Looking through the results sheet of both today’s professional championship, and record books of the past, you will notice a significant commonality about many of the elite competitors; they hail from the land of 10,000 lakes. Dungey, Donny Schmit, among countless others, have their roots embedded in this ground, and have been churned into significant pieces on the sport’s highest scale. Domenic Hegman is another young, rugged, and grit-filled competitor looking to cement his name into the state’s legacy, carrying the torch that his been lit by those preceding him. If he continues at this rate, many across the nation will begin to recognize him as one of the best, just as they have done to the aforementioned. We were lucky enough to have a few minutes of discussion with Domenic, and below is what he had to say.
Were you the first member of your family to compete in motocross? What attracted you to this sport?
No I was not the first member of my family to compete in motocross. Back in the day my dad raced snocross and used motocross for training during the off-season. At 4 years old my dad's best friend bought be a PW and the rest is pretty much history.
Hailing from Minnesota, what do you do for riding when the weather gets harsh?
In the winter months we ride at an indoor track in Wisconsin called Cedar Lake Arena. We also head down to Oklahoma any chance we get.
Growing up, have any of the top professionals such as Ryan Dungey, or the Martin brothers had any influence on you?
Being from Minnesota you hear about Dungey and the Martin boys a lot - they definitely give a Minnesota kid hope that there is a future in motocross. One of the most influential riders for me has been a local pro named Jake Loberg. Jake has taken the time and taught me a lot about motocross racing and training.
To begin the year, you had a strong showing at the Freestone Championship; can you recap that event for us?
Being from Minnesota I hadn't ridden outdoors a whole lot since October, going into Freestone I was using that week as a base to see if I had what it takes to compete at the level it takes to get to Loretta’s. At the end of the week I ended up with an 8th and 10th overall, which I was very happy with.
Heading into MC Motopark, were you confident that you could secure bids to the big dance?
Yes I was pretty confident going into MC Motopark - after an extremely rough day of practice and a good pep talk from my dad and step-mom reminding me that I wasn't going to qualify if I kept crashing and that I needed to take it down a notch. I ended up finishing the weekend with a 3rd and 5th, earning two tickets to the ranch!
What type of training were you doing, prior to the championship a few weeks ago? Long Moto’s? Cycling? Specific drills?
My grandpa is my main training partner, he is able to take me to whatever track is open and prepped so I can ride. When I practiced on these days I would ride long motos whenever I could to prep for the longer moto time at Lorettas. I also would go for a run as often as I could and watch videos on YouTube doing various workouts.
How did the week go for you? What do you feel were some of your highlights?
Walking out of Lorettas with a 9th place overall was a dream of mine. As far as my highlights for the week - just being there is a highlight in itself. I loved every part of my week at the ranch.
What’s the plan from here on out, for the rest of 2017? Any other nationals you plan to hit?
I came home from Loretta's and parked the 65’s for good and got two new Kawasaki 85’s. We plan to hit Ponca coming up in October!
How about for 2018? Are we going to stay in the same classes?
In 2018 I will be moving up to 85’s and will be riding 85 9-12 and Mini Senior 1.
If you had to choose your best characteristic, as a racer, what would it be? Heart? Dedication? Starts? Corner speed?
I feel that my best characteristic as a racer is the fact that I am pretty consistent. I am not always the fastest but I am right up there as a top contender.
What else do you like to do, besides compete on the bike? Any other sports or activities you enjoy in your down time?
In my downtime I like to flip on my trampoline and ride scooters and skateboards. I also like to snowboard and snowmobile in the winter.
Any sponsor’s you’d like to thank?
I'd like to thank my family and friends for making this all possible, Michael Bennett Performance (MBP, LLC), Powerband Racing, Black Label Design & Wrap Co., Focus Apparel Company, Alias MX, Caswell Cycle, Kawasaki Team Green, 100%, Dunlop Tires, Illusive Gloves and Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar.
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