Anyone that follows motocross is at least somewhat familiar with the struggles a privateer faces when trying to compete in Supercross and the Nationals. From big expenses like travel costs, bike maintenance, and gear; to little things like meals and race fees; it is an uphill battle for a privateer in the pro ranks.
Fortunately there is a superhero, of sorts, that is out there trying to help the privateers succeed. That superhero is Wonder Warthog Racing (WWR), and the man behind the Warthog mask—actually it’s just a cape and green jumpsuit—is Scott Kandel. Scott is passionate about supporting privateers and as part of reaching that goal, growing our sport. As he says on the WWR website (www.wonderwarthogracing.com), “WWR believes the most effective way to make a real and substantive difference in the pay structure of the sport is to do the following: build the MX/SX fan base, make MX/SX TV a compelling mainstream-oriented package, get corporations outside the industry involved in large-scale sponsorships, and market MX/SX as a global sport.”
WWR has been a huge source of privateer support for going on five years now. Scott and co-founder Steve Bauer have developed programs that pay entry fees, reward the most improved privateer from week-to-week, and pay cash to privateers who make a Supercross night show or main event. We caught up with Scott this week to learn more about WWR and several new programs they are rolling out this year.
To expand the level of privateer support even further further, Wonder Warthog has developed the WWR intern program, and Hog Haven Transport Program. Earlier this year the Warthog guys put out a request on their website for privateers to apply to become a Wonder Warthog Racing intern.
What is a WWR Intern? We’re glad you asked.
The interns are seven riders (three lites west, three lites east, one supercross) that have been chosen from over a hundred applicants to “intern” with the SoCal/P-Lok/Lucas Oils team during the Supercross season. They will have the same benefits a full team rider will have, including a race bike, practice bikes, mechanic, training program, etc. The riders that made it through the intern selection process are:
- Jimmy Albertson
- Chris Blose
- Brady Sheren
- Ryan Abrigo
- Kyle Tobin
- Jake Marsack
- Jacob Saylor
As a way to help even more riders beyond the interns, Scott and Steve came up with Hog Haven. The WWR Hog Haven is designed to provide large-scale support to ten selected privateers. The ten privateers that will participate in Hog Haven—dubbed The Herd—will be given, at no charge, a stall in WWR’s new rig to place one bike, one tool box, one parts box, and one easy-up and chairs. The team will then transport the bikes and supplies from race to race—one of the biggest expenses any pro racer faces. The Herd will transport themselves to the races—with some help from Colleen Millsaps and other generous supporters—but their bike and parts will be ready and waiting for them.
As a final addition to program, the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) has come onboard to create the MMI internship. At each round of Supercross, selected MMI students will work directly with team mechanics on race bike support, pit setup, and general team support. The Wonder Warthog crew seems to know no bounds in the creative ideas and support programs they are able to develop, all in the name of advancing our sport by helping out privateers.
It’s almost impossible to argue with WWR’s mission: “…to help our sport of motocross to become the standard by which all other motorsports are measured…” and needless to say, here at TWMX we also want to see the sport grow. To do our part, we will be bringing you the WWR Weekly Privateer Update right here at www.transworldmotocross.com.
Each week we will check-in with Scott to get an update on how the privateers made out in the weekend’s racing, plus we will feature a quick interview with one of the WWR interns, or a privateer participating in the Haven Transport and Support Program. So be sure to visit www.wonderwarthogracing.com to learn more about the WWR programs and to get involved as a Wonder Warthog supporter, and check back here each week for the privateer update.