Brian Deegan to take on rally racing

Brian Deegan can do anything on two wheels. How will he handle four? Garth Milan

Well, it's pretty much like if I do STPR then I'll be in to X Games. Is that out yet—who cares, that's the plan.

--Brian Deegan

Brian Deegan is serious. Sure, he's the ranking "General" in the Metal Mulisha, a company he started by just riding dirt bikes. And yes, it has grown into one of the most powerful brands in motocross, spawning not only a huge customer base but also an army of ASB flat-billed, black-clad riders living motocross and freestyle as much as they ride it. But now Deegan is serious about getting into rally racing, and he's ready to drive at X Games.

When did you get the idea to do rally?

I thought about rally last year, when I was watching X Games. I thought, "I'd really like to do that," but I didn't really think it was feasible—mostly because I've been busy racing trucks and having a lot of fun doing that. But, the best way to be at X Games on four wheels is rally.

Are you still racing trucks?

Well, since CORR got canceled, there are two new series that have started, I do Lucas Oil Off Road Series, which has been really good with a lot of good coverage, so, I raced a few of those and am 3rd in the points. I am doing pretty good at it—so that's been my main focus. It's also been good practice for me in four wheel action. Now for rally, I ended up going to Team O'Neil Rally School, plus I've actually learned a lot about car driving and all the technical stuff that goes into it. It's more different from racing trucks than you'd think.

Are you still actively riding, too?

Yeah, since I have the compound at my new house on 21 acres, I ride freestyle about 2 or 3 days a week. And all the guys are still here practicing so that helps. It's hard because there aren't a lot of places left to ride, but still easier than finding any place to practice for truck and car stuff. For X Games I'll probably just do step up and rally car, that's what I am looking at.

Is that something we can let out of the bag?

Well, it's pretty much like if I do STPR then I'll be in to X Games, so, if they say yes, I'll definitely be on Rockstar Energy team with Tanner [Foust]. Is that out yet—who cares —that's the plan anyway.

So, we know you are the boss in the Metal Mulisha, can you give us a quick run through of the Mulisha Compound and how you got there?

I've always run the team, and kinda been the head dude, but now we've been around for10 years, this year. 2009 is our 10 anniversary of the company. It just started as a group of friends riding together, then we broke into the clothing brand, and it got huge and it keeps growing.

Can rally fit within the Metal Mulisha brand?

Most people know Metal Mulisha as dirt bikes, the last few years I've been racing offroad trucks and getting a new fan base of four-wheel people. It's good. I've always been into growing, taking new chances, setting new goals, and going on new adventures has been my whole life - ever since I left home in Nebraska. I think it is good for Mulisha to venture out and do new things and get new fans and even new customers. Mulisha pretty much owns freestyle motocross world already, so we can try out new stuff.

What about other brands?

I've always been a firm believer in bringing in new companies and new support, so I am glad I am able to bring in Makita as a sponsor as well. Their nail gun makes a good weapon and their cordless impact takes off wheels really well, too.

What are you driving at STPR?

Funny thing is I haven't actually haven't seen my car, but Graham Evans—"Whiskers"—is running it. I am guessing it's Subaru blue, but it will have Rockstar Energy graphics. At X Games I'll have an all black Rockstar car matching Tanner Foust's car.
Do you plan to put a bigger season together in 2010?

Rally at this point has been an experiment. I am already spending way too much money on truck racing, so to add another sport could be tough. But, we'll see how it goes. I might get hooked! At this point my main focus is X Games.

What would you say your greatest accomplishment is?

Greatest accomplishment would be doing the first 360 at X Games and winning best trick. It's just tough coming into these sports, because I am getting a good chance, obviously, to race the best guys, by coming in as a crossover athlete from another sport. It'll take some time to beat the good guys, but Pastrana did it [laughs]. My first race is to feel it out and go from there.

Do you think you have a weakness?

Maybe a couple that I can see. One is going from truck racing to rally cars is that the trucks are rear wheel drive so we do most of our steering with the throttle. Rally is more 4 wheel and it's a different style of turn. But, coming in from another 4 wheel motorsport is much more helpful than starting blind. The other is not ever racing with a co-driver giving me notes!

Are you ready to hang w Ken Block in the film making dept?

Who's that again? Oh right… they asked me if I wanted to film, but I've got my own program going on. We'll cover my rally at STPR with in car and some before and after stuff. Two or three filmers that film for me are coming down and will cover my experience for briandeegan.com