Racer X: Daniel, congratulations on taking the Arenacross Lites East Championship. Daniel Aulseybrook: Thanks a lot. It feels great. I came into the series with the mindset that I could win it. Although I started off a little inconsistent and struggling with my finishes, it seemed about midway through that I flipped a switch and started putting races together. I began to have some pretty good rides, and then it was about a week before Dayton, Ohio, that I started to say, “Hey, I still have a shot at this!”
Who gave you the most competition? The biggest competition for me was definitely Tyler Bright. He’s a very solid Lites rider and worked us all until he pointed out and could only race the Arenacross class. Other than Tyler, Devon Pilkington and Chad Wages were right there in the mix too. Cory Green and my teammate AJ Catanzaro were super fast as well, but they were in the West Coast series.
It amazes me that you did so well with relatively little true arenacross experience. It’s my second year as an AMA pro, but my first season last year was short-lived—I gave Arenacross a go but broke my wrist very early on. There are so many things that I did coming into this season to prepare for this. I left home and went straight down to GPF last October. I spent a solid three months there training my butt off. I had Dave Ginolfi to work with me every day, which helped a lot. I knew that I was really in great shape on and off the bike, so that helped me a lot mentally by giving me a huge wave of confidence that got me through the series. Then I also had Josh Woods on the sidelines throwing pointers my way too. Josh has a lot of arenacross wins under his belt, so it’s always good to listen to what he has to say and apply it. The team is really on it all the time, so it does take a little getting used to it, but they do have a lot of experience in arenacross and know how to win.
Living in Michigan with the winters that we have here must be tough, so GPF has to be a godsend for someone like you. Well, before this past year I never did that much winter riding. We’d have a lot of snow, so I’d do the normal go-to-high-school thing and not worry about riding until the snow melted. That probably sounds bad, but it is true. Now that I had the opportunity to go to GPF and ride all winter, I never want to see snow again. But as far as summers go, it doesn’t get much better than being in Michigan, so I know that now I’ll spend a lot of time here. Then as soon as the weather turns in the fall, GPF is definitely the place for me to be. Spending that time there this past winter truly has made me a much better rider all the way around.
Let’s get back to your early days. How did you first get into riding? It was actually my uncles that got me into it. My uncle Scott has worked at motorcycle shops for years, and when I was about 6 years old he brought one home to work on and it was love at first sight for me. I hopped on it and rode it until there was no gas left, then I cried all night because I couldn’t ride it anymore. Later, when I had my own 60s and 80s I began racing. While my family was not rich by any means, we were better off than a lot, so we could travel to some of the bigger races. I raced at Lake Whitney for two or three years but never had much luck there. We never raced Oak Hill or Ponca, but we always made the effort to do Loretta Lynn’s. I also did the Mini Os plenty of times and really enjoyed that race. In 2002 I won the 85cc (9-12) championship in the Canadian Nationals and actually beat Dean Wilson. I feel like I’ve always had the speed but never did all that well at the amateur nationals, which may have had a lot to do with confidence.
So what’s next? Well, I hope that this Arenacross Lites championship was just the beginning. I know that capturing the championship was a huge step in the right direction for my racing, and I don’t want to be taking any smaller steps anytime soon. I want to keep the ball rolling. I will likely race a few of the motocross nationals this summer, but I want to focus on doing some riding schools this summer and try to make some money while having fun racing my dirt bike. Next year I will be moving right into the Arenacross class, so I’ll have my work cut out for me this fall.
Let’s wrap up with the people and sponsors who helped you out. There are so many people to thank, especially my mom, dad, and sister – they’ve made tons of sacrifices in order for me to keep racing, and I definitely could not be where I’m at without them. My uncle Joe is always there when I need him, and it’s awesome that he comes to watch me race. Ray, Josh, and Terry [Woods] at GPF are incredible with how they have helped me. I want to thank Eddie Babbitt at Team Babbitt’s, who has given our team the bikes, so of course we could not have done it without him. MMCR has been a huge sponsor of mine for a little over a year. Vaughn Smith is the guy there—he makes sure that I have the tools to succeed. Then sponsors like DeCal Works, Moose Racing, TLR, VonZipper, Dr. D, Bell Helmets, TCX Boots, SDG, and Dunlop have helped so much. I know that there are a lot of people involved in the mix of helping me out. It’s not just one person, it’s a combined effort, and I appreciate it.