As children we are always asked the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Some children want to be superheroes, doctors, and firefighters. For many of us the answer is something quite different. As we grew up many of our peers are playing team sports such as soccer and baseball and we spent our days waiting to get out of school or waiting for our parents to get home to take us riding. As we grow older we realize that this can become our job if we push hard enough for it and we grasp onto the dream of becoming a professional motocross racer.
Chip Munn in Elm Mott, Texas is fully aware of these dreams and aspirations and has been helping riders fulfill these dreams for many years. He has been helping amateurs out in the Texas area since before most of today’s younger pros were riding or even born. After years of the amateur effort he decided to put forth a professional team to help his amateurs go to the big leagues and most of all have fun.
This past weekend Chip extended an invitation to the world for riders to come down to Texas and try out for his team. He is building a larger team for the 2013 season and is looking to give any pro rider a chance to be a part of his program. Riders from across the United States made the journey to Three Palms MX Park in Texas to hopefully make their dreams of racing on a pro team come true.
As the Texas sun rose Saturday morning about 35 riders rolled into the track for a chance to be a part of the 2013 Munn Racing team. The riders were greeted with breakfast from the team driver Tim as Chip explained what was going to take place throughout the day. The riders would be tested on their physical abilities by having to race through an obstacle course to see who was in shape and who wasn’t. Shawn Rhinehart won the obstacle course on day one with flying colors followed by Josef DeBower and Dano Aulseybrook.
After the Tryout Dash the riders suited up for some riding. The team had 5 bikes for them to turn laps on so they could get used to the KTM’s and also the set up the team had. To warm up the riders took the 2012 outdoor race bikes on the outdoor style track and put in some laps. After the riders had gotten some seat time they were put on the 2013 KTM’s and sent out to the Supercross track. For many riders it was the first time they had been on a Supercross track so all the time they could get on the track was valuable.
After lunch most of the focus for riding was on the Supercross track where the riders were being timed to see how they were matching up with each other. They were given about 15 minutes to put in solid laps each session. At the end of the day everyone huddled around the hauler for a meeting. There were chairs lined up for the riders for Chip to explain their future. He thanked everyone for making the journey out and expressed his excitement for all of those who came down. He then called the names of the riders who wouldn’t be going on to the next phase of the process but welcomed them to stick around and enjoy the rest of the weekend with the team. At this point the riders began to realize that not everyone was going to make the team and that things were a little more serious.
Day 2 came fast with the Texas sun rising for another great day of riding. Three Palms MX Park was hosting a few races on Sunday which brought about more spectators for the tryouts as well. Everyone wanted to get a glimpse of what it was like to try out for a pro team. The day would start with another obstacle course race much like the day before but much longer and more difficult. The new course included a joker lane which was a 50 foot long water pit that they could either run through or climb ropes over. The joker lane showed who was willing to go the extra mile to be a part of Chip’s program. Shawn Rhinehart won the Tryout Dash for the second time followed by Dano Aulseybrook , and Tyler Livesay.
After the obstacle course everyone warmed themselves up and suited up for a day on the Supercross track. Sunday only three bikes were going to be ridden. The 2013 250, 350, and 450 were the choice steeds for the day and Chip had selected the order in which the riders would take to the track as well as what bike he thought would suit them the best. After half of a day of riding the riders gathered for lunch and another selection process. He offered about 10 riders a seat at a table that would be going on
to the next stage. He then had a one on one talk with each rider that wasn’t selected to go on and told each of them that he would do whatever he could to help them out in the future and that he wanted to stay in contact with them and help them grow as a rider and as an individual.
After Chip talked with everyone that had not been selected his attention was diverted to the riders left. He had them head out for some more laps while he observed lap times, riding style, and their overall personality. He tried to pull each of them aside and get their personal story and find out more about them. At the end of the day he had them practice starts with his mechanic Big Dan. Big Dan helped them figure out starts on the KTM’s and it was also a time to get to know the riders more.
As the sun set and things wrapped up the riders got into street clothes and headed over to the rig to get a one on one talk with Chip about their future for 2013. Overall, it was a great weekend for not only the team but all of the riders to see what a tryout is like and what they need to do in order to be ready for next year’s tryout if they didn’t make the team. All of the deals and riders for the 2013 season for Munn Racing have not been finalized yet, but one thing is for sure and that is that Chip is building an army of talented and well rounded riders who have the heart to make their dreams come true!