WWR Privateer Update: Phoenix

The Wonder Warthog Racing crew made the trip to Phoenix for the second round of Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross racing, and Hog Haven riders raised the bar as Antonio Balbi and Ryan Grantom made their first main events. The MDK/Lucas Oil/Yamaha team hosted the nine-rider effort in Phoenix, which included two Dana K/WWR sponsored interns and another seven privateers who rode out of the DeCal Works/P-Lok Hog Haven.

Phoenix Highlights
Ryan Grantom survived the Lites LCQ in third place to advance to his first ever main event, where he went on to finish 18th. Brazilian Antonio Balbi also had a sold performance with eighth place in his heat race, and 17th in the Supercross main.

The WWR team accomplished one of their goals by advancing all of their active riders into the night show. “Our goal is to qualify all of our riders into the night show and place a number of them in the mains. This week we really moved our program forward with Antonio and Ryan making the mains and also placing all the active riders in the night show,” said Scott Kandel, Chief Altruistic Officer for WWR.

WWR Supercross riders that qualified for the night program:

  • Antonio Balbi
  • Ted Campbell

WWR Supercross Lites riders that qualified for the night program:

  • Chris Blose
  • Charles Castloo
  • Ryan Grantom
  • Clay Higgins
  • Vernon McKiddie
  • Brady Sheren

Ryan Grantom was the top performing Hog Haven rider, so we tracked him down to talk about Phoenix, WWR and A2…

So it sounds like Phoenix went well?
It went pretty good. I was nervous going into it, because I only had my bikes about a week before the race. I’d only ridden supercross about four times, so I went down there hoping for the best. I got out there in practice and rode a little better. Every lap I felt like I was getting faster and faster; then in the LCQ I picked up my time a little bit more and got in.

What were you most nervous about?
For one, I didn’t want to go out there and get hurt; and two, I’ve spent a lot of money on this, so I didn’t want to go out there and look bad. [BRACKET “Laughs”]

Why don’t you run through your racing history for those that don’t know you yet?
I raced east coast supercross last year; I did the full series for Tamer Honda. I haven’t ridden a 250F for supercross since then. I rode 450s outdoors, and didn’t have a bike after outdoors. So I managed to get a bike, rode it a few times and then went for it (in Phoenix).

What about before you turned pro?
I’m from Lillith, Texas. I’ve been racing since I was seven, and I started racing pro in 2005. 2006 was my supercross rookie year.

How has it been being a part of the Wonder Warthog program?
I got onto the team through Jacob Saylor. I didn’t have a ride, but I wanted to race. There aren’t a lot of people here in Texas that have teams, so I told Saylor to put the word in for me where he could. He put me in touch with Scott (Kandel) at Wonder Warthog and I landed a spot on the team.

It’s been a huge help. I don’t have to live in California and drive to all the races. I pay for my tickets to and from the races, but once there you have your own tent and everything.

What are your hopes for the next step?
I’m hoping to get on a big team, for sure.

Why don’t you give a quick shout out to all your sponsors.
My mechanic, Butch helps me out a lot. I also want to thank Hog Haven, Superfly Racing, Mock Racing, EBR Performance, Tejas Motorsports, O’NEAL, DeCal Works, Spy, Two Brothers Racing, MMI, Moto-X-Report.com, Pirelli, Vortex, Mechanix Wear, RPM Science Race Gas, Volition, Ellison Co. Flooring, Mymotospace.com, Texan’s BBQ, A.J. and Andy Kinbrell, Sam Davida, Mom and Dad. <

Right on. Thanks, Ryan, and good luck this weekend at Anaheim 2.
Sweet. Later.

You can learn more about the Wonder Warthog Racing program at www.wonderwarhogracing.com.