Where Are They Now: Phil LawrenceThursday, March 23, 2006 | 6:37 AM
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“Man, that first-lap crash cost me,” Lawrence says. “I felt like I was definitely a little faster but Gaddis was just really consistent. I came back to fifth that race; I was still jumping the triples on my 125 with no clutch. But I was a few points short at the end of the series.”
Lawrence rode the 250 class at the outdoor nationals in ‘93 and proved that he was just as good on a fast motocross track as he was in the stadiums. In fact, he finished third in Gainesville and at the Glen Helen rounds and rode consistently all summer. But the following year was disappointing for Phil. Injuries and mechanical DNFs took their toll on his results and he was dropped from the factory team at the conclusion of the season. He got back on Kawasakis through a support ride from Kawasaki of Mexico and Tecate in 1995, then joined the infamous Great Western Bank team in 1996. Phil started the ‘96 AMA Supercross Series by finishing second to Jeremy McGrath at the season opener in Orlando!
Lawrence continued riding impressively and finished the series in fourth—one of the best finishes ever for a privateer. But after so-so stints at Chaparral and Moto XXX, Phil decided to get out of the sport. He purchased a landscaping company from a friend and worked hard for the next couple of years. He was picked up several different times as a fill-in and a full-time arenacross rider for Suzuki’s arenacross teams during that time. He then sold the landscaping business and bought a lot-sweeping company.
Lawrence now owns and operates that company in Temecula, California. He still rides on a regular basis and, not surprisingly, still goes very fast. If you’ve seen any of our bike tests or shootouts, you’ve probably seen Phil, as he is one of our regular test riders here at Racer X Online. (On a personal note, not only does Phil live less than one mile from me, but he also married my wife’s sister, making us brothers-in-law!)
“I have great memories of my career,” Phil says. “You know, there are some things I wish I would’ve done differently, but I don’t dwell on those. At one time or another I have beaten the best riders in the world. Those are good times to me.”
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