Frid’Eh Update #26 | Josh Cartwright Interview | Presented by Leatt

By Billy Rainford

Week #26 belongs to Florida racer Josh Cartwright. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #26 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Leatt. It seems weird to be doing week #26 and not be talking to Kaven Benoit, but he doesn’t live here anymore. We have a new tenant.

Josh Cartwright is the rider who grew up in Tennessee and moved to Tallahassee, Florida, in high school. He’s also the American Pro rider who famously attended Florida State full-time and still raced. Not only that, he graduated, too!

We’ve known Josh up here in Canada for a few years now and he, basically, called Quebec home last summer. He took the Challenge Quebec Pro title and grabbed a holeshot at his first race here at Sand Del Lee last summer.

Hell, it was Josh’s house I was on my way to last year when I got run over by a transport truck! We go back.

Josh set up residency in Salt Lake City for the final 7 rounds of Monster Energy AMA Supercross with his Prmx Just 1 Pelletier Kawasaki teammates, Cade Clason, Logan Karnow, and Lorenzo Locurcio.

Here’s a look at his 2019 Canadian season:

The 2020 SX season has come to an end. Josh grabbed himself a point in Oakland and finished 39th in the 450 class for the year.

We got in touch with him to talk about all kinds of things with a focus on the Salt Lake City stay. Here’s what he had to say:

Here’s what Josh had to say when we contacted him this week. | Jeff McConkey photo

Direct Motocross: Hey, Josh. Where do we find you today?

Josh Cartwright: Today, I am at home in Tallahassee, FL. I arrived home on Monday and have been taking this week to myself before outdoor training starts Monday.

You got to spend the last few weeks in Salt Lake City, Utah, racing the last 7 rounds of Supercross. We’ll get to the actual racing, but I’d like to hear what you thought of the area?

SLC was an unbelievable city! If you like mountain bike riding, it is heaven. You get to the top of the mountain and can see over the whole city.

What were you able to get out and do to enjoy all that the Wasatch Mountains have to offer?

That is something I was disappointed in myself for not doing much tourist type things. I went mountain bike riding at different places, but I didn’t get out much for tourist type trips. Mountain biking is so fun there though. You climb for 40 minutes and then go down for about 10-15 minutes.

Did you make it out to the actual Great Salt Lake and touch it?

I wanted to go to the Salt Lake, but it ended up not happening. Maybe next time.

So, I’m always interested to learn what day-to-day life was like with all the coronavirus restrictions. Can you tell us how things were for you there? Where were you actually staying?

Coronavirus definitely made it more difficult to do anything while out in SLC. Most restaurants were closed downtown or just different times. Some places that we wanted to go to, such as Top Golf, were closed still because of the virus. I was staying about 20 miles south of the stadium at
my friend Jeff’s place.

Now let’s talk about the actual racing. For starters, what was it like to race with empty stands? I keep hearing that it makes a difference as a racer.

The empty stands were very weird! We would be sitting on the line and it was just dead silent. People were chatting with each other on the line of the heat races.

Josh is really close to his teammate, Cade Clason, on and off the track. | Bigwave photo

And how was it not being able to do normal track walks? Did that make a difference or can you get a sense of things from a distance?

Our track “viewings” were definitely a change since we weren’t able to walk it, but we had 2 rolling laps before the practice started so that helped. It kind of helped because you weren’t walking the jump and thinking, “Wow, this is huge!

Haha How about your racing. Every time I looked at the board, you and Cade Clason were running together it seemed. How was it racing your teammate that closely?

Yeah, me and Cade were always finding each other on the track in the practice times and races. In practice, almost every weekend we were back to back on the qualifying results. It helped us both push when we were racing each other. We have been battling since the Canadian Outdoors,
it is always fun racing him.

How did you like racing Wednesdays and Sundays?

I loved it from my end! It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t awesome either. It was a good way to get in multiple rounds in a short amount of time. But, doing that on a regular would be a little bit too much racing. We wouldn’t have much time to get home, rest, and get our weekly training in.

What was your best finish and were you happy with your riding?

My best finish in SLC was 5th in the LCQ, missing the main event by 1. I wasn’t very happy with my riding. I had main event speed, but I needed to flip a switch to become more aggressive. I am not the strongest on that west coast, marbly, slick dirt so I struggled with pushing and being aggressive in the races. I need to work on my starts as well. All I can do is take the things I’ve learned and come back stronger next time!

Are you going to be coming to Canada to race the MX Nationals?

Yes, I plan on coming to do the whole Triple Crown Series racing the MX, AX, and SX with the PR-MX team.

Do you know what that will look like for International riders? I guess
you’ll have to come early and self-isolate for 14 days? Have you guys thought about all that?

We are working on that now. I was supposed to be up there by now, but it was all too rushed and we didn’t know if I was able to get over the border. The border was supposed to open June 21st, but it is now extended into July. It is going to be tough and I hope it all works out.

It looks like we’ll be seeing Josh back in Canada for the Rockstar Triple Crown MX Nationals. | Bigwave photo

OK, I’m going to go look for something to watch on Netflix. Can you suggest something good for us?

A new show called “Outer Banks” is pretty good. That would be my suggestion.

Thanks for taking this time with us, Josh. Who would you like to thank?

I would like to thank the whole team: Team PR-MX, Wossner Pistons, Pelletier Kawasaki, Just 1 Racing, Majeje Africa Safaris, HGS Exhaust, Guts Racing, Rekluse Clutches, Addikt Graphic, Hoosier Tire, No Toil, ODI, Dirt Tricks, Bud Racing, Bondi Engines, Devol Racing, Evans Powersports, EVS Sports, ASV, BOLT, MX LOCKER, BLUD Lubricants, The Load Lugger, Stellar CBD, KDeam Optics, Karli Ezergailis Products, UFO Plastic, RECMX, Firepower, Ryno Power, DW Performance, Momentum Tally, Atlas Brace.

Presented by Leatt

There’s quite a bit starting to happen in our sport, lately, and it’s really nice to see. Our only hope is that we can continue to hold a few events and stay within the COVID-19 restrictions laid down by the various municipalities. Even if you’re a virus denier, please follow the rules and jump through the hoops so they don’t shut us down!

This Sunday, I’ll be heading north from London to ‘Motocross Town’ for an AMO Provincial race at Walton Raceway. They’ve dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s and it should be a great day of racing in the sunshine.

You can’t just show up at the gate and expect to get in. They’ve got it set up so you have to fill in a form and sign the waiver online before you head their way, so make sure you’ve done your homework, if you plan on attending.

I can’t get the website to add any photos or save anything past this point, since we “fixed” it. Have a great weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you at Walton Raceway on Sunday.

Maggie says, “See you at the races…Sunday, actually…” | Bigwave photo