The Comeback of Trey Canard


Anaheim 1 2013 will be remembered by a series of crazy events, most notably the battle between Davi Millsaps and a newly returned Trey Canard. Trey's battle with serious injury has left him on a short-list of miracle returns on par with Doug Henry's comeback from a broken back after a crash at Budd's Creek in 1995.  HIs dedication to the sport and perserverence through it all has earned him the respect of fans around the globe.  Leading into Anaheim 2, Trey filled us in on what's going down and how his season is shaping up. 

What was it like to finally be back and healthy on the gate at Anaheim 1?
I think it’s crazy, really. You don’t know where your preparation has been, where your speed is at. It was an interesting race for me because I was just so grateful to be there. I wasn’t really looking at the results or anything. That wasn’t going to make me happy. I was already content just being there there and anything extra was going to be just icing on the cake. I feel like that’s kind of the been the story of the last two years, really. I really appreciate these days that I can go to the track and I’m just so excited to be there and thankful for that.

It seems that Revival 41 has allowed a lot of fans to connect with your story. How was working on that project?

Revival 41 was pretty interesting. It’s not something I was too excited about at first. I just really had no idea where my life was going at that point - whether it was going to continue to be racing or what. But I just kind of went with it and I was liking the ideas that Shane McCassy was coming up with and telling me about. So I just went with it. It was an awesome experience. For me to watch video, it takes me back through each process and each little thing from the surgery to therapy to riding my bicycle for the first time. So many different things. It kind of brings you back to those times. Just feeling that, just the overly deep pain to go back and look all the way back to where we are now. I’m pumped on it. I hope that people are encouraged by it. I hope that it’s not a film that pumps me up or is anything about me, but I hope that it just encourages people and lifts them up and they can see me for who I am and my faith inspires them. I’m excited about the film. I hope that people enjoy. I’ve been really excited to be a part of it.

Last year at 2013 Honda Intro at Loretta Lynn’s was the 2nd time you had even swung a leg over the motorcycle…what was that experience like?

Yeah, Loretta’s was my second time on a bike. I got released from the doctor on a Monday. I flew home on I want to say Wednesday and then rode that Wednesday night for like 30 minutes and I think Thursday was the day I rode at Loretta’s. It was emotional for sure. I mean, I haven’t been back there since my racing days, but getting to go there and I saw Jeff Emig and Ricky Carmichael, all these other guys who get to be a part of that and for me, the second time on the bike… It was crazy. It was super emotional. I was just pumped, so exited to get to experience that. It was awesome.

What’s the plan and expectation for the season? You’re a champion and that racer mentality definitely hasn’t gone away, so how would it go if you could write the book?
For this season right now, obviously I want to go out there and win. That would be pretty neat. I’d like to be healthy. It’d be pretty awesome to go through a couple years with no big groans and pains. My biggest hope really is just to reach people on a certain level that, through this movie and through everything else, I hope that my story can encourage people. I hope to reach people on their level and just encourage and edify people. That’s kind of the main goal for me to let that light shine. But I don’t know; there’s still that racer side of me too that really wants to go out there and win some races and enjoy that. I think the biggest thing for me is to keep the right perspective and just see where that takes me. But as far as after racing I’d definitely like to get into some type of ministry. That kind of work has been my passion for a while now and it’s something I really enjoy.

The Millsaps battle at A1 was one of the most intense in supercross history, can you give us a little play-by-play?

Yeah, that was awesome. We started right there and really I just wanted to stay behind him. He was a little bit faster than me in the heat race. I wanted to learn a little bit from him. I wanted to stay behind him for as long as I could and hopefully get a good line before I put too much pressure. But I tried to just stay really calm and keep behind him. I got to lap 13 or 14 and I was kind of looking for any type of weakness I could find in him, maybe he was getting tired or anything like that. I wasn’t really seeing it, but decided that at lap 15 I felt like I could push and go to the inside and put on a sprint for the last five laps and hopefully win the race. That’s it. I went for it. Right at lap 15 I think that’s when I passed him. I kind of kept going for it, kept going for it. Then I got the 2-lap on my pit board. I got super tight and super nervous and started making some mistakes which helped him get back up to me. I made one more mistake on a double and I knew that he was killing that whoop section. He just went for it and I knew he had the pass…we kind of collided there a little bit, but it was an awesome race. It was so much fun. I was so happy for Davi, too, because I know he has so many critics. He hasn't had exactly an incredible last couple years either. So I’m happy to see him get that win and for all the guys at the Rockstar team, too. I know they’ve worked really hard. And it was a win for me just being there, to get that race and to have 2nd place was incredible.

We say it every year, but this is the most stacked season to date. There’s definite growth in the sport in terms of talent, what do you attribute that to?

The last four or five years seems like GEICO and seems like Star and Pro Circuit have been grooming all these riders. I think that’s a big part of it. Kids are starting to work at it so early and they have everything they need to mature and grow into what they need to be when the time comes. There’s not really that huge learning curve, it doesn’t seem like. And the guys are figuring it out. Back earlier in the 2000s, I wasn’t really a part of this like I am now, but I feel like a lot of guys are getting it together. A lot of guys have the physical side figured out and have tools like a riding coach. I feel like that’s helping develop the sport. I haven’t seen much amateur racing lately, but I can imagine from what I saw at Loretta Lynn’s this year that it’s growing. There’s more people invested in it, there’s more people caring about it.  I know the economy is hurting a little bit, but hopefully that continues to grow because you see what it’s doing to the 450 class, to the 250 class, to everything. I think it’s an exciting deal.

How do you keep the motivation to keep pushing through the injuries? What keeps you coming back for more?
I think for me, and I hate to be that broken record and I know a lot of people don’t agree with it but the only thing that keeps me going, the only thing that really gives me that inner strength is Christ and believing in Him, that’s really it. Honestly it’s what keeps me driven and what keeps me going. That’s it. To look at the life that’s demonstrated in him and just seeing what he went through. In comparison, what I’m going through is so small. I look around too at so many people that have so many stories and whether racers or different people, they really have a story to tell. There’s a lot of inspiration in a lot of the people that I’m around, whoever it is. I feel that that is my hope, that’s my strength and it's always been that way.

Aran Eversman