Despite having grown up on two wheels riding and racing dirt bikes, Kody Kamm has made a career as one of the top racers on the ISOC Snocross circuit today. Known for his smooth riding style and fun-loving attitude off the track, we called up the 2017 Pro Open Snocross Champion to ask how he transitioned from dirt to snow, how he's upped his preseason preparation by training at Club MX in the Carolinas, and what his goals are for 2022 and beyond.
EVS Sports: Kody, the Amsoil Championship Snocross series started at Canterbury Park in Minnesota earlier this year. Would you say you came out of the first few rounds in a good position?
Kody Kamm: Yeah, Friday went very well. I won my heat races and took fourth in the main event. I had a great start and led at points in the race early on. I struggled in two corners, and a couple of guys in front of me pulled away over one corner. So Friday I was in fourth place with two wins in the heats and Saturday was good also. I got a second in one heat and a fifth and just wasn't feeling myself in that heat race. And then, in the main event, I had another struggle off the start, and I think I was last place at one point but finished 7th. So I mean, I'm happy with those results. Last year we had a DNF in a heat race and a big crash in the first turn that resulted in a small injury, so I'm super excited and happy for where we're at.
EVS: Let's talk about your start in racing and your path to Snocross racing specifically. How did you get your start in snocross racing?
Kamm: Motocross has always been my background. My dad always raced dirt bikes when he was a teenager, so I followed it heavily. Then I got a four-wheeler for my fourth birthday and loved it, and then my 5th birthday came around, and I got a KTM 50. So ever since I was five years old, we've been racing pretty much every weekend in the Midwest and chasing all the amateur nationals. I've got a Loretta Lynn's title on a 65, and I've been all over the place on dirt bikes. Lots of down south training when I was allowed to miss school.
EVS: It sounds like you were on the path towards a full pro motocross career?
Kamm: Yeah, I grew up racing pretty much the entire 450 field. All the Supercross guys are basically my age, and we all know each other. It was fun growing up racing with all those guys, and I beat a lot of them a lot of the time, too (laughs). It feels as if I were to stick to Moto, I could be doing it now, but you never know how that goes. So yeah, when I was younger, I was racing all these guys, and that was super cool.
EVS: So motocross was your focus, you'd worked your way up to the pro level by age 15, and then some friends introduced you to snowmobiles
Kamm: Yeah, there's a local guy in Kenosha County named Doug Gust who's a legend in the ATV world. He was building snowmobile tracks and had snowmobiles to train on throughout the winter, and he and my dad are really close friends. So, he ended up getting me on the snowmobile one weekend in the freezing cold, and I wasn't sure about it. But after a couple of rides one winter, I was doing pretty well at the practice track, and some kids my age and their parents (I think I was 13 or 14 at the time) suggested I try doing a snocross national because they thought I'd probably do pretty well there. But for me, never racing, not knowing anything, I had no clue. We went to our first national, and I actually won both Junior Classes. And from there on out, I was like, 'wow! I can win here and do really well at this.' So, I started following the whole National Series, and from then on, I've been [racing] every single year.
EVS: So, at that point, you saw an opportunity to become an elite Snocross racer. Is that what made you decide that Snocross is where you were meant to be?
Kamm: I think we kind of just started racing Snocross as a winter hobby because we did Arenacross since the 50 Junior class every winter. Snocross was just a different scene, a different crowd, and we started doing that, but throughout the summer, I was still chasing the motocross. I think I got my pro card at 16 years old, and since 2010, I've raced a couple of Pro Motocross Nationals each year just for bragging rights, basically.
EVS: You are known as one of the smoothest riders on the Snocross circuit. Where do you think that comes from? Would you say your motocross skills and experience have helped make you a smooth and fast Snocross racer? And vice versa?
Kamm: Yeah, definitely. The smoothness, I've really been focusing on the last couple of years now that we've been racing stock sleds. Snocross took away the Open Modified sleds, so we're all riding stock, and we just don't have the amount of horsepower we had when we had full mod builds with tons of horsepower. So yeah, definitely being smooth, putting the power to the ground helps a lot, you don't get as tired that way, and it's a bit easier on the body. But Snocross still is so rough that you're beaten up no matter what.
EVS: I think I saw where you sometimes train at Club MX in the Carolinas. Tell us about your program there and how has it helped you overall as both a snocross and motocross racer?
Kamm: Basically, motocross is my background. It's always been my main background. I don't want to give up the motocross side of things and completely quit to race only snowmobiles. Because that's where I came from. So yeah, I've been going down to Club MX in South Carolina for the past six years now every fall or mid-summer. I'll check in here and there and do some training and riding. The tracks are awesome down there, and all the people are awesome. It's just a great vibe at Club MX, and it gets me off the couch (laughs).
EVS: It seems like good preparation coming into Snocross season, where you have this nice build-up of confidence, fitness, and time on the bike?
Kamm: Yeah, it's full-time down there, 4-5 days a week, so it's a structured training facility whereas at home there are so many distractions, and you can't just walk out your front doorstep and do motos every day on five different tracks to pick from. It's luxury training down there, and it's so much easier to just get it done while you're down there than being at home and trying to drive to the gym and then go drive to a track. All that stuff it's just right there, with no distractions.
EVS: Changing directions, you were part of the Nitro Circus Pitbike Triple Crown races broadcast on Fox Sports in 2021. I can only imagine what that was really like. Did you make it out unscathed?
Kamm: Uh, yeah, I think there were 22 of us, maybe 18, I don't remember, but yeah, there was a handful of guys that had to sit out, and they were calling in backup riders and all sorts of stuff. That was a rough 10 days of vacation, basically (laughs). But I wouldn't change that for anything. It was so much fun. The behind-the-scenes stuff? Yeah, I can't talk too much about that (laughs), but it was a good time, that's for sure.
EVS: You are a family man these days, with a wife and a son behind you as part of your team. How has becoming a husband and father changed your outlook on racing and life?
Kamm: It's definitely awesome seeing a little dude running around looking for his father, calling me 'dada,' and just big hugs all the time. I never thought I would see that. A little guy looking up to me like I'm his guardian. It changes everything. It's awesome having a little family by my side. We finally got the house that we're going to be moving into soon, and we're really making big steps forward there.
EVS: What are your goals for the 2022 season on snow and dirt?
Kamm: I actually looked into getting my Supercross card. I looked at the schedule, and there are two of them after my Snocross season I can hit. But the only way to get my card is to do the Supercross Futures stuff and qualify for it, so it'll be a two-year program, I think before I can actually line up.
In Snocross, I'm sitting in 3rd place in points. The goal is definitely to get a whole pile of podiums or get one every weekend. That's my goal. We'll see how that all plays out in the championship, but consistency will definitely win the championship. So I'll try to be smooth and serious about being consistent all the time. I can't have a really good weekend and then a really bad weekend. That doesn't work for me.
EVS: How about long-term goals? Where would you like to be 3-5 years from now?
Kamm: I would love to be racing still, but that's definitely a long way down the road, so you never know what might happen. I think Snocross is definitely a lot harder on the body than Moto. But yeah, maybe if I get done with Snocross early, I'll chase that Supercross dream. Getting to line up and qualify for a night show would be awesome. After riding Supercross this fall, all the guys said that I'm a night show guy for sure, but it all comes down to getting that pro card.
EVS: One last question before we let you go. What do you appreciate about being a part of the EVS Family?
Kamm: Oh man, you guys are awesome. I've been working with EVS, I believe, since 2009, so we're well over 10 years now. But yeah, every year, it's just awesome support. The knee braces are great, the socks are awesome. And the cool part is, I only live about 30 minutes away from the headquarters. I've been there a couple of times and worked with different guys over the years now. Everyone's super awesome and welcoming, and it's a cool team to be a part of!
Interview by Dale Spangler.
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