Throughout the amateur racing years, parents are burdened financially and riders are burdened mentally. But typically not until a teenage rider turns pro and receives a six-figure that the family is ripped apart. Told through the story of Nico Izzi and his family, A Reason to Race reveals the dangers that riders face in an industry where a hard-partying, lifestyle can prey on kids whose families don't or can't protect them. In the 2012 season, Nico shows up at Red Bud with a purpose. - it was on this course that his best friend Josh Lichtle died of heat exhaustion one year before. Nico is also in the midst of a multi-year comeback from a huge ankle injury which led to depression, a struggle with painkillers, and the lure of the party life.Despite industry judgment of his years of struggle, Nico must believe a comeback is possible so he can give his daughter a better life, and uphold the memory of his friend. And yet - the pain from his family dynamics and repercussions from injury are profound. Things fell apart with his hard-driving father, Nario, after he publicly criticized Nico for a poor race performance; with his mother, bonds were tested when Nico began spending big, and partying hard.Already facing estrangement from his parents, Nico's struggle got even tougher when Nico shattered his heel in 2009 - effectively halting his budding career. Nico's injury was so severe that amputation was among his options - thankfully, it was reconstructed instead. He began a slow recovery process, during which he feared that his career was over.Living with constant pain in his foot, Nico also struggled with increasing dependency on prescription painkillers. Then, when Nico finds out that he's gotten his girlfriend pregnant, he sinks deeper into despair, with no idea how to juggle life as a racer and as a father at age 18.In 2010, Nico struggled throughout the outdoor season. He meets a friend named Country Craig in 2011, and Craig warns Nico of the impending darkness that will come if he doesn't change. With this newfound sense of purpose and fear, Nico begins to race himself back into shape during the 2011 season. As 2012 begins, Nico tells his father about his struggles going into the new season. It is hard for Nario to accept, but he begins to embrace his son once again. Together they work through Nico's problems during the 2012 outdoor season, and Nico receives a contract to ride a Suzuki, his favorite brand, in 2013.