ATV Motocross

Tuesday Feature: Harold Goodman

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | 12:00 AM

One of the coolest traits in the Pro division of the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championships is the versatility of its racers. Some guys excel at jumping, some fair better in the mud, and others are holeshot artists. One of the most versatile racers in the Pro field is Brownstown, Michigan’s Harold Goodman. The Houser Racing Honda rider put in a slew up strong performances through the 11-round series, finishing eighth in points with one podium to his credit. That is a stellar feat as he is competing as a Honda support privateer in a field vastly comprising full-factory-backed racers. Another accomplishment that many in the motocross community may not be aware of is Goodman’s flat track prowess. In fact, Goodman is the two-time and defending champion in the EDT series. He is also a GNCC participant, rides and trains on a dirt bike, and will be competing in the Baja 1000 next month. We caught up with Goodman to speak with him about his 2008 season, how he plans to attack the Baja 1000, and his goals for 2009.

When you step back and look at your results this year it seems like you were right there every weekend. You had a podium and came close to several more. How incredible was the competition?

It was stronger than ever, that is for sure. When you race against the factory teams and the riders who race their equipment, it's a pretty hard wall to climb. The top-20 riders in the Pro class have been doing this for a long time and they are all strong.

Your best ride of the year came at Muddy Creek where you finished on the podium. Was there anything special about that weekend that helped get you on the steps?

I had changed my suspension a little on the quad, but I think most of it was that I got along with the track well. Muddy Creek was more of a smooth and fast course and my flat track skills may have helped me out a little. I did get to take advantage of a couple of crashes and guys getting tangled up, but that's racing. I was proud of the second moto because I was able to get a good start, put in fast lap times, and ride at the front.

You have done it all, Harold. GNCCs, Desert, Flat track, and raced in foreign countries. Who better than to give the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA National Championship a report card than you?

The series was better than ever. All of the concerns we had before the season were erased, then the concerns we developed during the series were given attention to and dealt with. I think that was the best thing. Having folks who would listen and actually make changes if they needed to be made. The turnouts were strong for both the Pros and the Amateurs and it seems like if that is strong than everything else is better off.

How was your experience at the Second Annual Steel City ATV Open?

It was special to me because I didn’t get to go last year. I had a flat track race I needed to attend for that championship. The ATV Open weekend was really cool. I was impressed with the way we were welcomed by the riders and the fans. It was cool to see them work on the track a little to make it better for us, too. Just being on that grand stage was fun and I hope to be in it next year.

You will be competing in the Baja 1000 next month. What is that experience like?

This is my sixth or seventh time entering the Baja 1000 and every race is a wild experience. Until last year we never had much of a chance to win it, but I think we are starting to creep up on it. I’ll be teaming up with Wayne Matlock again and we are feeling good about our chances this time around. We’ll be riding the brand new Honda TRX700XX and it is a really good machine. It’s a lot different than what usually ride so I’m spending a lot of time on it to gain the feel.

You seem to be the busiest man in (ATV) show business. Although, you are from Michigan and you only have another month or so before the snow comes. What are you going to be doing to stay in shape?

I still have some time to enjoy the good weather before it gets cold so I am going to be doing a ton of riding. After Christmas, I’ll head down to Florida to ride. Then I’ll go over to Texas to ride at Rage MX.

Well, Harold, you seemed to be right there on the fringe of the top five in 2008. What is it going to take to improve and what are your goals for 2009?

I’m inching up on it. I know what I need to do to get a little faster. I feel like I have the right equipment to get the job done. I don’t think I’m at a loss in that department. I need to just go faster, plain and simple. I need two seconds a lap and I think you’ll start seeing me in the top five more often. I’d like to be in the top five consistently and grab at least four podiums in 2009.

Thanks for your time today, Harold. Good luck in Baja, we’ll be keeping tabs on you!

Thanks, I’ll call you guys after the race!