Catching Up with…Josh Snider
By Billy Rainford
Grand Bend, Ontario’s Josh Snider has been a fixture at the races for a long time. As a racer, Josh made it all the way to the Pro ranks and earned several top 100 numbers for his efforts. These days, Josh is spending his time trying to make that same dream of becoming a champ possible for the riders on the team he started a few years back. Previously called Team Faith, Redemption Racing has become a staple at the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals. You can always find a good group of people milling about their friendly pit talking, eating, and sharing a delicious cup of coffee. Josh works hard in the Alberta oil fields during the winter to off-set his passion for motocross in the summer. We caught up with the friendly ‘Sniderman’ a day before he was set to head back out west to work and after the recent announcement of the addition of Nathan Bles to the team.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Josh. I don’t think we’ve really spoken to you since the MMRS Madoc National. This is a rather large question, but what have you been up to since then?
Josh Snider: After Madoc, I took a few weeks and tried to get some stuff done with the team because I knew I’d only have a limited opportunity after racing before I headed back to work out on the oil rigs. Once I start working on the oil rigs, I really don’t have a lot of time to devote to it so I took a few weeks after Madoc.
I got a plan set in motion for the team and got a lot of things ahead of the ball from what we usually are. I’ve just been working south of Grande Prairie, Alberta, on an oil rig in the middle of nowhere. That’s what I’ve been doing – two weeks in and one week out.
Are you able to come home on your week off?
Ya. This time I’ve actually been coming back every two weeks. Before, I used to just stay out there and every other week come home, but it’s nice to come home and see my wife.
How is the team looking this year? Who are your riders?
Our riders this year are Nathan Bles; he’s a new addition to the team. It’s nice to have Nathan on board. He’s been down at Club MX training. He’s got a plan set in motion.
And we’ve got Seth Rarick coming back to be a part of the team. He’s going to be running the 250 2-stroke again. He’ likes the bike and does well on it, so he’s got a plan set in motion as well. He did some work over the winter to get ready for this summer. He just got done one of his nuclear jobs that he was working at and he’s heading down to do some riding in the next two weeks. It’s great to have Seth back on the team.
Back on the team as well are the Jefferys. Alex Jeffery is going to be running Intermediate and he’s going to try to qualify for a few nationals. Eric Jeffery is coming back as well to give it a try on the 450.
Will Alex try to head west and hit all the nationals?
Ya, that’s the plan. Talking with his dad, Scott, he wants to give it a try and go out west with us. Alex is down at Club MX with Nathan. They just started their program on Monday. Alex is trying to see if he can be faster than his brother, Eric.
OK, of all people, the rider on the Redemption Racing Team, formerly Team Faith, actually ended up with #69. Eric joked that he was going to take a year off. Is he going to run that number? Can you guys call (CMRC President) Mark Stallybrass and ask for another number because it’s inappropriate?
I don’t know. I’ve never been superstitious or whatever with thoughts about what number I had, but I’m pretty sure he’s just going to run it. I think it’s kind of funny that he did get that number. I never thought about trying to change it but I suppose I could see if we could change it for inappropriateness. Come to think of it, I can’t really think of too many riders that have run it in the past. I don’t remember seeing it out on the track all that often.
Doug Dehaan ran it and I think Iain Hayden did as well, no?
Oh, ok. Ya. Ryan Lockhart ran it, I think, a long time ago. I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s just a number. If people want to associate it with something else then that’s their deal but it’s just a number and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to make a difference whether he runs #69 or #799.
OK, well if you’re going to open up that argument, what if they went further and he got #666? Would you run that one?
(Laughs) Ya, no, probably not. That’s a good argument you bring up. I don’t think we’d do that. That’s a different ballgame. I should maybe call Mark and see what’s up with running a number. I don’t see it being a big deal.
It will be if we keep making it one!
(Laughs) Hey, if it can bring some talk about the team – Eric’s a Christian guy running #69…hey, he’s a married guy, he can do whatever he wants.
Let’s back it up to the Nathan Bles story. How did that come together?
I had been talking with him in the eastern part of the series. He’s a friend. He lives right close by. He’s like a neighbor. I’ve known him ever since he started riding. He was on a KTM and at the first round at Gopher Dunes we were talking a little bit and I tried helping out with a few things with his bike. He was privateer-ing it so we just helped him out the best we could with whatever we could.
He started doing pretty well so we had an eye on him and at the end of the year we were going down the roster of people from the states and here in Canada with who would be a good fit with our team and the sponsors. We’ve got Fly Racing coming on board and helping us huge. Team Fly and Dragon, and Gamma. We wanted someone who could represent their brands well and we finally narrowed it down to Nathan Bles being that solid guy…a likeable guy. He’s easy going and easy to get along with and he comes from a great family with a strong motocross background. I think he can bring some good exposure to the team and our sponsors. We’re very happy to have him on board.
Now, as for Seth, was the idea to go with the 4-strokes this year or did you want to run 250 2-stroke because of costs? Does he prefer that bike?
When the rule change came with having to have a stock motor, that kind of put a few red flags up. Would the bike still be just as competitive? We went back and forth. At one point, we were gung ho to make the move to the 4-stroke then some things came about with sponsors that weren’t able to pull through for us and we figured the 2-stroke is still a competitive bike, even in stock form. Seth loved the bike and how it worked. It’s a cheap bike to run, so with those factors, we decided we were just gong to run the 2-stroke. Again, Seth loves the bike. He’s got no complaints with it. He actually said that if we had gone 4-stroke then he would probably want a 250 2-stroke as his practice bike anyhow just because it’s so cheap to run and easy to take care of.
Now, I know that GP Bikes has been a big supporter of your team. Is KTM Canada going to spread their wealth a little more? What’s their involvement with you guys?
Ya, it’s nice that they’re trying to spread the wealth a little bit more and I think us stepping it up with our semi truck and the investment that we’re putting into the program, hopefully they’re able to follow suit with it. With JSR taking over there now, he’s really trying to step up and help us out. Both he and Florian (Burguet) like our program and what we’re doing and what they see, so as long as we keep going in the right direction I’m sure they’ll continue to step up their program towards us. GP Bikes has been great and they’re continuing their support in any way that they can and we’re happy to have KTM coming on board with more support this year with the addition of Nathan Bles on the team.
How about mechanics? What are you doing there?
We are looking. We’ve been talking with some people. Chad’s (Goodwin) still going to be involved with helping us out with pre-season testing, but as far as being one of our mechanics for the team, we’re going to have to find somebody else. We’re just trying to see who can fit with our program and who fits with the team the best.
So, should people still be firing off resumes your way?
Ya, if there are some people that are passionate about the sport. It’s not all people think it’s cracked up to be! It could be a bit of an eye-opener for people, but if they think they’re up for the challenge, they can send me a resume and we should talk and see how things might work out with the team to be a mechanic on Redemption Racing.
Now, you just bought a new house. Is this your first time as an owner? How has that been?
My wife (Melissa) and I got possession of the house December 5th here in the north part of London. It’s the first house we’ve ever owned. We were renting before and we’re quite happy with where we’re at. It suits our needs and it’s part of the reason I keep coming back on my weeks off. It’s nice to be able to come to MY home and not someone else’s who we were renting off. It’s kind of fun being a home owner.
If you don’t ride or race all year, are we going to go head to head in the ‘Legends’ Class at the MMRS Madoc National this year?
You bet! I’m going to make sure I don’t race at all this year and I’m just going to train hard so that at Madoc I can make sure I win it (Laughs).
Well, congratulations on the continued success of your team. Before we let you pack for your flight west, who would you like to thank?
We’ll definitely thank GP Bikes, KTM Canada, Jeffery Homes, Fly Racing, Dragon Alliance, Gamma Sales, and Specto Oils. Those are some of our main sponsors