When it comes to “image” Blake is totally unaware. He doesn’t care what a motorcycle looks like or if his Shoei matches his Taichi leathers; Blake just wants to ride.
With respect for his country and having 2 uncles that serve with the US Marines Blake is drawn to anything “American”. So, his motorcycle color schemes often are red, white, and/or blue. Where does all the green come from? That’s to meet Kawasaki’s eligibility requirements for contingency funds. And we want those funds!
A change you will see this year is his competition number. The 122 came about on the way to his first race. Mike asked Blake what number he wanted on his motorcycle. He told Mike that Psalm 122:1 was his favorite Bible verse, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord”, and he chose 122 as his number and has used it ever since. However, the Junior Cup series allows only 2 digit numbers so Blake chose to drop the 1 and race as #22.
Now how about that BEAST? As many of us have experienced, our siblings can simultaneously traumatize and encourage us. Blake has 2 older sisters and an older brother, and they’ve all played the roles as giver and receiver of such trauma and encouragement! And that is where the story of his nickname “BEAST” begins.
As you know Blake started racing motorcycles young, I mean, younger than he is now. Once he started participating in Supermoto events at Virginia International Raceway’s kart track, he was getting high-5’s and “way to go’s” from a lot of adults. His oldest sister saw all the excitement and how well Blake was doing and started calling him “Sexy Beast”. He did NOT like it AT ALL. So, as all loving brothers and sisters would do, they kept calling him that. It was a family joke until some of our moto-family travelled with us to a race and got wind of the nickname. It was a secret no more.
Fast-forward a few years and we started working with Brand Supply Company to develop Blake’s brand. They asked if Blake had any nicknames. I talked to Blake first and we decided to tell them he had been called BEAST and left it at that. The designer called and talked to Blake to get an idea of what Blake had in mind. Blake didn’t like my idea of the cute Disney cartoon beast and told the designer he wanted a mean looking beast.
Brand Supply Company got back to us saying they had a difficult time designing a mean BEAST to represent Blake. They said, “Blake is too nice; he’s not a mean BEAST.” So, an ambiguous or reversible image was designed; looking at the BEAST one way he looks angry but flip him upside down and he becomes a happy BEAST! Blake loved the idea and the BEAST was born!
This weekend Blake will make his MotoAmerica debut at Michelin Raceway-Road Atlanta. You can watch at MotoAmericaLive. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook to get the latest news. We will see you at the track!