Carbon County's ATV King
|An X-Ray demonstrating Mitchell's broken growth plate in his wrist. The injury which occurred during the '05 season took 11 pins to stabilize. |
When Robbie Mitchell started riding "really fast" all-terrain vehicles in early 2002 he didn't know he had found his calling in a sport that would change his young adult life.
"I started messing around in '02," said Mitchell. I really liked doing freestyle at that time but after I went to my first race I knew what I really wanted to do."
Mitchell who was born and raised in Price started racing in 2003 and got serious in '04 when he competed in four races in the junior section of the Utah Sportsman Riders Association series where he dominated that competition winning every race. He made the decision to move up to the intermediate class mid-season and won the Utah state championship.
|Robbie Mitchell and his brother-in-law Dave Lindsay, "whip" their bikes at the course in Beaver. |
"The '04 season showed me that I could race with the big boys so I moved up to the pro-series for the last race of the year," commented Mitchell. "I learned quickly that consistency was the biggest difference in racing with the pro riders, they are definitely more mature," he continued.
Two thousand and five was Mitchell's first full year as a pro rider and he switched his focus to the World Off-Road Championship Series.
According to their website, WORCS racing was started in 2001 with the goal of crowning once and for all the off-road rider who is best in the nation, if not the world. WORCS quickly established itself as the biggest national off-road motorcycle racing series in the industry.
|Mitchell tries to get the mud out his eyes after the race at Washougal, Wash. |
The 2007 series will see over 11,000 racers come together from all modes of racing to compete. Their site reports that racers will ride courses that will challenge every aspect of their ability. The series mission statement is "to bring professionalism. integrity, quality and most of all fun, to each and every round, while staying true to the family oriented grass roots environment that off-road racing is all about."
Mitchell's confidence was bolstered by finishing third in the first race of the '05 season, but he would face adversity during the course of the year.
"I was taking my first practice lap during the second to the last race of the year in Goldendale, Wash. I hit the rhythm section like I always do and just got sideways. I ended up going over the bars and shattering my wrist," recounted Mitchell.
|Robbie and Dave go double heal clicker at the Beaver course. |
Mitchell pulverized the growth plate in his wrist, an injury that would take 11 pins to stabilize. He spent the whole off-season in rehab and was cleared to race by his doctor at the beginning of the '06 season.
Coming back with renewed focus and determination, the 2006 racing season proved to be a coming out party for Mitchell. He was on the podium for two races during the year, taking second at the Monticello race and third in Lake Havasu, Ariz.
"Preparation and conditioning were the major keys to my success in '06, said Mitchell. "Mentally and physically I was just more ready to race. I am also a lot more careful these days after the broken wrist. I roll every jump the first time through these days," he continued.
Robbie moved up six places overall in the '06 season to finish fourth overall in the series standings.
Because of his success Mitchell is enjoying the spoils. The Price native is now sponsored by Lindsay Machine, Duncan Racing, Douglas Wheels and Fly among others. He is seen among his peers within the series as the future of the tour.
|Mitchell celebrates his second place finish with winner Doug Eichner in the pro-series race at Monticello.|
After the strong finish Mitchell couldn't wait to get back on the track in '07.
"I feel more ready to race this year, but it's always tough with the pros," said Mitchell. "You have to bring your best to the races every time."
During the three races so far this season Robbie already has a third place finish and feels that a little bad luck at the beginning of the year is behind him.
"I also plan to do a little USRA racing this year," said Mitchell.
The 19 year old Carbon High graduate says that he plans to attend the College of Eastern Utah as soon as the racing season slows down a little. "I know I can't race forever," he states. But for as long as he does Mitchell had definitely taken the crown of king of the hill in Carbon County and Utah.
His next target is the nation.