Now that outdoors is over, what did you think of your season overall?
As crazy as 2020 has been so far, it’s just as crazy to me that the 2020 racing season is already over! It flew by even with the little hiatus we were forced to take in the middle of SX. For me, I felt like 2020 was a pretty good season overall. There were definitely some bright spots and some not so good spots but the good far outweighed the bad. I had to put my own race program together only about a month before SX started so to make it to every race, be in the main events every time, and battle with the best SX riders in the world was good. The field was stacked all year meaning there were mostly great riders on factory bikes so to put my own team together last minute and beat and battle them was an accomplishment. So I was happy with that and I’m looking to build the program into the 2021 season. Also I only ended up racing one National at WW Ranch in Florida. I really enjoy doing the outdoor season but with having to put a program together so last minute I didn’t really have the budget to do the outdoors in addition to SX which is a bummer. If I’m going racing I want to do it right because I know what it takes to compete at that level against the factory teams so I felt like if I didn’t have the budget to race the outdoors with a competitive program I didn’t want to do it then. So that was my reasoning for not doing the outdoor nationals. Another factor was the unknown of what the schedule would be since everything was delayed and ever-changing with COVID-19. So that made it tough to make plans ahead of time. But I did do WW like I said since it was in my home state and I went out without much preparation and went 15-12 for 14th overall. I was satisfied with that effort with all things considered and just jumping into the series mid season. I had a lot of fun which was the main goal. I felt like I could’ve done better but like I said I was happy with it and had fun.
What was it like having to race during a pandemic?
Racing during a pandemic this year has been a little bit of everything. Frustrating, confusing, annoying, weird, but also grateful we were able to race at all. The toughest part was adjusting my training schedules and also making a plan with my truck driver and the race team rig knowing where it needed to be and when. On the training side it was tough because I didn’t want to keep grinding if we weren’t going to be racing for a while. But I also didn’t want to take too much time off and lose what had been built up and then not be ready when racing could resume. With the daily changing of things this year we never had much time to know when to be ready. Aside from physically training it was tough to keep my mind in the right place, meaning keeping it in race mode or relax mode. That was tough mentally. I also had to balance making sure my bikes and equipment would last longer with the season getting pushed back further into the year. The other side being the race team managing side. I had to make sure the driver was ready to go any time and the truck got where we needed it on time. So it was a lot of balancing things and just being able to adjust and pivot things as needed. The best way to be ready for me is just to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready!
Favorite moment of the 2020 Race season?
My favorite moment of the 2020 season would be spending the time racing in Salt Lake City. Finishing the SX season in Salt Lake City was a lot of fun for me. My family got to come for most of the trip so I was there with my wife, 2 daughters, and my dad. I enjoyed racing a couple times a week. I’m a racer and once we get racing I enjoy that so doing it a couple times a week was fun. Also Salt Lake City had a lot of things to do and the weather that time of year there was amazing. We stayed in Park City not too far away and between the races when the work was done at the track and with the bike we went and explored Utah. It was a really fun family trip. It snowed some days, and it was hot some days. It was kind like a family vacation/work trip. My daughters had a lot of fun as well. I love traveling and seeing new places. Normally when we go to races it’s cool to race and travel but we don’t really ever get much time to go explore the places we travel to which is a bummer to me. So being there for a month was a fun time. Although it was expensive to stay there for that long...we enjoyed it a lot!
What was it like to essentially come off the couch and place 14th overall at WW?
Racing WW national was a lot of fun for me. The fact that I didn’t decide to race it until a couple weeks before it and I only really rode those two weeks leading up to it since I took some time off after SX was over made it interesting. Once I decided to race I really put some work in those two weeks getting myself and everything prepared to race. It is definitely not ideal to take almost 2 months completely off and then ride a couple weeks and race...but I wanted to do it so I did as much as I could in a short time and went for it. I knew if I didn’t race I would regret it later so I just said let’s go for it and see what happens. My dad did a ton of work as well for me. Like I said if I’m going to race I’m going to do it right. My mentality is to do it right and put the work in and then it’s fun to get rewarded with success when it counts. The overall grind of getting myself ready and training for the race with AC and Sexton and also Malcolm Stewart was enjoyable. I like the work and also getting the bike and program ready to go was fun. I have learned to enjoy all aspects of what it takes to go racing and I know I can’t race forever so I’m not taking any of it for granted. Of course having my family and friends there at the home race and doing well was awesome too!
Stay tuned for some additional 'How was your Summer' interviews with Team EVS members in the next few days!
Photo credits to David Lando and Chris 'Browndog' Wilson.