The people want to know! Give us a little bit of info... Name, Age, Bike, How long have you been riding?
My name is Carter Stephens. I am 13 years old. I have been riding since the age of 3 but racing for 3 years.
Where do you go to school? What grade are you in?
I'm in the 7th Grade and I go to Fort Osage - Osage Trail Middle School.
What’s your favorite subject/teacher?
My favorite subject is Math. My favorite teacher of all time is the "one and only" Mrs. Gebken but now she's Mrs. Self. Seems like the Gebken's know a thing or two about teaching.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?
When I grow up I want to be a mechanic. I want to be a mechanic because I really enjoy working on things, and I see how successful of a career my dad has had.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not on track?
When I'm not at the track or out riding our track, I'm a total gamer. Fortnite, Call of Duty, Supercross.... You name it, I play it!
How did you get into riding and racing?
My dad has raced something since he was 9. He has raced everything from go karts, dirt bikes to sprint cars and modifieds. So in our family it was just natural for me to want to be on something with a motor.
We know you’ve got some pretty fast guys in your family!
Yeah, my dad is always fast regardless of what he's wheeling, and my uncle Joey can rip dirt bikes with the best of them!
What is it like having an older brother who races?
It really makes me want to push myself. We've always been a super competitive family, so it just adds to that. Now that I am getting older its really nice to be able to have someone to practice with and learn from.
What is your favorite part about motocross/ dirt bikes?
The adrenaline for sure, its just such a rush. I have also formed some pretty great friendships through racing.
You just got a big bike! What did you get?
My parents just got me a Yamaha YZ125.
Tell everyone how you feel about riding the 125?
I'm really liking it a lot. It's been a little difficult getting the feel of it and trying to go back and forth between my two bikes. I'm still riding my Honda 150 supermini, so I'm still learning how to handle the difference. I will say that I am loving the 125!
You have tried to qualify for Loretta’s this year.... Tell us a little bit about that?
Well the qualifiers this season didn't quite go as we anticipated. At Bar 2 Bar MX, I ended up with a 10th in supermini. It was literally my first day riding the 125, so I was just not quite ready to race at that level. It was an eye opening race for sure. It was a bit overwhelming to see what kind of kids showed up. I'm going to take what I learned at that race and bring a more prepared program next season.
What is your plan giong forward?
I'm pretty excited for the upcoming Missouri State Motocross Championship Series races. Some of those tracks are my favorite and it will be even more fun on a big bike.
Who are your biggest influencers both on and off the track?
My biggest influence on and off the track is my dad for sure. I've been able to watch him race on a competitive level for a long time and I've seen how many obstacles he has been faced with. He never loses his passion and drive for racing. It's been pretty crazy with all of the things he has overcome! I mean... he was on a bike this past weekend at the Loretta Lynn Area Qualifier at Oak Ridge, not even a year after what we thought was a career ending neck injury!
What is your favorite track to race at and why?
My two favorite tracks are KC Moto (now Adrenaline Motorplex) in Adrian, Mo and Midwest Extreme Park in Merwin, Mo. I love the track layout and the jumps.
Who is your favorite professional rider to watch and learn from?
You mean beside Scott Gebken? My favorite professional is Justin Barcia. I really like his riding style, and how aggressive he always is.
What are you goals/expectations for 2019? What is your goal for the new 125 class you can ride?
I had really hoped to make it to Lorettas, but now im just going to focus on winning the MO state series on the 125!
Who would you like to thank and who are some of your sponsors?
My parents for sure! My Dads my mechanic and I am sure thats the last thing he wants to do is work on my stuff after he works on things all day, so I really appreciate it. My mom makes a lot of sacrifices for us as well, and she is for sure our biggest cheerleader.
What do you like most about training with Innovative MX?
Scott helps me a lot with things I'm struggling on. I also like when he has other riders helping, so that I can get a couple of different opinions.
What do you like least about training with Innovative MX?
Besides the crashing and concussions? The small circles for sure! That drill makes my legs so tired.
What do you think has helped you the most since you’ve begun working with Innovative MX?
My form has improved so much! You don't really think about the importance of proper form until you feel the way its supposed to be.
What would you like to see in the future for Innovative MX?
Motivational and Self Help stuff. Scott has helped me with a lot with the mental side of racing.
How does working with Innovative MX help you on race day?
I feel more comfortable on the track. It has really helped with my confidence, as well. If you ever think you can't do something just mention that to Coach Scott, and he will give you 15 examples of how you actually can do it!