With high-flying action set to return to Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, March 11, we sat down with the Cole Seely to get a better idea of the rider behind the helmet.
Daytona International Speedway: So, what’s your favorite memory from a race at DAYTONA?
Cole Seely: My favorite memory? I have two, actually. One is the year I almost won it. I was passing for second, going around [Ryan] Dungey, and clipped him and went down, dropped back to sixth or seventh and fought my way back to fourth, but if I would have gotten around him, then the lead was right there and I was charging for that for sure.
The other one, it’s not really my favorite memory, but it’s one that definitely stands out was the very first year that I ever raced there. Just going to the stadium and seeing it for the first time, and it was an absolute mudder. The heaviest rain came and went, it was a brutal night for sure, but that’s definitely one that is going to stick with me forever - racing there for the first time.
DIS: You talked about almost getting to the mountaintop, what would winning at DAYTONA mean to you?
CS: Yeah, it would be huge, definitely. I think that’s definitely one that stands out amongst all of the other supercross races, it’s just so diverse.
DIS: How did you first gain an interest in bikes, and when did you first start riding?
CS: I mean, ever since I was a kid, every memory I have is on two wheels, whether it’s riding motorcycles or BMX or whatever. I first got into it when I was like four or five, so I started at a super young age.
DIS: You did quit racing at sixteen though?
CS: Yeah, yeah. I quit when I was sixteen, got a regular job and just lived a normal sixteen-year old life for about a year or so, maybe a little less. I kind of needed it. I needed to get away from the sport and go be normal for a little bit.
DIS: What brought you back?
CS: I figured that since I had done it for so long that I might as well just turn “A” as an amateur and then took a swing at supercross for a year. One thing led to another and now I’m here.
DIS: Honda sponsors the race at DAYTONA, you’ve been a Honda driver for a long time, how has working with one manufacturer your whole career been beneficial?
CS: Oh it’s huge. I think most of the people that I work with today – my gear sponsor, my boots sponsor, my goggles sponsor – everybody I’ve built a really good relationship with and I think that’s really important to have in this sport. I hate burning bridges with people. I think it’s bad on me if I do something like that. I just try to keep good relationships with all of the sponsors that I have.
DIS: Do you have a mentor or a role model in this sport that you have either leaned on or looked up to?
CS: Yeah, I take [Jeff Ward] Wardy to the races with me every week. He’s mentoring me, and same thing with [Andrew Short] Shorty. They’re both giving me their two cents about line choice, intensity, all different aspects of the sport.
DIS: How did you background with BMX prepare you for what you do today?
CS: The handling skillset that comes along with BMX definitely helps with Supercross in general, it’s kind of why I’ve always stood out as a better Supercross rider, from my BMX background. I think it’s something like I like to keep in my back pocket.
Tickets are still available for Florida’s only Monster Energy AMA Supercross event in 2017, featuring high-flying, side-by-side racing action. Don't miss out on the best Supercross riders in the world racing side-by-side on a demanding course designed by five-time DAYTONA Supercross By Honda champion Ricky Carmichael. Tickets start at $45, with UNOH Fanzone/Pit Access included with your ticket. For tickets and more information, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit online.