On Friday, July 29, 2022, racer Scott Briody died in a crash during the first qualifying session for the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 race at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota. He was 50 years old.
According to the report from the local sheriff’s office, the incident occurred when Briody lost control of his bike and struck a retaining wall on the course. He was pronounced dead at the scene. MotoAmerica and Brainerd International Raceway immediately canceled all remaining on-track activity for the rest of the day, out of respect for Briody and his passing.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Scott Briody. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his team and the MotoAmerica paddock,” MotoAmerica chief operating officer Chuck Aksland said in a statement.
Motorcycle racing paddocks, at every level, tend to be filled with tight-knit bunches of people. The regulars all know each other, and of course every group has its characters that are known for specific things. Briody was well known and loved in his circles, particularly as the kind of person who loved giving back and helping new racers find themselves on track. Unsurprisingly, the tributes from those who knew him have been pouring out, on social media and elsewhere.
As racers grow in stature, they often develop sponsorships along the way—it's simply part of how the racing business works. One of Briody’s sponsors was Bison, a family-owned and operated bespoke maker of well-priced, custom motorcycle leathers.
If you’ve never been in a motorcycle racing paddock, one of the most important things to know is that it’s all about family—both the one you come to the track with (and may be related to), and those you form at the track. Bison considered Briody part of their family—and wrote an extremely moving tribute to the racer on the company blog. One thing they pointed out is that Briody was the kind of guy who insisted on paying for his race leathers, as well as their repairs—even though Bison had stepped up to sponsor him.
We’ll include a link to their post in our Sources so you can read the whole thing, but the conclusion rings especially true and beautiful:
“This sport is beautiful and cruel, graceful and unforgiving all at once. As I’ve always said, we as riders all understand the risks when we climb aboard a motorcycle and we quietly know anytime we see someone off on one it could be the last. There’s a feeling that comes with riding that fine line of risk vs. reward that cannot be explained. Scott wasn’t out there competing for podiums. He was doing it because he loved it. All of it, on track and off. I don’t think he’d have wanted to go out any other way,” Bison Track co-founder Rob Lackey concluded.