Professional off-road driver Bryce Menzies, in his own words.
“I first started getting into racing from a young age. My dad had me on a dirt bike, a three-wheeler, since I was three years old, so I always grew up in the off-road world in the desert.
“Really my goal was to be a professional motorcycle racer, and it just seemed like I always got injured.”
“So my dad’s like, ‘Hey, let’s try out this whole off-road world. Let’s put you in something with a cage, a little bit safer.’ And in 2007 we built our first off-road car.”
“It was more of just family fun, and then it kind of turned into now a dream job and a job for me to go racing.”
One race, two parts
“These races are kind of almost like a chess game. You’ve really got to be cautious in the beginning because you could break your truck so quick or smash it or something like that. So I’ve always thought of the race as almost two separate races. You have a first half of the race and then you’re going to restart again, so it’s almost two races. So you’ve got to be smart. You got to get your car to the halfway and then see where you’re at and be able to get to the finish line and win those races.”
50,000 screaming fans
“We’re here at Crandon International for the Crandon World Cup. This one’s very challenging mentally trying to prepare for, especially how big it is. But just seeing the crowd out here, 50,000 people, gets you excited, gets you going.
“On the nerve side, it gets very intense. It’s a big money prize. It’s probably the biggest short-course race we have.”
“We had a really good year last year [at Crandon]. We won all three races in one day, and no other racer has done that before. So everybody’s going to be looking at us, the team to beat. We came out here a week early. We came and tested. We feel really confident. We’re here to win that AMSOIL Cup, win those trophies and take it back home to Vegas.
Injuries are part of racing
“This sport, you’re in a race truck with a fully caged chassis. It’s very safe, but you still have those incidents where you get hurt. Throughout this sport it’s led me to a lot of injuries. Some of them that I would say are the toughest ones I’ve taken away are, three years ago now, I broke the world record for longest distance jump. We jumped a Pro 2 race truck 379 feet, so really far.”
“And everything went right, but the one time the jump went wrong the window net broke. My arm went out and almost pulled my arm off.”
“So I had about 10 hours of reconstructive surgery on my shoulder, my knee.
“And then the most recent one was we were out in the sand dunes filming for a commercial, and I just overshot a sand-dune jump and actually broke my back in three places. So it’s only been five months now since I broke my back, so coming back from that one’s been the toughest.”
Flip the switch
“When you put that helmet on you kind of have to forget about those injuries because, if you hold onto them, you’re never going to be as good as you once were. So it’s always there, but I think I have that switch that, when I get on the start line, I can shut that switch off and say, ‘Hey, don’t think about anything else but the job at hand. Go focus on racing, winning races and winning championships and you’ll have to deal with the consequences at the end of it.'”
You have to blow of steam sometimes
“We’re out here at Crandon. We tested a week early. And so now we’re just staying on the lake. We’re going jet skiing, fishing. It’s fun stuff to do. Active stuff.
“I love to be outside, outdoors. I have one of my best friends here with me all week. We got these new stand-up jet-skis that we’ve been trying. And I’m 30 years old, so it’s pretty wild that I’m just now learning to ride a stand-up. But they’re so much fun. It’s cool to be able to come out here and relax, not always think about racing. Get on the jet-ski. Just have fun and take your mind off it for that week coming up and go rip around with your friends and, you know, see what kind of trouble you can get into before you have to really focus on the race week at hand.”
Racing always presents challenges
“I think the biggest thing for me is how challenging it is to show up every single weekend and have everything go right. You’re always going to have those little things that go wrong, so I think what brings me back is what we could change, what we could develop, and to keep this sport growing and to keep our team striving forward to keep building new trucks, building new parts and stay on the top of the game. I think we’ve done a really good job of that.”