Monday Conversation II: Josh Grant

Josh Grant is the new “Babyface Warrior” a la Damon Huffman of the ‘90s. Grant still has the face of a 15-year-old, but the 22-year-old served notice that he will be someone to be reckoned with throughout 2009 when he turned a good start and opportunism into his first 450cc win – and the first win... Heck, first podium for the Joe Gibbs Racing Yamaha team. To say he was happy would be an understatement.

  • Despite gathering up a Tuff-Block cover in his rear brake with two laps to go, Josh Grant scored a surprise victory at Anaheim I.
Racer X: You’ve got one AMA Supercross on a Yamaha, and one win. That’s not a bad ratio so far...
Josh Grant: It’s not bad! I’m just super-excited about tonight, man. I didn’t expect it, for sure. I just wanted to be top-ten or top-five and be there every weekend, and it was just an unreal feeling. I just knew I was riding smooth and smart, and that’s all I did. Those guys made a mistake and I took advantage of it.

What was going through your head when you had the lead? Because it was only six laps or so into the race when you got the lead, so that’s nearly as long as a Lites main event.
I didn’t even really notice. I just kept plugging away, and I didn’t even look at the board, or the laptimes, or how many laps were left, I just kept going, and when it felt like halfway, I looked up, and it said, “18 laps” and I was like, “Thank God!” I’m just so pumped, and I just didn’t want to take too many chances with the banner in the wheel, so I just kept riding and it came through.

Talk about that banner in your wheel, because it went right into your brake and it was smoking because the brake was so hot by that point...
I didn’t even know there was a banner, so I just kept going, and it locked up off a double, and I almost crashed, so that freaked me out. Then I slid up to the top of the turn because I had no back brake. The last two laps were just crazy, so it was good, dude.

  • It was an understandably emotional win for Grant.
It’s a good way to win one, though, right? It wasn’t uneventful.
Those guys just made a mistake, but I still rode a good race, and I know that the rest of the top few guys were behind me, so I’m pumped.

Take us through this off-season coming into this race. You had to know you were going to be fast, right?
I always second-guess myself. I don’t know if that’s just me and that’s my style, but I wanted to get this first one out of the way just so I knew where I stood and I know that I’m a top-five guy every weekend, and that’s just because of the hard work that me and my trainer have put in, and everyone that works at the JGR team. Those guys have worked just as hard as I have, and that’s why we’re here.

You are racing at the top of the sport now, with Chad Reed, James Stewart, etc. Do you read jerseys? Does it matter to you who you’re racing with?
No, all I have to do is worry about me, and that’s what I did in the past, was always worry about everybody else. Who’s who and what’s going on. I think that’s why some of my races didn’t go as well as my race did tonight. I think tonight I just rode a smart race, and I know my capability of riding a 450 is great. As long as I keep doing what I’m doing, I think I should be all right.

  • Grant and the JGR team celebrate both of their first wins.
  • Grant (center) and his dad (left of Grant) and team manager Jeremy Albrecht (right of Grant) celebrate.
Not to get into your finances too much, but I’m sure you got a pretty nice bonus tonight.
Yeah, definitely.

{LINKS}Didn’t you just get a Lamborghini? [Grant drove a Lamborghini to Anaheim.]
Yeah, but that’s just for show. I don’t own it.

Win a couple more of these and you can probably go ahead and buy the Lambo...
Yeah, but no. I’m going to save my money.

Now that you know you can run up front, what does it do for you going into the next few races?
Nothing. I want to go into every weekend like I did this weekend and just hope for the best and do my best. I know as long as I get good starts and I stay up there, I should be all right. As long as what I’m doing is working, I’m going to keep doing that.