The Talent Tank

EP 23 Hunter Miller

April 27, 2020 Hunter Miller Episode 35
The Talent Tank
EP 23 Hunter Miller
Chapters
The Talent Tank
EP 23 Hunter Miller
Apr 27, 2020 Episode 35
Hunter Miller

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

For his debut in ULTRA4 Racing UTV to end with the winning of the King of the Hammers UTV race.  We had to find out who this well accomplished driver was, and how he crossed over to immediate success.  On this dive into The Talent Tank with Hunter Miller @huntermiller90, we get into the depths of who this modest, hard driven Texan, with a penchant for pain and victory is.  With a racing resume that spans +20 years it becomes painfully obvious when Hunter and his CanAm @canamoffroad showed up on the lakebed they were immediate contenders and a force to be reckoned with.  Racing is only half of the Miller family story, from racing side by side with his brother.  To working along side his brother, and parents growing their glass business through embracing of technology Miller Glassworks @millerglassworks in a bedroom community that services one of the largest metropolitan areas in the US, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Youtube link, Can-Am How to win King of the Hammers

After the Checkered Flag-
In the mid-1970s, enterprising motorcycle race promoter Dave Coombs stumbled onto the small West Virginia town of Davis. Looking at the beautiful yet rugged terrain, Dave realized it would be the perfect spot to hold a motorcycle race.  It would be a tough event only the strongest riders and machines could finish.  He called the race the Blackwater 100, for nearby Blackwater Falls, and 100 for the number of miles. Blackwater soon became legendary, deemed "America's Toughest Race." The series became known as the Grand National Cross Country Series, GNCC. 

Headshot Credit: Harlen Foley

Brought to you by:
Custom Splice www.customsplice.com for your recovery equipment needs, they are your one stop shop.
Branik Motorsports Custom Machine www.branikmotorsports.com is a full-service machine shop with one off and production capabilities that prides themselves on quality, service and value.
Magnitude Performance www.magnitudeperformance.com a Mast Motorsports Company www.mastmotorsports.com.  Magnitude is a Made in the USA manufacturer of premium chrome silicon coil-over suspension springs.

Please like & subscribe.
https://www.thetalenttank.com/
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Show Notes Transcript

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

For his debut in ULTRA4 Racing UTV to end with the winning of the King of the Hammers UTV race.  We had to find out who this well accomplished driver was, and how he crossed over to immediate success.  On this dive into The Talent Tank with Hunter Miller @huntermiller90, we get into the depths of who this modest, hard driven Texan, with a penchant for pain and victory is.  With a racing resume that spans +20 years it becomes painfully obvious when Hunter and his CanAm @canamoffroad showed up on the lakebed they were immediate contenders and a force to be reckoned with.  Racing is only half of the Miller family story, from racing side by side with his brother.  To working along side his brother, and parents growing their glass business through embracing of technology Miller Glassworks @millerglassworks in a bedroom community that services one of the largest metropolitan areas in the US, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Youtube link, Can-Am How to win King of the Hammers

After the Checkered Flag-
In the mid-1970s, enterprising motorcycle race promoter Dave Coombs stumbled onto the small West Virginia town of Davis. Looking at the beautiful yet rugged terrain, Dave realized it would be the perfect spot to hold a motorcycle race.  It would be a tough event only the strongest riders and machines could finish.  He called the race the Blackwater 100, for nearby Blackwater Falls, and 100 for the number of miles. Blackwater soon became legendary, deemed "America's Toughest Race." The series became known as the Grand National Cross Country Series, GNCC. 

Headshot Credit: Harlen Foley

Brought to you by:
Custom Splice www.customsplice.com for your recovery equipment needs, they are your one stop shop.
Branik Motorsports Custom Machine www.branikmotorsports.com is a full-service machine shop with one off and production capabilities that prides themselves on quality, service and value.
Magnitude Performance www.magnitudeperformance.com a Mast Motorsports Company www.mastmotorsports.com.  Magnitude is a Made in the USA manufacturer of premium chrome silicon coil-over suspension springs.

Please like & subscribe.
https://www.thetalenttank.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thetalenttank/
https://www.facebook.com/thetalenttank/
Insiders Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheTalentTankInsiders/

Intro/Outro :

Let's drop the green flag on this episode of the talent tank podcast with your host Wyatt Pemberton bringing you the best, fastest, most knowledgeable personalities and ultra before and off road racing.

Wyatt Pemberton :

This episode of the talent tank brought to you by three amazing partners, custom splice offroad recovery equipment, branik motorsports custom machine and magnitude performance a mast Motorsports company. Enjoy. Alright, here we go. The talent tank back in session, we're gonna fill it up, get you guys entertained get the content flown to you during this Corona virus. Today sitting here you're gonna listen to and get introduced to a guy that I really don't know much about which is going to be fun for for him and me and Holly you guys but a hunter Miller who is a hunter who is hunter He's the UTV king of the hammers. He's the was like King of the trail fleas are king of the golf carts, King of the desert jet skis. Everybody just used to call me Cody's brother when we raced motocross because he was always a little faster than me. So yeah, you and your brother started the UTV race on Sunday out at Kingdom hammers. You guys started side by side on the front row, right? Yeah, yeah, we we qualified one too, and

Hunter Miller :

wasn't really something we were expecting to do. You know, especially during my qualifier, I felt like crap to be honest with you, but came out good. So couldn't believe it, you know, the top 10 we're all so close, you know, but uh, it was cool. You know, when we were getting ready for it. We thought like, man, how badass would it be if we, you know, came out here and went one two and you know, we had this big plan and then when we qualified One, two, we're like, oh, man, that might could actually happen. Your reality. So are you normally the faster faster of the two or the more control of the two or the more relaxed to the to the When you encode yours, he, you know, I'm definitely more consistent. You know, sometimes he's faster sometimes I'm faster. We're usually pretty, pretty dang close, actually, he can probably throw down a little faster sprint lap than I can but I'm typically more consistent than him. And you know, last year in the works championship, he won, I think three races and I won one and we actually tied in points for first so shows you how even where you guys go one each way and you meet them at all right? Yeah, exactly. Well, we know how your race went that you won. How did how did Cody's do CODIS when it's not that great, you know, I guess the race as a whole went fine. You know, it was like three miles in Cody myself, Kyle Cheney and Mitch Guthrie. We're all battling. Cody actually went the wrong way. Right when we took off you know, you go around the two tandem ball turns and you go and you make a left off into the desert. Well, he made a ride like He's on the qualifying loop headed up towards shortbus. And he turned around and got right back in behind me but I was able to take the lead there. We got going and and Kyle and Mitch had caught up to us within a couple miles, I guess. And we're all for battle and had an independent one, but probably three miles in. I hear over the radio, Cody said that they were out and I tried to radio and see what was going on, but had no idea. But we didn't get them after that. But he had broke a rear shock bolt, which is about the most random thing you could possibly break, you know, not something that happens. It took him about 20 minutes to get it fixed, and came all the way back up tonight. So I think by the time he got going, he was maybe 45th or 46. Not to mention, you know, physically Not to mention all the adjustment time he had lost. And I think he had a pretty good race after that and made his way all the backups night. We're going to talk about your race later Later later on and totally devolve that thing. But help me dig. Is it your brother that ran the 44 Racing his car on Friday. Yeah, yeah, that and part of that was because he got nine then he was pissed, you know? So especially after I won, he couldn't stand that. So he finished really well with the 4400s. Yeah, he ended up 15th and that was with I think it was a little over an hour pissed off after the first lap. He blew up in front diff. I guess it was in the desert, but went down back door and two wheel drive, got over to the main pit and the Maximus guys helped him swap a front diff but I think it took him over an hour to did it done. And came all the way back up. 15th. You know, you take that hour hour out and he would have been he would have been up there around the top five somewhere, you know, fifth to 10th somewhere in there, which is insane. An eye opening and shocking that somebody could take a side by side and go show up and show you know, and they're not cheap. They're not cheap today, but they're not 400 300 $250,000 cars either. No doubt. Yeah, no They're definitely not cheap, like you said, and especially, I mean, ours were were pretty bill, you know, I mean, they were the same, they started as completely bone stock cars, and we took them down to the chassis. And we made some mods to the chassis, you know, we we both sided them and stuff so they'd get through the rocks. Other than that, really, they were all stocked, they just had a lot of gussets and stuff and on to to build them up. And then we kind of lower the bodies down on them just for better vision and, of course, solid doors and all of that, you know, just for strength and safety. But other than that, I mean, it's the same basic nuts and bolts as a stock car. But man, the things are so good nowadays that they're competitive. I mean, you know, of course in the desert and in the big wolves he can't run 130 like some of those trucks, but I mean, he can run 95 and in the rocks, the things are small and fast and nimble so they can get through stuff that the bigger trucks can't really take, you know, did he went too much on the 4400 race. A couple times. He got in a bind, especially when he had two wheel drive. And I think, you know, on the second lap when they couldn't take bypasses, obviously and he'd get to a spot where there were trucks, you know, everywhere. And they were trying to take some crazy lines to get around. I think he had to use it a couple times. But other than that, I don't think he ever had to winch just because an obstacle is too difficult. I think it was always when he was trying to, you know, go up a line that wasn't really supposed to be aligned to get around stuff that was hung up in the trail.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well is insane is your brother story is Cody Miller and finishing ninth and utvs, then racing the 4400 race on Friday and finish getting a 15 out of that. This story today is not about him. It's about you. Thank you for telling his story there for a little bit.

Hunter Miller :

It's a team effort.

Wyatt Pemberton :

We have right, what has changed in your life since coming home, holding the UTV championship from that event.

Hunter Miller :

Now shoot, man. Well, we had this pandemic go on and shut everything down. That changed quite a bit. You know, we were, we've been kind of working our way up from the time we started racing utvs race and bigger and bigger events every year. And we've had a lot of success over the years, you know, every time we step into something new, we've done really well and won most of them, you know, all of them, actually. But like I said, a second ago, it's a team effort. What what makes us so competitive is there's two of us, and we're basically the same speed and talent, you know, and it makes us so much easier. When you're not trying to do all this on your own. It's complete team effort, you know, and if one of us does, well, it's it's a success for both of us, you know, and so, you know, since we got home, things that I guess a few more people know are names, that's for sure. And some opportunities have opened up for sure. Especially going for co h next year. We've got some big plans. We're really excited about

Wyatt Pemberton :

why I think it's really cool. What you brought up is the multi car team and we've discussed it on this show numerous times, and certainly really came to fruition here in the last, you know, couple months with the Miller Motorsports chassis and you know, Josh beiler, putting one on the podium and then Eric being in third place behind him and those guys getting to share technology to share shocks, setups share tunes, even to an extent share parts off their cars. And you see that like, certainly with like Jimmy's four by four, or some of the rainy Lawson's bombers, but do you get that in the UTV world you guys obviously multi car team you get to share parts with your brother. Do you find yourself teaming up with other can m drivers on spares like you know, you bring pretty much everything in the kitchen sink but then realize someone broke some oddity part that you might have had a spare? Is the UTV world similar to other offered where you'll learn the shirt off your back. Try to beat them on course. Yeah. 100

Hunter Miller :

Sent, especially in the cam team, you know, everybody's a big family and everybody helps each other as much as possible. I needed stuff at a wage that we didn't have and every other cam driver out there was perfectly willing to let us Rob anything off of their spare cars or their spare parts a lot man or whatever, you know, when it came AMS drivers that wasn't racing course Captain even brought a full truckload of just about every part you could imagine and had it set up at the pits just in case anybody needed anything. You know? It really is cool. I mean, everybody especially in the in the cam team is a big family, you know, and everybody helps each other and will literally give him anything. I mean, if I had a spare car sitting there, you know, buddy needed it. I'd let him drive it for sure.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I'm one of those guys. Also, I'd rather you know, we can be almost arch enemies, but I would rather be you on course than beat you in the pit. You know, like, like, You're not even on on the track. You had to throw in the towel. There's no fun in that note.

Hunter Miller :

No fun in that 100% I mean, the guy that got second behind me and Kyle cheney is a good friend of ours and he's another factory cam guy and you know, we've raced with him hard since 2016. You know, we battled him in almost every single championship but you know, like you said we want to beat him on course not off you know, there's there's no fun and mdns thing and you finishing and winning that way. What made it so awesome was that Kyle and I battled the whole way, you know, really makes us special and makes the victory feel like something you earned as opposed to something that's just handed to you. There's no handouts out there. But I do get what you're saying.

Wyatt Pemberton :

In and then Ken Ham on Gosh, they really have almost all but one spot in the top 10.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, I think I don't know about top 10 but top five for sure. Mitch Guthrie, Jr. Go forth. But other than that, you know, they had the top five and they put in the effort this year. You know, they were they were sick of you getting their ass kicked by players every year. And, you know, they're, I don't know, the corporate side of it, but it's, you know, they've got quite the rivalry obviously be in the top two brands and new TVs. And it's good for the sport. It's good for everybody. But, you know, the Guthrie's that dominated that event, and Polaris had for so long, and Kevin wanted to win it. And so they put in the effort this year and brought out all their drivers and including us. And that being our first year, you know, it was kind of funny, because I remember having the conversation with them that, yeah, we don't really have much expectation for you guys this year. I mean, we expect you to qualify well, because you know, Sprint racing is our background, obviously. So we should be able to throw down a fast, you know, two minute lap for sure. But as far as 140 miles of desert and rocks and something we'd never done before, they didn't expect us to go out and do that. Well. We're just hoping for, you know, a finish for sure and a top 10 would have been a win but to go out

Wyatt Pemberton :

When the first try is pretty crazy. Yeah, I mean, wow. Yes, absolutely. Let's jump all the way back. Let's actually get get this going and then we'll we'll circle back to K wage because there's so much more there. Well, yeah, you're in your mid 30s Yep. Texas guy you live in North Texas? Greenville. Greenville. Yep. just east of Dallas. Is that considered a suburb? as far out as it is? Or is it too far out to be a suburb? I don't I don't know where the line of demarcation is between like, and I kind of area like rock wall and then out is that when you get across Lake ray is like Ray Hubbard, right? Yeah, like, if you're on the other side of a satellite gray Hubbard Are you like, is that like rule at that point? Or you would still call rock walls pretty suburban ish. Yes, fix and say I'd say well, it's funny because, you know, five years ago I said yeah, Eastern rock wall. You're out of that DFW basically, but now Roy city which is you know, 10 minutes down the road from rock wall is pretty much

Hunter Miller :

Just extension of Rockwall at this point, and Greenville is the next town and it's the next one, I'd say another six, seven years that even to Greenville, you're still going to be in a suburb of DFW, you know, DFW is just expanding in every direction. And I remember McKinney which is just north of DFW. Whenever my wife and I first started dating, she lived in Salina, which was just a little tiny town up there, south of Sherman. And you know, there was nothing there. It's just fields and now you go there and you don't even recognize it. I mean, it's basically like being in downtown Dallas, you know, I mean, it's just exploding. It's crazy. When I found out that a Texas guy won that race, I was super excited. And then when we talked about this, you're like, Oh, yeah, you're in Texas. We're Oh, where are you at? I'm like, five hours south.

Wyatt Pemberton :

You're up there with the tornadoes and hail and the weather, no hurricanes, no hurricanes. And I'm 30 minutes from from the beach. So that's I mean, it's not a pretty beach, but it is a beach. I mean, it's like brown water, lots of seaweed. Yeah, I mean drink beer, sit, sit out, cut down. It's in the sand that happens. So, but you've lived in Greenville your whole life.

Hunter Miller :

Pretty much I was born in Dallas and grew up. Well. I didn't grow up in Rockwall. We moved out here when I was in second grade, went to elementary school in Rockwall. And then second grade, we, my parents had bought some property out here in Greenville. I think my dad started and mom started with maybe 20 acres out here and eventually built a small house out here and moved out here and my dad every time a piece of property that was touching ours came up for sale, he would try to get his hands on it. And yeah, just kind of expanded our property here year by year. And my brother and I got into racing and built our practice course out here and have hosted lots of racist you know, TV motocross races and cross country races. And endurance races, all kinds of stuff just lived in the country basically, as long as I can remember, you know, graduated high school right down the road and went to college down the street from here and just now working in our family business on the same property.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And yeah, that family business you guys have a glass shop. Right?

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, we would do commercial interior specialty glass, all kinds of different things and basically anything that is meant to be decorative or pretty, you know, that's the type of stuff we do not not your standard, not windows or anything like that. You know, we do glass marker boards and which doesn't sound special, but you know, they're basically just really high end dry erase boards,

Wyatt Pemberton :

or like, like office partitions, like guys have glass offices, like usually there's usually some of those smoked or frosted or whatever.

Hunter Miller :

Yep, exactly, exactly have logos or anything like that on them.

Wyatt Pemberton :

And how do you do that? You lay the glass down and like sandblast it like with a CNC machine or?

Hunter Miller :

Yes. So when my Woz was running everything, everything was pretty primitive. You know, basically, if you wanted to put a logo on the glass, you take the file, you put it in the computer web logo, you put it, cut it out on vinyl on a plotter, you apply it to the glass, you wait it off, you sandblast it by hand and then you peel the resist off. Everything's kind of automated now. We've got big digital printers and everything and you know, our sandblasting is all automated, you know, it's kind of really upped our game and our capabilities and our processes for getting things done, you know, have changed. We do a lot of back painted glass, which you know, for wall coverings, and again, glass marker boards, same thing. That stuff all used to be, you take a piece of glass and you put it in a paint booth and you spray it and then it sucks air dries well. Now that's all automated runs through a machine that automatically sprays it goes into an automated dryer and goes out and goes onto a rack and it's finished, you know. So we've come a long ways and the business has really grown especially lately. Last six, seven years, you know, the business used to be run out of a small shop underneath my parents house and we built a 17,000 square foot building right over here next to their pretty close to their house actually, which kind of doubles up as our glass shop and our race shop as well. We've got plans to expand it hopefully in the near future and possibly even build a separate race shop because it's getting to the point where that's taken over more and more of the class stuff and, you know, they get in the way of each other quite a lot. So, but it's nice having everything under one roof, you know, we can I can go from the office and doing bids straight out there and work on racecars, you know, and then back and forth. It's really easy.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, I like you're embracing of technology, and I've certainly everyone in my life that has had a lot of success. they've embraced and they've moved on anything to free up the human capital from doing I'm not gonna call it menial tasks. They're baseload tasks that need to get done. But if you can automate that or embrace technology on it and free up your human Time to go either chase work or chase bids or expand it. That's how you get it done. That's how you get ahead.

Hunter Miller :

Well, not only that, you know, having to train your employees to do something, and if something happens and you lose to that employee that, you know, sandblasting, for example, to do it by hand takes a lot of practice to do a good job, you know, you don't think it's much but you're taking a hose that's shooting out sand at, you know, 150 psi, and you're trying to cover a five foot by 10 foot piece of glass and make it all look perfectly frosted. And even that takes some practice, you know, uniform

Wyatt Pemberton :

uniform. Yeah, right?

Hunter Miller :

For sure. Otherwise, it's got stripes all through it. And so, all of a sudden, you take a guy that's been doing that for a couple years, and he's really good at it. Well, if you lose him, man, you're screwed. But if you have it where you can stick it on a conveyor belt and you press a button and it goes through the machine and it comes out perfect on the other end, all of a sudden that makes your life a whole lot easier.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Oh yeah, man, I bet inconsistent you know, you've picked over caught your quality control goes way up, your quality assurance goes way up.

Hunter Miller :

And that's it. I don't sit there and do stuff myself so much.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So your your dad started this business, right?

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, it's kind of a funny, kind of a funny story actually, my mom and dad were both in the glass business separately. And my dad had purchased a glass company. And yeah, I'm a kind of butcher this story, but this is the gist of it. He had purchased a glass company that held a patent for a certain way of doing etched glass. And somehow or another, he found out that my mom's company was using the same process that he was doing. So he acted like he was a restaurant owner and scheduled a meeting with her, let her come in and do her whole dog and pony show and go through her products and tell her how exactly I was doing it. And he said, Oh yeah, yeah. Cool. Well, my name is Joe Miller, and I own this company and now I'm suing You for patent infringement or something. And I guess he decided not to sewer and she went to work for him and the rest is history. I think I came along about nine months later.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Oh, well that seems like a success right there. So your dad ends up meeting your mom through not sooner that are not suing them in return. Well, I don't know.

Hunter Miller :

I don't think so. But

Wyatt Pemberton :

was she there in the in the DFW area as well? Or now?

Hunter Miller :

Yep, she was she? She's got Oh, man. Maybe they could count them and tell you but I think like eight brothers and sisters, and they grew up in Grand Prairie. I forget how she got into the glass business. I think she started off doing like nameplates for corporate offices and stuff like that. But yeah, she grew up in Grand Prairie and

Wyatt Pemberton :

born and raised, never, never left. But your dad was a dirt bike rider. He liked riding dirt bikes, right recording. are

Hunter Miller :

no dirt bikes. So he started racing dirt bikes, like in the early 70s, I guess right when motocross was coming to America, you know, back when they were basically street bikes with that they threw some knobby tires on and call them dirt bikes, and shoe. If he was here, you can tell you the stories of exactly what he rode, but I know he wrote a bull taco at one point and all that, you know, and he's got an old picture of him. It looks like he's jumping a Harley. It's kind of funny that maybe have two inches of travel. But just back breakers.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Oh, man. Like, oh, how did those I mean, they, I think they made I think men were made, you know, a lot more rugged back then than they are today. They had been

Hunter Miller :

no doubt man, no doubt. I mean, they're not on the same level today, that's for sure. But you know, we always had an interest in it when we were kids. And when we lived in Rockwall, I think I was six years old. My encoding was for when my dad got us our first dirt bikes for Christmas. He got me an xr 80 And I literally could not touch the ground on it, I would have to kind of take off and add a clutch. And of course at six years old, you can't comprehend how a clutch works. But I remember we'd come out to that we lived in Iraq all the time. And we'd come out here to the farm where they had their first 20 acres. And in the past year, right across from where I'm sitting right now, he'd get me taken off out there. Well, I would ride all day long until that thing ran out of gas, not because I wanted to necessarily, but because I couldn't stop. I couldn't touch the ground. I didn't know pulling in the clutch would make it stop. So I would just ride all day long. And Cody had a little Suzuki 50 that you know, he was the right size for so of course he could ride all they wanted, but yeah, we rode, rode dirt bikes as a kid, you know, that's all all we ever had. And, you know, it's not like we raced or anything but Greenville had a local motocross track and we'd go out there and ride and stuff and we're getting a little better I guess, but again, not racing. We always kind of had an interest in it, but it never really fruition. Well, my cousin came out we always used to have Thanksgiving out here, you know, everybody to come out and we'd have a picnic under the trees and stuff. Well, my cousin brought her boyfriend out. And I guess this is several years later, we had we'd moved out here, and my cousin brought her boyfriend out to Thanksgiving that year. Well, he brought three Suzuki 234 wheelers, and I spent the whole day riding that thing a hog bit for sure. And I remember my dad saw me out in the backyard and I was just like, kind of bicycling it on the side and, you know, as having a blast road thing all day. Well, he got us a couple of Yamaha blasters for Christmas that year. You know, we rode around the farm for a couple months and we're getting a little better. And we tried to go out to that same local motocross track that we'd been going to for years. Well, we're going around it and my dad's up in the tower kind of watching us and this guy comes up to me, he's like, Hey, you know how old are those kids? My dad Of course. thinking oh man, yeah, he's about to brag on them. So they're going so fast and blah, blah, blah. And dad's like, well, they're they're 14 and 12, or no, maybe 10 and 12. And the guy said, Oh, well, you're gonna leave. He's like what you said you have to be 14 to ride on this track on a quad because it's ama sanctioned or something. He said, Okay, well, we're pretty disappointed. Obviously. We just got there.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Oh, did I say 10? And 12? I meant 14 and 14. Exactly.

Hunter Miller :

Exactly. Well, we came home and we had met a guy as we're loading up. His name was Tommy Liddell. And he's a friend of ours still lives here locally. And back then he was one of the local ATV pros, you know? And he said, Oh, man, you're leaving already. And we're like, yeah, or my dad said, Yeah, you know, they said, they're not old enough. And he's like, I've got some property. I'm gonna go build them and track it there at our house, you know, and Tommy's like, well, I got a bulldozer and we didn't have one at the time. So Tommy brought his dozer out and We built a small motocross track here, you know, just put some dirt up, made some small jumps. And that's where it all started. We'd go out there and we would ride and ride and ride and ride and ride all day every day. And we found a flyer in one of the local dealerships that said the texoma quad Racing Association. It was going to be their very first race ever and it was in Lake Murray. Forget that's in Oklahoma, Texas. I can't remember but I think it's right there close to the board. But anyway, it was a cross country series. And we went and it was real small. I think maybe nine people showed up to race it and how forget we race amateur class and my dad raced as well. He had a banshee. And I got second and Cody got third. And if you pull up the picture, you'd laugh but we were little little kids racing adults, you know, and we raced all those races and eventually the guy that was

Wyatt Pemberton :

Do our roots here in Texas and race that series with all that driving all that racing all that seat time. Did you learn to become a pretty good mechanic?

Hunter Miller :

Oh yeah, we my dad, my dad was a decent mechanic and understood everything but he made us learn that's for sure. I mean when we were young Of course, I remember one of the very first projects we ever did was those two Yamaha blasters. He came to us with the idea of Hey, let's let's tear these things all apart and we'll powder coat everything and chrome everything and just make them into shoebox and we'll have the engines done and make them make them fast and all this stuff. And when I say he chromed or powder coated everything, I mean every single bolt on those things was chromed and every single part was powder coated, and they ran off alcohol and all kinds of crazy stuff. We went a little too overboard with them. But you know, my dad, my brother and I we sat down in the shop and we tore those things down completely all the way to the bare frame and sandblasted the frames to have them powder coated and rebuilt them. And that was kind of our first experience with working on anything. Pretty much at that point on, he made us start working on our own stuff, you know, and it started off small, obviously cleaning your air filter and changing your oil. But eventually, you know, we learned to do everything. And at this point, obviously we do all and have for years we do all of our own mechanic work and prep work the wrong way. We have some guys come in and help us a good friend of ours that from back in the early early days of quad writing another local pros named Scott Dunn. He comes in and helps us out quite a lot. And we've got other friends that come and help us especially when it's crunch time before races and we're trying to prep but for the most part, we do everything as far as mechanic work on our cars.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Do you know how to weld Cody Does

Hunter Miller :

anybody know? Yeah, Cody's actually a pretty good fabricator. And if I spent 10 minutes trying to learn I could probably well myself but Cody's good at it and I'll pick up the slack somewhere else.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So I just curious and then outside of that, did you play any sports or anything growing up? I tried man, it's terrible.

Hunter Miller :

You would stick and ball sports I'm the most uncoordinated person you could ever imagine. I can run pretty good and I can run pretty far and pretty fast but I can't catch a football to say my life. I was always in athletics just because you know, I enjoyed working out and stuff but our focus was always on racing and on motocross you know and and I tried to take advantage of those school sports just to be getting in better shape you know, but yeah, it's it's pretty funny how uncoordinated I am yet. You know, could go on a quad and throw the thing around like it was all fluid. You know, it's kind of funny.

Wyatt Pemberton :

What's that called? It's called kinesis, right? Where you kind of have a spatial awareness of your body and what it's doing in space and you have it, they can extend it out to a vehicle, like like Robbie Gordon, like Robbie can do things in a truck that you no one else can then like, most people would not pull off this stuff he's able he's been able to pull off but

Hunter Miller :

no, that's it. Yeah, you get to the point where you feel like all you know, I do have a feel for that type of stuff. You know, like even when we got into utB and you know, we started off racing cross country, and racing cross country and utvs is difficult because you're trying to go through between trees with a couple inches on each side, you know, and a lot of people struggle because they rip the front right tire off, you know, but I always had such a good feel for exactly how to put the thing where I wanted, you know, that I could probably count on one hand the amount of trees that I've ever hit in one you know, and then never, I guess to this day, hit one hard enough to end a race for myself. But, you know, you throw a football at me it's probably gonna hit me in the forehead.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I mean, sometimes you're better fingers you know, but that's the give and take right you You gave up one to get better at another I guess you know, the yin and the yang? I don't know. Yeah, for sure.

Intro/Outro :

Stay tuned. Your talent tank is in full yet.

Wyatt Pemberton :

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Intro/Outro :

Now back to the show.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So your parents, you know, they were building Miller glassworks. They're at the shop, you know, building the house out there, expanding land. They sacrificed a lot for you and your brother to get you guys constantly. Race to race to race, constantly new equipment constantly, you know, modifying and moving your program forward. That's pretty badass.

Hunter Miller :

That's an understatement, man. You know, when you're young, you don't realize how much they give up so that you can do Those things you know, we all I knew as far as I knew we were just going to races and having fun and getting better and everything else but you don't realize how hard they worked and, and the sacrifices they made just so that we could do that, you know, the amount of money they spent, you know, that could be long retired and doing whatever they wanted, but to this day, they still work because God knows how much money they spent on us racing, you know, for 20 years and you know, I've kind of taken over the business and they don't have to do too much here lately, but at the same time, it gave me a new appreciation for exactly what they went through. You know, it's pretty unbelievable and guess what people do for their kids but they did and and it created a career for my brother and I for sure. We definitely could not be where we are without what what they did you know, for all those years.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, your prints sound pretty awesome. They do. Were they out of Kuwait this year. They were Yeah. Have they been before? And actually have you had you been to K wage before this year?

Hunter Miller :

No k wage was not even even thought at all. Except, you know, year before in 19. I guess Kyle cheney who who got a second this year good friend of ours, he decided to do it that year. So we kind of paid attention and followed him there. And our you know, followed it online was all and he went and did it. But we were focused on on cross country racing on the east coast. And so Kyle went and did it and you know, he qualified well, but then like 30 miles and he had a mechanical issue in DNF. And we're like, oh, bummer. I didn't pay attention to it in any way shape or form after that, until cam came to kind of everybody all of their drivers and said hey, we're gonna make a big push ah this year and get ready and don't get me wrong. I was interested in it, but it just wasn't what we did. You know, we Didn't do rock racing or rock crawling of any kind. So yeah, he wasn't even a thought until can talk to you guys. Yeah, they said they wanted to make a push up this year and Okay, I mean, it seemed fun Don't get me wrong but it just you know, like I said wasn't wasn't what we had ever done or had any experience. I've never even done any desert racing in a UTV in 2009. I did a couple Besson deserts and I did the Baja 250 which ended about 20 miles and I crashed and cut my I mean split it wide open the goggle lens said popped out and stab me in the eye and put a huge gash in my eye. And then we did the 500 that year where we got third but other than that, that was my only experience even racing anywhere out west in the desert, you know, so end of this past year, we went out there and pre ran for the first time at co h Ken m kind of organized a group right out there for all of their drivers and that we're gonna do this And who went out there and then we were such goons was awful. We've literally burned off our tires. And one day, I mean, smoked them. Because you know, we didn't know any better. We were just wide open everywhere, because we're so used to sprint type racing, you know, and didn't really have any throttle control through that stuff. But we picked it up pretty quick. But we never really stopped trying to go through the rocks aggressive. And I think that was a big part of our advantage was that through cross country racing, you know, we're used to charging through very tight technical situations. And out at ko Ah, it was basically the same thing except instead of dodging trees, we were dodging rocks. So you know, instead of trying to crawl over everything, we're just going back and forth trying to miss everything but driving pretty dang hard, you know?

Wyatt Pemberton :

And it was an easy course this year, right?

Hunter Miller :

Yeah. From what I understand. Hello.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, that was a that was a jab for JT Taylor and Dave Cole on that one. Just make sure it's hard as hell next year.

Hunter Miller :

You know, I'll be honest with you, we pre ran all of the hardest obstacles. That's all we did was we we never even went into the desert until the week before. But which was a mistake, because we showed up and our suspension was so far off that we spent most of the week suspension testing in the desert. But which came back to an advantage again, of having two of us because one of us could focus on the suspension testing in the desert while the other ones out there making course notes. But, you know, all we did was go up and down outer limits and up and down, schooners trying to get all that stuff down. And then honestly, we're pretty disappointed when they said, you know, we can take the bypasses, but at the same time, the course is not to me anyway. The course is not the hard part about that race, you know, a couple little ROPs rock obstacles. It's not what makes or breaks that race for you. It's everything that goes into it. I mean, just just feeding your crew, there's a gigantic pain in the ass. I mean, all the logistics and all the prep work that goes into it. We work till two 3am every single night out there, and you're just exhausted by the time the race gets there, you know, but there's so much to it. And the whole the race as a whole is so technical that, again, the course is kind of the easy part whether you are allowed to take the bypasses or not, you know, Oh, for sure. And then there was issues around the, you know, taking bypasses or not taking bypasses people didn't know if they should or shouldn't or when they should or when they shouldn't, and it was there was some lack of communication or maybe those communication just wasn't crystal clear. Yeah, yeah. And in the drivers meeting, you know, they they made it clear all the UTV all the bypasses were open for the ATVs do I think it changed the outcome of the race? No. I mean, we had all those obstacles down, you know, but, you know, at the end of the day, it is what it is. People are gonna say what they're gonna say about the race. And for sure, I mean, it is what it is. If you didn't do it, then you wouldn't know. You know.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So shifting gears back to a real world, not race world. When you're 19 either you were 19 or your wife, Brianna now was 19. You guys met each other, which was it? Was she 21 and you were 19?

Hunter Miller :

Brianna, you better get that right,

Wyatt Pemberton :

Brianna. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that

Hunter Miller :

was funny because everybody calls her Briana. But, uh, ya know, I was 19. And she was 21. We met through my now brother in law was a buddy from back when we were racing quads while we were racing quad stilts at that time. And I had a girlfriend she had a boyfriend and he my brother in law was always like, oh, man, I got a girl you need to meet yada yada yada. It's like my I got a girlfriend. Well, we're a race and he said the same thing as like You know what, I actually broke my girlfriend I broke up about three days ago and Brianna had just so happened to break up with her boyfriend a couple days before and I had a broken leg at the time actually and went out to a local race and they didn't Of course tell her that we were meeting but I came out there all dressed up nice and stuff. And you know, the rest was kind of history from there even though they had kind of miss described her to me and told me she was blonde when really she was a brunette. And so I was trying to hit on the wrong girl at one point, but you know, got that straight. And, yeah, we talked pretty much every day since then. That was 15 years ago.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's solid. I just had my 15 year wedding anniversary and that just felt like a number that didn't seem attainable. And then I know you're sitting there I'm looking at your face. And you kind of have that same look like you have man Just Yeah, here we

Hunter Miller :

are. Yeah, it makes you realize how old I'm getting, I guess, you know, like I said I was 19. Now I'm 34. So, yeah, it's been quite a while for sure. But, you know, we dated for, like seven or eight years before we got married and which was probably the best thing we ever did for sure. But, you know, like, like everybody, we had our ups and downs and most of it's always been ups and

Wyatt Pemberton :

downs. And now you have 14 dogs.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, now we have 14 dogs,

Wyatt Pemberton :

and some cat background.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, the cats are, you know, like I said, we live at the end of the dirt road. And so dogs kind of show up. We've got some that are here by choice, but most are show ups. So and the cats are actually the cats I think were brought in because to try to keep the mice under control in the shop, which they do pretty good, but they mostly fight each other.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's it. Yeah, you can't go wrong. Some barn cats though. I mean, at all,

Hunter Miller :

they used to be pretty rowdy, but the girl on the a little bit.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So, Brianna, I said right or

Unknown Speaker :

no Brianna.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Brianna. Dan. Brianna, can I start writing down in my notes like spell it differently saga right Brianna? I'm sorry Brianna I listen to this person you throw beer I Brianna though she's never known you to not be eraser not be an afro guy not be always in the shop working on your junk that's pretty cool.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah she's no that's all she's ever known that's for sure and she used to you know she used to travel all across the country with us go into races and stuff when she was younger we were younger actually but yeah I mean she she's been around it since day one that we've known each other first time she ever came out to my house was actually a motocross race we're having here at the our properties so yeah, that's that's all she's ever known and You know, I was definitely her an addiction to this. She'd never been around any of it before me. So yeah, she she stuck around. So I guess she must be into it a little bit. Does

Wyatt Pemberton :

she have her own cam?

Hunter Miller :

No, no. So ride with me in mind. It's kind of funny. The very first race I ever did and a side by side, we got them. And, you know, back then side by side racing wasn't very serious. Cam said, Hey, you know, we came out with these things. You want to try to race them? We cycle shit. We don't have anywhere to race on. So

Wyatt Pemberton :

in what year was that? That was 2013 or 2012?

Hunter Miller :

Yeah. So we talked to our local cross country series, which is torn that we're racing quads and we said, Hey, you know, these things are kind of getting popular. What do you think about, you know, adding a class forum? Well, the owner of the series was a dirt track racer. And so you know, his ears kind of perked up means like, Yeah, sounds pretty cool. So they would say, Okay, well, we'll throw in a UTV class and you know, we'll just race on the quad track and cool. Well, man, at first it was, it was kind of crazy. I mean, you know, like I said, this is in the early days of UTV racing when it was not serious. And so very first race out there, I'm thinking, Okay, this is something cool man brain are gonna be able to do this together. She built her co pilot with me and all that and it's gonna be fun. Well, she got in, in practice, and we were such amateurs. I'll tell you, we had our harnesses connected to the top of the cage, because the, the things didn't come with harness bars, you know, and we got them and we're like, okay, when you put harnesses in, where we're going to attach the size, like, up here looks good. So that's how big amateurs we were. We had no clue what we were doing. And so we weren't wearing fire suits. I mean, nothing total amateurs. And so anyway, I stuck her in the passenger seat and put one of my helmets on her. And we're out there, practice. thing and promptly roll that thing over in a creek. And it's kind of got this little ledge and rolled down into the creek anyway, and I look up and she's just kind of sitting there dangling and under the harnesses, she kind of gets out and people just flip it over and stuff and before the race, she's like, Ah, I'm not getting back in that thing. That throw somebody else in there and yeah, shoot, I don't she's written around in our defender with me since then. But that's about it. She doesn't she doesn't get in the race car much anymore.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's that's pretty pretty damn funny.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, no, I ruined her for sure. Had I not done that? I don't know if she would have rode with me anymore anyway, but I would have had a better shot, that's for sure.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Right? So when you you started racing this, you know, at such a young age on dirt bikes, then you guys you know, or at least dirt bikes around the place not you know, officially sanctioned racing. Then you guys started being sanctioned racers with on quads, and then you guys move to Yamaha at some point like two thousand six 2007 as quad guys and then as we just discussed cam came into the picture for you around. oh nine about right.

Hunter Miller :

Yep So my thing back here, you know back in the day when we first started Quadro icing like the premier ATV was a 250 our will haunt which was a Honda. Well Honda hadn't produced that since 1989. So quad racing was pretty much all these fully custom hybrid quads you know, and these engines were from 1989. Of course you could buy, you know, OEM parts from Honda and and aftermarket ones and build these quads but they were full custom chassis ease and and completely custom. Well then, when the four stroke dirt bikes started coming into the picture, of course people started buying the dirt bikes, taking the engine out and then putting them into these custom chassis 's and then in 2004, Yamaha released the ymc 450 and that was the first production, motocross, ATV or racing specific ATV since 1989, basically. And so of course everybody jumped on those. And then Honda released one the following year and then a couple years later, Suzuki and Kawasaki and everybody. So we had stuck with you on the halls all the way through seven. And we're both running the pro m class at the National series and Cody actually won the pro m national championship in 2007. Well, mid season, Cam had come into the picture and they had those a series called WPS say, and they had brought in their big snowmobile teams that were had some riders racing the four by four quads because they had a class at the WPS a series. Well Cody started talking with them and introduced himself and got chatting and stuff. Well, Ken am was releasing their sport for 54 stroke ATV in 2008 And so in 2008, Cody was a part of one of their three factory teams. And the first year was pretty rough on those bikes. I mean, they were brand new and and had some issues and stuff and I stayed on my Yamaha and I think I wrote a Honda midway through the year. And then in 2009, I switched to KTM and signed with one of their factory teams at the time and raced out in California or on the west coast, I should say. And so then in 2010, put together a deal with Ken Ham to race more Texas bass series and Cody was actually racing in New England but kind of the support for ATV racing was starting to dwindle a little bit you know, in LA oh nine there were, you know, every brand had a factory team.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So how did those work? Did Can you have an 18 Wheeler and they'd show up with the bikes or did you guys have to prep the bike in Greenville and Holland, he just got a ride around. Right.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, it was fly in. They had 18 wheelers, the whole nine yards. I mean, it was a full true factory effort. You know, back then, when we were younger, I was always a little bit faster than Cody. Well, starting in 2001, I had a stint of getting hurt In 2001 we're having a race out here at our property. And it was a two day race and I can't remember but for whatever reason, I was riding after the race the first day, and a buddy of mine had just built this brand new Honda 400 dx, and he wanted me to ride it and see what I thought, you know, and we were, you know, young at the time, I think 2001 I was maybe 15 or 16 and I was a sophomore in high school, but we were we were some of the faster guys around for sure, you know, so I was riding and and came over a step up jump, and one of our guys was prepping the tracks he didn't know I was writing and I landed right in the bucket of the tractor and shared the quadrants Half crushed my jaw broke my leg. And man I was jacked up. Big time. I was really really lucky that I didn't die, honestly because it hit my chin right here at the bottom my chin were at this big scar hit right on top of the bucket. Well had the bucket been an inch lower, you know it would chop my head off another way I was lucky was a buddy of ours Thomas Brown, who's actually one of the top pro quad guys right now. He was quite a bit younger and he was right behind me and luckily he was too young to even be jumping that jump so had he jumped it, you know, obviously been bad all over again. But yeah, so that that was the first time I got really hurt. I was in the hospital for a while and took a while to heal up but got going again. And I think I was 16 when I got healed up and went to the first ATV motocross race in Macon, Georgia and I raced the beat class and won and was on cloud nine came back Did a local race and my bike cut out on the face of this big triple A local race and I just landed real hard and broke my other leg. Just from lightning hard.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I'm sorry. I'm laughing I'm laughing like, You're bad luck on that.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, no, I know. It gets comical. So got two plates in my TIB fib right there above my ankle and healed up from that. I think that was 2002 2003 I raced program and at the National series and finished third and pro M and second in a class and in 2004 race both pro m classes. I can't remember where I ended up that year, but it was okay 2005 I was racing prime again we'll second race crashed in the start and kind of the bike kick sideways and somebody ran right into my leg broke my leg again. So was out the remainder of that season 2006 Racing program I think the second or third Cody is racing Pro. And because you know this at this point I've been hurt basically four times really bad or three times in Cody had moved past me a little bit well, that year in 2006 at Gator back in Florida, Cody crashed in practice and broke his femur while the same race and the start I crashed and knock myself out and didn't even realize Cody and broke his femur anything and that's back before they took concussions very serious, you know. But we came home and of course I came back to normal a little bit. Well, two weeks later was the next round at budds Creek in Maryland. And Cody had just broken his femur and you know, my parents decided I was gonna stay home and I was like, I can go up there and a buddy of ours. name's Matt Wheaton. And his brother Chad is one of the top pro guys right now as well on quads. And he and I drove up there and we're like, yeah, we'll be fine, you know. And this is two weeks after Cody breaks his femur. Well, of course. I crash and break my femur, opposite leg. And so that put me out the rest of 2006. So

Wyatt Pemberton :

did you guys just like strap your two broke legs together? And like, yeah, like,

Hunter Miller :

pretty much it was pretty bad. Both of us were at home with broken femurs. And so, you know, at this point, I've had a pretty bad run of getting hurt. You know, I always come back and was always fast and, and everything but, you know, just wasn't at the level that I should have been at. I mean, all the guys that I had raced at were, you know, some of the top pros at this point. So I it's not like I was terribly far off, but, you know, I just wasn't, it was enough. Yeah, I wasn't at the level that I could have been at, that's for sure. And so 2007 Let's see, we're racing WPS a series and Cody had moved back down to pro M and I was racing program, and I struggled pretty hard that year, but Cody, one championship. So 2008 rolls around and you know, quad racing is really really big at this point. I mean every OEM has a factory team with multiple riders and people are making pretty good salaries and and it's like man, it's it's at the level where people can actually make a living doing this. Well you know in 2008 Pro classes freakin stacked and I was always just right there at the point of being the last guy to not make it into the main I mean there would be 40 pros you know, and I would be the 21st guy you know, and they have 20 in the game so it was kind of a frustrating year I had a couple good races and made some of the mains for the Moto so you know, but not all of them for sure. Cody had a bunch of good races. Then in 2008 and 2008. That's when Cody was with Ken Ham. thousand nine when you know we come back into the steel and I signed with Ken Ham to race that West Coast series and you know, here we are now, here we are now.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I mean that's a long resume there in the early 2000s of a lot of damage, man you pull yourself up. I mean really the the old saying like with age comes the cage. And yeah. Now how many of those guys that you know you're saying you're you're not making the cut right the 40 pros and you're number 21 how many of those guys have one? King the hammers?

Hunter Miller :

Uh, none of them but like I said, they've all they've all made it in some way or another. I mean, all the guys that you know, I kind of raced with coming up you know, Chad Wayne and I think one five or six or seven pro national championships at this point. And Thomas brown the kid that was right behind me going over that step up a couple years younger than me when I hit the tractor you know, he's won several pro races. He was a factor Yamaha writer. And then you know, he's one of the top guys now. I mean it. It's cool. To see that a lot of my friends that we raced with you know, all made it in some way or another you know whether you know it's on side by sides or or quads but it's it's pretty cool gives you a lot of pride looking back because all those guys you know they used to come to our house over the winter because they're all a lot of them are from up north you know Thomas was in Denton pretty close to us which is why he grew up racing with us but a lot of those guys were up north and so they'd come down to our property and train over the winter and stay in their, in their trailers in our backyard and you know, everybody was was kind of a just a family you know,

Wyatt Pemberton :

I mean I think that is what it took for so many guys to be so local to you to have you look at it and you like i have i've been you know kind of blessed to have all these friends that are so good and they've all made it on some level. But you got to also look at what a catalyst you were and your brother were in your mom and dad were for the having that track there. You're basically you Lily, would you say your home track it's your home track. But how many of those guys spent how many days and nights and hours of their lives out there at your place? Just honing their craft and getting good and getting better and then elevating, and then everyone playing against each other elevating their game.

Hunter Miller :

But no doubt, man, and when we'd go to the races, and like I said, like we were talking about everywhere or earlier, everybody is such good friends off the track, but on the track, we all wanted to kick shit out of each other. So it's a it's, I mean, it's awesome, you know, and, man, we've got so many stories. I mean, we go on for hours, and I'll talk to a buddy of mine sage. So it's in Northern California. I talk to him pretty often, but we'll get on the phone and we'll just start talking about old stories, you know, from when we were all staying out. And we're younger here, you know, and thought we were cool.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, right. Even still today. Yeah. If you look back at yourself, you know, back then and then what words of advice would you have for yourself? 12 years ago?

Unknown Speaker :

Don't get hurt. Don't jump that jump and break your leg.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Fine sighs Yeah,

Hunter Miller :

yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean, it is crazy. I mean, I keep going back to Cabo. Ah, you know, like, there's so many little moments in that race that made it turn out and have the result that I did. You know, there's so many things that could have just barely changed, and I probably wouldn't have won. You know, it's the same going back through my entire racing career. And you can pick out probably five moments that changed everything for better or worse, you know, I guess that's life, really.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I call those I call us inflection points. And yeah, listen to this. Oh, yeah, that's of course why it's gonna say that that's an inflection point. But yeah, those are inflection points that they they really change the course of your history.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, yeah. For steer

Wyatt Pemberton :

your maybe the right words is steer your destiny.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, no, it's true. It's I mean, shoot man, look at look at lots of professional athletes that have got hurt over the years and it changed their entire life just in one moment. Like Bo Jackson.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah. Everything was Bono's everything and then all sudden, but wasn't you know.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, no and I was very fortunate to never get seriously seriously injured you know where, where it changed my whole life but, man, it could have been, you know, like I said, hit the tractor and I was an inch away from it, but I've been pretty fortunate for sure.

Intro/Outro :

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Wyatt Pemberton :

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Intro/Outro :

Now back to the show.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So back in 2010 Well, when a GM started putting you guys into utvs How did that discussion happen with them? You and your brother doing factory writing for them? How did the I guess the the bridge get crossed on putting you guys in new TVs? And where were you? Were you warm about it lukewarm about a cold about it? And you're like, well, we're going to do it. We're going to do it. What was all the decisions that were made kind of around that era that put you guys into those cars? You know, going

Hunter Miller :

back just a little bit to say 2008 2009 2007 ish when we're racing WPS say, and you know, they had a UTV class there, but back then they were rhinos, you know, and rhinos, like people put all this long travel stuff on them and make them look really cool, but they were literally 40 horsepower. And I was like, these are the lamest things ever, and I could never imagine having any fun doing that. And then our good family friend of ours, Richard Robinson I remember he bought a rhino and he brought it out and I took it around our track, you know, and of course, it's slow and all this, but it's like, oh, man, this is kind of fun, I guess. But I still would never be interested in racing one. And of course, you know, if four of them started the race, maybe one finished at that point? Well, in 2012, when we were renewing our contract for for racing that year, they said, you know, things were getting a little tighter on the support. I mean, their budget kept getting cut for the ATV racing. And they said, but we do have some budget, you know, for side by side. It's y'all have any interest in this and we're, I guess, sure. You know, like you said, I was kind of lukewarm to it. And I think Cody was the first one that had discussion carries like, asker I'll brace this other side. Your squads fun, was like, No, I'm not gonna let that happen. We're both going to do it. So yeah, we got them and we got they were cam commanders, you know. which are basically their most basic Sport Utility ish but leaning way heavier towards utility than sport. But it was all they had it was the first unit they had ever come out with at that point. Car and and we got them and we drove them in our house and we're like, holy crap, these are fun. You know, this is really cool. That's Yeah. And so but they were still turds. I mean, I think that back then those things maybe had 75 horsepower. You know, at the time, they were rockets to us, you know, what's pretty crazy, and I think about it as 2012 was not that long ago. No, not at all. In 2012. we raced the commander, which was, you know, had probably eight inches of travel and about 75 horsepower. And then the following year cam came out with the maverick, the original one, which was like 100 or so horsepower 101 maybe and had a lot more travel handled a lot better, a lot faster. And then so third And 14, we raced that car will in 15, they came out with the maverick turbo, which was the first turbo I think in production. And, of course, we thought those things were rocket ships. And so, you know, they got better and better will that was in 15 and 16. we raced those, and then in 17, they came out with the x three. So literally over the course of five years, we raced really four different platforms and in 17, basically the same platform we're in right now. And they're still you know, the baddest thing out today, you know, and and no telling what is going to come out over the next year or two, you know, or a couple years, who knows, but it's pretty crazy. The rate that UTV racing is evolving. You know, I don't know quite how many platforms Polaris has released in that same amount of time, but, you know, it's like every OEM just keeps one upping each other every single year and therefore to evolve these things at the point that who knows five years from now, they may be basically the same as a cheap 4400 car, you know?

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah. But you can finance it.

Hunter Miller :

Exactly. You can go and in anything you break on it, you can buy a spare parts for, you know, there or you can build a completely custom one. I mean, that's kind of the beauty of it, you can do it at any level.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, I think that's really what's cool about what they've done for offroad. The UTV itself what it's done for offered I I struggled for exactly how I want to say this, but by dropping that barrier of entry that anyone can go in and sign up and you know, get there. Many people can afford to be outside and offroad and enjoying the outdoors and those things when they can make payments on it.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, 100%

Wyatt Pemberton :

has that lower barrier of entry impacted the racing in the racing that you've seen in the competition. Bye, guys. Because the barrier of entry is so small are so low. Has it clouded the the competition field for you.

Hunter Miller :

Ah, man, I think that's kind of the beauty of it. As we kind of discussed before we started recording this. I mean, UTV racing is really in its infancy. I mean, it's only, like I said, 2012. So when we got into it, I think maybe 2008 was the first year that UTV racing really started. So, you know, you compare that to off road racing in general. I mean, it's brand new, it's a brand new class. And that's what kind of makes it so great is that there's so many different levels of it, people can can go to a dealership and finance a an x three and throw some harnesses in it and go race it, you know, or you can do it at the level we do where, you know, it's ultra competitive. And I would say we put As much or or, or more effort into our prep and race program as any other class of vehicle for sure. I mean, it's kind of like what what's the difference between our program and say, a 4400 program other than the costs, you know, just because a lot of our stuff is production based, I mean, we're still starting with a bare chassis and building these things up, even though the engine and all that is a production engine and in the chassis start off as a production chassis. And of course, you can buy the arms and all these things from various aftermarket manufacturers that produce them in the stuffs not all completely custom. It's the same amount of effort that goes into the program, you know?

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, yeah. When you look at the cost of a program, the cars the cheap part, right, right, that's for sure. And so in so that, that works the same way, you know, 40 640 540 100 4400s hell, it's the same the trophy trucks, right? It's just, I guess the maximum A fire there the multiplier of what the parts cost. But at the same time, it's still the same amount of work. And to be honest, I might even throw out there that working on your car might be a little bit more hard to work on and say some of the better sorted out 4400 cars

Hunter Miller :

do do they start off as kind of a pain in the ass? Yeah, right. You've got so much plastic and everything to work around. Of course, ours don't have all that stuff. And, and when we're kind of designing our cars, we try to make them as easy to work on as possible, obviously. But yeah, you're you're 100% right. I mean, you know, we didn't start from scratch for sure. I mean, we started ours are still you know, Cam MX series, but we replaced this plastic door panel with a piece of sheet metal and you know, pull it on there with loose fasteners. But

Wyatt Pemberton :

the other thing that I think that's so cool about him is that and we've certainly seen this crossover stuff that has happened in ultra for style cars that you can take him rock crawling, they're kind of okay, that you know, they're not the best that you know, they're not a true rock. Guys road racing. We've seen guys help do Hill Climb with them. We've seen guys run bas with them. We've seen guys, lower them, put small tires on them and run like SCCA parking lot timing events, you can do all that with a UTV, you can do

Hunter Miller :

anything. I mean, it's literally like change the tires and the shocks and then you can go do this style of racing and then change the tires and the shocks and you can go do this style racing our pre runners that we pre ran at kth on were bone stock machines with tires and wheels, you know, of course harnesses and stuff like that, but they were as close to stock as you could possibly get. And they were so capable out there. It was insane. I mean, just as capable as our race cars. I think I could have taken a nearly stone stock machine and gone just as fast out there. You know, obviously doing the mods that we did, gives you some peace of mind that thing's gonna hold up. But our cars again, we're not that far from stock. I mean, yeah, we cut the outside six inches of the framework. angle it up, but just for some more clearance in the rocks, but other than that, I mean, it's just gussets to make the thing stronger and they were basically sock machines, you know,

Wyatt Pemberton :

how do you feel that your cam stack up to the other cams? in the field? Is everyone kind of doing roughly the same mods or is it very different everyone has a different take or a different play on each thing? Like how many people both sided their key names?

Hunter Miller :

Um, a few us and Kyle Cheney, Dustin Jones all these three guys you know, s3 power sports over in Shreveport couple hours from us. They do our chassis these all our chassis work. And we kind of modeled ours after the chassis that they had built for Dustin to race in 2019. And they said yeah, the both sides helps. So we're like okay, let's do that. You know, there's was a full tube chassis but ours was was based off the production chassis. I we definitely went I'd say the furthest with our builds compared to a lot of the other guys i mean it's it's like everybody's at one extreme or the other they're either running a pretty much bone stock car with you know, a arms and heavy skid plates and suspension, or they're doing kind of long lines we did where their full race cars you know, ours were were based a lot off of our race cars that we did in gncc. And at the work series, but just kind of catered more towards the rocks you know, with the both sides but it that's the cool thing is is you know, you can you can do just as well in a 100% stock cars you can in a race car, we chose the race car because like we said working on them, it's a lot easier and it's what we were comfortable with. We said you know, we're going to do this event, we're going to do it right and we're going to go all out so we're not going to spare any expense and and we spent a load of money going to do it but can't argue the result. I guess,

Wyatt Pemberton :

no, I don't think you argue those results at all. But we can always go back and dissect them. Right and lean back in our heads a million times. What do you think are the strategic advantages that can the Kenan platform had over the Polaris platform? In the Kaylee's 2020 race?

Hunter Miller :

Definitely the wheelbase, you know, out there in the desert, that camps got a longer wheelbase. And it gets pretty rough in a couple sections. There's a lot of G outs and stuff and that extra wheelbase helps you quite a bit. The cannon platform as a whole is just ultra reliable. It's the main thing it's got going for it. I mean, everything on it is really, really tough and reliable. Of course, we do a couple of things to ours to make them even more reliable with this couple of small little, I won't say weak points, but things that are more prone to failure than, you know the stock piece but you know, the reliability, the center of gravity in the x rays, you really sit down low in them. Which you think for rock crawling, that's no big deal but man when your side Hill and and you're sitting way down in it as opposed to Way up high that makes a big difference in your comfort level and going through there that you're not going to roll you know, it's all confidence.

Wyatt Pemberton :

If you're confident it's gonna go bad. You have no

Hunter Miller :

doubt and I you know at first I wasn't very confident I didn't know what the hell I was doing but you know,

Wyatt Pemberton :

what do you think about Robby Gordon's and Todd Romanos speed energy or speed vehicles do speed you TVs have you tracked on them any a little bit I mean I

Hunter Miller :

kind of followed it when you know the texture on camera out in the new Robbie was was involved with it and I always thought they're kind of a cool looking car. You know, I guess I'm not totally up to speed on the speed units that he's actually manufacturing himself and where the whole tech strong thing in store ended and the speed vehicles began. But, you know, in my opinion, the more the merrier. Anybody that's out there building anything I think is good for the sport, and I would support it 100% you know, it's when things like that go away that the sport kind of dies, you know. So, like I said, anything that is put out there I'm 100% behind

Wyatt Pemberton :

competition breeds innovation.

Hunter Miller :

That hundred percent.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Everyone sit, you know, if somebody's winning, you know, it's like in a race, they get way out front, and nobody's chasing them and they're resting on their laurels. And versus when you guys are running neck to neck like you you when you and Carl cheney are running, you know, pushing each other hard wheel the wheel? Yeah, you're making decisions that are split second, you're weighing the probabilities, you know, a high probability pass or low probability pass. It works the same in business and it works the same in these guys in these platforms. And, for me, just outside looking at in online UTV it really felt like it's been Polaris game for so many years that they've rested on their laurels and they got the the rug yanked out from underneath them at this year out there in Johnson Valley.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, but at the same time, you know, they're going to come out swinging next year. So we better be ready for it. But I mean, you know, it's not just Polaris, I mean Honda's bring in their factory teams out. And same with Yamaha and Kawasaki out a little bit of a presence this year with McGrath obviously, which was cool. But in an ideal world, everybody would have a serious effort out there. And well, everybody didn't really have a serious effort. I mean, nobody was was slacking there once a couple years from now, you know, I think all the machines will be a little more equal, where right now I kind of feel like Ken Ham and Polaris are kind of at the top of their game and and the Japanese manufacturers are kind of catching up because they're a little newer to it. But you know, they're not quitting. There's reason that those big companies are who are a little more conservative are investing in side by sides heavily, you know, and they're not going to stop until they're the best, I guarantee that and so can Amman, Polaris and are going to have to do the same thing. They're going to have to keep innovating and pushing for, you know, if they want to want to keep their level of advantage, I guess,

Wyatt Pemberton :

where do you think that is that what's that angle? Where is the spots that you think that they need to up their game and change the game in advance the vehicle, like there's got to be a couple bullet points like low hanging fruit right off the top of your head? Where does it get better?

Hunter Miller :

Well, none of them come off the showroom floor with a turbo For starters, you know, or any kind of power adder for that matter. So the ones that they have, you know, but like the GTR turbo is obviously endorsed by Yamaha but it's not straight off the showroom floor with it. So, I'd say that's definitely the low hanging fruit right there is is you know, the canyon are coming off the showroom floor with nearly 200 horsepower, where the other ones are coming off with 100. You know, so that's pretty big difference when you're in a 15 1600 pound vehicle.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah. And you and your co driver weigh, you know, 200 pounds each, right? You're like a quarter of the weight of the vehicle.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, no.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I do want to get into, we've totally been peppering this whole interview with Kayla, ah, tidbits from this past year in how your race went. But let's just go in and kind of devolve that. So. qH 2020 last fall cam talks to you guys, you and your brother about, hey, we want to make this big push. They talked about kind of all the racers you kind of watched what called cheney did out there last year, then turned it off and turn your back and walked away. And then, you know, six, eight months go by and you're approached about hey, let's make a go for this. You say yes. Let's start walking through from that point to race day about what prep you did. Because if I saw into what you said earlier, you guys went out and pre ran a couple different times, even though this was your first time to race in Johnson Valley. This wasn't your first time to learn the rocks and learn the desert. You spent some time out there leading up to it.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah. And, you know, back to when they approached us about it. It's not like we just said yes, I mean, we were we're pretty dang pumped. You know, of course, we we knew how bit Well, we thought we knew how big the event was. You can't comprehend how big it is until you get there. But yeah, so we signed our contract and part of that included co Ah, for 2020. And we got a couple of pre runners and you know, the last works race that we were doing was in November out there in prim Nevada, which is only a couple hours from Johnson Valley. So after straight from there, we went to Johnson Valley and cam and kind of organize this this group ride with, you know, all of their drivers that they were supporting for the race and you know, was kind of just a everybody gets to know each other and, you know, kind of a team pre run.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Was there anybody in that group that was already kind of had tribal knowledge of Johnson Valley?

Hunter Miller :

Oh for sure. Yeah, no, Phil blurton and Jason Weller Logan gusto. I mean Logan lives right there fill his race several years. Same with Jason Weller in Dustin Jones was there he had raced the year before. Kyle was supposed to be there but had a family matter. So he couldn't make it but his copilot was there who had raced here before. I think actually, everybody there had a ton of experience with the place except for Cody and I. So yeah, and especially, you know, they're all from the west coast. So everybody's kind of been around it. Minus us and Dustin, but ya know, everybody kind of knew what the place was and what they're getting into and and had raced it before minus us. Like I said, we didn't we didn't even know you had to put the things in load and go through the rock sections. We get out there the first day And we've kind of split up into groups and went and ran some of the trails and like I said, we were just kind of wide open through everything, you know, we didn't know the pace or the rocks, we didn't know anything whatsoever. But those guys all helped us out a ton and more showing us you know, kind of how to get through everything and help us kind of find our way around because that's a big part of it out there. Obviously, too. You know, by day two, we we had a lot better feel for it. And I think the whole time we were pre running, maybe broke one axle the whole time. But that trip we had take in, we we decided okay, we're gonna try the wider car, the narrow car. So Cody brought the 64 inch car and I brought 72. And we kind of felt like the 64 had an advantage and the rocks for the 72 had an advantage in the desert. And we said okay, well, we're good enough drivers to manage the 64 in the desert and we suck in the rock. So any advantage we can get through those things. We're going to take So we decided, Okay, we're going to go home and we're going to take the 72 cards, which it back to a 64 and go out there. And we pre ran one more trip with Phil blurton for a couple of days. I think we're out there too. And we're out there for two or three days the day before. So we maybe have a total of four or five days pre running before the race. And again, we had spent all of our time trying to learn how to get through these rock obstacles, and no time in the desert. So when we showed up to start pre running the week before the race, we showed up, I think the race was on.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Monday. Was it on Sunday? Yeah, yeah.

Hunter Miller :

Yep. So we got there Monday before. And we said okay, we're going to spend the whole week pre running and and get this place down. Well, we go out there and our suspension in the first trip out, we knew our suspension was a little off and we kept making little changes, thinking it would get better. We're like, okay, it's all right. But then when we get out there, and we realize how big the desert loop actually is and how rough it is out there. And we're likely cars will never finish either the cars are going to break or we're going to be pissing so much blood that we're not gonna be able to take it. So luckily, we had arranged for our suspension tuner, George white with w racing and Doug roll with with roll design Anelka to come out the week before. And when I say we spent the whole week suspension testing, I mean, we spent the whole week suspension testing it was like we're getting a little better, a little better, a little better all week. And then right there the day before qualifying, it's like we nailed it. Our suspension was was awesome, you know, and we're pretty sure that's why you know, Cody's shock bolt broke was we had this suspension on and off the car so much. And like I said, we're working till two in the morning and people are torquing stuff down with half inch impacts and the bolt got stretched and broke is kind of our best guess because sharp bolts or nuts And that just break, you know, no, but yeah, so we got our suspension to where we could haul ass through the desert and it worked in the rocks too. And so in the end our vehicle package was put together really, really well.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So before we talk about specifically in between the green flag and the checkered flag on that day, we know it takes a big effort to get out to the hammers we don't take a lot of support people it takes a team it's a really a team effort. You guys are supporting two cars. How many people do you guys have come out here with you? Dude you alluded to feeding everybody was like feeding army in which I can totally identify with that but

Hunter Miller :

so everybody that came was just buddies that that came to help us. You know, we had George Wyatt from dubli and girl from Alka and Han slugger from HMF flew in specifically to help us we had friends from back home that that you know, because it took two trailers to get out. All of our stuff out there we had four x threes and a defender and a jeep and all this stuff we had to take you know, and like I said, we have lots of friends from home that came. It was tough and then you know we pitted with Kyle Cheney and he had his whole crew of people and everything. We all kind of work together all cam guys like I said, we all work together really to help with pitting and everything. Yeah, we're going to be better prepared next year we didn't expect to be working on the cars near so much as we were and we were you know, under Easy Ups and we're like we show up and like oh man was everybody got these big nice enclosed tents Well, the weather out there turns out sucks. And that is out of backers anything so you're out there trying to work under an easy up in 40 mile an hour wind with the dust rolling through there so hard that you can't breathe. And thank God it wasn't raining. You know?

Wyatt Pemberton :

You kind of answered some questions. I was actually just getting ready to ask. I was like, Did you guys You have a hammer counter dressed were you guys immersed in in the culture there of living inside the wire or where were you guys set up at?

Hunter Miller :

We did we were we had two spots, Holly 101 hundred and 102. And Kyle was in one of four. So we're all kind of went three spots all there together. And we had some RVs that we had rented or rented and then our race trailer and our other flatbed that we brought our stuff out and Kyle had his big rig. And Kyle had been there the year before, and it invested in a big enclosed awning for the side of his trailer, which we'll definitely be doing next year. Because getting out of the elements to work is mandatory. Yeah, we were in hammered town but you know, like I said, we we looked like a little sideshow over there, because, again, we're used to short course racing where you show up or well, short course cross country style racing where you show up with your car prepped you race and you go home, you know, not being out there for a week and riding and working and And working and writing and working, you know, and then rip in the car all apart because we need to change all this stuff and after qualifying, you know, ripping every corner off the car the night before and putting it all back together brand new and re prepping it but

Wyatt Pemberton :

it's all encompassing endurance. It's like you've got a week of endurance for an endurance race.

Hunter Miller :

It That's exactly right. You know, I keep saying we work till 2am every night I'm not bullshitting. The night before the race. I took a picture of my car, it's on my phone finished at like 2:05am. And I went and I got up at 5am because they said, you know, we're going to start lining up at six. Well, I didn't realize I didn't have to be there at six, but I was there and my fire suit ready to go to line up at 6am you know, and so I got three hours of sleep the night before. And Cody, same thing and, you know, everybody that was helping us same thing. You know, it's brutal. It really is. I mean, it's crazy, but It also makes the win that much more rewarding you know, the fact that we know the effort we put in and how freakin hard we worked you know, even the months before building the race cars to have it pay off like that is is the best feeling you can imagine. So you

Wyatt Pemberton :

guys qualified on Saturday you and your brother end up one to online we talked about this a little bit ago. How did your qualifying feel before you saw the time? Awful

Hunter Miller :

so Cody, but you know when they released the the qualifying order Cody and Kyle were both pretty early Cody was like, I think in the second group or something second hour. And so he goes out there and he laid down a freakin heater. Thank you like a 241 which was one of the faster 4400 times you know, Kyle went and he was he was second at the time. Well, I didn't qualify till late afternoon, and the track got pretty hammered. So I go out there and I'm going around it and I feel like I'm just making mistakes. I'm all over the place. And I missed a couple lines that I wanted to take. And then I'm going up that whatever the name of that Rock Hill is where you've got the kind of waterfall going down. And there was a broken razor in the middle of the trail that had been the guy before me, obviously, and he had a problem going up that hill, and I had to go around him, which I felt like cost me some time and pull off the track. And I'm like, that was really disappointing. I was like, man, I feel like shit that time, you know, and thinking how maybe they'll let me redo it, because, you know, I had a guy broke in the middle of the trail that I had to go around or whatever. And I remembered him saying something about that the drivers meeting, but yeah, then I'm pulling off the track and everybody's all excited and they're holding up and number two, I'm like, there's no way, you know, and yeah, sure enough, I'd beat Kyle by like, you know, two tenths of a second or something, and it was nothing, but uh, it was good enough and it held all the way through Power Hour, which I couldn't believe either. So, yeah, it's pretty cool to have you know, Cody, and I take a Side by side.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, the pictures are awesome. It's kind of cool. To see your brother side by side leaving the line together. That's, I mean, that's pretty, pretty sweet off spacers I hope you guys frame them,

Hunter Miller :

though. Yeah, I mean, it would have been sweet Had we been taken off, you know, fourth and the third and fourth together fifth and six or whatever it is, is pretty incredible. I mean, like I said, getting ready for this whole deal. It reminded me of 2016 and I even said something to Cody when we were getting ready because 2016 was the first year that we raced the we kind of switched from just locally racing side by sides to race in a national series to gncc series and getting ready that year. Everything it felt like it was so last minute and we're just working our asses off and finish the cars the night before we had to leave to go to Florida, and we go out there and we kind of felt unprepared and we had no idea how we were going to do and I had a bad race I ended up breaking but Cody one and we're like Holy shit, you know he freakin won this thing and then Cody went on that year and had had a kick ass year I had an awful year broke down I think four out of the six races but Cody one three and Kyle one three and Cody ended up winning the championship that year in the in the UFC one pro class. Then 2017 it came down to Cody and I at the last race for who was going to win the championship whoever beat the other was was going to win it, you know, and we're racing along with Kyle again. We ended up hitting at the top of a hill when I was trying to make a pass on Cody and broke a front axle on mine and I went on to not finish and finish second in the championship. Cody went on to win the race and win the title 2018 I ended up winning that gncc title and Kyle finishing second. Cody had kind of an off year that year. And then like I said 19 we went into the work series and tied for first but I said to Cody, I guess I got off on a little bit of a tangent there but 100 Bread bread resume tangent But no, I said to Cody when we're getting ready for co he was like, Dude, this feels exactly like when we're getting ready for gncc the first year you know how we're just working our hands to the bone and and feel like we're getting nowhere but cars are getting a little more together every day. And then we go out and we we kicked ass and it was great. And I was like, just imagine if we can go to Cabo Ah, and, and do the same thing. How awesome would that be? You know? And even back in 16 we're thinking, Oh, yeah, that'd be awesome. But yeah, it's a pipe dream. You know, whatever. Maybe we'll do good. I mean, we're hoping for top five to 10 great, but then to go out and win was was crazy. And then sure enough, same thing at co H, you know, here we are thinking like, man, it'd be awesome, but it's kind of like thinking it'd be awesome to go win the lottery. Of course, it's cool to think about but then when it actually happens, you're like, surreal, man. Are you kidding me? You know, we literally came out here and won this thing. First try. And again like it's kind of been that way since we switched to national level racing in utvs. We went to gncc. And again, this goes back to there being two of us and we've got twice as good a shot as anybody else. Because it seems like if he wins, it's like we both want if I won, it's like we both won, you know, go to gcc and we won the title. All three years. We ran it, we went to work and we wanted our first shot out and went one, two and then go to co H and same thing, so

Intro/Outro :

stay tuned. Your talent tank isn't full yet.

Wyatt Pemberton :

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Intro/Outro :

now back to the show.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So your race though when he when Cody radio that he was out he's out of the race you know you're barely you're barely even going How did the How did the rest of your race go? I know you and Kyle battled you know quite a bit but what other issues did you have? Because that's that in you said it earlier like you know you're you're, you know an inch from wrecking your split seconds from missing something you're so close to making errors here and there. So there's obviously some talent plays in. But also everyone will say there's also a lot of luck. You've got to have luck on your side and your competitor has to have luck against them. Did you? You change any tires that day? Did you win any how clean was your race?

Hunter Miller :

I was really fortunate. So my co pilot was Chad Hughes, who I think this was his sixth time racing that race. He'd always raced it on his own. Chad has tons and tons of experience. He's a little older, and very calm, mellow guy but phenomenal Rock Crawler So, you know, Cody and I kind of had a plan that hey, you know, we're gonna help each other kind of through this race after we qualified one too. It's like, you know if we have the opportunity to kind of help, you know, help each other get through because Chad knew the trail so well and Cody's copilot was a buddy of ours, Cody Taylor, who was Cody's co pilot at tmcc. And he's one of the designers over at s3 who does our chasse ease but he's also very experienced Rock Crawler not necessarily a UTV but in bigger buggies. So Chad knew the lines and had rock crawling experience Cody Taylor had rock crawling experience and Cody and I could give it gas and keep from running into things. So we kind of had to plan that you know, we're gonna follow each other and just kind of pick our way through this race and do the best we can well then I hear over the radio that Cody's out right away. And I'm like, well, Chad, I guess we're on our own today Hamby you Yeah, it's gonna be a long day. But here we go. From that point, I think we got into pit one and Kyle and Guthrie are behind us, you know, and got three stops for fuel. And Kyle and I kept going, well, Kyle and I just battled and we got I pulled a little bit of a gap, but we got to Cougar buttes, and I missed the entrance. And so we had to backtrack and go all the way back to the beginning of it, you know, we couldn't obviously get into the trail right in the middle of it. So we backtrack and Kyle it past us right there. Well, we follow Kyle through Cougar buttes and the rest of the way all the way through the end of lap one. We're going back and forth and we're not back and forth but we're you know, I'm following him. We went down backdoor right behind him and come into the start chute right behind him and take off well, we get back to pit one in Cali goes all the way down to pit and I'm like, What the hell is he doing? why did why did he pit here, you know, because he I think he was on the same fuel strategy that I was

Wyatt Pemberton :

having. Youngsters your car holder how many miles Can you go on yours?

Hunter Miller :

miles Didn't you go is good questions but they hold 10 gallons we pitted at at one B so we did most of the first desert loop we didn't think we could make it down back to main pit we might have but it had been really close. So we decided to get fuel at one B and then now you know would you have made it like how many gallons did you take? It won't be I don't know how many gallons I took but my gauge says still at a quarter tank I think I'd have made it but I'd have been on fumes and my luck out I got to back door and gone down and the fuel pickup wasn't picked up fuel and I arrived or who knows. But I had to get gas one more time anyway and one is a pretty fast pit. You know, it's not like to where you've got to go all the way down there, you know, but even though I didn't get fuel it to be but you know, so Kyle goes down there and I'm like, What the hell you know, we just got fuel. I don't know what he's doing. So he goes down there and and I took back off into the desert and had no idea where he was. Well, I guess he had come back in right behind me. And he had gone down there because he had a when they were going down back door, Kyle and I, for some reason decided to be safe and we both tethered down back door, even though I'd pre run it, you know, probably I'd gotten down it a solid 15 times and never had an issue, you know, but we decided to play it super safe and hook the rope up to the back and went down it. So I guess when Kyle was doing that, they noticed that his transmission was leaking fluid out of it. And so but simultaneously is radio it also malfunctioned and so he had to go down to the end of the pit to tell his crew to have transmission fluid ready for him at Pitt to and so we passed him right there. Well, we get all the way to the lake bed. And you know, along that lake bed as well. We're wide open across it running about 95 and you I'm taking this time to get some food and sip of water and all this stuff and we get up to you know, you start heading up that ridge right after that and it makes a sharp, like hundred and 80 degree to the right, and start going up this really Rocky Ridge and Chad's like, holy shit. Kyle is right behind us. I'm like, there's no way he followed us through all that dust because we were hauling ass, you know, but he did. So we get into that section and I remember saying to my to Chad, I was like, dude, it is so dusty and so rough right here. There is no way Kyle followed us through that, you know, at least not right on us. We had to pull some time. Well, we get into aftershock. And the only real mistake we made all day was we decided to switch align just going around a small rock at the last second and I wedged us right between two rocks and we had about an inch to go forward and back. And so you know We're at first I kind of buried us in the sand. So now we've got an inch to go back and forth to try to turn out of this thing. And we're buried down in some ruts. And so I start to kind of freak out. And Chad like, just smacked me and said, just just stop, you know. And so we back up and barely turned and tried to turn it back. But of course, we're buried and and, you know, you need to move a little bit to get your steering free. And so we just sit there and Austin powered it for about five minutes, but Kyle never came and we're like, man, I don't we couldn't have pulled that much time on him in the dust. Well, then we get to pit two and they said, Hey, Kyle hadn't come through. We don't know what's going on. Well, of course, obviously. We've all seen the video of his crazy ordeal, you know? And right at the point where I said, Dude, there's no way Kyle is following us through this. Well, he had hit a ledge and of course rolled his car right there and that's where they're just so happened to be two helicopters filming us at the same time and got the whole thing where it was. rolled over him. And, you know, he tried to try to get it and it ran him over and he was going through there and broke his foot and all that good stuff. So,

Wyatt Pemberton :

yeah, it was gnarly. That is a gnarly little video clip

Hunter Miller :

is so gnarly. I

Wyatt Pemberton :

think even like Monster Energy just released, like a recap video in the last five or seven days that I just recently saw that has that clip in there.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, it's crazy. It really is. I mean, it. It shows you how unforgiving This race is, you know, and how brutal is I mean, how could you capture it better than that right there, you know, but at that point, you know, we got a couple miles from the pit and they said Kyle is still nowhere to be found. So we backed it way, way, way down, probably at least 50% and just kind of cruise through the rest of the race. To be honest. It was it was completely trouble free. I mean, Chad knew every single line, you know, we didn't miss a single one of it. So, you know, I'm still kind of at the point. I get to these rocks, gardens and I go cross eyed, you know, but he doesn't he to everything and he had been out there pre running on his dirt bike in the middle of the night the night before, you know, even just trying to make sure he knew every single spot

Wyatt Pemberton :

so and so there was kind of never really a spot during the race, you know, at least after lap one where you knew you knew your car won on the road? Oh, yeah,

Hunter Miller :

yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah. And, you know, when we got to the pits, they said, Hey, you know, especially when we got to pit one, be when we got fuel. They said, Dude, on the tracker, you and Kyle are and you know, Kyle and I pulled into the pits at the same time. Our crews are high tear by each other. So we pull in we're fueling up at the same time. And they said, Man, y'all are like 10 miles ahead of everybody else. So I knew that we had a good lead and even after time adjustment, I thought like, man, we'd have to somebody have to make up some serious time, you know. So after Kyle was out, I knew all we had to really do was was be smooth and consistent, not get stuck, you know. And of course being the first one through the rocks, I didn't have a lot of bottlenecks. I didn't have any bottlenecks or Carnage to deal with. So that was clearly a huge advantage as well.

Wyatt Pemberton :

When you cross the finish line, anything special there? Yeah,

Hunter Miller :

man. While we still didn't know we had won it, cuz Dave came over to talk to us. And he's like, Okay, well, we already checked, y'all hit all the BCPS. And we're pretty sure you want but hold on. And then yeah, he confirmed it. And man, we just lost it. It was crazy. You know, going through the finish line. We didn't know if we had won or not, but we knew we were the first ones to finish. So we were already celebrating, of course, but we were just happy we had finished at that point. Yeah, I mean, when he told us, man, it was it was unbelievable. It was it was really crazy.

Wyatt Pemberton :

gratulations I mean, that's got to be a great feeling. I assume your brother was sitting there. You know, your parents are at the finish line. Everybody though. They'd all cracked it. Yeah, they know.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, no, it was no It really was, you know, Cam did such an awesome recap video of the whole the whole thing you know starting with our pre running all the way up through the end of the race you know through for the whole team not not me but it was really really cool. It really was.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I'll need to I'm gonna grab that the link to that video and add it to the show notes for this. It is good video. I didn't throw that in there. So we're outside of ko Ah, over a year you got now you have this huge target on your back for next year. What's the future hold for you? what's what's this year? Where are you going to race this year? I know you're trying to race a lot local being local to Texas. What's the game plan? You know, I let me caveat that with when we get to go back to racing when we get to this country open back at when we get it, you know, walk into a bar and say yeah, open up a tab. I can't wait for that. Like I can't wait for them to say like, yeah, keep it open. I can't wait for that.

Hunter Miller :

Dude, you and everyone else that's for sure no matter what your point of view is. On this whole thing I think everybody's point of view is they can't wait for it to be over, you know? Yeah, you know so so for this year we've got two series that we're concentrating on which is the word series and the text Plex series, text calexis facility, just west of Dallas and Midlothian that is probably one of the most badass places you could ever go if you're into offroad and especially utvs they've got one of the coolest UTV tracks you could ever imagine. You know and and coming from a motocross background like we are side by sides have either gone to dirt bike slash ATV motocross tracks that weren't built for them the jumps were too big and gnarly. And the corners were tight and everything else and small you know, or they race on the truck short course tracks which you know, they're kind of too small and underpowered for well Tex Plex has what basically a scaled up motocross track and it is some of the most Fun and competitive racing I've ever done in my entire life. You know, they're trying to go back to racing, actually next weekend, may 2, so we're really, really excited about that. They put together a kick ass series and they've got huge payouts. I mean to win the pro UT or the pro turbo Class Championship is like $40,000 to win the pro naturally aspirated classes, another $40,000 they pay every race I mean, it's just awesome, you know, and they've got a top of the line facility. They've got about 30 miles of off road track there, you know, that caters to trucks and jeeps and stuff. I mean, they've got a full on professional dirt bike motocross track, they've got a bet track and they've got the UTV track, they've got all kinds of stuff.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I've been invited up there on so many occasions initially when they were first putting together like that prerunner track like the you know, the Raptor track or whatever you want. In every single time like we were either like truck is loaded all the time. trailer, and it's raining in North Texas, like not even just raining just like dumping cats and dogs amounts of water and I'm not going to mud and then they didn't cancel it. And that happened I think either two or three times that happened. Like, we were going. We were planning on going and then it's like, I think the last time I threw in the towel, it was like, Okay, I want to go but it really looks like it's gonna rain so I'm not going to get my hopes up and then it rain. So I still haven't made it. But yeah, I mean, when you look online, at their facilities, it really does look like an amazing place. It's just, you know, it's about halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, but south south of Tex Plex. I mean, Louis, it's called the textbox. What is that called the Metroplex? Is that what you call it?

Hunter Miller :

Yeah. I mean,

Wyatt Pemberton :

I just I drive through there's a radio station be like flex your Plex? Yeah, I don't know what channel that was, but I just always stuck with it.

Hunter Miller :

They're putting together an event for December which I think is going to be freakin awesome man. It's kind of like Lamon style endurance, right? This first one is going to be a 12 hour race. And it's three man teams one car, it's going to be about a 20 to 30 mile loop, and 12 hours start at 7am and 7pm, which in December, obviously, it gets dark over here around four. So you'll be starting in the dark and finishing in the dark, and I think that it's gonna be a big payout to win it. They're gonna have a couple different classes, it's going to be really, really cool. I think it could be the start of a really big, awesome event, you know, because I don't know of any other endurance racing for UTV so it's anything like that, you know, the only other thing you can compare it to is obviously on road pavement car, you know, endurance style racing. So I think it's, it's pretty cool thing to have going over there. I've done a

Wyatt Pemberton :

ton of that on road stuff, and we've done some 20 fours were split between four drivers doing a 24 Yeah, it sounds like a wonderfully fun idea. But once you get about that 16 to 20 some hour in, you're like, this effing sucks. There's no, like when you're in the car for, you know, two, three hours, and then you get out and it's not long enough to be able to like fall asleep and get rest. So you're sitting there and then you got to pick for the other guy who's you keep the car out on the track, and then you still get it. And when you get back in for that second stint, you're just like, oh my god, I don't want to be in here. I really hurt you know, because your body is it? What is it? Uh, I don't even I can't think the word. You know, like, after you worked out, you know, like the acid in your muscles like, Yes, yeah, you start to solidify like your muscles are not as loose as they need to be on that second note, that really sounds cool. I got to run that by some of my buddies because we keep talking about how the guys I rode raced with, like, we don't we got rid of our cars a couple years ago. And you know, multiple guys have had kids and maybe that's the next thing for us. So I have I do have some questions on that.

Hunter Miller :

It's funny you say that because that's Flex idea started off as a 24 hour race. Oh, we're kind of pumped up on it. But we said, better start with 12.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, you could you could do a 24 you just do 1212 on Saturday 12 on Sunday. Oh, that sounds even worse. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Or Well, I mean, I think like, what 24 hours of lemans did, they would have the rapper, right? They would do 2022 24 hour race. But most of the time, it was a 16 hour race or a 15 hour race where they raced eight hours one day and seven hours on Sunday. Right, right. Right, right. And then you had a chance overnight to socialize and party and work on your junk. So yeah,

Hunter Miller :

sounds fun either way, but

Wyatt Pemberton :

so being is immersed in offroad immersed in the dirt bike, seeing the quad scene and then now the UTV scene. We've talked about you know, and I agree with you, I think you TVs is the next blown up. It's the fastest growing classic cameras It's the fastest growing class in the nation. The low barrier of entry is very, very attractive to a guy who can walk in and make a payment on a car, or a bike or desert jetski or whatever you want to call them. But then again, you know that the, ultimately you find out that the car is the cheap part. It's all the parts, all the effort, all the gas, all the sleeping, you know, hotels, or whatever it is, or camping or whatever that equals, based on all of that, and unpacking all that. What advice would you have for a guy that watched king of the hammers this past year, saw this guy that had never been out to that event before and then signs up and wins it? Obviously, you've got years and years and years behind you, that helped you win that. But what would you give advice to a guy that's brand new to it? He's sitting in an office somewhere, he's like, Man, that looks like fun. I would like to do that.

Hunter Miller :

Man that it's funny you say that because I actually kinda, I spend a lot of my time answering people's questions. You know, when they reach out to me whether it's through Instagram or Facebook or text or whatever it is, and I always try to give people the best advice I possibly can, you know, whether it's it's how to build a car yeah don't don't buy that that's a waste of money get this, you know, this is much more important. Everybody thinks, oh, I need to get a new side by side and it's 200 horsepower, I need to make it 300 you know, like no, get your suspension and all of that stuff first, you know, learn to drive it The main thing I would say is just don't get in a hurry trying to be the fastest guy out there, you know, within, you know, a couple months take your time and really enjoy the process of kind of coming up through the ranks, you know, people get into a side by side or any kind of car and they have all this sudden this rollcage confidence and think that they're a professional driver, you know, and they ended up either crashing and breaking it and wrecking it or just getting frustrated in general. And quitting after a short amount of time when they could have kind of just pump the brakes a little bit, you know, and enjoyed their time just racing in general, as opposed to trying to be the fastest guy out there immediately. You know,

Wyatt Pemberton :

do you think that social media has a play in there has a hand in that I feel like it does. I feel like there's this undue level of pressure put on anyone racing that social media puts on, like, projected onto themselves that I need to be x level, if I enter this race, I need to do X to level a good and if I don't even finish, then I look bad, you know, and it's not only my race was bad, but now I feel like that reflects poorly on my reputation of bad and so do you think there's some of that?

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, that even does that to me. I hate social media because of that. You know it. It puts so much pressure on you. But you know, social media obviously has its place. It's in a thing for the world. And it's an awful thing for the world for sure. But I think it does more good than it does bad. But, you know, like you said, yes, there's that cool factor on social media where everybody feels like, they have to let the entire world know what's going on with their lives at every point. And nobody wants to share bad you know, nobody wants to say, Hey, you know, I got 10th at this race, but damn, I had fun. You know, they all want to say I got first. And so I think maybe there's a little bit of pressure there that's added to people, even if it's just subconscious, you know, but I think again, it goes back to this roll cage mentality that you're indestructible and these things, you know, which obviously, they are safer, but then a dirt bike or quad but you know, everything has its limit.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, it absolutely does, including egos.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, there you go.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Around, right. We're we our own worst critics, right. We're our own hardest Critics

Hunter Miller :

for sure, like I said, I mean going into cage this year nobody had really any expectations for us, but had we not won like, would have been disappointed, you know, even though we didn't expect to win or and amster shouldn't have expected to win. Had we not we'd have been disappointed, you know, but it would have driven us to do better next year, obviously.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So talking about next year, you're already talking about college 2021. What do you think's going to change for you? They're selling cars are you guys gonna build new cars between now and then, you know,

Hunter Miller :

we thought about building new cars, but these are still in such good shape. Even Cody's after running, UTV and 4400. I mean, the thing still just fine needs new body panels. So that's about it. So we're, we learned a lot as far as our setup, you know, and we're going to make some adjustments there. And we're going to do some testing starting, you know, in the summertime with some ideas that we have, that we think are going to take things kind of to the next level. We're thinking that we're going to try to run the UTV and 4400 race. I don't know if we're going to try to do that in the same cars or different ones that we build specifically for the 4400 race. They're kinda a little more built than than what we'd run in the UTV race. But, you know, Cody's worked so damn good this year that I don't know that we really need to change much. But that's kind of the plan. We'll see this COVID-19 thing kind of put a damper on, on everybody's willingness to to support everything, you know, just because businesses have had a lot of cutbacks and who knows what's going to happen, but the plan is to go out there and, you know, make the changes we did and try to defend that UTV title and then go out there and really just try to finish the 4400 race. I mean, do as well as we can, obviously but the main goal is obviously to try to finish that one. Awesome,

Wyatt Pemberton :

man. First off, Hunter thanks for coming on. I just absolutely thank you for carrying me in this conversation because I'm a total noob when it comes like to having UTV discussions. I mean, you you I'm handicapped. That's I think that's the easiest way to say it. Thank you, man. What a great conversation with you man. You're good dude. fun to talk to is cool. Really cool to see when really cool once I started hearing your story about how you want really cool to hear some of Cody's story and what you know how his race went, and then ultimately why he ended up in the 4400 race in here now that was that was that was pretty badass. And

Hunter Miller :

yeah, and when he first told me I was like, dude, you're nuts. There's Why would you do that? You know, you're gonna get dressed run over and he's like, Yeah, I know. I'm pretty worried about that. But you know, I think when he is started off as a joke, you know, there I had flown out that next morning, cuz I'd get back here to work honestly. And, you know, and kind of a joke at this point. But that's the way we do all the racing Cody. Cody drives all our stuff out there and I fly because I've got to stay here and run the business. But you know, I had flown out and Cody was having breakfast over at the curries the next morning and Cody and some of the guys from Ken Ham, were kind of joking. Like, I want you to sign up for 4400 race and apparently Cody didn't really take it as a joke. So he went and started checking to see if it would be legal, you know, and and got to talk in with some of the guys from ultra for and I guess they were actually pretty pumped on it. So on the idea, you know, just because it would make noise, you know, if a UTV actually did well on that class

Wyatt Pemberton :

made waves, it wouldn't just noise waves.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And so and who knows what he started, I mean, you know it for sure. Next year, there'll be at least two TVs in there, if not a couple more, you know. So yeah, it's funny because it kind of started as a joke and we were all kind of concerned for safety up until he finished. But

Wyatt Pemberton :

so that said, I was in the middle of like thanking you for coming on and kind of closing out Then you brought up Casey curry. And would there be like some to car convincing in your future? Like going with curry over to the car? Or is that something that would ever land on yours and your brother's radar to go race the car?

Hunter Miller :

Oh, God, that would be a dream. You know, that's kind of Casey's program. You know, he puts that together, I believe anyway, kind of from the outside looking in, you know, we didn't really know Casey until co h actually is the first time we met him and him and his, his family and crew were just overly welcoming to mainly that that week that after I had left, you know, Cody's copilot left Cody Taylor, and my co pilot Chad Hughes actually stayed to race with Cody in the 4400 race. But you know, everybody had left minus a couple of buddies from home actually just two of them. stayed with Cody there that we're going to drive ourselves Stuff home. And so the curries really stayed in or let Cody pit with them and, and helped us out a ton. And let him pit with them, you know, under their tent and, you know, helped him out with some parts and all that stuff and feeding them and, and everything but yeah, I mean the car would obviously be a dream. I can't imagine how expensive that program is to put together if it ever happens. I mean, yeah, it'd be amazing, but

Wyatt Pemberton :

I just thrown it out there. Yeah,

Hunter Miller :

maybe we'll try Mexico next. Maybe. That's a little closer.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Did you or I leave anything unsaid about this whole this whole venture tonight? No, I think I think we covered we covered some miles, man, we have a script you sent me I think we did. It's not scripted. It's like an it's an outline to like, make sure we don't get too far off. Which we didn't you know, we bounced around a lot though. But hey, that's again. That's how I roll Man, Hunter, congratulations on your win back in February. I'm excited about the target that's on your back for next year king of the hammers. I think you I think you and your family should be too. That's a that's an awesome target to have to wear. I think that's cool as hell. And to hear that you and your brother gonna run 4400 as well. That's another amazing juicy nugget that I think you're gonna you're gonna have a lot of people in the in the side by side community holding holding torches for you. And then you're gonna have a bunch of people holding pitchforks.

Hunter Miller :

Yeah, yes. I think you're either on one side or the other. You're either excited about it, or we think we're insane and ruining the 4400 class. I'm not sure but who was more people on that side, but now I mean, it's it's cool. I mean, they're, they're off road vehicles. What's the difference? You know? All right.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, hey, thank you for coming on. I appreciate it. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome to meet you. I can't wait to meet you in person. All right.

Hunter Miller :

Yep. Same to you. Thanks. you very much for having me.

Wyatt Pemberton :

All right, we are out. I hope you guys really liked this episode. It was a really fun one to make as usual. I really have to thank my my three partners on this custom splice those guys if you do anything for offroad recovery or even on road recovery or any projects please hit Todd and his crew up at a custom splice comm give him a call machining whoa my gosh branik machine Stan and Brandon those guys over there in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They do it all if they can't make it I don't know who can if if you need it made they will do it hit those guys up. They are a big supporter of the talent tank and I value their involvement. And then last but not least, magnitude performance. Jason yoed and company their NACA dosis, Texas and everything that they've done for for the talent tanking getting behind and supporting this. This venture in this project and everything give them give them a call for your suspension needs. These guys do magic was springs and then the parent company mass motor sports engines and they had They have engines on lock handbill, lots of horsepower. There your guys. Thanks guys. We'll catch you next week.

Intro/Outro :

Thank you for listening and taking a dive into detail intake. Please like and subscribe on Instagram at detail intake or our website, theTalanttank.com