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5 Minutes With... Josh Grant

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Josh Grant” and “consistent” aren’t normally used in the same sentence, unless talking about problems with being consistent, but that has all turned around in 2009 in his rookie season. Starting out with the surprise win at Anaheim I, he has followed it up with a third at Phoenix, and then two fifths at rounds three and four. He sits solidly tied for second in points with James Stewart. We talked to him following the main event in Houston.

Racer X: You’ve had a lot of success early, but right now it seems like you’re sort of floating around right there at the end of the top five – which certainly isn’t bad, by any means... But did it set your expectations a little high to have a win and a podium right off like that?
Josh Grant: Yeah, it did at the beginning, but I told myself coming into the season that I wanted to be top five every weekend, and so far I’ve been better than that. I expected top-fives, and I’ve done better. We had two good races in the beginning, and that’s about it, but the last two races that we’ve raced, I haven’t really felt comfortable on the tracks, and for me to not feel comfortable and still get top-five and still ride the way I’ve been riding is good. So, when we get back to one of those tracks where I’m feeling it and having a good time, I’ll definitely be better than where I’m at right now, that’s for sure.

So what was with that whole “Snickers” comment on the podium at Phoenix?
What about it?

What was it about?
What do you mean? All I do is eat Snickers, dude. And, I was plugging my sponsor. I figured it’d be like a cool, funny way of saying, “Hey, this is my sponsor, Snickers,” you know? “It must’ve been all those Snickers I’ve been eating.”

I was told it had to do a bit with all of the “eye candy” that was hanging around your pits that night...
No, but now that I think of it, it could be that, too, but I haven’t been eating any of the eye candy. (Laughs)

From here on out, knowing that you were top five even when you weren’t very comfortable, what does that tell you?
I feel good that I’m still in the top five, but at the same time, I know I can beat [Ryan] Villopoto and [Andrew] Short. It just frustrates me when I can’t get the track dialed in because it doesn’t flow. The way they’ve been building them lately has just been horrible, so when we get a race track, and we have places to pass, I think it’ll be better. Right now, I’m just doing what I can do, staying consistent, and trying not to crash, and I’ve been doing pretty good with that so far this year. Usually, my first couple rounds are the ones that are tough for me, so now that I’ve got those out of the way, I think riding a solid season will be good.

I did the math on your round-one finishes the other day, and you went like 17, 22, DNF or something like that.
Yeah, they’ve been down at the bottom of the board, so I finally owed myself one at Anaheim, you know?

Did that sort of add some extra nerves to Anaheim I, knowing you had so many bad opening rounds in the past?
Yeah, I was definitely happy to finally take that curse off my shoulders, so I’m excited. Everyone on the team, we’ve been doing really good, and we’ve been back in North Carolina doing great, and I think as long as I’m doing my work, I should be up front where I am right now. I just want to go out and try and get back on the podium.

So what’s North Carolina like...
Freezing cold...

No, I mean for a California kid with a sleeve tattoo...
The people are awesome there, and having the shop close by, and all of the guys there, and Coy... Everything in general makes it so much easier to do your work and have fun while doing it. It makes it fun to go to the gym when you can go to the NASCAR shop and check out what they’re doing. Being surrounded with good people makes it a lot easier and a lot more fun. When you’re stuck in California, you’re dealing with clowns like [Austin] Stroupe and whoever, and then you see them at the gym, and it’s a big joke. But I like it in North Carolina.

How do you really feel about it?
It is a joke! I don’t care...

Thanks, Josh.
No problem.
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