MPG / DAILY BREAD / FEBRUARY 28, 2017
Chad Saultz came into the 2017 season on a wave of momentum as a result of some incredibly respectable results after recently moving up to the A class. The Illinois native made the step up at Mini-O’s this past year and really showcased his skills, finishing twelfth overall in 450 Pro Sport and fifteenth overall in 250 Pro Sport in the SX portion of the event. The A class was incredibly deep and competitive at a high caliber event like the Thor Winter Olympics and the Yamaha rider displayed that he has what it takes to run with the big guns during Thanksgiving week down at Gatorback. Saultz elected to start off his 2017 racing season by competing in various AMSOIL Arenacross Amateur races across the east coast; he contested Nashville, Louisville, and Kansas City. He performed well in his heat races at Nashville, but a gnarly crash in the whoops kept him from racing the main events. Saultz really stepped it up the following weekend in Louisville by taking a second place in the Amateur All-Star main event as well as just barely missing out on the podium in the Open A class with a fourth place finish. He was able to build on that momentum after a week off before heading into Kansas City where he finished fifth place in both of his heat races. Unfortunately, the whoops bit him again as the night of racing progressed in the Sprint Center and this time he wasn’t able to escape unscathed. Saultz suffered an extensive list of injuries that will keep him off of the bike for the next couple of months, but he remains in positive spirits as he begins his recovery. We caught up with Chad to check in on him after surgery, get an idea of when he’ll be able to return to racing, and see how he likes to pass the time when he’s couch-locked.
You raced a couple rounds of the Amateur AX leading up to Kansas City before your crash, how did those go and how were you feeling on the bike?
I was feeling pretty good about my riding, but was struggling to get my suspension right. Going into Kansas City, we finally figured it out and I was feeling confident about it.
Unfortunately, you had a pretty bad crash this last weekend qualifying in Kansas City, what happened in the crash?
I was committed going into the second half of the whoops and the front wheel skipped a whoop which dropped my front end and threw me over the bars. It ejected me about fifteen feet and I hit face first with the bike landing on top of me.
What sort of injuries did you end up sustaining in the crash?
I came away with a broken jaw, broken wrist, some stitches in my chin and a small air pocket in my lung -- the medical term for that is a pneumothorax.
You just got out of surgery a couple of days ago, how did everything go and what’s your recovery process looking like?
I had surgery on my jaw Monday and had to have it wired shut for about six to eight weeks. I had the first of two surgeries on my wrist Thursday; They put four pins and one plate in my wrist.
So, having your mouth wired shut…what is the recommended diet for something like that to still get all of your nutrients and vitamins and everything?
All liquids. Lot's of Boost, Ensure, and protein shakes. My favorite is mashed potatoes with extra gravy from KFC to thin it out and also Jamba Juice smoothies are good. Sometimes I have to use a syringe to eat some food which is not fun at all.
What’s your timetable looking like for getting back on the bike and where can we expect to see you racing next?
It looks like six to eight weeks for my jaw and then it will be one hundred percent. It's still too early to know on my wrist, so it will depend on when I have the second surgery.
What sort of stuff do you do to pass the time when you’re injured?
I watch a lot of TV and movies which can get very boring. I normally like to watch the Discovery Channel, History Channel, Science Channel, Fox News and of course Supercross!
Who would you like to thank for helping you out?
My Mom and Dad, Sisters, Grandparents, Aubrey, and all my family and friends. A special thanks to Dr. Torosain (Orthopedic-Wrist) and Dr. Haddle (Maxillofacial-Jaw). CycleTrader Rock River, Yamaha, Buca di Beppo, Planet Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich, Seven, Dunlop, Nihilo, VP Racing, Hinson, Enzo, Yoshimura, Roost MX, Pro Taper, Gaerne, Matt Walker / Motoxcompound, and anybody I may have forgotten. Thanks for all of your support!
/ Words / Lake Kilpatrick
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