We interviewed up-and-comer Steven Daniels at the end of March of this year to get his thoughts on his upcoming season and learn a little more about him. Steven has progressed from beginner to intermediate in a short time, and this year alone won the QuadX intermediate class and jumped himself up into the Pro-Am ranks. This dedicated future firefighter gives us some insight on his 2012 season and gives some predictions for his 2013 season as well. We catch up with Steven Daniels after a very successful season.
You said you expected to be top 3 in Intermediate 450 Production at QuadX, back in March and ended up winning the Championship. How did it feel to climb through the Intermediate class and secure the title?
It felt great! I went in just hoping for top 5, not really knowing if I had the stamina or speed to be on top, but midway through the season I realized I had everything I needed to win, and I just had to put it all together and stay consistent.
You ran Pro-Am at the last race, correct? Tell us about your jump up to Pro-Am and how you expect to do in 2013.
I did! It was just kind of a test race to see where I was and where I need to put myself physically and mentally for next season. I’m expecting to finish at least top 5 next season. This “off season” should be very productive and I’m hoping to finally get some more ride time into my schedule.
What was your best race this year, and why was it your best?
Definitely the last race. I raced both Production Intermediate and Pro-Am that day on my practice bike, which at glen Helen was no match for a race motor up the big hills. I also had to swap one A-Arm between my first moto of Intermediate and Pro-Am (Thanks Dad!). My machine and I ran great all four motos, pulled both holeshots in Intermediate, won my race in Intermediate, secured the championship for Intermediate and competed with seasoned Pro-Ams. It was a memorable day for sure.
What are you going to do to prepare for next year, racing against some of the fastest guys in the West?
Ride wherever and whenever I can. Simple as that.
You made the final round of Quadcross Northwest at Washougal. Tell us about the your experiences there, and how the racing was different in Washington versus California & Arizona.
Well, for one, there were trees, that was new for me. And I actually had a blast up there. I loved the way the series was ran, it really catered to the riders. The racing was a little different than down south. It wasn’t hot, there were shaded parts of the track, and I was competing against people with a different style than I was used to. All in all I was impressed with the series and I will be back for some of the closer rounds next season.
Did you ever manage to get that elusive holeshot that you talked about in your first interview?
I did! I actually got 3 at QuadX this year, one at Speedworld and two at Glen Helen on my practice bike. The two at GH surprised me the most.
What helped you the most this year in terms of your racing? Was it team, fitness, training, extra riding, or something else?
It was the support from my dad. He made it so that I was on the quad every weekend, whether at a track rental or at a cruddy OHV. He also made sure my equipment was flawless. He did valve jobs between motos, got an engine pulled out and fully rebuilt (bottom to top) in less than 3 weeks, swapped A-Arms in less than 45 minutes. All so that I could go out and race amateur motocross for fun. If it weren’t for my dad, I would still be in the back of the pack in novice.
If you do well in the Pro-am class this year, can we expect you to become a Pro in 2014?
Not unless I get first place in the championship. I plan on spending at least the next two years in Pro-Am. We will see though, it all depends on how I feel about my speed and stamina heading into the 2014 season.
What are your plans for 2013, besides the jump into the Pro-Am ranks? Where are you racing and what are you goals?
I will be everywhere. I plan on racing QuadX, some Quadcross NW, most of the Dirt Series, whatever CMC races quads are allowed at. WORCS isn’t in the plans yet, but I am definitely pushing more and more for it as I start to near the pro level.