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Monday Conversation II: Damon Huffman

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This past Saturday night in Florence, South Carolina Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Damon Huffman won his first ever Endurocross. Endurocross, which is a combination of supercross, trials and enduro racing is a really cool event to check out. If there’s one in your area, go see it and I guarantee you’ll be on the edge of your seat. Huffman, the two time 125 SX champ who’s came out of retirement, almost won the last round in Oklahoma and currently sits second in the points, one back of teammate Ricky Dietrich. We called Huff-Daddy and asked him to tell us all about his race.
Racer X: Damon thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Tell me about the race.
Damon Huffman: The race went great; it couldn’t have gone any better actually! I got the holeshot and got passed in the second corner which was a rock turn. About two corners after that I passed the guy back and then led every lap after that. I didn’t make any mistakes at all; I got through the lappers real clean which is a big thing with these races. I was definitely on my game the other night.
  • Damon Huffman
I’ve seen a couple of these races, are you telling me you really didn’t make any mistakes? The races usually boil down to who makes the least.
Yeah, I’m telling you I just rode around and felt great. Just really solid. I really didn’t make any mistakes and won by a lot. I think it was around twenty seconds or so. Just going back to the last race in Oklahoma was all the motivation that I needed. I led six and half out of the eight laps there and let up a bit, made a mistake and got passed. In Florence I didn’t let up at all until I crossed the finish line.
So are you planning on adding an Endurocross title to your Supercross ones?
Oh yeah, I’m confident that I can do it. We’re at the halfway point now and I’m totally confident. I think I’ve holeshot every heat race and main event so far, my bike is just killer. I’m riding a 250F and the thing totally rips! It’s lighter, very nimble and that’s why I picked it. The 450 is just too much out there, you’re out there in first gear and the bike has a ton of power. The 250F we can ride around in second gear and it suits the tracks really well.
I know bike set-up plays an important role in Endurocross, do you have any killer bike set-up tricks, like trials tires or anything like that?
Actually trials tires are illegal this year in Endurocross, which is fine with me. Everybody has to run knobbies. (Ed note: The last EX I went to, that was the hot set-up.) We got some pretty trick tires anyways. We run an eighteen inch wheel, some drilled out mousse inserts and we kind of do a custom groove job on the tires as well.
Do you find that your supercross/motocross skills help you out there or is a different skillset required?
Oh no, my motocross skills totally help me. It’s just based on my experience and I think in Endurocross  I really rely on my moto skills. The ability to get out of the gate and sprint is something direct from the supercross days. The qualifying and getting into the main event is the same also. It’s just a super, gnarly supercross track where you’re fully concentrating and trying to not make mistakes. Obviously the speeds are slower but it’s a combo of supercross and trials riding as well. The logs you can’t just pull up and wheelie over them or you’ll case it and go over the bars but it takes a lot of technique as far as wheel tapping and using the clutch and throttle. Which is something I think I’ve always been good at. I’m feeling great about everything and looking forward to the rest of the year.
How do you practice for Endurocross?
Oh we got a special track that we ride on. My buddy Kyle Redmond, who is this extreme enduro guy, and I have this track. We call it the Urban-cross track as it has like man made things in it, we have old cars, concrete blocks, whatever we can drag behind the tractor and put on the track. It’s awesome and a lot of fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve won something this big and it feels good to be back on top.
Who do you want to thank?
For sure Monster Energy Kawasaki, they kind of took a gamble on a retired motocrosser and gave me a chance and I’ve been doing my best to repay them. Moose gear, Shoei, Dunlop, Smith, DVS, Alpinestars, my mechanic Jeff Decker for putting together an awesome machine and all the other sponsors.

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