Catching up with ... Josh Snider
|Redemption Racing's Josh Snider will lineup for the Toronto Supercross this weekend. Watch for the #926 Kawasaki.|
|James Lissimore photo|
With the Toronto Supercross just a few days away, word has finally broken that a Canadian rider is confirmed for the event. Redemption Racing and Ontario’s own Josh Snider will be crossing one more thing off his bucket list this weekend, and while Snider is not claiming to be a supercross expert, he’s pretty pumped about the experience ahead of him.
Hey Josh. How and where are you?
I'm doing great. I am still in Alberta and I am about to catch a flight back to Ontario in about an hour.
We are just giving you a call because we heard you’ve decided to make the bold move and race the Toronto Supercross this weekend?
I have, I have.
There has been a lot of talk about an absence of Canadian riders signing up for this race. What made you decide to go for it?
Well, to be honest, the lack of Canadians is kind of the reason right there. I had a lot of factors at play. I have been working on the oil rigs, and with the oil patch, you never know when you’ll be done your contract, so I didn’t even know if I could make it or not. So I just went ahead with it and got things lined up, just in case I could make it. Things weren’t looking good, my job kept getting pushed back and I didn’t think I would make it in time. Chris Pomeroy sent me a text to ask if I was racing, I said no, I don’t think I can make it. I asked him how many Canadians were racing and he said none. I was like come on! Right then and there I decided I was doing it no matter what. I got everything lined up and in place and it worked out with work, we finished yesterday and I am on a plane today to head back to Ontario.
And how are you feeling about racing?
I’m a little bit nervous… well, no, well, yes, I guess I am. I haven’t been on a bike since I broke my arm in arenacross. I’ve been riding once at the Tilsonburg indoor track but that is not really comparable to what we’ll be racing. It should be good though. I enjoy supercross and I actually think I have more skill indoors than outdoors. I have ridden supercross tracks before. I am just doing it for the experience. The only Canadian? Why wouldn’t you do it, just go and represent. It’s sort of crazy that people won’t even attempt to do it.
So when have you had a chance to try supercross?
I went to a few tracks in Texas with Kevin and Chad Johnson, the year we had them up here with Team Faith. I went down before the Montreal Supercross, the week before, and did some training on some SX tracks with them. I got a chance to get on some actual supercross and arenacross tracks. I raced Montreal this year but I didn’t do all that hot. I qualified for both main events but when the MX1 final came around, I just had nothing left, I was so spent. Once again, I was working right until Montreal.
Realistically, you have to know that racing the MX1 class at this event is going to be intense. Have you ever had a chance to race against big name US riders like this?
Well, no, but I’ve ridden at the practice tracks with some of them down in California, at Glen Helen and stuff. I’ve ridden with them, and obviously they are smoking fast. Kevin Johnson is pretty good, and I’ve raced and ridden arenacross with him. I know what to expect and they are going to totally annihilate me and make me look like a beginner rider, but whatever (laughs) it’s for fun and the experience.
It’s funny. I talked to Brett Lee a while back about Canadians racing this event, and he said if someone decided to come out, they had to do it for the right reason and they had to admit that they knew where they stood. They had to do it because they wanted to look back when their career was over and say, I raced supercross along with the best.
Exactly. That is exactly why I am doing it. It’s one of the things on my bucket list. I know what the speed of the competitors is and I am not going to puff myself up in any way with expectations. If I qualify, I will be really happy. I am just going to go and do what I know I can do.
Was it tricky logistically to be ready for this race?
In some ways yes, and in some ways no. I talked to Dave Prater at Feld and they are paying for everything for me. I don’t have entry fees or anything. It’s a free trip, why wouldn’t I do it. Of course, I am going to be the guy in last place, but hey, I am doing it for the fun of it and the experience and I am really excited to do it.
It’s been a crazy process too though. I’ve got bikes back in Ontario but I had to get stuff like suspension sent away for supercross settings, I had to get my licensing organized, a new AMA number, jerseys printed, stuff shipped from Fly, graphics for the bike. But it’s coming together… a friend just picked up my jersey’s today and they are getting printed as we speak…
So what number are you running?
So we’d better encourage people to bring some #926 banners then?
(Laughs) That’s right.
You are just coming back from a broken arm out west. How are you now?
It’s good to go. I’ve been working with it and I don't notice anything at all. It seems to be 100% but I haven’t cased a supercross triple with it… yet (laughs).
We heard a few weeks back that plans are coming together for your Redemption Racing team for this summer’s Nationals. What can you tell us about Eric Jeffery?
Yes, we have Eric Jeffery coming to join the team. Him and his family are joining us for the summer. They are a really good fit for the team and it will be great to have him on board. He goes pretty good and I think if he can get some top 10’s it will be great. That is probably what the team will consist of. I’ve talked to some other riders, and if sponsorship comes together we might have some other riders at select rounds. I’ve talked to Kelly Smith from Team Faith down in the U.S. He’d be excited to come up and race a few rounds so if we can make that work for him for a few Eastern rounds, that would be great.
|Josh is the man behind the weekly devotional services at the Canadian Nationals.|
|James Lissimore photo|
And you’ll still be doing the devotional services again this year?
Yes, we’ll be doing the same thing after rider’s meeting. I’ll be doing devotional. One thing that we are going to try to do consistently is a Saturday night bible study devotional in our pit and the Jeffery’s are going to help out with that, just an informal social thing where we can chat and hang out with some people.
Well thanks, I’m proud of you and we’re excited to see you out there.
Thanks. It should be fun, I am really excited for it.
Thanks for your time and anyone you want to thank for making this weekend happen?
Definitely, Fly Racing, Ken Thiessen, my mechanic this year, he’s doing a bunch of work on the bike, my Mom and Dad have been scrambling and running around. All of our team sponsors: Renegade Race Fuels, Hot Cams Vertex, Hinson, Mainland Sand and Gravel, Boot Trucking, Pro Circuit, Friesen Plastic Products did my graphics, SDG helps out as well, and Factory Tech racing does our suspension, and Feld and Dave Prater for helping out. I added it all up, what it would have cost for insurance and everything and it would have been like $700 just to get set up to go and race. I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t do it if they had to pay that just for one round, but if he’s going to help you out, why wouldn’t anyone try it?
I’m not totally sure. They’ll probably all be there watching you…
I know! That’s the thing, they’ll be like Snider’s in there??? I could have done it.
Well maybe you’ll start a revolution for next year.
I hope so. I hope more people at least try. So what if you don’t make the main event? Even if a guy makes the night show. It’s still a ton of fun. You’d get to race the qualifiers and LCQ with those guys. It’s a great experience and hopefully more people will do it.