Lately, the word “Adversity” is used frequently in Monster Energy AMA Supercross race reports. It’s usually used to describe hardships a rider has had to overcome to qualify or succeed in racing on the world’s biggest stage of Supercross racing. We all have to make sacrifices to succeed, even if it’s giving up things that are important in life; unlikely, but like an education. However, Joshua Cartwright is doing it right. Not only is he turning his dream into a reality on the track, but also Cartwright is pursuing a happy and stable life by attending college as a full-time student.
To help you understand the life a privateer rider, we talked to Cartwright about juggling two heavy worlds, racing and college. Cartwright is a recent graduate of the Amsoil Arenacross “Road to Supercross” program and qualified for his first Main Event last weekend at the Atlanta 2 Supercross. He has just accepted a ride with an Arenacross team with full support, so he will be in Council Bluffs, Iowa this weekend instead of Daytona. Oh, did we mention his practice bike was stolen from the privateer pits while in Atlanta?
Interview by: Jessica Hudson
Photos by: Brian Converse / MotoOne
Jessica: What has happened to your practice bike?
Cartwright: Friday night my team and I left the trailer locked up in the privateer parking lot. The next day when I went to the trailer the outside lock was off. I looked inside to find my bike missing. Absolute devastation hit me. I tried hard to get it off my mind during practice but it stayed in the back of my mind.
Have you found your bike?
Not yet. But we’ve been in close contact with the police and they are still looking for it.
Do you see a difference in your practice bike and your race bike?
There is huge difference in my practice bike and my race bike. The practice bike is basically stock, but with race suspension and race foot-pegs. My practice bike was the one that was stolen so my racing wasn’t affected. But now I have nothing to practice on this week to prepare for next weekend’s race.
With being a full time student at Florida State University (FSU) and racing Supercross, what has inspired you to go for it?
2014 was my last year as an amateur and we realized it is difficult to get a ride in amateur racing. So we made the decision early to go ahead and race Supercross. That meant I had to do at least three Arenacross weekends to get my Supercross points before I could race the Dallas Supercross.
You are one of the few Supercross racers who is also a full time student. Not just with racing this year with Supercross but you also raced and kept a passing average in all of your High School classes and now at a University as well. How is this possible? What’s your major? Most racers are homeschooled.
I think I am the only one, or one of the few, who remained in school while racing the amateur scene at the national level. My goal has always been to race Supercross and be a full-time college student. I don’t think anyone has ever done it. I want to be the first to do it. It’s a unique situation. No one races Motocross and Supercross and goes to college. It’s not easy. It takes discipline. My mornings start with class, then I go to GPF and ride and train, then I return home for food and shower, then I head back to FSU for classes again, then I return home and do homework, then I go to bed. That’s my daily schedule. Right now I have a B average. My major is Computational Biology. Computational Biology is the science of using biological data to develop algorithms and relations among various biological systems. It’s a mix of computers and biology.
Let’s talk a little bit about how this last weekend went. So you made your first main by going through the LCQ finishing third. With the thoughts of your incident earlier that day, how did you feel to have qualified for the night show?
It was literally, a dream come true! My family and I have been waiting a life time for that moment. When I crossed over the line it was the best feeling. There are no words to express how I felt. My dad and I gave each other the biggest hug. It was truly a magical night. Big thanks to FMF for letting me pit with them. It made the experience much easier.
Do you feel like “The Road to Supercross” helped prepare you for Supercross?
I think it did. The whole point is to get the experience that has a similar intensity level. Arenacross is so intense. Going into Supercross it really helped get all my nerves out and to be more relaxed.
What do you think of the Supercross format? Saturdays, the day of the actual event?
The format is smooth. You get two hours of relax time. If you have your own mechanic then it’s also easier.
After Supercross what are your summer plans Josh?
I have no concrete plans. I am thinking about racing in Canada this summer. I am talking to a team but it is under the radar.
Glad to see you out there accomplishing more and more of your dreams while enrolled in College. Good luck to you next weekend!