, finishing in fourth and in second on the podium .

When he got back to the shop after the race weekend he started his post-race routine by unloading the race hauler. Ryan started to unload his Pro Lite that is stored on the top level of the hauler, so Ryan backed the truck onto the lift gate to lower it down. When he got out of the truck to work the controls for the lift gate, his foot got caught. Ryan started losing his balance and knew he was going to fall, so with a split second decision Ryan jumped off to land on his feet while still in control. When he landed on the ground his left foot landed on a 6 x 6 block of wood.  With the rest of his body weight still going downward, his foot ended up folding upwards. Ryan said,” I think I was in shock right away, even with the pain I figured I could walk it off. But when I took that first step, it folded up toward my shin and I knew it was bad.” He also was thinking his racing season was over even though it just started.

Ryan called one of the top doctors in sports medicine named Dr. Murphy, who has worked on several of the top Supercross riders and other athletes around the world. The next day Ryan was getting his X-rays done and when Dr. Murphy saw them, he wanted to do surgery right away. All the bones across the middle of Ryan’s foot were broken and the tendons had been torn off the bone. During surgery the doctor implanted 16 screws and 3 plates to re attach everything the best he could. A cast was put on after surgery for a week, along with extra strength Tylenol for the pain and then straight to physical therapy. Even though Ryan was working hard and making good progress, Ryan could tell he still wouldn’t be able to push the brakes in his Pro Lite. So he went to work getting a custom carbon fiber sole built that he would be able to put in his race shoes. The brace would be taped to his foot with the tape continuing up his ankle allowing the force to be distributed into his lower leg rather than his foot.

Ryan Beat with a second place finish and fast lap while being injured

Ryan Beat with a second place finish and fast lap while being injured

Ryan standing on his right foot keep all the pressure off of his injured foot

Ryan standing on his right foot keep all the pressure off of his injured foot

One thing that went in Ryan’s favor was his decision in the beginning of the year. Rather than prepping his own truck like he has been in the past, he decided to have Racer Services prep his Pro Lite for the 2016 season due to his increasingly busy schedule. Ryan said, “With where my career has taken me, I have been doing all the logistics, working with my sponsors and doing appearances for them. Also working with other companies to gain new sponsors to allow my team to grow. I didn’t have the time to give it my full focus, and I know Racer Services would take care of my truck like it was their own, and have it the best it can be for me. It also allows me to have time to do a lot of work with the Jessie Rees Foundation, going to the different children hospitals and spending time with the kids.”  One of the hardest parts of getting ready for the next race was loading the hauler with everything needed for the race from spare parts to the food. Not being able to walk around very much and being in pain while doing so, made this task nearly impossible.

When it came to the race weekend, Ryan wanted to have a clear mind so he had not been taking any medicine for his foot. When he first got on the track and started practicing, the truck handled very well and he was able to manage how he drove. After each session of qualifying and the races Ryan would change out of his driving suit and sit with his foot in a bucket of ice to help with the swelling and the pain. When it came time to race, you could not tell Ryan was hurt at all. His driving was excellent all the way around the track, and he did not slam doors with the other drivers. Ryan said “I drove the truck at about seventy-five percent of what the truck could do. I was more focused on driving the truck smarter rather than harder, most of the race. Some spots when the other drivers were getting behind me I had to push it harder.”

Ryan’s truck handled very well through the turns in Lake Elsinore

Ryan’s truck handled very well through the turns in Lake Elsinore

Ryan smiling in his truck after the podium knowing what he had accomplished

Ryan smiling in his truck after the podium knowing what he had accomplished

With Ryan’s smooth driving, he was able to stay in the front with the leaders on both days of racing. It was a surprise to everyone that Ryan finished second both days, giving him three-second place finishes out of four races. You could see Ryan in pain while getting out of his truck and doing interviews, and also while at the podium. He was standing mainly on his right leg whenever he could, but was able to pull through walking up to the podium. Ryan was thrilled with how the weekend turned out. He said “We went into the weekend with a mindset of, let’s just try to get some points and salvage what we can of the season. I had no thought in my mind that the weekend was going to turn out the way it did with myself on the podium both days and being in third place in the championship points race.”

So when things can change for the worse in an instant, you can always work hard and find a way to try to make it work out just fine. This is what Ryan did, thinking the entire way from the time of the injury to prepping himself for the race, and also how he drove in the race. Showing that just because something bad happens, do not just sit there and feel sorry for yourself. Get out there and find a way to make it work for you.


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