5 Minutes with Kenzie Hennessy

By Billy Rainford

We grabbed HMX’s Kenzie Hennessy for a quick 5-Minute interview while down at Club MX. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Kenzie, for starters, tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you and where are you from?

Kenzie Hennessy: I’m Kenzie Hennessy, I’m 26 years old, I’m originally from just outside Ottawa, Ontario, and I now live down near Windsor, Ontario. I train some riders and I’ve got a little bit of experience with the Pro scene. I did a lot of amateurs throughout Canada and now we’re down at Club MX training some riders.

OK, we’ve seen you at a few Nationals. What’s been your best Pro ride?

Honestly, the Pro riders were a little bit rough (Laughs). I came in a little bit hurt and just trying to get funding to get there, and I didn’t really get a suspension set up at all, so we struggled with that. The air forks in that time period, that seems to be over.

I guess the Sand Del Lee National was probably my best. I think I had a 29th was my best. My qualifying was pretty good. I think I qualified like 24th at that race that weekend, which was pretty solid for me.

I’ve just got those 3 Ontario Nationals and I got my 9th and 10th concussion at the end of that season and that was kind of it.

“…I got my 9th and 10th concussion at the end of that season and that was kind of it. ” | Jeff McConkey photo

Oh wow, so that’s what kind of drove you out of the Pro side of racing?

Ya. I came back from the 2 concussions. I actually tore some ligaments in the top of my eye. I struggled with vision so we had a lot of physio with my eyeballs which I didn’t even know existed. Spencer Jean from Windsor is an Osteopath and concussion specialist. He’s been a big help with all of that.

I came back in 2016 and went down to Georgia in the winter and I was going to do some of the Kicker Arenacross series on the east and I ended up crashing on like my 2nd day testing and broke my shoulder blade, humorus, tore my labrum, dislocated my shoulder and crushed that ulnar nerve which took almost a year to get better.

I guess, at that point, I decided I needed to work and have a family, and I had a blast training people at the time, and I get to still be around the sport that I love, and get to ride, so I can’t complain.

Kenzie still gets to ride but focuses mostly on his HMX riders. | Bigwave photo

What’s your background, schooling-wise, for training and everything?

I guess it started with me starting so late in the sport; I didn’t start racing until I was 15. I was around the right people. I grew up around the Medaglias, and Dylan Wright, and with the MX101 crew and all those guys. I just had trainers helping me out, from Steve Dool, Kevin Tyler, Derrick Medaglia, Jeremy Medaglia, Tyler Medaglia, Billy Wright…just everybody that always helped me out I just tried to be a sponge of everything they had to say and I learned more than I could use!

Now, I can kind of pick out what other riders are doing and use all the different lessons I’ve learned that worked for me and try and base it to each rider due to the fact that everybody is different size, shape, and riding style.

From the training perspective, when I moved down to the Windsor area I was trying to turn Pro and I just needed a little bit of side money so I started just teaching a bit out there.

Kyle Snelgrove and I did some stuff and then it just kind of took off from there. I’ve got HMX Racing and Training which is my little training crew. We keep it a pretty tight-nit little family. I don’t do a lot of advertising and I don’t make a ton of money with it, but I get to spend every weekend at the track with the guys and girls and we have a great time racing.

We’re just trying to do our best and be smooth, really.

So, now we’re down at Club MX in mid-March. What’s going on down here?

Well, it’s March Break and we had a little bit of time off. Travis Barrette gave me a call and he’s going to race the Amateur All-Stars at the Indy Supercross so we came to try and get a little bit of outdoor riding done first, just to get back into riding shape.

It’s day 4 or 5 down here and now we’re starting to get into the Supercross. Travis is just getting his bearings and I’m trying to help him get ready for Indy and we leave Friday and then start heading home.

What number will be on his bike and what classes is he racing?

He’ll be #143  in 450B.

Watch for #143 Travis Barrette in the 450B class this weekend at the Indianapolis round of Supercross Futures. | BIgwave photo

OK, so what’s next for you after that?

We’ll go home and I guess we’ll start getting ready for all the local stuff at home. I think we’re going to stick to the AMO stuff this year. We’re going to do some of the District 14 AMA stuff throughout Michigan with a couple of our riders like Thomas, Travis, Nate…all those guys.

We’re going to be helping out OG’s as much as we can. It’s a new goggle company out there and we’ve been doing a lot with them. They’re good friends of ours and just a great group to be around.

Well, it was nice to see you here and to chat. It’s always good to see you. Do you any people you’d like to thank?

Thanks, I appreciate it. It’s always nice to see you, too. I’d like to thank Direct Motocross for always being out and being around the amateur scene as much as they are the pros, giving everybody a chance to get some advertising in online. I’ve just got to thank everybody back home…my family for letting me come down here. I’ve got to thank the new wife. I’d like to thank everybody at HMX Racing and Training, OGs, Pirelli, GPP suspension, Inglis Cycle does a ton for us, just everybody…we appreciate everything you do. Marco Dubé from MD Distribution with Forma and Mika, and Club MX for the hospitality. Everybody down here is awesome. The facility is amazing. It’s moto paradise down here!