To say 2019 didn’t end the way Henry Miller wanted it to would be like saying 2020 has been a little turbulent. Miller crashed while racing in Australia and sustained a broken scapula, which pretty much derailed his entire Monster Energy AMA Supercross effort in 2020. Fortunately the hard-working privateer was undeterred, and after recovering he’s ready to have a breakout performance in the 2020 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. We caught up with him while he was driving to Loretta Lynn’s to chat about his recovery, the upcoming nationals, and what it’s like to be heading back to the Ranch.
Racer X: How have you been and what are you up to?
Henry Miller: Just riding and working and trying to stay ready for the nationals.
I wanted to ask you what kind of shape you were in, seeing as how it wasn’t that long ago you broke your scapula.
Yeah, December first I broke my scapula. That put me out for three months, which threw a wrench into my plans. But, you have to deal with those injuries sometimes.
How was the recovery on that? Are you fully healed up and ready to go?
The recovery went well. I raced a couple supercrosses. I was released to ride the week before the first one I raced, so obviously I wasn’t even ready. I was living like 25 minutes from there so I just went and rode and raced. The shoulder is strong again and it’s back to where it needs to be for me to be able to do what I need to do. I’m not worried about it all.
What about speed? Are you back to 100 percent?
I feel better this year than I have in the last few years. I’m pretty interested to see how it is when we line up and see where I’m sitting. I feel really good on my bike. I’ve gotten two weeks of suspension testing, which is something I’ve never ever had in my whole life. We’ve been testing for two weeks, changing everything, trying everything, and my bike is working really good. I’m really happy with where I’m at. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.
Normally we’d be in the homestretch of the season right now. Talk a little bit about how the delayed start has changed your race preparation.
It was different. For a while there it was, Do I train like we’re going racing, or do I kind of pump the brakes and save my body in case we’re going racing later? I was training like I was going to go racing for probably a good solid month. I was grinding every day, hard at it. Then I stepped back and pumped the brakes. Finally we got a date of when we could possibly be going racing and I rebooted everything and started getting back into it, put my head down, and went to work. It’s a really awkward year. We’re normally ending the outdoor season in what, three weeks? It’s just going to be really weird I think. I don’t know what everyone else’s plan of attack is, what they did, I just think everyone just has to figure it out and do what’s best for them.
Yeah, it is going to be really interesting to see how things play out. It’s probably not going to be as hot at some of those races, which might make a difference for some guys.
Florida is still going to be hot, no matter when it is. That one’s guaranteed and everyone is still going to be dying. But some of them, it might be chilly at a few of them! It’ll be something different I think.
Is it cool to come back to Loretta’s to race a pro national after racing there so many times as an amateur?
I don’t know how to take it. The way the track is laid out right now, I don’t think it’s going to be that great for the pro guys. I don’t think it’ll suit us very well. It’s not really a big bike track to begin with. But I am excited to go back there. The dirt is really good there—it only gets used once a year. It’s always fantastic, rough and rutted, and it’s usually hot. I’m looking forward to that part of it, but I’m also really curious to see what they’ve got planned for the track. I’m pretty sure they’ll have to make it longer. It’s like a minute and 50 seconds or something, and that’s kind of short for 30 plus two.
Yeah, they’re usually a little over two minutes.
A fast lap usually is just under 2:10.000 at a national. It’ll be interesting. I did hear some people say they were going to extend it. I guess we’ll find out when we get there.
What’s your best memory of racing there?
You know, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs there. Probably in 2014, the first time I ever got on the podium. I think I was on the podium five out of six motos, and that was a really good year for me and I brought a lot of good memories home that year. There’s nothing like getting on the podium at Loretta’s, it’s just a different feeling.
Earlier you said you were going to surprise people this summer. What kind of results are you thinking?
I’ve been trying to put a lot of effort into figuring out my starts and being consistent. If I can put that together then I can consistently be right there in the top ten. I want to be, and I know I can be, as long as I can get a good start. I need to start in the front, instead of what I typically do, which is start in the back or mid-pack and try to work my way forward. If I can put my starts together I think a lot of people are going to be surprised. With the help of my sponsors, Stussy Construction, Owen Locker Plant, FXR, 6D, EVS, Hoosier tires, Forma boots, FMF, Defy Graphics, Stapes Suspension, Ride Engineering, ODI Grips, Firepower Parts, Blud Lubricants, Guts Racing, TJ's Cycle, Twin Air, Rekluse, Dirt Tricks, Works Connection, Motool, Method Pools, EKS Brand Goggles, Cycra, Arma Sport, Paul Mundt, my Mom and Dad, and R&R Ironworks, I’m going to consistently be around, and in, that top ten.