Ever since I was a kid I thought the Baja 1000 and Pikes Peak were part of the same series. I thought there was some racing club in California where all the racers hung out and stayed young and fearless. I assumed that all these guys raced everything on dirt, desert, short course, rally, RallyCross, etc. I mean, it’s all car control and sliding a vehicle sideways, right? Speed, Control, Power, Right? As I got older I began to understand the limitations of money and politics, that’s what prevents talented drivers from racing everything; Money and Politics. After working with several athletes over the past ten years and directing them to pursue this path and connect the dots, one is finally doing it and I can’t really take credit for initiating it, but it’s really cool to watch happen. When I met Bryce Menzies he was kinda a gangly kid who seemed to lack confidence. I thought to myself “This kid’s going to crash a ton of stuff and quit within a year.” But he didn’t. He was good and he didn’t quit. After he had massive success in short course winning a championship beating legends like Rob MacCachren, he crossed over to desert and I thought to myself, “He is going to learn the hard way here,” and he won the Baja 500 not once but twice! He drove with a level of confidence and poise that guys who have been racing desert for 20 years don’t have!
Now he is headed to X Games to compete in Rallycross in a car he has never been in and racing in a sport he has never raced in, but that doesn’t matter. The point is, millions of people will hear his name and be led into off-road because of it. So when you turn on X Games on Sunday July 1, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) to watch some of the best drivers on the planet race RallyCross cheer for our off-road guy. Maybe soon we’ll see more of our own show the world that they are the most bad ass drivers on the planet.
Words by Matt Martelli