ROAD TO THE RANCH: MARK FINEIS
Mark Fineis didn’t actually race on the hallowed grounds of Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch until he was in the 65cc (10-11) Limited class, but that’s because his focus wasn’t on racing dirt bikes when he was 4-years-old. The Indiana native grew up within the midwest state of mind, aspiring one day to compete as a NASCAR driver, therefore the family spent his younger days at the karting track. It wasn’t until 2016 that Fineis even lined up on the gate at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship and less than five years later, he’s been a part of the Orange Brigade KTM Factory effort and challenging for titles at every race that he attends. Back in 2016, Fineis went 35-19-34 for 31st place overall in the 65cc (10-11) Limited class which featured a top three of Hunter Yoder, Ryder DiFrancesco, and Kyle Smith. In 2017, the KTM rider made drastic improvements and almost earned a spot within the top ten overall in both of his classes, finishing 11th place in 65cc (10-11) Limited and 13th position in 65cc (7-11). After an off-year in 2018, Fineis finally built his way up to the breakout performance at Loretta’s that he’s long been capable of, snagging 3rd place overall in Mini Sr. 1 and 2nd place overall in Mini Sr. 2. Not only was he fast, but he finished five out of six motos on the podium and really demonstrated that he’s able to put it all together, quickly earning a contract with the Orange Brigade KTM team a couple of months later. After an injury last November, Fineis took his time working his way back up to his optimal speed but it’s clear after the Loretta Lynn Regionals at both Baja Acres and WW Ranch that he’s on top form again, winning every single moto that he raced.
How’d the Regionals go for you?
The Regionals were really good. I won all my motos on supermini and 125.
What’s a typical day of training been like for you getting ready for Loretta’s?
In the beginning, I run two to three sprints, practice starts or work on technique and do one thirty to forty-minute moto, or two twenty-minute motos while monitoring lap times. Then do a recovery cycle ride or strength workout usually four days a week. I try not to over-train. Once I get closer to Loretta’s, I cut back on my schedule so I’m fresh.
Do you have a pre-race routine?
I make sure my hydration is good going into the race which usually starts a week before and then I stretch and spin before the moto.
How do you recover after a twenty-minute moto in the brutal heat and humidity?
I take ice baths after the moto and continue to hydrate and eat well.
Is there one specific year at Loretta’s that has been the most memorable for you?
Last year was my best year, almost winning a title. I ended up getting a 2nd and a 3rd overall.
What do you think is the key to success at the Ranch?
Being ready for long motos, the heat, and staying consistent.