It is not very often that you find yourself impressed while having a conversation with someone still far from their teen years. But that is the case with Carson Mumford, as the young 65 racer is well versed in motocross and knows how to make his points clear. Mumford has quickly become one of the top mini pilots in the country, and with the support of numerous sponsors and trainer Buddy Antunez, it’s safe to say he will become a force over the next few years.
Simi Valley, CA
65 Stock 9-11, 65 Mod 9-11, 65 Open 6-11
What did you think of the track at the World Mini Grand Prix? You should be used to the hardpack since you are from California.
The track was pretty gnarly and with the wind, it was kind of sketchy. Some of the tracks in California are pretty hardpacked but not as hard as that track. Every day it got more and more packed, so by the end of the week it was hard. But I think the Kawasaki's are good on the hardpack.
Running in three competitive classes against so many kids, what were you expectations?
Well, because there were so many kids, they had to run divisions. There were so many fast kids that if you made a mistake and didn't make it into the top 15, you couldn't race that class. Some fast kids didn't make it because it is stacked this year, and every year there are more. I can deal with it because we have for the past couple of years.
How was riding in the wind on a minibike?
It was gnarly in the wind and you had to turn into it. Off of some of the big jumps, you had to stay low and some jumps you couldn't even jump. But it was the same for everybody and we had to deal with it.
The forecasts for the week called for rain, but it never happened during the races. Were you ready to race in it?
Sometimes I race in the rain and I am really good in the mud, and others I'm not so good. It's the same as riding a sandy track, where sometimes you are fast in it and other times you aren't. I usually ride really good in the mud, but you never know with other people.
What have you done to prepare for this season?
We hit local races to get ready for the bigger races, and we have done the Loretta Lynn's and Mammoth qualifiers all to get gate time. Some kids don't ride at all and they show up to these Nationals, and they look fine, and some kids have tracks at their houses. But when you don't, you have to go out and practice starts and see what I need to do for those races.
What other races are you going to do this year? You mention Mammoth and Loretta's, but will you race Ponca and the Mini O's?
I don't know about the Mini O's, because we have never done that before. We have raced Ponca, but I don't know if we will do that again. It's weird, because Loretta's is so much harder than Ponca is. They are really similar, but Ponca is 10 degrees cooler than Loretta's. I enjoyed that track, but I don't want to go there and think, "Oh, this is easy," and then go to Loretta's and not be able to deal with the heat.
Who has been your biggest competition this year?
Conner Mullennix, because won everything in Texas. We train together, which makes it easier because we are close friends, but it is hard because we don't want to take each other out.
What is your day-to-day program like? Do you go to a normal public school, or are you homeschooled?
I go to a regular school, because I don't think my Mom could deal with schooling me. She gets frustrated with me enough (Laughs). We try to ride three days a week, and it is my choice what track we ride on Wednesdays, but we ride with my trainer on Tuesday and Thursday. But now that the time has changed, we can ride at Glen Helen more and I get out of school early on Thursdays to ride there more.
Are there sponsors you would like to thank for supporting you?
Monster Energy Kawasaki, because they have helped me out so much this year with the suspension, and if there is something we don't know they are there to ask. EKS Brand goggles, because I have clear vision while I am riding. Dunlop, because when the track is gnarly the tires are still good. Buddy Antunez, who is my trainer, Pro Circuit, DC Shoes, Skullcandy, my Mom and Dad, and Ryan Holiday.