How early did you get started with racing and did you practice at the track in Yoncalla?
I was born in Portland and was raised in Vancouver. I started racing at The Center. I raced when I was young and took a couple years off and then came back and started taking it pretty seriously. I was 14 or 15 years old when I start riding again. Its been a decent career so far! I grew up about 45 minutes away from Washougal and I look forward to racing there.
There have been so many great riders over the years – who was there for you, who were your mentors?
Definitely my brother, I watched him and the other people in his era like Villopoto, Dungey and those guys race. I’ve been watching them for as long as I can remember. My dad was the main guy who helped teach me, so he was the coach, but I learned a lot just watching my brother as a kid. At around 13-15 years old, I started to implement stuff that I had seen in my young life and it turned into something where all of a sudden I was able to do that stuff.
You rode the 450 in Atlanta! You and Jeremy Martin crossed over this season and we are stoked to see you there.
We are the future! I like the big bikes. We have a few guys who are going to be coming up. The 450 is definitely where I’m heading. I like the new 450 from Suzuki is unbelievable, it’s a rad bike.
What’s the best part about racing up here? It’s close, your roots, you have a ton of influence, and your musical interests.
Yeah Seattle, I have a lot of rich history with this town. I have a lot of inspiration from this area and grew up not far from here. It’s close to home and my people are here, that’s probably the coolest part for me. I get to race in a somewhat more familiar condition and I’m going to have people here that I don’t get to see that often, so that’s fun for me.
Is there one specific thing, like a favorite restaurant or is it just everything?
It’s just everything. What I like about it is that I get to see my family. I’ll be heading back down to Portland and heading back home – it’s just that hometown vibe. Being home just takes me back, which is cool. But other then that, it’s just that feeling you get when you are close to home.
Your life outside of motocross, what drives you? If motocross wasn’t there, what would keep you sane and driven each day?
I thrive on creativity. I like to be as creative as I can. I like to be free to do what I enjoy. When I enjoy it, I’m ten times better at it than when I don’t enjoy it. I found a lot of solace in music. I find a lot of motivation when I take a second off from riding or whatever else I do and just enjoy all of it. Riding doesn’t seem like a job if I have all those things, it doesn’t seem like something I am going to get burned out on. I feel very fresh towards everything in my life, which is part of the drive that makes me want to do this. I show up here and I like it. I still like it a lot. I don’t see it becoming uncool anytime soon.
Anytime you are on the podium or when you get interviewed, we see that you take some of the worst situations and just stay positive all the time.
I try to be positive in general. You’ll never see me not be positive, I am always happy. If I get on the podium or in a position where someone wants to know what I’m thinking like in an interview, that’s a win. Who I am paid by, who my sponsors are and who I am representing is a huge part of what gets me paid. I enjoy the conversation too, it’s fun! You are doing this so you can get up there and talk to people. It’s part of the end goal, be up there and tell people about who you are and who you represent.
Any life advice you want to give to those who may or may not be interested in Supercross?
Do what you want to do. I am obviously different then most people, everyone has their thing. whatever that is, I encourage people to chase that. We live in a cookie cutter society and that’s what I like about this town. The creativity level of this town and how much art is here is inspiring, which is cool to me and I love visiting.
Yesterday, KISW played The Rock of Seattle, where they just played Northwest musicians. We have seen a lot of your videos and you are pretty talented.
I enjoy this town for that simple reason! Most of the people that started making music in the era that I like, the 90’s, didn’t care what people thought, they did what they wanted to do. Like them, I like to do what I want to do. I found a lot of comfort in not caring what other people think. If you see me or talk to me, I’m me. I think that’s my advice.
What are your expectations for the rest of the year? We have three races left in the series and then the championship in Las Vegas. You are sitting in 7th in points.
Indy definitely put a monkey wrench in that, being sick like that and missing the race was definitely unfortunate. I hope to make up for it. I feel good and healthy and more fueled from my crash in Atlanta. I’m ready to win races?
Do you think you have an advantage in Seattle?
I don’t think I have an advantage but I definitely have experience in mud Supercross! A lot of people don’t ride mud Supercross because its scary! I don’t have an advantage but I do have some experience. I think I have an advantage with my mental state at the moment – I don’t have much to lose and everything to gain and just to make my team happy and viable. When I won in San Diego, it was just great. The team loved it and it was good for everyone and its what I’m looking forward to.
Outdoors this season?
Yeah, outdoor this season with 250. Right now that’s what the plan is and what I’m contracted to do.
Wienerschnitzel is one of your sponsors for Joe Gibbs Racing. Do they travel with it on the truck
They are on most of the West Coast rounds with us and they have a little bar with hot dogs and stuff. My old man is a fiend!
Head over to CenturyLink Field tomorrow night to see if Justin can make it up on the podium!