ICYMI | Catching Up with “Mike Brown”

By Billy Rainford

Catching Up with “Mike Brown.” | Bigwave photo

In case you missed it, we caught up with “Mike Brown” to learn more about the resilient racer from Tennessee.

We’re in the thick of Supercross racing here in Canada, after round 1 of the Rockstar Triple Crown SX Series took place this past weekend in Montreal.

We didn’t see #38 Mike Brown there, but you have to know he was probably off somewhere racing some type of off-road two-wheel event.

Mike has become sort of a half Canadian as he travels around doing races for Andy White and the FXR gang. You name the event and it’s likely Mike has raced it or has plans to!

Depending on who you ask, he’s either 25, 48, or 57. Whatever he is, he still flies on a motorcycle.

Mike came north this summer for a couple rounds of the MX portion of our series.

In Calgary at round 1, he finished 9th overall with 10-9 motos. His ext race here was the single-moto mud race in Minnedosa, MB where he finished 4th in moto 1 for 4th overall.

His 2 races were enough to earn him 22nd overall in the 450 MX series.

He’s such a busy guy that it’s very difficult to get in touch with him unless he simply shows up at an event you’re at!

With that in mind, here’s what “Mike” had to say when we “got in touch” with him this week:

Here’s what “Mike” had to say when we spoke with him this week. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: OK, thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Mike. Let’s go wayyyy back to the beginning. How did you get started in Motocross in the first place?

Mike Brown: No problem, I am just stretching for a 3 hour road bike training. I used to ride my bicycle to and from the local motorcycle shop, I would look in the window of the dealer and see all those cool looking dirt bikes. My dad got me one on a Friday and I went out and raced it on a Saturday. I was 13 years old. I guess I started late in life compared to today’s kids   

What was your first number and how did you choose it?

I picked number 121. My dad was number 21 when he raced. I thought 3-digit numbers were cooler so I added 1 in front.

And why did you pick the #3 as a career number ?

Dale Earnhart! He was a bad dude in NASCAR and I thought that was pretty cool.

Where did you grow up, and what was the moto scene like?

I grew up in the Bristol, TN area. Riding and racing were pretty big back then. My first race was at Muddy Creek.

Mike has been racing Pro since 2001. Here he is at that ill-fated Washougal race in 2003. | Bigwave photo

Who did you come up through the amateur ranks with?

I remember racing Jeremy McGrath in novice class, plus Ryan Hughes.

Did you win any big amateur titles?

I guess I did. I raced Loretta Lynn’s and did well in the C and B classes.

What year did you turn Pro and how did it go?

I turned pro at the end of 1989. It was good. The Pro guys were on it. I had to pick it up if I was going to win a race.

Looking back, what race stands out as most memorable for you?

I would have to say winning the 2001 AMA 125 outdoor championship. That was one crazy up and down season. I had to race against (GrantLangston and Ryno (Ryan Hughes).

When did you meet Andy White?

That’s a good question. Andy invited me to race the Montreal SX when they had the Endurocross. I actually raced both the SX 450 and the Endurocross that same night.

Mike and Andy White are now joined at the hip and travel to races all over the globe with FXR. | Bigwave photo

You guys hit a lot of races together these days. What’s a road trip like with him?

Great, he does all the driving. Andy is like my tour guide, especially up in Canada. He points out different things here and there. All good.

What are his best and worst qualities?

Will Andy see this ? Haha I guess he is super-organized, he has been doing this forever. The worst? That’s a tough one! I cant really answer that question as I want to continue coming up to race in Canada and wear FXR for the near future. 

Do you know what the highlight of Andy’s racing career was? I’m sure he’s bored you with old stories on road trips.

He has mentioned the odd race here and there from the 80’s and 90’s. I heard he was the holeshot king lol! I also heard when he raced the Canadian Nationals in the late 80’s they would race 2 classes and the motos were 45 minutes long each. That’s 4 x 45-minute races plus qualifying and practice, that’s incredible. I actually like hearing how it went back then compared to today’s racing.

Mike Brown at the 2010 Montreal SX Endurocross event. | Bigwave photo

Has Andy tried to get you up in the winter to try any of our winter sports?

He wants me to play in goal next time there is a hockey tournament!  I am thinking that’s probably not a good thing? Those hockey pucks are hard as heck.

Do you remember your first race in Canada? If so, what was it and how did it go?

It was the same time I met Andy. Montreal SX and EnduroCross event. I think it was in 2011.

Who was your toughest rival over all these years?

Langston and Hughes.

What’s the biggest difference between racing when you were a kid and where we are now?

The pressure the kids have today competing at like Loretta’s. I don’t think we had that back in the day. It was fun; we just raced for fun. Today it’s a real business.

Mike rocking the big #1 at Loretta Lynn’s in 2018. | Bigwave photo

What’s next for you?

I have a few items on the list: Glen Helen Vet, Four-Stroke National, then Mini O’s to start off with.

OK, thanks for talking with us today!

Any time!  When you drive to Mini O’s this fall, please bring me some Tim Hortons french vanilla coffee, please. I cant find that in Tennessee!

Speaking of Tim Hortons, are you hooked?

I am not really a coffee guy, but that french Vanilla is pretty good.

In case you were wondering, yes, that was, in fact, Andy White answering for Mike Brown. Mike was traveling out west for a wedding but Andy spoke with him to get a few details. Either way, it was fun. Thanks for doing that, Andy and Mike. I don’t think your coffee will be warm when I get to Gatorback this November…