By Lucas Comeaux
24 year-old Martin Howell from Houston, TX decided to chase after the LACC Series Championship this year and so far he's on the right track. Howell pulls up to the races in his trusty van, checks the courses out that he's never seen before using his mountain bike on Sat., then proceeds to get on the #1 or #2 block at each round. We decided it was past time to chat with the current series points leader.
Howell on the #1 podium block by JennyC.
Click on picture to enlarge.
LC: So four races in and you have two wins and the points lead! How does it feel?
MH: It feels really good, obviously that's kind of the goal coming into the year, to get some race wins and be on the podium as much as possible. Now I have the points lead almost half way through the season so it's real good.
Things are kind of scattered this year with #1 Beebe & #2 Harvey unfortunately having some bad luck with mechanical issues, similarly Smith already has two drops BUT won the last two rounds, and then Woods/Vaughan/& others are right there being consistent. Who do you think your biggest competition will be for the championship?
For sure Forrest Smith...I mean he's young and he's fast. He gets good starts and can sprint at the beginning, just a good rider. So yeh I think he's going to be the main competition for the year-end championship.
What made you decide to chase the LACC title this year?
I'm from Texas and have been racing here since '96 and just the same old site every year so I wanted to try something different. I'm having a good time in the LACC Series. The tracks in TX are faster, more hard packed...for some reason TX just has a lot of dust.
Two wins and two seconds...so that lines up with your goals coming into the season?
Basically my goal was just to try to get on the podium every race, I want to be in the top 3 every race. I'll be just as happy with a third, the main thing is just to get on the podium every round.
You've raced other series, how does the LACC Series compare with media content / race coverage?
Oh yeh it's definitely promoted really well and that's kind of another reason why I chose the series. I mean, Acadiana Racing, lots of videos, lots of pictures, it's really cool...it's just promoted really well.
So from what I understand your practice time is mostly at mx tracks, why is that?
Mainly just the convenience factor, here in Houston we don't really have any trails and the motocross tracks are only around thirty minutes from my house. We have some trails in Nacogdoches TX, Cycle Land, that I ride quite a bit. I'm part of that club, grew up riding there when I was younger, it's a good place to practice and have a lot of fun out there. But yeh most of my riding time is 3 Palms MX track or Rio Bravo MX track, real close to the house, so nice and convenient.
How do you stay in shape, do you work out a lot?
Not really so much, I used to do a lot of training and stuff but it kind of burned me out so I don't do too much now. Whenever I get off of work I just relax and then I just try to ride on the weekends. That's pretty much it, that's all my training right now. It kind of takes all the fun out of it, for me, whenever I started doing a lot of training and gym work ...so I just ride on the weekends. I ride my mountain bike on the courses on Saturday mainly because I've never been to these races so I like to get a look at the track.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to chat, anything you'd like to add?
Yes I'd like to thank my sponsors JM Racing Suspension, SMS KTM, Answer, Motorex, Sidi Boots, FMF, and my parents.
Photos by Bob Hatcher:
Photo by the LACC Series Staff:
Photos by Buck Langston:
Photos by Terry Shaw
Photos by Chris Shows:
Photo by Greg Richardson:
Photo by Logan Nixon: