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I got into racing through my cousin and I raced a little bit, but when I was younger, I never tried the nationals like Loretta’s. When I turned 12, though, I did Mammoth and Loretta’s, and that’s kind of where it started—started taking it serious and racing more. Then in 2014, I won a JS7 Freestone Championship in the 85 class and that helped. I missed Loretta’s a lot because I hurt. In 2015 I got hurt, 2016 I raced the B class and Schoolboy class at Loretta’s, but even that year I broke my ulna right before and went there with a plate in my arm. I ended up getting 5th in Schoolboy. I just worked my way up, but never got any help [sponsors] as an amateur. That’s why I went Pro so quick. I’m only 18 and going Pro was just a better route for me.

Yeah, I wasn’t finding the help and I’ve been training with Buddy Antunez since I was 12 years-old, and he just suggested it. I had to do the “Road to Supercross” in the Arenacross series, so I did that. There was no point in staying in the amateurs for me because most the top kids already have a contract into the pros, and it’s hard to get one when you’re at the end the amateurs—like in the A class. It was just better for me to go pro, and then I ended up getting that JGR deal.

Yeah, I was actually at a race trying points for amateur stuff and Buddy told us we could get a test ride for JGR if I got my AX points. So we loaded up my truck and went straight to New Orleans to get the AX point I needed. Then they let me ride the bike and I did pretty good, so they let me race after the ride. My first ever pro race was Seattle, and it was gnarly. I only got one 10-minute practice, but I tried to make it work. I just had some problems and didn’t get it done. Salt Lake was a better race for me.

It was solid. The next time I remember seeing you, you finished 18th on the 450 in the Las Vegas SX main event and then came out and scored points on Saturday at Hangtown. I also saw you in the A qualifying sessions. Were you surprised they put you with the A guys? You ended up qualifying really good in 23rd.

I raced Millville last year and scored a point on the 450, so I wasn’t sure if they were going to put me in A, but I was kind of surprised. I was glad they did; it was nice. You get to be around the best guys. I know I could have qualified better. The first practice the track was pretty smooth, and I just didn’t take advantage of that. I probably could have had my lap times a little bit further. It was alright.

No, the 250 financially is a lot harder. I raced 250’s as an amateur and it was just hard. I would blow motors and we’d have to go through them. I rode a bone stock KTM 450 motor at Hangtown. All I had was good suspension, aftermarket wheels, bars, levers, a seat cover and grips.

In the first moto, I was running around 16th and ran there for the majority of the moto. I could see the big group ahead of me and I was pushing and staying with them, but I ended up over-pushing and got pretty bad arm pump. I started fading at the end pretty hard. I learned a lot at Hangtown, though—changing lines, seeing how the track develops and what to do. Now I know how I need to react to the track and keeping my energy up. In the second moto, I started pretty good and felt good, but I went down in that off-camber turn pretty hard and I got stuck in the banners. I was like 28th and caught back up to 22nd.

I haven’t been there and jumped them. I know the fans like them. The section I saw was that triple step-up into that giant double. I think the triple step-up is fine, but that giant double is a little too big. It makes it sketchy having big jumps and especially on the first lap. Then at the end of the race, you’re tired, it’s rough and you have to hit a 130-foot triple. It’s gnarly.

I really like Glen Helen. I’ve been racing there since I was 13 years-old. I’ve been there a lot. I like the hard pack there and how it gets soft in the corners, and I like the hills. A lot of guys aren’t used to those hills, but I get to ride there every week. I’m really well known with the track, so I’m feeling good going into it.